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Mary

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  • #395591
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi Anita! I am doing well, especially since the last time we spoke. You have helped me gain clarity about my situation. I now have come to find peace regarding this issue I had, learned to accept that I did what was best for myself, and understood areas where I was wrong and could use some improvement should I find myself in that position again with someone. I truly appreciate your wisdom and perspective – I truly believe it helped me grow! Thank you so much. I hope all has been well with you too 🙂

    #394088
    Mary
    Participant

    Thank you Anita! I think this was a great way to test how much I’ve grown. A year ago, I would have kept arguing with her and list out all the proof that goes against things she said to me or accused me of, but I was able to walk away calmly from the conversation without feeling like I needed to do that. That’s honestly a big step for me.

    My parents, especially my dad, have always been hard workers. They tried their best from a young age to raise my sisters and I to be independent and not have to rely on anyone to help us through life. My dad was the more strict parent and would come down hard on us anytime we didn’t do great in school or were experiencing social problems. His initial reaction/comment anytime I tried to talk to him about something that happened, he would always start with “what did you do/say to them to make them do that to you?” So I always felt like I was the reason for everything that goes wrong. I would feel guilty about all of it so I would apologize for things even beyond my control and that I know I wasn’t responsible for. My boyfriend didn’t sleep well or is having a bad work day? I would always tell him I’m sorry and he always responds “why are you sorry? It’s not your fault nor are you the reason it happened.” I guess I just never learned another way to express empathy without apologizing. I feel this stems back my my childhood events concerning my parents, but I’d like to learn from it and find better ways to build the self-esteem I never had.

    #393977
    Mary
    Participant

    Helcat, thank you for the response. I can understand how and why using the word “toxic” triggered her. As you assumed, I wasn’t trying to place blame on her, especially since I mentioned I was just as toxic for her. I used that word because I always considered it to mean something negative or upsetting, which I think is how both of us made each other feel throughout the situation. I have apologized to her – not for using that word specifically, but for making her feel all these emotions. We both deleted each other off everything and I deleted her number. While I am sorry for making it seem like I placed the blame on her by using that word, I don’t want to engage in that conversation anymore now that the friendship ceases to exist. I let her have the last say yesterday and let it go at that. To open the door for additional communication is just allowing more things to be said between us that will make us hurt more, in my opinion anyways.

    Anita, thank you for the response as well. After I posted my last reply, my boyfriend brought up a similar point to yours – why should I apologize for how she reacts to something? That has more to do with her own journey than mine. I don’t know a whole lot about her past experiences and life journey before we crossed paths. I got bits and pieces of it over the last year, but not enough to see the connection. I think a huge flaw of mine is that I apologize for things I shouldn’t need to apologize for because I feel bad. Whether I’m directly involved in the situation or not, I always find myself saying sorry to someone who is feeling bad about something or someone. You’re right though, this habit stems from my childhood. I was always disappointing to my parents and went out of my way constantly to try and please them. I still find myself trying to please others too much in my adult life, especially at work. I appreciate your insight into my fault in this situation, especially with using the term “toxic” because maybe I did use it incorrectly or maybe it just should have been avoided. She seems to have a great relationship with her husband and kids, but I’m her only problem so I’m not sure how she acts with them or what life is really like behind closed doors. I do think she needs to keep working on herself. I think I have work to do on myself as well because I’m clearly bothered by a lot of things she said to me even before I called her toxic. I might not be able to control how she reacts to words or actions, but I can control how I do and my next step is to work on building better self-esteem so when things like this happen, I’m not sitting here questioning my worth and value as a human being. I also agree that I have a strong tendency to accept blame, which I think falls under my self-esteem issues.

    #393958
    Mary
    Participant

    Good Morning, Anita. I wanted to reach out to you again for some guidance and advice. Amanda and I had a couple discussions since I last posted here. The first conversation involved me explaining why I enforced my boundaries in the first place and how upset I get when she makes me feel guilty and mean for putting myself first more often. I let her know that I pick up on her energy and demeanor changing completely whenever I do this or take more than an hour to respond to her. She said she understood and to that I reminded her she could text me anytime she wanted and I would respond back the moment I could and if I have the capacity to. That response sparked another discussion the following day. Amanda proceeded to tell me that I make her feel annoying, overwhelming… I don’t make her feel loved, supported, or encouraged. I make her feel like garbage because I can’t make her a high priority like she makes me. I told her I appreciate her honesty and that I’m sorry my boundaries created these feelings within her. I reminded her that I expressed similar emotions whenever I engage in acts of self-care and that her energy changes. I told her that I feel because I make her feel a similar way to how she makes me feel makes me conclude that we have become toxic for each other and that she has had a toxic impact on me. I apologized that I created this problem because I made myself too available and accessible from the start of our friendship so I take some of the blame for why she’s been feeling this way once I started creating space. Her response to that was “Ok, I’m toxic now. Cool. Cool. I wish you the best.” I didn’t respond to that, but a few hours later she sent another text stating she forgives me even though I blamed her for all of this and made her think she was to blame for the distance between us. I honestly felt a little gaslighted by that response. I also did not respond to this. Because I never placed all the blame on her.

    With all that said, the point of me reaching out to you again Anita is because her comments upset me. I feel guilty and feel like I was in the wrong. Was I actually toxic and perhaps gaslighting her too? Her comments bother me because she claims (in the last message she sent) that she respected me and my boundaries and allowed me to be my true self. I guess I struggle with distinguishing the difference between healthy boundaries and toxic ones. I know I need to take better care of myself and my soul. I just need some guidance if I went about this all wrong and sabotaged this friendship. I don’t want to make this mistake with other friends, especially the friends I haven’t crossed paths with yet. I want to be better and to do better, but Amanda really made me feel like I wasn’t being my best self. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    #392994
    Mary
    Participant

    Good Morning Anita,

    I wanted to sleep on this and I think you’re right – the friendship is no longer what is used to be. I appreciate the advice and insight you offered me while I tried to sort through this issue and gain more clarity. Thank you!

    #392968
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi Anita, that also makes sense and was not something I considered previously. I truly appreciate your perspective!

    I do have a different texting relationship with her compared to every other friend. Because I don’t see her in person except for those two occasions, I have more in-depth and novel-like conversations with her. Because I have the ability to see my boyfriend and other friends any time I please, we reserve any in-depth conversations for when we get together. I will be honest with you Anita, some days I just don’t have the energy or emotional capacity to engage in a meaningful conversation like that. I could give a 4 hour window with her, but wouldn’t this defeat the purpose of my boundary to begin with? I feel like this may still have me feeling burnt out and frustrated. resentful even because I’m not truly given any space to recharge. I can still try giving a shorter window of time compared to a day or two and see if that satisfies her without me removing my boundaries entirely.

    #392961
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi Anita, I should add: we met in person twice. Once in July when her daughter had a dance competition at a casino that is an hour and 10 minutes away from me. The second time I invited her up around Halloween – I live near Boston so Salem is an attractive place to visit during this time and Amanda LOVES Halloween. So we have actually met at this point, but the rest of our friendship is mostly virtual because she lives several states away.

    We connect on a spiritual level – we are both learning so much about ourselves and the universe and to find a path to peace and clarity. We share a lot of the same outlooks and emotions on many topics of conversation. She also is very attentive to what I have to say and always helps me through my anxiety. I feel I have a deep connection with her and that is what makes it challenging to just cut the chord on this friendship. But then I have moments where I can’t see this friendship lasting, especially since I have to explain myself to her every time I don’t respond timely to her messages. I feel I have to explain myself because she gets defensive and almost offended by my actions and the tension starts to rise. I feel I owe her an explanation to resolve any potential fight that’s about to happen, but it never helps. The fact we had a conversation about it more than once tells me she doesn’t truly understand and I don’t know how else to explain that to her.

    #392957
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi Anita, I don’t like to hear that my actions upset others that I care deeply about. Those are never my intentions so it hurts me to hear when I’ve done that to someone. So it makes me question if I’m doing the right thing or not so that’s when I start to feel guilty or toxic. I’m conflicted mainly in this scenario because none of my other friends have an issue with this – in fact, all my friends take social media and texting breaks more often than I do. I think the difference might be that even when we don’t text often, we can call and ask each other to come over or go out and do something together. I don’t have that option with Amanda since she is a 7-8 hour drive away. When I mentioned we are being toxic to each other, I am taking it that my boundaries are coming off toxic based on her definition of what I’m doing. Other than this issue, she is a good person and makes me feel supported and good about myself. Only when I input these boundaries does this bring out another side to her which makes me wonder if I’m going about my boundaries all wrong.

    #392946
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you for responding! I actually forgot about that post. I do see very similar parallels though.

    Regarding the situation of G and L, G and I spoke more about solutions that would benefit everyone. It turned out her problem wasn’t with me as much as it was with L, but she struggled to confront her on it. G thinks I am easier to talk to because I don’t blame anyone or make anyone feel bad for feeling certain ways so she felt more comfortable talking to me about it. Our group friendship did not last, but I still keep in touch with G and L actually went MIA on both of us – has not spoken to either of us since the pandemic started.

    I do feel my situation with Amanda is slightly different. I don’t think she feels left out, but I sense a lot of anger when I take a day or two to text back and she shows some signs of gaslighting, such as: vague accusations that I am not living up to her expectations (even though she never told me these expectations), making me feel responsible for her feelings and thoughts, put me down publicly every time I don’t text back right away (posting things on social media then removing them after I text her back)… I don’t necessarily want the friendship to end because she is a very good person. I know she has a good heart. I just don’t like this cycle we’re in. The more I think about it, the more I feel we’re toxic for each other and I don’t know if that’s something that can be fixed or not.

    #392931
    Mary
    Participant

    Hi nycartist, thank you for responding! I think Amanda expects a lot from me because she is able to make herself available to me every day at any time even though she has a husband and kids – I do not have as much responsibility as her as far as the kids part goes. I’m not sure how she was before I came into the picture, but I do know she doesn’t have a lot of friends so she puts our friendship on a pedestal – she admits that she does that and gets selfish with me because she values me a lot, but it comes off as needy at times. She’s the only friend I have that gets upset if I don’t text back for one day. She’ll turn to social media and post things and then treat me differently. I try to make myself available to her and she tries to take advantage of that I think. I think you’re right about the friendship still being new, but it’s hard for me to keep repeating myself and my reasons for needing to have a day or two without texting her without her getting upset and making me feel bad.

    #328425
    Mary
    Participant

    Thank you for responding Anita. I struggle with this situation because I’m left feeling guilty for being closer to L than she, but also dealing with her not being interested in our plans and what we do when she is invited. It’s almost like a catch 22. I just wish I could make everyone happy, but after you had me look at it from another perspective, that probably won’t ever happen unless she address those things and takes action (such as therapy as you mentioned). I still remind her in person and via text how loved she is. I just wish it were enough to avoid this kind of drama. If the subject comes up again, I will take your approach into consideration and see if I can help her.

    #287441
    Mary
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for the responses – I appreciate it! I took all of your advice in different pieces. I had the talk with him and firmly expressed how I feel and where I stand, and if it can’t grow into something more, then I need to walk away. He would still keep contact with me so I blocked him on everything. He mostly engaged with me over snapchat text so I blocked him on there. And then he texted me recently… I repeated the same conversation we’ve already had two times before and he wasn’t acknowledging my feelings. He was only focused on the sex. So I guess Michelle was right – I mean, I felt an emotional connection to him and I know the feelings were real and genuine because it still hurts. But as for him, it was just sex. If he even cares about me in any way, he needs to work on being more open with his thoughts and feelings. Who knows, maybe he really does care because why else would he keep coming back? You can have great sex with almost anyone so why come back when you have more options now and even before? He probably realizes I was the only one who treated him with love and respect and care. Either way, I’m trying to stop reading into these messages and “signals”. I’m sick of feeling this way and i know the right person will not have me thinking the thoughts I currently have now. So again, thank you all! Hopefully I’ll never have to vent about this again and learn from my feelings going forward.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)