May 24, 2019 at 8:38 am #295491
Hi, I’ve suffered from depression and severe anxiety for the best part of 10 years now. There have been times when I have honestly thought I’m not going to make it through the night and have had several suicide scares.
It started when I was in my last job (now left for new job) where I was dreadfully led on by a man I work with. I thought he was the one for me, until it turned out he already had a girlfriend. He left me absolutely crushed as he went from bing my Knight in Shining Armour to ignoring me literally overnight. He was my boss and it was an awful situation. I blamed myself and it was there my self esteem struggles began.
To make matters worse a woman I worked with began to pick on me, faulting nearly everything I did, bossing me around, but always realising she’d went too far and reeled me in again. Inviting me to her house for dinner, out for drinks, only for the cycle of abuse to start all over again. No matter what I said or did, it was her way or the highway, she ruled and she was the law with a small merry band of followers licking at her ankles doing as she commanded. I was terrified of her. She managed to turn a number of my then friends against me too and the main thing is I have NO idea why she picked on me. All I ever tried to do was be nice but for some reason it was like she was determined to beat the good clean out of me because she is known as Ming The Merciless to others. She is literally Satan personified – the type of person who hates you until she finds out you have cancer for example (this actually happened with another friend of mine – she hated her until she found out she had cancer and started a Just Giving fund).
But she’s always been the type of woman to try to insert herself into social situations, with an air of making herself look popular. I have it on good authority from my friends that she is NOT popular and is widely disliked both my management and by staff. But for some reason, despite her known record of bad behaviour, absence and bullying others, she hasn’t been sacked. I literally cannot describe how hateful she is.
A close friend of mine from my previous job (at least I thought she was a close friend and she knew of this woman’s treatment of me) is getting married next week and although due to my self esteem issues I am literally HOPELESS in these situations, I want to be there for my friend but was already starting to dread the event due to the fact I’ve put on weight and because I’m really really not comfortable in big social situations. However, because I won’t let anything beat me, I am determined to go.
So I was just getting used to the idea, when I find out today from my best friend that this woman has been invited to the wedding. Other than completely dreading being in her presence, I have no idea why she has been invited when people are very aware of her behaviour and her personality. It is really messing with my already fragile mind because I know what will happen. She will arrive, take lots of selfies with people to make her look popular and it ANGERS me because in a sense what they are doing by inviting her is rewarding her disgusting behaviour.
This has literally ruined my day with worry, so I wanted to see if there was any advice I could find on here to get through this. I know the day isn’t about me but I’m afraid she will approach me, or come out with some wise crack that will leave me wanting to run out of the venue.
She made a huge stink when she found out she was not invited to the hen party, so I don’t know if they are just trying to pacify her, but the thought of being in her presence, especially knowing that she probably thinks she is important now because no one ever invites her to ANYTHING, is making me sick to my stomach. Added to which I’m angry at the bride for inviting her. Of course I won’t say that on the day (or possibly ever). One of the bridesmaid’s has had serious issues with her too. I just don’t get it and I don’t know what to do. We aren’t allowed to bring plus-ones to the wedding, and although I will have a couple of friends at it, I just feel I’m going to be consciously on guard for what she might say.
Thank you so much for any advice.May 24, 2019 at 1:15 pm #295605
Dear Anxious Irish:
“I just feel I’m going to be consciously on guard for what she might say”-
– what if you make a list of possible things she might say and prepare responses to each one. You can prepare one fit-all responses to anything she might say that is clearly rude, a couple of words you can say quiet enough so that only she can hear, a few choice words, you can almost whisper it in her ear, if there is loud music and you don’t want to raise your voice and be heard by other guests.
A bit of anger- expression, nothing violent or impolite to other guests is healthy when dealing with anxiety. There are three reactions to fear in nature: Flight (running away, that would be in your case, not showing up to the wedding), or <i>Fight</i> (that would be showing up prepared with a few choice words to possible rude comments to you on her part) or Freeze (just standing there if she tells you something rude, not saying or doing anything).
A bit of the Fight response will be appropriate and helpful, I figure. What do you think?
anitaMay 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm #295697
Dear Anxious Irish, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to in order to “be there for your friend”. I imagine that you think your friend will be hurt if you’re not there for her wedding and that’s what’s holding you back from choosing not to go (even though your friend inadvertently hurt you by inviting the devil-woman). The question is how will *you* feel when you interact with that devil-woman. I’d say it’s a very good guess that she’ll try to make you feel like crap because that’s what she does. If you can’t handle that kind of behavior and with your history of depression, I’d stay away from her and f the wedding. I will share with you one of my favorite quotes which was certainly true for me: “before you diagnose yourself with low self-esteem, make sure you are not in fact surrounded by a**holes”. There’s nothing wrong with extracting yourself from situations that eat you up inside, and putting your mental health above your friend having you there as a wedding guest. Personally the way I deal with toxic people is stay the f away from them.
Also a question that helps me make decisions is: How does the thought of going make me feel? (extremely anxious, worried, upset stomach) How does the thought of not going make me feel? (calm, safe, still stomach)
Of course, that’s what I would do and said it so that maybe it would help you. It’s up to you in the end. Good luck whatever you decide. You are strong no matter what. (also since you no longer work at that job you can certainly tell that b*tch to f off)May 26, 2019 at 6:37 am #295735
Thank you for the kind responses.
I think the biggest issue here is WHY was she invited with the history of bullying that most people know she has?? I really don’t get it. She even bullied the chief bridesmaid. It’s things like this that make me wonder is it me?? Am I wrong about everything?
I feel I have to go to face this. I am absolutely dreading it. I feel like if I don’t go then it’s a failure on my part. I really hate these type of events and am like a basket case in the build up to them because I feel like everyone is able to handle them but me. I feel like I’m beneath everyone and I really have a hard time understanding why bullies are able to just walk in to things without a second thought for anyone else. If I were her and with her behaviour I’d be too afraid to face anyone! I’m so scared and making myself sick over it.May 26, 2019 at 7:34 am #295743
Dear Anxious Irish:
“WHY was she invited with the history of bullying that most people know she has??”-
– I figure because sometimes she is nice, just like you wrote, she invited you to her house for dinners and out for drinks. She is sometimes friendly to people, so she is not “Ming The Merciless.. literally Satan personified” to everyone at all times.
In addition to it, because of your significant anxiety and previous life experiences, you are more vulnerable to her behaviors than some other people, viewing her bossiness for example, as if through a magnifying glass, seeing it as more terrible, more dangerous, more offensive than others view it.
anitaMay 26, 2019 at 9:05 am #295765
My best friend works with her and says she been threatened with 3 grievances due to her bad behaviour. He says NO ONE likes her so I’m inclined to think she’s there because people want to keep on her right side. She was not invited to the hen do and went MAD with anger over it.
ive spent the day in tears and feel so down. I’m frightened. What if she perceives me to be the fat and ugly person I see despite my efforts?
Im so sorry things like this literally mess with my head as I have a very strange view of good and bad, black and white. I am very sensitive to the point I sometimes wonder if I have a form of autism or Aspergers. It’s that bad. My friend has always told me how much she cares (she’s only 25 and I’m 43 but I don’t want this to turn into an age thing). The bully is 50. But I can’t understand why knowing what the bride knows this woman did to me, she’s invited her. It’s really hard to take in.May 26, 2019 at 9:29 am #295769
Dear Anxious Irish:
I suppose if the women who didn’t invite her to the hen party were so afraid of her, they wouldn’t have neglected to invite her to the hen party. Maybe she is not so scary. Like you wrote, you are very sensitive. You must have had difficult childhood experiences that led you to this acute sensitivity. I did and I too was overly sensitive to people, believing they were thinking little of me, thinking I am a freak, shaming me etc. I believed that based on “evidence” such as their facial expressions, the things they said or didn’t say, their behavior, alert to those indications that I was less than.
Do you want to share about your childhood experience that led to your intense sensitivity to people’s behavior?
* I will soon be away from the computer for a while
anitaMay 26, 2019 at 10:06 am #295789
She IS a bully Anita. Are you saying that she isn’t?? She is one of the scariest people I’ve ever met – she admitted it to me herself once after yelling at me saying ‘I’m trying not to be so scary’.
This isn’t my fault I promise! She wasn’t invited because they didn’t want her there and then she demanded to know why she wasn’t asked shouting at all them too!
my childhood was a happy one apart from constantly feeling I wasn’t good enough to be liked (my parents didn’t make me feel that way, it was other girls who seemed to pick me up and drop me).
i do really appteciate you taking the time to respond to me but now I feel this is my fault and I know that isn’t your intention. This woman had me in therapy and I very nearly killed myself over her behaviour towards me.May 26, 2019 at 11:41 am #295815
Dear Anxious Irish:
She shouts at people- that makes her a bully, of course. And it is not your fault that she is a bully. I was just saying that she is probably not as dangerous as you think she is, most bullies are not. Most bullies are not as dangerous as they seem to be. If there is any chance she shouts at you at the wedding, if that is a possible behavior on her part, then you shouldn’t go to the wedding and stay away from her otherwise.
I hope you feel better, I do. And I hope other members answer you. If this post didn’t cause you to feel bad, please post more, and I will be careful not to read like I am blaming you for anything.
anitaMay 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm #295825
This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.
Dear Anxious Irish, you said “What if she perceives me to be the fat and ugly person I see despite my efforts?”. So what if she does? She’s a bully, that’s what she does. What’s so wrong with being fat or ugly anyway? If you look at real couples and not the ones on tv, everyone has got their flaws and you will see some really “fat” or “ugly” people having a life with no problem.
Your empathy and your sensitivity make you a wonderful person. You don’t have to look like a supermodel to be loved, and even if you did look like one, no one can be universally liked. No one. This might be hard, but I think you need to learn how to love yourself more. You can find some great articles in here that are about self-love and self-acceptance. You don’t have to be perfect. And you don’t have to be liked by everyone. (And you don’t have to prove anything to anyone by going to this wedding.) Also you are clearly an HSP (highy sensitive person) so articles about that will help you as well.
If that still doesn’t help you, a more practical piece of advice I have for you is to down a couple of glasses of wine at the wedding and tell that b*tch a comeback. Something along the lines of “I’d rather be fat than a horrible human being”, or “You’re not looking so hot yourself, sister”, or “don’t you have somewhere else to f*ck off to?” (I do hope my suggested insults make you giggle a bit.)
More importantly, if that male best friend of yours is also going, it would help if you were with him all the time and asking him to be your anchoring point for the night. It’s not shameful to ask for help.May 26, 2019 at 1:32 pm #295831
From someone who can be a bit demanding and tough at work, reading that made me realize I might intimidate people I work with. Why I do it? I like the job well done, and I don’t like slackers. I also work with even tougher people, and why they choose to single people out & bully those specific people, its because they feel that they can and that they can get away with it. Why she’s doing it? I don’t know her but to be honest she sounds like she has a lot of issues and insecurities herself. For her caring why she wasn’t invited to the hen party. Anxious irish, trust me when I tell you this, this chick honestly sounds more anxious and insecure than you. If it was me, why would i give a shit if i was or wasnt invited to party. This chick, cares so much.
Now what I think you should do. I am no therapist and this is probably not the zen advice that people would give.
But “fake it till you make it.” and “kill them with kindness” and “don’t forget humor”
First of all why she was invited to the wedding, people try to do the polite non confrontational thing and something that wouldn’t upset or cause a scene. No one wants that. So as many times as you keep thinking why she was invited, tell yourself who gives a shit. Fake it till you make it part, you go to that wedding, put on the nicest dress you have, get your hair done, have some drinks and stick to your friends that make you feel comfortable. Kill them with kindness – be minimal with her but polite, that is all. Do not acknowledge her more than that, & whatever she says, let her say it, and you know what your response will be? A freaking smile that is all. Keep smiling, keep drinking, and if the conversation gets too negative just say something like “we are here to dance not to talk, and go dance. ”
Stick to friends that make you feel comfortable, wear a dress that makes you feel pretty and wear some goddamn red lipstick. Also, pre-game, as in listen to your favorite music beforehand, something that makes you feel super light and super girly. Something that gets in touch with your feminine side. Everyone is self conscious about something, trust me, it really doesn’t matter how fat you are or how ugly you think you are, honestly, what shines especially in these situations, is how comfortable you are underneath your skin, and you can fake that until one day, it just becomes you. You have to realize how you perceive yourself, really is not what everyone else is perceiving and everyone else is thinking about their own shit. She is just being mean because she is unhappy, and sometimes people say things, that hurt other people but they don’t realize. Anyway, don’t try to think of comebacks or shit like that, it will only escalate shit, just smile look pretty, and dance. That really is what will piss her off the most.May 28, 2019 at 9:00 am #296105
Hi everyone and thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I was nervous about logging back in because I am so scared of anyone thinking this is my fault but all your replies have been really supportive.
@anita – thank you so much and I’m sorry if I was upset the other day. My anxiety was really heightened the more I thought about her.
@sophie what you have said makes so much sense, but of course my scew-whiff way of thinking automatically assumes it’s me with the problem. I need to try to learn to flip that around.
@ nto thank you, I do try to be a nice person but sometimes think it would be easier to be a bitch.
What I’ve discovered through talking to two close friends is that this is causing me wayyyyyyyyyyy more angst than it should. I am HOPELESS in big situations like this and for day’s before hand (and I do mean DAYS), have myself whipped up into a frenzy about every possible likely scenario. I’m fine if my best friends are there, but when they aren’t it’s like literally walking into hell for me.
I am spending money I do not have on getting ready, hair, dress, tan, present and leaving myself very short for the rest of the month as a result.
Aside from this woman, I feel that I have something to prove. Because I am not good in social situations, I push myself out of my comfort zone to the point it makes me miserable. I do this all the time. I don’t know when I’m going to be confident enough to just say ‘no, that is not my thing’, but still have the person love me anyway. I remember my favourite television actress saying once ‘I was afraid if I didn’t do this, nobody would love me’. But she learned in time to love herself.
It’s a really awful way to be because I am literally counting down the hours until this is over. That’s how much I do not want to go, but how much I’m willing to put myself through so that my friend still loves and remembers me.
I am so under confident that I don’t even know what is an acceptable time to leave at as it starts at 12.30 and doesn’t end until 1 in the morning and the majority are all big party animals. I have to work the next day so how long should I stay for without feeling bad?
Because I am different, whether it be self esteem, aspergers or whatever, I build it all up so much in my head that afterwards it’s like an explosion of excitement and I start talking really fast to everyone, acting hyper and want to run away and do crazy things like book a holiday – all with the relief that ‘it is over!!!’ It’s like a massive weight has been lifted. Where everyone else is looking forward to the day, I’m looking forward to it being over. Everytime something like this happens, I think I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!! But I think this time it has to be it. I don’t know what I’m trying to prove to anyone. I just wish I could love and trust those around me not to abandon me because I am a bit socially awkward and to trust myself enough to let that be ok….
May 28, 2019 at 9:39 am #296113
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Anxious Irish.
Dear Anxious Irish:
I am glad you are back to your thread. You are welcome. Having suffered from significant anxiety for decades myself, I believe I understand yours.
Regarding the wedding, I second nto’s suggestion, “to down a couple of glasses of wine at the wedding”. Maybe one before you enter the venue (as long as you don’t drive under the influence, of course). Make this coming experience not as unpleasant as previous “big situations like this”, calm the anxiety and the frenzy.
Don’t expect to feel wonderful during the wedding, like the “big party animals” you referred to, but aim at feeling better than you did before, in situations like this. I too don’t like big parties and prefer my routine.
Regarding when to leave the party having to work the day after, I would say not too long after your usual bed time, so if you are in bed usually at 9 pm, leave the party at no longer than 10 pm… unless, surprisingly you are having a great time!
anitaMay 28, 2019 at 9:47 am #296115
Thanks for answering me @anita. I really hope I didn’t come across as rude or overbearing (like the Satan woman!)
Is it OK NOT to like situations like this? I think one of the reasons I force myself to go and put myself through so much is because I fear missing something and fear being forgotten. But I really don’t think I can go through this again. Like one of the women I work with, she is older, more confident and just says ‘don’t ask me because you know I won’t come’. Yet she is happy in herself.
I’m scared of being left in the corner with no one to talk to. I have to have routine, like you mention and I’m already working out steps back to the train station, what time I can see my cats etc. If I don’t have a clear map of what is happening, or what order it will happen in etc, it freaks me out even more.May 28, 2019 at 10:06 am #296125
Dear Anxious Irish:
No, you didn’t come across to me like “the Satan woman!”, but I still feel uncomfortable when someone expresses anger at me or if I imagine someone is angry at me. I wonder if it is possible to feel comfortable with someone’s anger. When observing animals, you can see that they don’t feel comfortable with another’s anger/ aggression, so I figure it is natural to not feel comfortable with anger.
But I am less alarmed when sensing another’s anger recently, definitely, way less alarmed and not angry in return, like I used to feel.
“Is it OK NOT to like situations like this?”- of course it is okay. I don’t. When I think f the last two big parties I was in, I was surprised that I felt good, too good for my comfort, that is, I was excited and didn’t feel comfortable with that much excitement. But unlike times before when I did things I regretted because of that excitement (ate too much, talked to much without a filter and then regretting saying too much to strangers!), I was in control of my behavior and that felt really good!
And yet, I do not crave the next big event, not at all. I like my routine, I don’t like changes, I like a regular bed time, and I am okay with that, why wouldn’t I be… it is not immoral or unethical to like routine and dislike changes!
“I think one of the reasons I force myself to go and put myself through so much is because I fear missing something and fear being forgotten”- my experience is being forgotten following big events. I observed it again and again, certain individuals putting so much efforts to be social and gracious in big events, and doing a good job at it- and yet such big events, parties, do not lead to making friends. I have seen it again and again. After the big party, everyone is back to their lives until the next party, while nothing happens in between.