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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:
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Am I being unreasonable?

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SuperFurryCat · 16/01/2024 20:23

If you communicate with her the way you are communicating on here I can see why your friend is struggling to open up to you and pulling back. You don’t seem to listen and you turn everything back to you - you’re a single mum (comes across as you have it harder so invalidating to your friend), you’ve had depression so you know how she should respond, she’s trying to be upbeat because she’s probably given up on opening up to you - you see that as she’s fine so should be responding to you. That must be exhausting and frustrating for her when she has already told you she IS struggling.

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HollyKnight · 16/01/2024 20:27

jesapp · 16/01/2024 20:22

@HollyKnight i have quite literally never mentioned me being a single parent to her like that and don’t feel like things are harder for me because of it, either

You've said on this very thread that you think being a single parent means you find it harder than most.

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LimePi · 16/01/2024 20:33

Sorry you sound very self absorbed and lacking any understanding of how other people may feel things differently/be down
this is not about you!
Some friend you are 🙄

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ConcealDontFeelPutonaShow · 16/01/2024 20:34

I had a baby at the same time as my friend. Over the year it became increasingly obvious my baby had developmental delay and hers didn't it was incredibly painful being around her especially all the tone deaf things she said so I phased her out. Last time I saw her she was wittering on about how her clever child came spell their name and colour within the lines and read and run and blah blah. To a partially mobile and non verbal kids mom.

You've demonstrated that particular flavour of self absorbed cluelessness on this thread too.

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Didimum · 16/01/2024 20:37

jesapp · 16/01/2024 20:10

@Didimum again, if you quoted the entirety of what I had said then you’d acknowledge that I had said I had taken the comments on board. I am allowed an opinion on how to treat friends when you have depression. I have had very dark days and speak from experience. No, it doesn’t mean she should do the same or even that she can. I am just expressing my view of it in the same way that you are.

Being entitled to an opinion doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Again, everyone here is telling you the same thing. Stop being defensive and start putting that into practice. And if you don’t agree with it, then clearly this forum isn’t working for you.

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Jaigh · 16/01/2024 20:53

ConcealDontFeelPutonaShow · 16/01/2024 20:34

I had a baby at the same time as my friend. Over the year it became increasingly obvious my baby had developmental delay and hers didn't it was incredibly painful being around her especially all the tone deaf things she said so I phased her out. Last time I saw her she was wittering on about how her clever child came spell their name and colour within the lines and read and run and blah blah. To a partially mobile and non verbal kids mom.

You've demonstrated that particular flavour of self absorbed cluelessness on this thread too.

I think this is an unfair way of thinking. My DC was born with multiple problems but it didn't stop me being happy for my friends and families babies that they were doing brilliant and not going through the hell that we were.

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EliflurtleAndTheInfiniteMadness · 16/01/2024 20:57

jesapp · 16/01/2024 20:10

@Didimum again, if you quoted the entirety of what I had said then you’d acknowledge that I had said I had taken the comments on board. I am allowed an opinion on how to treat friends when you have depression. I have had very dark days and speak from experience. No, it doesn’t mean she should do the same or even that she can. I am just expressing my view of it in the same way that you are.

You have an opinion on how someone who is depressed should treat their friends? That's what you're essentialky saying, otherwise you wouldnt bring it up. You're judging based on your experience. How she's behaved is close to how I do and its not a choice and my depression is not yours. Cant reply for ages, finally get the strength to and say what's going on partly because Im feeling really bad at how I've treated my friend and want to explain. Feel deeply embarrassed by my behaviour, step back say everythings fine now because i dont want to burden my friend and feel if i say anthing the flood gates will open and everything will come out again. Slip back into that place where I can't communicate because of how horrible I feel about myself.

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Branleuse · 16/01/2024 20:57

I think you're expecting too much from her. Every few days texting is a lot. She might be overwhelmed and not got the energy for more than the basics now with her baby and partner and maybe other family . Don't take it personally. Back off and wait till she contacts you I think. It's a lot of energy to keep up with friends. You can really like someone but still not have the time. The fact that you're a single mum maybe means you're at risk of relying on friendships to keep you sane, but you probably need to seek out another local single mum who you gel with if you want a mate to text with about stuff. I expect you are very much still her friend. When kids come along, you have to expect a certain amount of being ghosted and then you see each other and it's fine. You don't need to be in constant contact to be good friends. I've got loads of friends I'd bloody love to see more. I need to make more time this year really. Life is just hectic

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Noseybookworm · 16/01/2024 20:58

Do you live near each other? Why not invite her over for lunch or coffee and cakes? It's really difficult to ascertain someone's state of mind via messaging and just because she sounds upbeat one day, doesn't mean she's not still struggling.

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CharlotteBog · 16/01/2024 21:08

OP, if you want to continue the friendship then I would text her, acknowledge that she's told you she's not coping, that you are sorry she's feeling low and would like to support her. Then say you'll msg again in a couple of weeks just to say hello.
Just be there. Keep the channels open.
It doesn't sound like she's moved onto new friends.
For you, I would find other friends that can support you as a single parent rather than this friend.

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CharlotteBog · 16/01/2024 21:10

The friends that helped me most when I was depressed were ones that worked it out and stepped up at a time when the last thing I would have done was tell them.

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1willgetthere · 16/01/2024 21:13

I'm paraphrasing but she said "I'm not coping and would like to see you" and you replied "we don't have to meet up if you don't want to but call me anytime"
Where she may have been hoping for "I'm free tomorrow I will come over and see you"

She likely feels you weren't there when she needed you.

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AuntMarch · 16/01/2024 21:19

She isn't the shit friend.

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TheCatterall · 16/01/2024 21:43

@jesapp she could be struggling in all
manner of ways and feel like a burden if she unloads on folks. So she bottles it up and puts on a mask.

I have severe depression to the point I almost feel life is pointless. People could never tell as I seem to have my shit together. When I open to some folks I do get lovely offers of doors always open etc but I could never bring myself to do that no matter how bad things got. I speak to my GP. I now have a therapist. I talk to them and that’s it.

I’d keep up with light conversation, baby chat etc.

she might now be avoiding you slightly as she feels embarrassed about opening up to you. So don’t bring it up but just maintain communications now and again so she knows you are still there.

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Londonrach1 · 16/01/2024 21:45

She not a bad friend just a friend struggling...she told you that...she needs her friends now more an anything... Don't judge her just be there for her. If you can't be that's ok but don't call her a shit friend. She needs friends not people to judge her.

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Allthatglittersisntart · 16/01/2024 22:05

I have a friend like this. She has mental health and other health problems.
If she doesnt reply for a while, that’s fine. If I have an emergency (and convey this) I know she will answer and help and vice-versa.
Also this can happen with long distance friendships. Constant whatsapps are exhausting. I prefer phone or actually meeting. I have friends I only speak to if Im going to their town/country.

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Bluemeadowbaby · 16/01/2024 22:16

From someone who has suffered with PND and still suffer 4 years on I can really relate. I had a baby at the same time my friend did and I "wasn't coping well" that's the only way I could describe it and didn't know I had PND I just didn't feel like myself and found I was a bit envious of my friend in regards to on the outside she looked so strong and I felt so weak (and extremely sleep deprived- that can do funny things to you lol). Around 6 months was when it all came to a head and I didn't know where or who to reach out to. I lost touch with my friend as in my eyes she looked like parenting came so naturally to her and I found it really overwhelming I ended up isolating myself with my baby and found I formed closer friendships with those who didn't have children, my mum and my sister as it was almost a reassurance for me that actually maybe I was doing a good job being a new mum and I had nothing to compare to. I recently saw my friend who I lost touch with and even though I feel incredibly guilty we lost contact I just feel now that in that moment I found it too overwhelming - my dream was to be one of those mums who had play dates with other mums and really enjoyed being a new mum but in reality I just really struggled. I've since had a lot of help from various perinatal teams and still am - I wish I could go back and tell myself everything would be okay and to let people in for solidarity to make things different I feel so sad about it, but to be able to rekindle friendships with those who stayed around and let me take my time meant so much. I think what I'm trying to say is I see this from both sides, the confusion of why things have changed and the heartache to want to be close to your friend like before - this may not be how she's feeling at all but when I read it I just thought ah! this sounds like me🙈 The best piece of advice I can give is keep a quiet eye on her and build a safe space - not always asking if she's okay but let your conversation flow organically. No ones entitled to your information but if there is a safe space built she may naturally open up but sometimes just being there as a hand hold means more, most importantly be real with baby conversations - no one was ever real with me that parenting is blooming hard and you can lose yourself so easily, but I found a lot of comfort when conversation opened up to reality. I hope that helps, I just thought an insight into maybe how she's feeling could support you as I know from my own experience I've left people feeling confused about why I've gone off grid but feel better mentally to know why that happened so I'm not too hard on myself now x

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Viennabear · 16/01/2024 23:36

Ive experienced a close friend cutting me off, I’ve genuinely no idea why. I racked my brains trying to work out why- did I accidentally say something to offend her? could she be jealous of something I have? The latter seemed very unlikely as she has far more in her life( in every respect) than I do.
Maybe your friend is still struggling with MH or maybe she just doesn’t feel she connects with you anymore. I think this is what happened to my friendship.its very hard to accept ..I miss my friend so much.
Unlike a lot of the pp I can’t really see that you’ve been unreasonable, you’ve let your friend know you’re there for her without pressuring her. I think a lot of the pp haven’t understood that you haven’t actually relayed all these things to your friend that you’ve told us, you’re just trying to give us the full picture.
There’s only so much one can do, before admitting defeat.

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Rosesarered222 · 17/01/2024 00:41

A friend of mine is doing the exact same thing to me OP. Although she has not expressed to me that she is struggling but I feel she is trying to form a gap between us. It really sucks! We also have babies close in age, so I do wonder if she doesn’t want to be around a mum friends

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Seeleyboo · 17/01/2024 02:17

PND is horrendous. I've had 5 kids and only suffered with my 5th, and it knocked sideways. I wasn't and still not the same person. I showed the world I was fine because I'd never suffered before and didn't even recognise I had it until my 5th was 2. Maybe your friend isn't even aware she has PND.

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Ruffpuff · 17/01/2024 02:27

To put things into perspective…

I am be of those people who disappears when life gets difficult (basically I get depressed/overly anxious). I love my friends dearly, and I do care. However, sometimes I’m just doing what I can to get through each day, and each day becomes all consuming. I won’t speak to friends for months, not out of choice, per say, but because I feel tense, like I’m a negative presence to be around, and I can’t bear any extra demands - even sending a message feels like such a heavy and exhausting task, even if I want to reach out, even if I miss the people I’m avoiding. I just can’t. I can only manage one thing at a time to cope.

I don’t think many understand what this feels like. It’s horrible. You end up completely isolating yourself, but at the same time it’s a coping mechanism.

I don’t know your friend’s reasons for being distant, but please don’t cut your close friend out of your life just yet. Give her a chance and some space. Maybe when things start to get better she will be back.

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MCOut · 17/01/2024 02:54

OP respectfully depression is different in different people so you cannot presume that your experience in any way resembles hers. How different people will respond will be based on not only their personality but also how badly they have it, whether it’s caused by circumstances or if it’s chemical etc

I think the most important thing you could do is realise that her behaviour is not a reflection of you. It is not a reflection of your friendship. It is not a reflection of how much she values you. Nothing you do is going to make her open up if she feels unable to. For some people this is a feature of PND. In this case, being a good friend will mean reevaluating the assumptions that have led to you feeling the way you do, reframing the narrative and having the grace to resume your normal relationship when she can.

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ImustLearn2Cook · 17/01/2024 03:13

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

No, your friend is not pretty shit and yes, you do need to get over yourself. HTH.

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Newnamehiwhodis · 17/01/2024 03:53

YABU
depression is difficult, heavy, hard to talk about- the signs are right there, that she communicated with “upbeat” sounding words but disappears. She’s likely a person who goes into a sort of cave to cope when wounded.

just let her be? Just expect less?

for what it’s worth, my last communication with a friend before his life ended was “upbeat.”

just stop judging and writing stories.

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