Toxic Friendship?

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brandnewquiet
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/18/2012 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a situation I've been struggling with for a really long time that I just don't know how to handle anymore. I'm going to try to keep this as concise as possible, and don't mean to b*tch, but it's a hurtful situation and I feel like I'm the only one who sees it that way-- (it's like "am I taking crazy pills?!?!"). Please, if you have the time, read on.

I have a friend, Jane (don't worry, I'm changing the names) who I met through a peer counseling group at school a bit over a year ago. We became fast friends, had a lot in common, and began referring to one another as "best friends" shortly after. I loved Jane a lot because she seemed to accept me for who I was, was a lot of fun (I haven't had friends in a while who like to go out and do things until recently), and she always included me in big events with other friends (like birthday parties, get-togethers, etc). Towards the end of the summer, Jane went through a really crappy breakup and I went above and beyond to cheer her up and be there for her, literally, at her call. I know that was my own choice, but that's the type of friend I try to be. I have been really struggling with my depression on and off for almost the whole time we've been friends, which Jane knows-- I'd tell her I wasn't doing so hot but it always felt like i had to come after her for love and support. She would often tell me all I ever had to do was ask-- but it felt like when I did ask, she wasn't really there. I noticed, more and more, Jane began to stop inviting me to things (though I was not a downer or anything at these activities, I kept my issues to myself). She would hang out with friends who had become mutual, but then tell me she was too busy for me. If I made a comment about how I noticed she had time to spend with the others, she would get mad at me. It really hurt because she always wanted me around when she didn't have other people to go do things with, when she had troubles, and would often seek me out for advice.

Around Halloween, we got in a big fight. Jane and two of our mutual friends were volunteers at my old job (I was their supervisor) and an e-mail I sent them about a project was misinterpreted as having a nasty tone. Instead of calling me or talking it over with me, one of them wrote me a very nasty e-mail about it. It seemed as though Jane and my other friend were in agreement with the email, and I became uncomfortable with the perspective of the four of us going on partying that evening with several other people I did not know, if they were angry with me. The friend who wrote the e-mail to me apologized, but I kept trying to contact Jane and my other friend to work out the issue... and said if we did not work it out, I wasn't comfortable putting myself in that situation that evening. They wouldn't answer me and kept beating around my questions and just told me to come out anyway, despite my uncomfortable feelings. I chose that was not a good idea-- and Jane proceeded to tell me how immature I was and how she wouldn't be wasting her evening dealing with me and my drama. My heart was broken... she was being mean, not trying to see from my view (though accussing me of doing so, even though I kept offering to come over and talk it out), and I was missing going out for the festivities.

A few days later was my birthday and Jane was throwing the party, so I was terrified my whole party was off. I ended up sending her an email and we sort of made up and discussed some main issues in our friendship. Since then, I've tried really hard to improve upon the things she mentioned-- though I've seen little to know change in her behavior. At the end of November, Jane invited me over one evening that I confessed I was very depressed. She seemed really concerned and checked in with me for a week and hung out with me at the end of that week (beginning of December) but I haven't seen her since. Admittedly, I cancelled on a wine party she had in mid-december last minute when I was told (also at the last minute) my family was holding my brother's birthday party that day. I apologized profusely and tried to make plans for later in the week, but I didn't hear from her for weeks after that. I would post on her facebook wall here and there (as we always used to do) asking when i'd see her but she's say something generic. I texted her to wish her a merry christmas and see if she wanted to spend news years together but i got very brief texts back that she had other plans (something she does every year with her mom--understandable) but then the conversation ended. A few weeks passed and I heard nothing from her, though I made it clear I wanted to see her and was willing to travel to her home town to do so over break. When I started an intensive outpatient program in January I sent her a message letting her know I had hurt myself, that i was very very depressed and seeking help at four winds. I told her I missed her, that I noticed we hadn't talked in a while, and that I REALLY needed all the love and support I could get. She said she was happy I was getting help, that she felt the distance between us was mutual and that neither of us tried to contact each other (though i had, as I mentioned). She made a snarky comment that "I know you dont think being busy is an excuse not to see you, but I've been busy" (nothing I've ever said)I didn't argue and apologized, though I didn't feel at fault, and told her I understood and it means a lot to have her there for me. I then also tried to catch up with her. She answered all my texts, but once I stopped asking her questions, the conversation was over (asked me nothing about how I had been or anything). She hasn't contacted me since... despite the fact I flat out told her I really needed her support through my recovery and this difficult time.

I'm almost enraged and deeply hurt (plus I have a tendency to take these things out on myself and assume it's because I'm not worth being around to others). I don't understand how someone who "cares" for me could be so nonchalant when I reached out for them, after I had been there so much for her, and especially when she knew I am suicidal. The fact she has never checked in makes me feel beyond unimportant. All of our mutual friends, subsequently, haven't contacted me at all, either.

Jane's birthday was this past wednesday, and I wished her a happy birthday... though she never responded. I'm really hurt/angry but I didn't want to be intentionally spiteful. I found out today that Jane is having a birthday party with several mutual friends, and I was not invited.

To add insult to injury, my other best friend Zelda (who has been around for all of these happenings) is always making excuses for Jane. She has met Jane, but they are not close or regularly friends, or anything. I go to Zelda looking for support when hurtful things go down with Jane, and Zelda always seems to have some other way Jane probably meant what she did. Perhaps I'm being petty, but I think it is important for a friend to try to see both sides of every story-- but it seems like she's more busy trying to excuse Jane than she is trying to comfort me. I am a person who has A LOT of difficultly standing up for myself as I have been invalidated a lot over my life, and Zelda knows how painful it is for me to feel like she doesn't think this is a big deal. It makes me think I'm unreasonable and therefore kind of crazy for feeling so hurt by this situation.

I don't know what to do anymore, and I'm tired of feeling like my feelings aren't valid and don't matter. If it hurts, shouldn't it matter? I feel like I'm being told Jane's behavior is acceptable and I should just sit down and take it...

:(
-Amy

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42610
   Posted 2/18/2012 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I think that you should look only at the good side of the relationship and be thankful that you had some good times together. Just because she is getting on with her life doesn't mean she doesn't care about you as a friend. People change and life changes and our friends change. Just hold onto the fond memories that you have with Jane, and then start to get on with your life. You will make other friends. We always do. But the true friends we hold in our memories. And keep them good. Try to forget about any hurt and put it behind you and move on. She will always have a special place in your heart if you want her to.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 2/18/2012 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Amy, and welcome to the Depression Forum,

There are so many different personalities in life, Amy, that we meet
when we're friends with people. Some are there all the time for their friends; others are "fair-weather" friends (so long as things are going well, their friendship is strong). Others have their own issues that keep them from being able to be friends except on a very superficial level.

It's just difficult to know what types of personalities you are trying to deal with. My sincere feeling is that you might find counseling helpful in trying to sort out the people with whom you've been trying to seek friendships. You need strengthening in your inner self so that you aren't so dependent on "fair weather" friends. A good psychologist or psychiatrist could help you see clearly where you need to strengthen your own ego so that you become less dependent on what other people think and are more supportive of your inner self.

One of the hallmarks I think of a mature personality is the ability to live by one's own principles whether they are in harmony with everyone around them or not.

In one sense the social "whirl" may not be what it's cracked up to be--if you know what I mean. You'll find genuine and sincere friends in the most simple and humble smiles or talks or walks or looks. Something is just there in a wholesome friendship that is mutual, but very lacking in a world of social pretense.

Counseling will help you learn to look for qualities in people whom you admire for just their way of living and caring and not for a pretended friendship that does not hold up under examination.

I hope you reach the point in your search that you feel secure and
kind in your relationships with others. There are many people who
can fulfill your needs for friendship just as you will fulfill the needs of others of kindred mind for friendship.

Keep it simple and keep searching and living with your principles.

And please keep posting as you feel you need to communicate.
 
Take care.

It's Genetic

Cee7Jay1
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 2/21/2012 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Amy,
   I agree with It's Genetic.  I have many acquaintance but very few close friends.  Some people are what I call drainers they like to tell you all about their problems and you help them solve their problems.  In the end, you end up drained and depressed.  Some are users they only want something from you, once they get it, you no longer hear from them.  There are those friends who are the good time friends.  They love to party and have a good time.  As soon as the party is over with, so is their friendship.  These folks will not be there for you in bad times.  A true friend will be one that sticks by you no matter what.  Through the good times and bad times.  They will tell you about yourself, but do it in love.  They will understand when you aren't yourself, but still love you any way.  They pour into your life and build you up.
 
    I can remember thinking it was just me, because someone treated me bad. I went around feeling bad about myself. I begin to realize I'm not responsible for someone else's behavior....just mine.  My value and self-worth didn't come from whether or not someone called me or liked me.  It doesn't matter how other people see me, it just matters how I see myself.  I'm still a work in progress.  One day you find a friend who values you.  Sometimes you have to get the bad ones out your life before a good one comes along.  Take care of yourself. 
 

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 2/21/2012 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Cee7Jay1's thread above should be bumped to first position on the forum and kept in a secure position. It's the best treatment of the subject of friendships I've ever read on this forum, and many people need to have access to it to refer to from time to time.

How can it be preserved so that it remains high on the list of valuable threads and available to all when they wish to ask about social relationships?
 
Maybe the moderator could lift her thread from the original post here giving Cee7Jay'1s thread a new title such as "How To Determine True Friends" or attaching  it in the resources for referral by members for others asking about friendships.  With just a little editing, it's excellent for all to read.

There has to be a way to do it; this thread should not be lost among the pages here. It's far too valuable.

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 2/21/2012 4:41:36 PM (GMT-7)


blessings2u
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/1/2012 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had the same best friend for 37 years. I know all her secrets as she does mine. Our friendship was built on trust. This kind of friendship is one that you never have to work at. We have never had a disagreement or cross word. This may be hard to believe but it is the truth. I have other friends, but the trust is not there. Don't sweat it, Ihope you find that one in a million like I did.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42610
   Posted 3/2/2012 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Blessings,

Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the nice post.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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