Forum Replies Created
September 11, 2019 at 10:39 am #311659
You’ve both presented me with interesting perspectives.
Brandy, I appreciate your response bc it forced me to think about my motivations for responding. I’m actually not worried at all about the bad blood. They haven’t discussed with anyone outside of their immediate social circle, and it’s the same for me. (I think they are slowly realizing that they’ve made a mistake in their approach.) The advice that you both gave earlier to stop discussing it and let it die was really smart and worked. I’ve also realized that I don’t really care. They’re living their lives, I’m living mine. The fact that they’re surprised we’ve decided not to join back in with the couples dinners, speaks volumes. They wanted to put me in my place, it didn’t work and now they are being “nice.” Their leader prides herself on taking the high road. (I see her everywhere, by the way. And it’s been the best thing ever bc there’s no stigma around her anymore. Our kids are in the same class and even sit at the same table.)
Anita, I thought about your response quite a bit as well. “w” definitely had some aloof and standoffish qualities that may have mimicked my mom on a much, much smaller scale. I examined my motivations to not responding to her…I think I just want her to leave me alone. She’s not a parent at our school anymore, she’s in the neighboring town. I have not seen her since the week of the dinner where she ambushed me. Out of sight and out of mind. Even if I did see her, I think I would be able to be nice and genuinely greet her with a hello, how are you.
I think the move for me right now is not to respond. It certainly wasn’t intentional and it happened organically. The message slipped further and further down my texts. Brandy, I do agree that writing back to her would be the gracious move, but for different reasons…It would give her closure and probably making her feel like she did the right thing by extending an olive branch to me. I’m sure that her leader told it’s the “high road.” It’s the kind thing to do for HER, but I also want to be kind to myself. Is that wrong? I certainly don’t feel like I owe her anything at this point. I apologized three times and she never truly accepted. I poured my remorse into an email that she ignored completely. Then she went out of her way to spend time with the other women, ostracizing me and posting about it all over social media to make me feel terrible. I’m just done. I don’t feel anger or resentment or the need for closure. It’s just finished for me.
I am meeting with the husband of one of the couples from tomorrow, the one we’re still friends with. I think he wants to fill me in on the dinner. It sounds like a discussion came up as to why we stopped participating in the dinners. I’m curious to hear the responses on their side, but on another level I have to say I’d manage just fine not knowing.
KSeptember 8, 2019 at 2:12 pm #310895
Ok ladies, I don’t consider this a relapse but it’s definitely a situation I’m unclear on how to handle.
My husband and I agreed that we’re no longer attending the couples dinners, so we’ve skipped the last two. The couple we are still friends with is aware. The 2nd dinner we declined was yesterday, and today I received a text from the woman whose separation information I shared. She said she’s sorry we decided not to participate anymore and would I like to meet with her to have a fresh start. The answer to this no. A face to face is out of the question for coffee, for drinks…no. This feels like a “fool me once” situation.
It’s been four months…I’ve experienced extreme distress, sadness, disappointment, anger…my body processed the stress in such a physically damaging way. I’m finally moving forward. I don’t think we could ever be friends again- there’s no trust. But do I owe her a response? Do I owe her anything? What’s the gracious move here?
Brandy, once you said relational aggression, it clicked for me. My role, their role, the whole toxic dynamic. And it’s true, the people I love the most, they don’t have a group. One misstep and I was ousted. I refuse to put myself anywhere near that situation again.
And once her text message popped I felt a rush of anxiety and my heart started racing. I acknowledged the feeling and I’m working on letting it go.
What should I do? How do I respond?September 3, 2019 at 6:54 am #310107
Hi Brandy, I’m in a much better place. School started and the woman who fueled this situation…wouldn’t you know it, her son is in my daughter’s class AND they sit at the same table of four. I was dreading this, but I acknowledged the feeling and didn’t obsess about it (progress!). She was very nice at visit the classroom day and I was nice, very uneventful. Don’t get me wrong, I crossed the street to avoid her this morning, but I’m sure she feels like she “won” and this is her way of being gracious and this is my way of moving on.
I’m making progress on mindfulness. I notice a change in my thoughts already. I did not get through Present Over Perfect, but I did start listening to Oprah’s series with Eckhart Tole, and I plan to read it once I’m finished. My mind doesn’t race and fixate over every last interaction that I feel went awry. I’m able to bring my thoughts back to “now.”
The situation with these women SUCKED. It was awful and traumatizing for me, very unfair and I trust the universe to handle it or not handle it. Not my concern. I’m ultimately very grateful it happened. Time is so valuable and I don’t need to continuously invest in people who don’t respect me. If this hadn’t happened, I would never be moving toward mindfulness and NOW and fully appreciating the people I have in my life. I’m getting better at reigning in my racing thoughts, being aware that they’re happening and bringing them back to the present has decreased my anxiety. It’s pretty amazing.
Brandi, your help has been pivotal. While I received a great deal of support from my friends, this message board allowed me the anonymity to be truly open and receive honest feedback and advice, with great compassion and kindness. THANK YOU.
And as I said to Anita, I reserve the right to relapse and come back 🙂
Is there a place on Tiny Buddha where I can go to converse about about mindfullness and ego and get ideas and strategies?
KSeptember 3, 2019 at 6:35 am #310103
Hi Anita, I wanted to thank you for pointing the issues about my Mother and that while they are in the past, they are still indeed current. While I am at peace with our relationship, I have clearly been struggling with deeper issues related to my relationship with her…the need for approval from women and insecurity, trust issues. Just thinking about this and how it relates to my relationship with her has helped me move forward. While I should have been upset with this situation, maybe my intense feelings were rooted somewhere else. Just thinking about where my feelings are coming from, I’ve already noticed that I’m letting go of the anxieties with friendships. You’re correct, “deeper emotional understanding” is needed and likely I’ll need the help of a professional to get there. Your insight has been truly appreciated. I’m in a better place and attribute much of this to your kindness and observations. I do still reserve the right to relapse and come here for support! 😉August 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm #306939
I had a moment today when I was able to fully appreciate what I have in my life and feel true sadness for the woman who is separated. I felt full of gratitude for my family, friends, that I love my work and that I have a loving spouse. I felt grateful and a few moments of true joy. (Is this being present and mindful?) The woman who used this situation to endear herself to these other women doesn’t have those things…her family is there physically, but not really. She is bored with her job, doesn’t love her husband and while she has friendships, they are new and few.
I started reading Present Over Perfect and I have a New Earth on my kindle.
Perhaps this situation was a nudge in the right direction. Most everything happens to me for a reason, especially bad things (relationships, jobs, situations). I learn and take away the lesson. Perhaps this was for me to finally recognize that I need to learn to not let my thoughts overpower my mind and body. That it makes me physically sick when I let this happen and it’s time to take back my mind.August 5, 2019 at 5:40 am #306621
I shouldn’t misrepresent myself regarding social media. I do post a few times a month, and I’m now questioning my motivations and taking a step back. It never occurred to me that I was making others feel bad.
Brandy, you mentioned your challenges with the parent group at your kids’ school. How did you move forward from this experience and how long did it take? Where did you land emotionally? Apathy? Indifference? I’ve started to think about it much less, and there’s no mourning for the relationships just anger and resentment. I no longer talk about it with my friends (I never spoke to anyone who was a mutual friend), it’s just exhausting to rehash and I don’t want to waste conversation or thought on this topic anymore. I want to stop thinking about it altogether and stop having imaginary conversations in my head for closure.
I’d like to not feel completely devastated when I see a picture of them together. Enjoying eachother’s friendships and not giving a thought to how much they’ve hurt me and how unkindly they behaved.
I’m not absolving myself of my mistake, in fact I reread the text sent by the “victim” and saw it with fresh eyes (going back to that Einstein quote) and I definitely hurt her. I don’t agree with dragging it out for months, going on a trip with someone (I feel used) and then bringing a 3rd party into the conversation. I absolutely think it didn’t have to be made into this level of drama and that she’s easily manipulated. At the end of the day, she only has her friends (her family is there but doesn’t seem all that reliable) and I betrayed her. I feel sorry for her at the end of the day. She needed approval from this group so badly, she crucified me to get it.
I mentioned above to Anita that I’m on month 3….am I making too much of this experience?
KAugust 5, 2019 at 5:20 am #306619
Anita, I have always needed my mother’s approval and I’ve rarely received it. It’s really only been in the last few years that she’s stopped giving negative, critical opinions and I’ve stopped needing her approval. All I can take from my experience is how NOT to mother my own children. She wasn’t a good mother to me, but to think about those times and wallow in the emotional abuse would not be a good mindset for me. I struggled for a long time. I focus on now, and my own parenting and we’ve finally reached a place of peace.
Feeling secure in my female friendships has always been a struggle but as an adult, I finally felt like I’d mastered it. I’m moving forward from the mess of the dynamic, but it’s a slow process. I’m now on month three, and am in the “anger” phase. Mostly at the woman who I was friends with for five years and brought into the group, but there’s plenty to go around.
Will I ever be able to move forward completely from this experience?
KJuly 29, 2019 at 10:56 am #305503
It will help you when at one point, you will see that when a mother makes her child feel like a horrible person, she is not doing her best. She probably suffered from depression and was in a marriage that brought her misery. The only way I’ve been able to move forward and not resent her and be angry as an adult is to acknowledge that she was overwhelmed and probably needed medication. As a parent I can’t imagine treating either of my children the way she treated me.
To no longer believe that your mother was right when she dubbed you selfish or bad, you have to believe that she didn’t do good by you (“did her best”) but instead, she did bad by you. No, she wasn’t right at all and at the end of the day she was emotionally abusive. It takes years to undo messaging from someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Your pointing this out is giving me something to think about for sure, it never occurred to me that I don’t really see myself as a truly good person worthy of good friendships bc my flaws as a child (who isn’t a little selfish and naughty as a child?) were constantly pointed out.July 29, 2019 at 10:51 am #305501
I understand your feelings of sadness and betrayal. Surely the woman who posted those photos has social media followers who weren’t invited to the birthday party (in addition to you), so why post the photos? Why make others feel left out? Social media mentally baffles me. It was a smart move to unfollow these women. I was part of their group, so it’s especially obvious they left me out on purpose. And now they are rubbing my nose in it. I’ve never experienced this in my life, and I didn’t think I would feel this from a group of adults.
The one good thing that may have come out of this situation is that you may now have more compassion for those who are excluded. I’m not saying that you weren’t a compassionate person before this situation. I guess what I’m asking is this: last year before this situation occurred did you ever think about the other moms in your community who were on the outside of this particular circle of women? Are there women who follow you and the others on social media who haven’t been invited to your parties, social gatherings, etc., but have seen the photos online? I think a lot of people don’t think about that when they post photos online. Again I wonder why do people post these kinds of photos anyway? What’s the purpose? The purpose of social media is a new popularity contest, to show everyone how perfect your family is, how booming you are socially, your fancy vacations…. Posters want everyone to know that they’re social and popular and out-about, etc. I was thinking about left out moms this morning and how I could have made someone feel this horrible. While I do my best to be inclusive and friendly, I can be better.
You hang in there, Karina. I know how hard this is. I really do. Thank you, Brandy. Your message came just in time, I was feeling really down and sad and a little panicky.July 28, 2019 at 6:34 pm #305409
Brandy, it’s impossible not to run into them. I skipped our dinner club on Friday and instead hung out with my bestie and her family. I was feeling good about my decision. Then in my social media pops up a picture of the three of them partying it up together for the “wronged” woman’s birthday today. It’s an occasion that I was invited to last year and was intentionally left out of this year. Even though I AM grateful to know what kind of friends they are, it doesn’t make me feel any less sad or betrayed. Or that this whole situation was unnecessary.
I can now recognize that my mental health takes precedence over my curiosity about their social media and I’ve unfollowed them on everything.
I appreciate your understanding and that quote is really very true. Mostly I’m able to focus on what I’ve learned and how to be a better friend and appreciate my current tribe. I’m able to recognize the reality of those friendships and feel grateful that I’m no longer wasting time on them.
I spent the weekend with all the best people and felt very warm and loved. Instead of focusing on my loss I need to refocus to all the good friends and family in my life. Relapses happen and I’m very relieved to have this forum as a safe space.July 28, 2019 at 6:25 pm #305407
“I work SO HARD to be a good person”- but you are a good person, aren’t you.. why do you have to work “so hard” at being what you already are..? I really had to reflect on this one. Yes, I am a good person. As a child my Mom (who did her best) was quick to point out all my flaws, often dubbed me selfish or bad and really made me feel like a horrible person. As this translated into my friendships growing up, I felt insecure/unworthy and probably did not always make the right decisions in my friendships. I feel unworthy sometimes in my adult female friendships too.
I think that this situation, this “adult friendship” situation activated in you an early childhood situation where you were punished for something you didn’t do, something or things you were not guilty of and there was nothing you were able to do about it at the time, you were helpless, helpless and understandably angry. So you hit the nail on the head right here.
“I wasn’t really forgiven and my apology/ tears fell on deaf ears and was returned with cruelty”- this is the adult situation, but it wouldn’t have bothered you this much if it wasn’t for a childhood experience being triggered. Yeah, this is every other incident with my Mom as I was growing up, to be honest.
Anything to what I am saying here, you having been blamed for something you didn’t do, or something minor that you did, not intended to do anything wrong… and punished, then you apologized or tried to make amends and your efforts fell on deaf ears, returned with some kind of cruelty? Again, my Mom. I do feel the connection, which I’ll have to explore further in my mind.
</div>July 17, 2019 at 11:36 am #303741
Brandy, it’s funny but my husband last night finally said that he thinks the woman who motivated the drama is threatened by me and that he thinks I’m a “Queen Bee” who doesn’t know it and she was looking for an opportunity to push me out. How coincidental that you both used the same term in this situation and were able to accurately identify what happened. And it’s true, those who are still in the group don’t question her opinions and follow her advice/guidelines. That was never me.
I agree that they should be ashamed of themselves and I’m better off without them. It just smarts a little each time I see them together. Often I find myself having imaginary conversations telling them off or giving them hard truths about themselves. It feels unjust that I”m the one giving up our dinner club and I’m the one who is perceived as the bad guy and I’ve also been scapegoated into taking one for the team.
-KJuly 17, 2019 at 10:10 am #303733
Anita, you’re correct and I know this of course in my head. It’s hard for me when I work SO HARD to be a good person and do the right things and while I’m not always nice, I strive to be kind. It feels like the reaction was not suitable to my wrong, and my apology was ignored.July 16, 2019 at 11:19 am #303593
So the wronged friend didn’t come to the party. (Phew!) And I’ve made some serious strides in moving past this situation, but I still see these women everywhere and the fact that they are all hanging out together and throwing it in my face is just confirmation that they’re a bunch of jerks.
If they invited me, I wouldn’t go, but it really sucks to realize that they are moving on from me too. I wasn’t really forgiven and my apology/tears fell on deaf ears and was returned with cruelty. I’ve also realized that while these women are very “nice,” they aren’t kind.
I’ve been facilitating group outings with friends who were not so close with her but hung out bc of me. And it’s been seamless. No one asks about her or notices that she isn’t there.
Here’s the last bit…how do I stop caring that they are ostracizing me? There’s a dinner gathering in two weeks and I will not be going. SO I’m making the choice, but they were so mean. I wish they’d feel remorse.
What I REALLY wish that is that they’d get back from the universe what they’ve put into it. Childish mean girl games and toxicity.June 21, 2019 at 7:07 am #300137
I can’t even begin to speculate on why she would invite me. Maybe for the same reason I’d consider inviting her to a large-ish party – to keep the peace? Based on who she invited, most aren’t good friends. (I think she struggles with making friendships. I did a lot of PR for her this past three years with people who knew her and found her unapproachable and standoffish.) She certainly hasn’t contacted me to even say any semblance of “we’re cool” in the past two months after my apology. In the past we would go out regularly for drinks, but instead I know she’s been contacting the other women in the comment section via social media (I’ve since unfollowed them all). Maybe she’s firmly placing me in the acquaintance pile, which is where I’m putting her as well.
The good that has come of this…I’m able to recognize my true friends. And I have so many. Near and far. I’m grateful. Ditching these women did not leave a hole on my dance card. It gave me valuable time to focus people who deserve my friendship. It takes effort to make time for people, and I’ve simply stopped making the effort with them. I’m coming around to viewing my mistake as just that- a mistake that did not have ill intentions. I’d never have treated a friend who apologized this way. And if it was unforgiveable, I would NEVER have dragged it out for months. (And gone on vacation with the person who wronged me!) I did not deserve that treatment.
Thank you for putting a compassionate face to her behavior. That’s probably the only approach that will work for me moving forward. To view her sad reality instead of the nasty person she’s morphed into in my head. It’s more natural for me to be genuinely kind and move on.
PS – I not-so-secretly hope she makes other plans for tonight and doesn’t come.