Posted 2/18/2012 7:36 PM (GMT -7)
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...