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AIBU?

Is my ‘friend’ pretty shit or do I need to get over myself?

99 replies

jesapp · 16/01/2024 14:57

Just that really. Both had babies around a year ago. We used to text daily. Both equally making the effort, never felt forced, known her years.

For the first six months after having the babies we still were in contact. Rather suddenly she went off the radar a bit. I didn’t immediately follow this up or smother her but did message every few days saying I hoped she was ok. Around three weeks later I got a massive text back saying she wasn’t coping and she hadn’t wanted to tell me as she thought I was coping fine and happy and it would put a dampener on things for me. I found this quite strange as we’ve always shared each other’s problems and been supportive of each other. I was also a single parent (she is not) and I was surprised she would have assumed I was so happy all the time, obviously I hadn’t had an easy time so really she surely would have known she could have opened up to me. Anyway she was upset and said she wanted to see me etc. I was supportive and told her to call me anytime and that we didn’t need to meet if she wasn’t up to it etc but please tell me if she needed anything. We slowly began chatting again as normal and then it slowly dwindled again. I did check in and she replied two weeks later to say she was fine, chatting away about an upcoming holiday etc. I replied and have heard nothing back for 6 weeks. I haven’t followed up this time as it just feels like I would be being too much given she’s clearly not responsive.

I have other friends and I am able to get over this but I can’t pretend it’s not hurt me. I genuinely thought she was a close friend all these years. I know I will only get an answer if I ask her but has anyone experienced anything similar?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

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Topee · 16/01/2024 14:59

Depression can cause some people to struggle with social contact.

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:01

@Topee i thought that but her last communication was very upbeat etc and I do think I know her well enough to know if she’d been hiding something else. Could be wrong though I guess

OP posts:
WinchSparkle80 · 16/01/2024 15:02

She could have PND, she might be feeling absolutely horrendous and just getting up and keeping herself and baby fed is all she can manage.

Please don’t forget about her, check up, she might not be able to manage a text back at the moment. If this doesn’t impact your own mental health.

It’s an incredibly isolating and lonely place to be. PND floored me for about 8 months.

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:04

@WinchSparkle80 i was honestly so supportive before though, told her to call me day or night, said I would come over to help, etc. She obviously doesn’t want to tell me it that’s what it is, does she?

OP posts:
Whataretheodds · 16/01/2024 15:04

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:01

@Topee i thought that but her last communication was very upbeat etc and I do think I know her well enough to know if she’d been hiding something else. Could be wrong though I guess

You wouldn't be able to tell that on a text. People with depression can also be really good at appearing upbeat when they don't have to show their face/speak.

Whataretheodds · 16/01/2024 15:05

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:04

@WinchSparkle80 i was honestly so supportive before though, told her to call me day or night, said I would come over to help, etc. She obviously doesn’t want to tell me it that’s what it is, does she?

Maybe, maybe not. Depression isn't rational, you don't think rationally with it.

Jaigh · 16/01/2024 15:06

It doesn't sound too wildy out of the ordinary to me! You seem a bit standoffish that she had an issue and took a while to tell you, so don't make that about you keep it about her. And 6 weeks is nothing when you have a 1 year old and your own lives. Every few days to ask are you ok is a little much. I think you shouldn't read too much into it and you are probably still very much friends. Things do change when children come along.

Spirallingdownwards · 16/01/2024 15:08

I agree it sounds like PND and she is putting on a front when appearing upbeat.

She probably feels as she has a partner she has no right to complain to you as a single mother how tough it is and sees posts like we see on here when single mums do complain when a mum with a partner says something is difficult.

Also it may make her feel worse to see others being a good mum to their babies when she feels she isn't to hers.

I would continue dropping her messages every now and then to let her know you are thinking of her and here when she needs you.

mightydolphin · 16/01/2024 15:09

She might not want to use her baby free time for messaging. I used to message a lot pre-babies and even in the sleepy newborn days but once my baby became more active, I preferred to spend my free time more productively or enjoying peace and quiet.

OfTheNight · 16/01/2024 15:10

When I had PND it affected me in a lot of different ways. The worst way was that it made me isolate myself. I did have brief spells where I did manage to reach out to people, but I spent many, many days seeing texts and phone calls pop up on my phone and just being totally unable to respond. I can’t describe it any other way. I just couldn’t do it, even though I wanted and needed to.

If she’s a good friend and this is unusual for her, could you try a little longer?

Aria2023 · 16/01/2024 15:10

I think if you're struggling it's hard to be the one to initiate. People may say 'I'm here if you need' but when I've had difficult times, my really close friends have just taken the lead and proactively picked up the phone or come round to see me. I'm not saying you haven't offered support, but your support sounds a bit passive, when perhaps she needs something more proactive?

WinchSparkle80 · 16/01/2024 15:10

@jesapp I was so ashamed I felt so bad, no one except my husband and parents knew the extent. It is upsetting having a one sided friendship- that I definitely agree but maybe just reach out every so often. My brain definitely wasn’t rational and I barely remember about a year of my life.
Above all though, do what you feel most comfortable with.

ManateeFair · 16/01/2024 15:11

She literally told you that she's not coping, and you're 'hurt' because she's not being very communicative right now? I don't think she's the shit friend here.

Just because she was chatting and said she was 'fine' that doesn't, in fact, mean that she is actually fine. Give her some space. She'll be in touch when she's up to it.

It doesn't matter that she's not a single mum. Regardless of their situation, every mother has a different experience of early motherhood for a million different reasons. She is not you, and her baby is not your baby, and you do not know what's going on with her mental health. Let her focus on what she needs to focus on.

SgtJuneAckland · 16/01/2024 15:12

I think when someone has depression it can be very difficult for them to be the one to reach out, so saying I'm here if you need me isn't accessible for them. Why not I'll pop round on Tuesday for a coffee, give her space to chat. Maybe tell her genuinely about things you're finding difficult so she knows she's not alone. How are you can be impossible for someone in the midst of depression to answer so it's easier to just say fine

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:12

@Aria2023 i did offer to meet, go to her, speak on phone etc. I tried to offer as much support as possible, maybe it was passive though. I feel awkward contacting her again given the radio silence after such positive messages from her. Not sure what to do, if anything

OP posts:
MrsElsa · 16/01/2024 15:12

Maybe she is struggling with her partner being shit and doesn't feel it's appropriate to discuss that with you.

Life stages do make a difference, people do re assess their relationships and priorities. Pre kids I found friendships were more about shared interests or values but post kids it seems to be about convenience and proximity rather than any depth of feeling. E.g. similar marital status, same school or nursery etc.

Don't take it personally, you have been reaching out and made it clear you are there for her, done nothing wrong. Spend time meeting other mums and developing some new relationships, that would be a win-win.

Notsuredontknow · 16/01/2024 15:13

Could well be depression but could also just be time. I have been TERRIBLE with my phone and replying to messages since becoming a mum. If I can’t reply immediately (which I rarely can), it disappears out of my head and I forget to do it at all. I still love meeting up with my friends and I hope they aren’t too hurt at my lack of texts. I understand you’re hurt but try not to take it personally. She is probably just busy and knackered as we all are, and the phone comms is something she’s let slip.

Lavender14 · 16/01/2024 15:14

You're not entitled to this information about her though are you?

You've offered space for her to talk and support and now it's up to her to decide when how or if she takes you up on that.

She's been open with you that she's struggling. It sounds like she's texting you back maybe when she's having a better day and doesn't feel up to it the rest of the time.

It's not about how easy you're having it or aren't having it, it's about how she perceives you to be coping when she's not. It's not about you or anything you're doing this is all about her own struggle and insecurity and hormones and low mood.

If you're a good friend you'll recognise that she doesn't owe you anything right now, you'll keep checking in with her periodically with no expectation on her to reply or judgment on how or what she replies and be ready to meet her when she feels better. In short yes you do need to get over yourself.

DGPP · 16/01/2024 15:15

Texting every few days would be too much for me.
the ball is in her court though, just leave her to it. Could be anything

WolvesDiscoandBoogaloo · 16/01/2024 15:18

She's told you she is struggling. Give her a break. Depression can make it very challenging to stay in contact with friends. Add a first baby into the mix and it's pretty obvious why someone might be incommunicado for a while.

It's nice that you've offered support but it's not reasonable to get the huff because she hasn't taken you up on it.

LenaLamont · 16/01/2024 15:18

When someone's been struggling they often self-isolate. To turn that into a You issue is tone deaf and insensitive.

Give your friend space, touch base from time to time so she knows you are thinking of her. She doesn't owe you or anyone else a window into her struggles. If you really are her friend you will accept her privacy and be a good friend when she's in a position to be in contact again.

She also has a very young child and a lot going on - 6 weeks is nothing in the scale of things.

ManateeFair · 16/01/2024 15:21

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:04

@WinchSparkle80 i was honestly so supportive before though, told her to call me day or night, said I would come over to help, etc. She obviously doesn’t want to tell me it that’s what it is, does she?

This isn't about you.

Your view of what she might be going through is really over-simplified. I'm sure you care, and I'm sure she knows that, but I don't think you're really understanding how complicated depression is. The fact that she apparently doesn't want to ask for help or talk about what she's going through isn't some kind of insult to you.

I'm sure she appreciated your offer of help and support, but that doesn't mean she feels able to take you up on it, or that the help and support she most needs is necessarily the kind of help and support that any friend can offer right now. My friends are lovely, caring people and I'm very fond of them, but if I'm going through a period of depression, I don't want to message all the time and there's nothing they can do to help me. I know they're there for me, but I also know that there is nothing they can do for me and that I just need to ride it out until I'm better.

MeinKraft · 16/01/2024 15:22

You aren't being very understanding OP. You want to show you care through your words but you need to show them through your actions - by which I mean continuing to extend invites to her but not being offended if she doesn't respond to messages, just be normal. She'll come back to herself in time and she'll be grateful for you standing by her.

jesapp · 16/01/2024 15:27

@ManateeFair i don’t know if she is depressed though. She’s not ever said that.

OP posts:
Sugarfish · 16/01/2024 15:29

You actually sound like a friend I ditched. She had this habit about making my problems about her.

If she is depressed it’s not something she’ll suddenly snap out of and then be ok forever. It can come and go. She doesn’t need to tell you anything she doesn’t want to and if she’s feeling like crap she probably doesn’t have the energy to get into it.

By all means keep reaching out and offer support, but accept she might not want it. And don’t take it as a personal slight, because it’s not about you. I know when I’m feeling down I don’t want to talk or see anyone. As kind as the offer might be.

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