Forum Replies Created
March 4, 2020 at 10:22 am #341400
Kelsi, I can relate so much to your post. I am also someone that has multiple “best friends”, many of them are pretty demanding and get jealous when I spend time with other groups of friends. It can be tricky, especially because not all of them get along. Back in my 20’s, I used to try to include everyone for everything, and it made things more stressful because a) it took so much more effort to plan around numerous people’s schedules, b) I got less time with each person because the group was so big, c) I just felt drained trying to please everyone and cater to everyone’s needs, pet peeves, be the peacekeeper, the leader, etc.
I’m now 37 and I can speak from 10 years extra of juggling the multiple, dramatic numerous best friends. First, it feels good to set boundaries, and you don’t need to cater to everyone. You can tell your friend, that you understand she felt left out but these other friends planned this special thing with you and it wasn’t your job to change plans to include more people than that. Maybe they just wanted a more intimate day with you, as it sounds like these are separate groups of friends from different chapters of your life. I’ve learned that it is totally ok. When I get a friend who gets jealous about me doing something with a different group these days, I tell that jealous friend that now I just prefer to have smaller groups, because it lets the conversation get deeper, the time spent is more quality. That’s what I’ve realized, essentially, is it’s quality over quantity. I think expressing it that way helps people understand that you value them and want your time together to be quality. Also being able to have firm boundaries is a great thing for you, especially with friends who are demanding, as this friend sounds to be. See how she takes it. She may not take it well.
I will say I’ve lost a couple of friends along the way who couldn’t respect my boundaries, but it left more space for those that do. I definitely understand you have a history and loyalty to her because you’ve been friends for so long. Perhaps the friendship just changes form, and you don’t stay as close, but stay friends. That’s ok too. Friendships grow and change over the years and as long as there is mutual respect, that is all good.February 20, 2020 at 4:53 am #339102
Anita, each time I come onto this forum, I’m blown away by the care and time you give to so many people. The fact that you would take time out of your night to research this speaks volumes about what an empathetic person you are. Truly, I appreciate it. I don’t know where you are or how old you are, or if you’ve gone through menopause yet yourself, but you’ve put more effort into comforting me about this than some of my best friends. Thank you again. You are right, the “risks” are basically aging faster. And though the term seriously sucks, all ovaries eventually fail at some point. It doesn’t mean my body is broken. As I mentioned, this has motivated me to approach a healthier lifestyle, which can only help, no matter what. As for medical treatment, I’m still searching for answers. I didn’t mention it before, but my mother had a stroke at just 40 years old due to birth control. And I’ve never wanted to go on it..now I’m facing possibly long-term hormonal treatment which makes me anxious. But I have to weigh the benefits a d risks. Thank you for listening.❤️February 19, 2020 at 7:21 pm #339058
Thank you Anita. I hope so. One thing my doctor said that I am trying to keep in mind is she said “you can’t live life without some kind of risk”. That is very well true. So whatever I decide, hormone therapy, or to go without, it comes with risk. So does eating potato chips every day. lol. Still, it’s very hard to accept that some part of my body is “Failing”. I’m trying so so hard to look at all the positives….I got a healthy daughter with virtually no trouble conceiving, while many other people struggle with starting families. I have a loving husband who is extremely supportive. This has made me take action in joining a gym two months ago and I am suddenly able to run over 2 miles. I’m trying my best to take care of my body. Overcoming the initial diagnosis and trying not to let it define me is indeed a real challenge, but I know there is more to me than this. It’s also tough because none of my friends are dealing with this yet, and so it’s not easy to talk about. I feel old and broken, though I know it’s something all we women go through at some point. I can’t imagine going through this as a teenager or a woman in my 20s. That must be very hard. I do hope you’re right and that the risks are not as bad at this age, but I don’t know.November 1, 2019 at 5:05 am #320805
Thank you Anita. I thought about your post all night. In attempting to respond I had a relalization. To answer your question, no I have not asked her about her change in behavior. I don’t think I will because I have learned in life that people will treat you how they choose to treat you. Asking to have it change seems to only make the situation more awkward because they usually become defensive. This has happened to me before when trying to express myself to others. I’m trying to be at a stage where I feel comfortable telling people my needs but past experience is holding me back as it has not been successful. It usually leads to a fight. I think perhaps it’s time to accept that friendships do change and as you said, when a friend becomes a mother it does change things. I have to accept my limitations to meet my friend’s needs that I can no longer meet, and accept that she also is not meeting my needs. I suppose it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends at all but that change is inevitable and I can’t try to hold on to something and prevent it from changing. Perhaps in time we will find a way to rekindle that close friendship. But I suspect things will go smoother if I meet these changes with acceptance rather than resistance. What do you think? I very much value your opinion as I see you give such wonderful advice to so many people in need of a good and compassionate listener. Thank you.October 31, 2019 at 11:01 am #320721
That may very well be possible. But there are other factors involved for why she couldn’t stay longer. I have a young child and I spent two days giving all of my attention to my friend but after a while it was also time for me to get back to my own responsibilities. I was very hospitable when she was there, got us some wine, took her out to breakfast and let her sleep in and hang around all day the next day.
I do feel like it’s more than just this instance though. It seems like maybe we are drifting apart for other reasons. Part of which is my life has become more domesticated and she’s more of in the party stage of life. Of course I’d love to join when I can but I have other priorities now as well. It’s definitely causing some other tensions with this friend. I hate that it has become this way as I still would like to think I’m the same person as before I had a baby. I think maybe what my friend is seeking is a new partner in crime to come out and do all kinds of things and I’m just limited now. That, compounded with the breakup had put a strain on this friendship…I’d love to get it back on track just not sure how to do that.March 20, 2019 at 10:36 am #285471
I wanted to say 2 things:
1) I can TOTALLY relate to this. I posted earlier (Toxic Family Member), and deal with this same dynamic between my mother and uncle. What I can say is that removing myself from the situation has helped immensely. I at first felt a lot of guilt because basically distancing yourself from a family member feels terrible, as we are taught that family is supposed to be there for us above everyone else. But that concept isn’t really healthy when it’s a family member that is causing you distress. You need to care for yourself and make your own mental health a priority. I think moving out would be the best solution.
2) Inky, I love your comment! I wish I had seen that 5 months ago when the sh#t was hitting the fan with my family. I wish I had thought to try that. I think that is such awesome advice.March 10, 2019 at 9:50 am #283961
I am an artist both as a hobby and profession. I do graphic design to pay the bills and painting for myself. I dream of being an illustrator either for children’s books or for some kind of product. But I find myself hesitant to apply to those things because once money is tied to it, it changes how it feels to make art. It’s still fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s now a job more than a passion.
I found a happy medium with design. I feel creative and make money, but it leaves my personal work with less pressure to please anyone else. I do enjoy trying to get my personal work in shows or selling at artisan fairs though. It’s nice to get your work out in the world and see people’s feedback.
i feel like this is really up to the individual, you have to find which ways you enjoy using your talents. Everyone is different in what lights their inner fire.March 10, 2019 at 8:45 am #283943
I also want to add that he and my aunt are not hurting for money. They are both professionals, their daughter got a full ride to college, and they own a home with rental income.
My mom on the other hand is alone and disabled and managed to help put me through college by herself.
Hes a greedy pig.March 10, 2019 at 8:31 am #283937
He most definitely does not have a case and he knows it. My grandparents were very fair in what they left behind, and they did very well for themselves. They had two houses here, and left one for each child plus two houses in Sicily. My mom’s house is of greater value here but he gets a beachfront condo in Sicily and we get a small run down, basically uninhabitable house in a mountain town in Sicily where my grandmother was born. They also left money behind that was split 50/50. More than enough to cover the funeral equally. He truly is bitter and greedy. Because when my grandfather died he forced my grandmother to move and sold his future inheritance when the real estate market sucked. No one else wanted this but he was suddenly the “man” of the family and no one could stop him. He didn’t want to care for the house and made my grandmother move in with my mom (who has always lived in the home she has inherited…it was kind of given to my mom as a wedding gift when she and my dad married and my grandparents moved to the second home). So my uncle sold my grandmother’s house right out from under her and is now upset because my mom’s home has increased in value. It was his poor choice that made him lose money. My grandparents were very clear in both wills, stating my mothers house is hers “always and forever”. So I guess the only way he thinks he can change anything is through intimidation of my mom and I, as any lawyer would tell him my grandparents knew how they wanted to split their property. I guess a beachfront condo in Sicily and a free house just isn’t enough for some people!March 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm #283861
I am so sorry you are going through this. That sounds incredibly hurtful. Have you considered therapy for getting out of this toxic relationship and breaking these thought patterns about yourself? I think it could be helpful. We sometimes are not blessed with the kind of parents who love and protect us unconditionally. Sometimes we have to accept others’ limitations and just find that validation in ourselves. It sounds like you are figuring that out. Be strong and keep taking care of yourself first.March 9, 2019 at 7:51 pm #283857
Thank you Mark and Anita for your replies.
Yes it does sound crazy to think I would want contact with someone so toxic. I don’t really think I do. When I logically think about it, I remember when I was a child, my uncle was a “cool” guy, someone I genuinely looked up to, and who was good to me. I remember he used to tape cartoons for me and showed me the classic scary old movies (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc). I’m an artist and he would draw with me.
I don’t know what happened that turned his heart so cold but it isn’t even just towards me and my mom, he’s now openly racist and homophobic and is just not a nice person in general. God knows how his wife and kids deal with him.
I think I miss what he used to be and get very sad thinking about how that person is gone. It’s like grieving over another death in a way. The person he was when my grandparents were alive is gone. And what has happened since can’t be undone and I can’t ever look at him the same. Even in recent times when there were brief moments of “peace”, I felt disgusted looking at him and hurt because of what he’s said and done.
My sense of justice is unfulfilled because I never got any apology or acknowledgement for all of the years of pain he has put pretty much my whole family through but especially my mother and I. So I guess it feels like there is no closure. That seems to be what I’m missing more than an actual relationship with him. How do you get closure when you can’t talk to the person anymore?