Author Topic: A friend cutting contact/ going to my BF behind my back - clarifications #2 & #7  (Read 8741 times)

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Luxie

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Hi all,
It's been a long time (years, in fact) since I posted, but I've been lurking all this time. :) And now I have a question I'd really like to run past you... really just hoping for opinions and insight.

I have a friend, Rora, that I've known for about ten years (I'm 32). I have always considered her my best friend, similar to a sister. We are very much alike and have shared a lot together.

About two years ago, I had a lot of troublesome things happen. I had a VERY bad relationship end, I tried moving cross-country (and failed, and had to move back); lots of trauma and unpleasant stuff. During this time, I sort of "dropped out" on a lot of people - I was diagnosed with depression, and part of how it manifested itself was my inability to communicate with people very well. I was also just plain swamped and scared and buried and confused.

Rora also has a lot of her own baggage - she suffers from bad anxiety, has a very troubled love life, issues with her parents, etc. Most of our phone conversations tend to center on her problems. I never minded this, until I got buried in the bad stuff.

I went about six months not talking to Rora on the phone. I just didn't have the mental space to 1) explain what was going on, and 2) handle her problems, too. She kept calling me, a few times a week. I barely spoke to her, but I did try to keep her updated via email and Facebook.

Last year, things got better for awhile, and I relocated to a new area to get a master's degree. I got in touch with Rora, and apologized for being AWOL, and thanked her for remaining my friend. Our relationship was GREAT for awhile. We talked on the phone for about an hour every other night. We even got together in person a few times during this period. She loaned me a car and let me stay with her when I had to fly to her state for an event.

But, about six months ago, things took a bad turn. I had to leave my grad program, fell back into depression, lost my job. At the worst of it (when I was trying to get legal assistance to keep from being removed from my school, which failed), I stopped talking to Rora; again, I emailed her and just said I was too buried and things were too messy, but I would be in touch. I went about two weeks not talking to her (or anyone) on the phone.

Well, she got very angry. She sent me an email saying that after all she had done for me (the loaning of her car, etc), I owed her more than this. She also sent an unsolicited email to my new boyfriend (whom she'd never met; at the time we had just started dating - she found him via Facebook). In the email, she asked him what was going on with me, asked if I had said anything about being mad at her, and asked him not to tell me that she had contacted him.

He did tell me; he also told me that he wrote her back and basically said "Bea is going through a lot of horrible things right now, I'm sure she will be in touch again" and offered to pass on a message. She said no, and the next day she sent me a final message telling me off for being selfish, a bad friend, etc. and informing me she had deleted my phone number.

I was so overwhelmed that I let it go. Boyfriend was furious - he feels her response (cutting me out upon learning that things were bad) was unfair and selfish.

I'm also angry that she contacted Boyfriend. I've had such bad relationships - as she knows better than anyone - and this one is actually healthy, and it made me really upset that she was "tampering" with it like that. I mean, asking him not to tell me she had written? It just seems like soliciting drama/ making things about her.

On the other hand, I did this to her in the past (drop out). I can't decide if that makes me an awful friend, or if that means she should have known this is how things go when I'm depressed/ overwhelmed, and not taken it personally.

It wasn't personal, either... I honestly was just in a horrible place - I even had to move within a 4-day time span b/c I had to leave student housing. It was a disaster. I don't think she knew the extent of the mess - largely because we didn't talk about my problems very much when we did talk.

It's now been about six months of no contact. I miss her, but I can't truly decide what to do here. I'm unsure if she's being unfair; if it's worth trying to fix this; if she should have been more understanding; if I owe her an apology. I'd really appreciate anyone's POV on who was rudest here, who was (or wasn't) a bad friend, and what to do next. Thanks EHell.

*Edited trying to shorten the length! Sorry, haven't posted in so long I'm not very good at it anymore. :) *
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 09:38:14 AM by Bea »

bonyk

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I can see where Rora's coming from.  You can't talk to her; you're too busy and going through too much, but you've just started dating someone?  To me, it doesn't seem to add up.  If I were your friend, I'd be feeling much like Rora.

Luxie

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If it helps to clarify, I started dating him during the time when things were going well and I was still in touch with Rora. Our dating relationship suffered pretty badly during my 'down time' but it did survive it intact. If Rora was here, maybe our friendship would have done the same, but it just wasn't do-able to keep it up via phone like she wanted during that time period.

bonyk

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If it helps to clarify, I started dating him during the time when things were going well and I was still in touch with Rora. Our dating relationship suffered pretty badly during my 'down time' but it did survive it intact. If Rora was here, maybe our friendship would have done the same, but it just wasn't do-able to keep it up via phone like she wanted during that time period.

Yeah, an hour on the phone every other night is a lot for her to expect.  I'm not saying that she was right, just that I understand her perspective.

Roe

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Given that you and Rora mainly talk about her problems and not yours (btdt), I'd have to say that Rora is the one being selfish. 


Fleur

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I can see where Rora's coming from.  You can't talk to her; you're too busy and going through too much, but you've just started dating someone?  To me, it doesn't seem to add up.  If I were your friend, I'd be feeling much like Rora.

Whether or not you understand where Rora is coming from, surely you aren't justifying her getting in contact with the OP's boyfriend? That is so far out of line she isn't even seeing the line.

 OP, I'm afraid Rora sounds like a bit of a vampire. You explained where you where, and she chose not to respect that. She chose to trample boundaries by talking to your boyfriend, which is beyond rude. You also said that she used to talk more about herself than anything else. I think she sounds borderline toxic, and although you miss her, it actually sounds as if you are better off without her in your life. I do sympathise, I've had toxic friends before and sometimes I still miss them despire the problems we had, but that doesn't mean that I don't recognize how much better off I am without them. My advice to you is to concentrate on your life, your boyfriend (who sounds awesome btw!) and building up other and hopefully more sustaining friendships.

oopsie

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If it helps to clarify, I started dating him during the time when things were going well and I was still in touch with Rora. Our dating relationship suffered pretty badly during my 'down time' but it did survive it intact. If Rora was here, maybe our friendship would have done the same, but it just wasn't do-able to keep it up via phone like she wanted during that time period.

Yeah, an hour on the phone every other night is a lot for her to expect.  I'm not saying that she was right, just that I understand her perspective.

I can also understand Rora's perspective as my sister sometimes does this to me - she withdraws completely when things aren't going well for her. It hurts because I want to be there for her at all times, not just when things are going well.

That said, I don't agree with the way Rora handled her hurt, especially if you took the time to give her the heads up that things weren't going well for you and you were going to be MIA for a bit while you got it sorted out.

An appropriate response from Rora would be to offer her condolences and offer to support or help you out (if she can and is willing to). Then Rora, as a true friend, should give you the time and space you need.

If I were Rora, I would check in with you every now and then (maybe once a week via PM on Facebook or text/email) to ask how you are holding up and to let you know that I'm thinking of you. I think that you, as a friend to her and to help appease her concern for you, should send back a message to give her a quick update or even just to let her know that you're okay and will be back in touch soon.

Just my two cents. All the best!!





 


Luxie

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Thanks for the responses thus far - I have to admit this has been bothering me a lot. I try to be very careful to examine my own behavior, and be aware of it when dealing with others, and I really hate the idea of losing such an old, close friendship like this. I'm confused as to why she got so mad - my last 'bad spell' was six months, and this time I had simply not spoken to her for two weeks, and she lost it on me. I remember even at the time being surprised she was THAT angry; I was still in the mindset of "I will try to call her next weekend if things calm down" and she was already writing me off and deleting my number.

I'm also curious re: her behavior in contacting my boyfriend, and how people see that. Because to me that was honestly, at the time, what caused me not to even try to contact her to apologize the moment she told me she was mad. It just made me really upset. Rora was always kind of a dramatic person when we were younger, but the fact of being over 30 and sending an "Is she mad at me/ don't tell her I talked to you" email to my boyfriend... it just seemed immature and attention-seeking and it made me really mad. As I explained to Boyfriend at the time, I didn't like her "dictating" anything about our relationship (i.e. telling him to keep a secret from me). It felt really disrespectful.

weeblewobble

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It sounds like she thinks she's the only one allowed to have problems in this friendship.  She can spend your conversations dumping her stresses on you, but the minute you have problems, she doesn't like the attention being re-directed.  She wants it back where it belongs, on her.


oopsie

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Thanks for the responses thus far - I have to admit this has been bothering me a lot. I try to be very careful to examine my own behavior, and be aware of it when dealing with others, and I really hate the idea of losing such an old, close friendship like this. I'm confused as to why she got so mad - my last 'bad spell' was six months, and this time I had simply not spoken to her for two weeks, and she lost it on me. I remember even at the time being surprised she was THAT angry; I was still in the mindset of "I will try to call her next weekend if things calm down" and she was already writing me off and deleting my number.

I'm also curious re: her behavior in contacting my boyfriend, and how people see that. Because to me that was honestly, at the time, what caused me not to even try to contact her to apologize the moment she told me she was mad. It just made me really upset. Rora was always kind of a dramatic person when we were younger, but the fact of being over 30 and sending an "Is she mad at me/ don't tell her I talked to you" email to my boyfriend... it just seemed immature and attention-seeking and it made me really mad. As I explained to Boyfriend at the time, I didn't like her "dictating" anything about our relationship (i.e. telling him to keep a secret from me). It felt really disrespectful.

Now I don't know Rora as well as you do (obviously) but my first thought was to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that she was acting out of concern for you. You mentioned that you were battling depression and that is a very scary thing. If I had genuine concerns for your well-being, I wouldn't hesitate to contact your boyfriend either.

However, if she was just contacting him to find out if you're angry with her, that is inappropriate. She should ask you that question directly. I also don't think that she should be asking him to keep any conversations she has with him a secret from you, regardless of the content.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 09:55:32 AM by oopsie »

Cami

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I typed out a long reply, but I'll boil it down to this: I think you were both wrong in the way you've treated each other. I'd call it even and decide what you want -- to let it go or to cut out the friendship.

Sharnita

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I think the reality is that people don't go into cold storage while you are out of commission. And her issues sound draining for anyone so it sounds like friendship with her would be hard for anyone.  I think I would like at your friendship as a period of your life that is apparently over, remember the good times and move on.

BarensMom

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Bea, it sounds as though Rora is too high-maintenance for you to have to deal with, especially considering your own issues.  You shouldn't be a dumping ground for someone else's problems, as that could feed into your own anxiety and depression.  Keep clear of her and try to find more positive, upbeat people to hang out with.

I don't remember if you mentioned seeing a therapist, but if not, I recommend it. 

sammycat

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It sounds like she thinks she's the only one allowed to have problems in this friendship.  She can spend your conversations dumping her stresses on you, but the minute you have problems, she doesn't like the attention being re-directed.  She wants it back where it belongs, on her.

I agree.

Winterlight

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How much of your not talking to her was due to the fact that you couldn't deal with trying to manage her problems as well as your own?
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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