Author Topic: Ending a friendship when friend is ill  (Read 6669 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« on: January 19, 2013, 12:16:19 PM »
. . . Trouble is, sheís always ill.  I think she has some legitimate health issues and sometimes feels very bad, but she goes on about it endlessly. 

This woman latched onto me when I gave her a ride home from a class.  Sometimes she calls six times a day, and if I donít pick up, she leaves a long message. She once called at 6:30 a.m. on a day I work. 

The "friendship" is 100% about her and is completely based on pity on my part.  Iíve known her about 18 months, and while I know every detail of every health problem sheís ever had, she doesnít even know I have cancer.  Iím expected to make noises of interest and sympathy during her monologues, but if I try to say anything else, she bulldozes over me, so Iíve given up.

There are other things about this woman that make me want to scream.  She is completely self-centered and very manipulative. 

I want to withdraw from the friendship, but it seems rude and horrible to do this to someone who is ill.  I feel guilty if I donít answer a call every day, but I simply cannot stand to listen to her any more.

What is the etiquette for bailing on a chronically ill supposed friend?  It feels like an awful thing to do

It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13766
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 12:19:29 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it at all!  You need to look after you.  And this woman is not supporting you at all.  In fact, she's sapping your energy.  Drop her like a hot potato and don't look back.

And if you need any help in that direction, read the blog post this week about Valerie.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30570
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 12:22:48 PM »
This is where I would be Teflon. Maybe you can say, "I'm sorry--you seem really upset, But I can't be a source of support for you."

But I'd just go with not picking up her calls (use any technology, like call blocking, call-forwarding-to-voice-mail).

If you have any reason to keep the drama down, then do the "call back 6 days later and only have 60 seconds to find out what you called about last week" thing.

But if you don't really see her any where else or have that many *true* "common ties," then I vote for simply dropping off the face of the earth.

suzieQ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 608
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 12:49:11 PM »
She is not your friend. She is simply using you. Drop her. Don't answer calls, emails, whatever other method she uses to monologue to you. She's not even communicating with you, she is just dumping all her "stuff" on you because you are willing to listen.
Check out my crocheted cross body bags for phones!

http://phlings.blogspot.com/

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12917
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 12:52:47 PM »
Tell her that you have to concetrate on your chemotherapy right now and you'll get back to her when it's over....?

She tells you everything and never listens at all?  Time to pull away for a while (save two planetary diameters and one Martian year) - then see if you miss having her in your life at all.  If the answer is no, don't get back in touch....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8108
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 12:54:52 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it at all!  You need to look after you.  And this woman is not supporting you at all.  In fact, she's sapping your energy.  Drop her like a hot potato and don't look back.   ...


This.  You definitely do not need this person in your life right now. 

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4156
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 01:07:29 PM »
This isn't a freinship.This is a parasitical relationship.

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 01:24:59 PM »
O.P. again: Part of my guilt problem may be that my father was a minister, and ministers do not get to avoid ill parishioners, no matter how parasitic they are. 

I once attended the funeral of a kind-of-crazy woman.  The minister mentioned in the eulogy that for years she had called him many times a day and sometimes at night.  He seemed relieved that the phone calls were finally at an end.
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Amava

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4751
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 01:30:36 PM »
This isn't a freinship.This is a parasitical relationship.

I agree.

Question... /Is/ she always ill? Or is she just someone who likes to overplay her illnesses and who likes to feel sorry for herself? It's hard to tell from here in my chair, of course. How much proof do you have of her illnesses?

But even if she is genuinely very ill, that still doesn't give her a free pass to use people left, right and center...

Re-reading your OP: wait, WHAT? /You/ have cancer, and she only talks about her health problems and never listens to yours?  :o
Yeah no. You have to think of yourself and take care of yourself, CrazyDaffodilLady!

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17630
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 01:45:34 PM »
O.P. again: Part of my guilt problem may be that my father was a minister, and ministers do not get to avoid ill parishioners, no matter how parasitic they are. 

I once attended the funeral of a kind-of-crazy woman.  The minister mentioned in the eulogy that for years she had called him many times a day and sometimes at night.  He seemed relieved that the phone calls were finally at an end.
but are *you* a minister?

I understand the guilt but you do have to take care of yourself right now.

I've been thru chemo - it's enough just getting through the day. the very last thing you need after the very last thing you need is someone sapping all your energy. it's not selfish, it's not rude, it's not mean - it's called survival.

and hugs.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4156
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 01:45:59 PM »
O.P. again: Part of my guilt problem may be that my father was a minister, and ministers do not get to avoid ill parishioners, no matter how parasitic they are. 

I once attended the funeral of a kind-of-crazy woman.  The minister mentioned in the eulogy that for years she had called him many times a day and sometimes at night.  He seemed relieved that the phone calls were finally at an end.

Are you a minister? If not, you don't have to assume the duties of that role.

MamaMootz

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2997
  • I'm a lumberjack and I'm O.K....
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 02:10:55 PM »
Emotional vampire. Run, far and fast. Run, I say.

Don't answer her calls - if you think you can, tell her that the friendship is too much for you and you need to concentrate on you.

Don't feel bad - you are NOT a minister, and you are not her support source.

She will continue to suck you dry until you terminate. Let her go find someone else to latch on to. Take care of you.
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6058
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 02:18:50 PM »
As PPs have said, you are not her minister. She certainly sounds as though she needs a level of support and counseling that one person cannot accommodate on their own. I have a friend like this, too, and I sympathize. It feels like you're being a "bad friend" to distance yourself, but you need to take care of yourself!

I realized things were out of control the second time my friend called me and left a message insinuating she was suicidal. The first time she said "I wouldn't hurt myself but I'm scared because right now I really want to." I rushed over, scooped her up, and moved her into my home for awhile (her living conditions were a big part of the problem). In retrospect that was the wrong move. She stayed with us for about 6 weeks while she got her life straightened out and got into a better living situation. Then a couple of weeks after she'd moved out she messaged again, this time saying "I'm freaking out because I have that feeling again, like before I came to stay with you. Please call me!!" I knew she was hoping I'd invite her to come back but that wasn't going to happen. I'd been friends with her for probably 3 years prior to this and she'd never made that kind of statement before so I realized that she'd discovered a trump card, so to speak, and would probably begin to play it often. I have a husband and three children and she simply cannot be the center of my attention. Instead of calling her back I texted and said "Bad reception, can't call. You need to call 911 or go to the hospital and have yourself admitted right now!!" I basically called her bluff and I was right because she replied "I'm not THAT bad, just feeling down. I don't have anybody but you.". Obviously this couldn't go on. I could not be responsible for whether she sank or swam, you know?  :(

What I did was slowly pull back. I didn't think a sudden cut-off was the best move because it would have been Major Bad Drama which she would have used for a giant "woe is me" pity party with our mutual friends, likely complete with threats of suicide, and I didn't want to deal with that. Also we DID have a lot of fun together sometimes. I didn't want to cut her off, I just needed to get her to stop leaning on me so heavily. So I'd ignore her texts and emails for a few hours (after a while I upped it to a few days) and then reply with something short like "I'm sorry I wasn't able to get back to you sooner. I hope you're feeling better!" I basically derailed the attention train. We still communicate on facebook but she hasn't contacted me regarding an illness, fight with a relative, etc. in a long time. I'm sure she still needs that attention but she must be getting it from someone else.

Your situation is a bit different since you really have no friendship with this woman other than you being her support system. You could absolutely give her a full cut right now, but if that bothers you, I think you should say something like "Friend, I wanted to give you a heads-up that I'll be mostly out of touch for the foreseeable future. I've got some things going on that require my full attention and I can't say how long I'll be dealing with them, so don't be alarmed if you contact me and don't hear back for awhile." and then let the "friendship" fizzle at a pretty quick rate.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 02:20:49 PM by JenJay »

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6049
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 02:48:51 PM »
Texting is good!  Or calling. Reply to her saying right at first, that you will not be on the phone much, the hospital and clinic doesn't have good reception, you are not sure when you will be able to talk again, you have so much to do taking care of yourself and your family. The hospital counselor told you not to talk about anyone s illness, just focus on positive things. Something like that. Then give her a silent ring tone, and maybe return her call once a week IF she leaves a message asking how you are
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 10:11:13 PM by JoyinVirginia »

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Ending a friendship when friend is ill
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 03:02:36 PM »
Wow.

OP - you are not a minister, so your father and his parishoners have nothing to do with this situation.  I know a couple people whose fathers are/were ministers and neither one of them would tolerate this nonsense.

Guilt - well, unlike others I don't really understand the guilt because generally speaking I think guilt is a wasted emotion.

I cannot imagine, in any life, on any planet, putting up with six annoying calls a day from someone I don't want to be bothered with.

The woman is a parasite, and she is rude.  Yes, she is sapping your energy because you are allowing her to.

Your options:
1)  Tell her "I want you to stop calling me.  I wish you well."  PERIOD.  Do not make any promises about getting back to her.  I would not even listen to her voice mails if she calls again.  Fast fwd, delete.
2) Continue to let her harass you.

The choice is yours.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 03:07:09 PM by oceanus »