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Wisdom of MN tribal queens required... hell, I have to dump my best friend

(55 Posts)
Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:00:09

So we've been friends for 20 years. During that time we've lived together as flatmates, then when she married and had kids I was on hand - I mean always on hand - to help out with her kids, take them on outings, babysit and look after them. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, outings, the lot, for all 3 of them.

I've helped her set up her business, too. I'm single with no kids. She herself admits I have been 'supremely generous'.

I've lost my job, and with no partner, no family and no financial support, 10 months in I am struggling. Properly battling to pay for heat, light and food. Benefits if you are single are very minimal. I am also ill - sick with depression and agoraphobia.

I had hoped my friend, who now runs a successful business as a landlord, to at least offer to help me a bit. She hasn't - well, she's lent me 25 pounds after 9 months.

Today I told her how bad things were - power about to go off, etc etc. She responded by offering me one meal (no doubt hoping I would stay to do bathtime with the chidren).

Thing is, she's always been tight (notoriously so) but this is the final straw. I can't respect her any more. I feel quite sick when I think of the kindness I've shown - and what I've had back.

And I need to tell her she's dumped. Not out of revenge, but because I'm the guardian to her children, named in various of her legal docs, wills, etc., and I'm no longer feeling that is appropriate.

How would you do it? I do want to tell her why I'm slipping away because I do want her to go and stay away.

MarilynValentine Mon 18-Feb-13 21:06:15

Maybe you could say to her that you really need to borrow some money until you are back on your feet.

If she says no (with no good reason), you have your answer, and you can tell her you no longer want her in your life and why.

There's a possibility she may feel awkward/as if she would offend you re offering money.

Or she may not really have absorbed how scared you are right now.

Or.....she may be a selfish person who is comfortable to utilise others but not to help them.

But be straight-forward with her first.

fluffyraggies Mon 18-Feb-13 21:09:24

Could you write how you feel in a letter to her?

Would you want to explain the whole story as you have here to us, or do you just want a short sharp clean break?

OhToBeCleo Mon 18-Feb-13 21:09:58

That's a really tricky situation.

What I would say is....think of the kids. I take it if you've had a lot of interaction with them you must have formed a bond with them too? Do you want to throw all of that away as well?

Have you tried talking to her about how you feel about things?

BOF Mon 18-Feb-13 21:10:20

Can't you arrange to speak to her and say that you are feeling let down by the lack of support she has shown you recently, and that you feel disappointed after your long friendship?

It's got to be worth a try, surely?

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 18-Feb-13 21:14:52

Given that your illness is invisible (as opposed to a broken leg, even though it is just as serious and limiting), are you sure she understands how bad you're feeling? It sounds like she thinks of you as the strong sorted person you have been for her throughout your long friendship. You might need to be more explicit about how bad things are now and what support you need from her.

UnrequitedSkink Mon 18-Feb-13 21:15:19

If you were my best friend I'd be offering you my house to live in until you were back on your feet - no joke - and I know my best friend would do the same for me. She is not a good friend, I'm sorry. And very sorry for you too, what is your next step, have you been to your gp for advice regarding the agoraphobia? I assume it's preventing you looking for work?

FlatsInDagenham Mon 18-Feb-13 21:16:14

Are you really going to dump her before you've talked it through? Perhaps she hasn't clicked how much you need her help right now?

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:17:43

I am extremely fond of her children. Luckily, soon they will be able to see me independently, so friend would be surplus to requirements in any case.

Is the situation so tricky now?

Uppermid Mon 18-Feb-13 21:20:06

I think you need to have a proper conversation with her before you dump her, she might not know the seriousness of the situation. Let her know you feel let down and you need her help, she's not a mind reader

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:21:00

Yes I have been to the GP and am awaiting an appt. in a surgery I can actually get to (as opposed to the one 3 miles away they sent earlier).

I can't look for work. I am shaken, alone and frightened. I think she knows how bad things are, too. She has said briskly a couple of time 'You need to see a doctor' when I try and open up to her.

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:24:41

Thing is re having a talk with her, is that she will just turn it all to be about her, and it will be yet another strain for me - I'll find it painful and yet another effort with no certainty of reward, and I've rather done my time with them recently.

plantsitter Mon 18-Feb-13 21:24:48

You are sick with depression. I would not make this kind of massive decision right now.

Have you actually asked her for help? If you ask, she may come through for you even if it's not in exactly the way you would like.

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:26:48

Well, I know, I don't want to make major decisions about anything much, but my judgement isn't clouded at the mo - also, I need to start making positive steps to improve things. I think this might be one of them.

RandomMess Mon 18-Feb-13 21:26:59


Have you asked for any specific help? I really feel for you both for the situation and for being so let down by your friend

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:28:36

No I havent. Do you think I should say something as direct as can you lend me 500 quid? (or other sum)

RandomMess Mon 18-Feb-13 21:31:48

But would you be able to repay the money? If not I'd be wary of asking for for a loan. In what ways could she help you?

BOF Mon 18-Feb-13 21:33:01

No, I wouldn't make it about money. I agree that you need to get more medical help and delay making any big decisions while you are ill.

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:36:32

Yes I would repay it when I got a job, so no probs there.

BOF, part of being ill is taking steps to improve your life. And for me, ending a disappointment would be a plus. False dawns of hope are not helpful when you are as sick as I am - I don't need people in my life who aren't at least neutral or positive.

Lueji Mon 18-Feb-13 21:37:37

I agree with asking directly.

I know you are friends, but could she pay you to baby sit, or do odd jobs that she might pay other people?

Financial support between friends is complicated and a can of worms.

Would you expect her to help you again?

On the other hand, could you ask for her personal support, in finding some work, or improving benefits, and so on?

hermioneweasley Mon 18-Feb-13 21:39:37

There is a massive difference between being generous with gifts and expecting a friend to loan hundreds of pounds. You don't know her financial situation or cash flow. I think you need to spell it out and ask for the help you want, but think about alternatives to cash. With 3 kids and a business, she might not have it as opposed to being difficult or mean.

penguinplease Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:15

I think you should write her a letter, tell her how down you are and how hard things are in real terms like you have in your post hre. Explain that you feel that there is an imbalance in your friendship and that makes you sad but for your own sake you have to move away from it.

Such a long standing friendship is worth a second chance and she might be frightened that you are vulnerable and not know how to reach out to you.

MarilynValentine Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fatbrowncat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:54

There's no way she'd pay me to babysit, I've done it for years and years free with no reward of any kind.

Personal support - she hasn't done much except find me a counselling group when I was facing eviction (when I called it was a counselling group for the homeless...)

LeChatRouge Mon 18-Feb-13 21:42:23

I agree with BOF.

Why not just withdraw a bit, don't instigate any contact for a while and see how you feel in six months?

I lost a best friend through a temporary situation once and miss her at least once a week ten years later.

Focus on what you can do to get yourself well, with professional help, don't focus on how she lets you down. Remember, you can't change people, only the way you react to them.

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