614,531 Posts in 14,780 Topics by 2,752 Residents
Latest Member: quityou
BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 21, 2018, 10:19:01 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
*
Home Help Login Register
BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum  |  Our BetterMost Community  |  BetterMost People (Moderators: Kelda, Kerry)  |  Topic: On Caregiving 0 Residents and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 [34] Go Down Print
Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 55164 times)
serious crayons
BetterMost Moderator
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,655





Ignore
« Reply #330 on: September 18, 2018, 01:09:48 pm »

Good suggestions, Lee.

I have no advice, A, but I have gone through a very similar situation. Mine involves a friend of 45 years, throughout most of which I considered her my best friend. We shared an apartment for a while in college. We were each other's sole maids of honor (there were no other bridesmaids) at our low-key weddings. We went to Italy together twice, once in a group and once just the two of us. We have years worth of in-jokes and other references. She lives pretty far from me (on the other end of the metro area) so I have stayed overnight at her house many times to avoid driving home late.

This woman is prone to suddenly and unilaterally cutting off old friends for a few years. She grew up next to twin sisters who are also in our high-school social circle, and she went for a few years hating one, and then got over that and hated the other, without ever having talked to either of them about her anger but apparently eventually getting over it.

A couple of years ago she became distant to me in much the way your friend has been, A. Finally I asked about it in an email. "Is everything OK?" She replied with a lie, saying nowadays she preferred to just stay home and do crafts rather than socialize. "I've changed ... I hope you can accept this." She allowed that we could have lunch occasionally "as weather permits." It was June.

Finally that fall she confessed that she'd been mad at me ever since the last time I'd stayed over a year earlier. Apparently we'd argued, and she said I was so harsh and condescending she was afraid to say anything. I remember pretty much every detail of that night -- I'd even know how to play fantasy football now if I'd been able to follow her husband's explanation at the time -- but somehow I don't remember any argument. She said it was about -- get this -- nature vs. nurture.

I was really surprised we'd argued at all. I do argue with some friends, but with her I basically agree on most things and haven't harbored any great ill will about anything. That last time I stayed over, we hung around her house until almost noon the next day and everything was perfectly pleasant. But once she told me about the big nature vs. nurture argument I realized that was the last time we'd hung out.

I told her I do have strong opinions on that subject but if I argued with her about them I would also argue with 99% of the population because most people don't share my views (for a sample, see my long comment on a video Clarissa posted on FB just yesterday). So it's possible I did come on too strong. But meanwhile I was hurt and angry that she'd never said anything at the time (so I could apologize) or since. And that even when I asked her outright she lied.

I just let it go and we moved past it and restored our basic friendship, possibly with a little more distance. Then early this year she sent out a group email telling me and our mutual friends that she had quit drinking and joined AA.

So, fine! My ex-husband is also in AA and I see him all the time, so it's not a huge social barrier as far as I'm concerned. Nor did it seem to be for my friend. She rarely attended parties hosted by our mutual friends because she doesn't like driving that far at night. But she did attend a few early gatherings and just didn't drink. She seemed healthy and happy, so I was glad for her.  We IMed on FB fairly often, always in a very friendly way. She suggested we have lunch soon.

Until a couple of weeks ago I've been busy getting my house all fixed up to sell. But finally everything was done, so I suggested we finally schedule that lunch. Here's what she replied:

"I am sorry, but I am not in a strong enough emotional state to have lunch with you. Thank you for asking. ... I should explain what I mean by that. I feel bullied by you. You've publicly shamed my grammar on FB, you screamed at me at Lisa's party, and when I saw you in December, you mocked me again with that screeching mean voice. You seem to have a lot of unhappiness and anger, and you're toxic for me. I have to protect my sobriety, and the resentment and anger I feel towards you is unhealthy. I prayed about this for two hours, then went out and did hard yard work for an hour to let go of my anxiety. I think we should cut our ties."

i was flabbergasted. I don't remember even being angry at her for anything, let alone screaming or screeching. I asked what I'd screamed at her about, what I'd mocked her for, etc., but got no reply. She's right that I do have some unhappiness and anger but they're more about my job, finances and things like that -- I've never felt any ill will toward her. So it was completely baffling. But all I got back wss radio silence.

I contacted a mutual friend who'd been at the December event to ask if she remembered me mocking anyone in my screeching mean voice. She vehemently assured me that I hadn't. We discussed reasons our friend might have acted that way toward me. We came up with a few possibilities but none really adequately explained that bizarre reaction.

I looked up an IM conversation my ex-friend and I had THE DAY AFTER THE DECEMBER EVENT. It's very friendly -- we made jokes, LOLed, complimented each other, etc. It was a perfectly nice conversation! No sign of resentment about my supposed screeching.

So that's the story so far. I think this has been done before, but I'd like to see a book collecting different people's stories about the odd or terrible endings of friendships in their lives.

Sorry to go on so long when the topic was your friendship. But at least you know others in the same boat.




Logged
Sason
BetterMost Moderator
BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 9,954


Bork bork bork




Ignore
« Reply #331 on: September 18, 2018, 02:30:21 pm »

I think a good idea would be to write her an e-mail, where you acknowledge all the stress she lives under, but also tell her that you worry about her and miss her.
Tell her that you want to be a support to her, but don't know how to. Don't ask her why she's become distant, hopefully she'll tell her yourself.
Ask her what would be a good way for you to support her, if she wants you to call or wait until she calls, if she wants texts or if they add to her stress, if there's anything practical you can do now that you live far away etc.

Hopefully she'll be able to tell you how to keep in touch with her without overwhelming her.
Logged


Düva pööp is a förce of natüre
Brown Eyes
BetterMost Supporter!
BetterMost Moderator
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 10,375





Ignore
« Reply #332 on: September 23, 2018, 09:07:41 pm »

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all of your words of advice, and I apologize for leaving this conversation hanging for a bit.

K, as to your good friend who grew distant and perceived an argument differently than you did... I do sometimes really worry with my friend if she's just decided she doesn't want to stay in touch too much (for reasons that aren't apparent to me).  Honestly, the idea of setting up a set conversation time, etc. is very appealing, but even getting her to reply to a text can be hard.  Even when SHE sets us a time to talk she is sometimes mysteriously not available.  Sometimes it almost feels like being "ghosted" by a friend... though it's not entirely that bad, because we do still connect sometimes.

Yesterday was her birthday and we texted back and forth, and then I called and it went to voicemail.  I'm going to Pittsburgh next weekend for another friend's baby shower and this friend in question will also be there.  We've made plans to go out to dinner following the baby shower.  So that will be good to have a chance for a real conversation.

She knows I worry when we go through long stretches with little communication, and I pretty much know she feels guilty about it.  The staying in communication issue is snowballing into its own stress on the friendship in some ways.  And honestly, sometimes I get really angry feeling neglected as a friend (though I don't express that to her).  I think maybe inevitably this friendship will drift away, but it's very sad to me. Undecided

It will definitely be interesting to see how dinner next weekend goes.



Logged

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie
CellarDweller
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 32,018


A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.




Ignore
« Reply #333 on: September 23, 2018, 09:38:41 pm »

Please keep us posted!  I'm glad you have the chance to talk with her.
Logged



Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
serious crayons
BetterMost Moderator
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,655





Ignore
« Reply #334 on: September 24, 2018, 09:26:01 am »

I agree, and if nothing else the dinner could at least help clarify the situation.

It sounds possible that she's under so much stress -- the breakup, her mother living there, her dad's death, work issues -- that she just doesn't have the mental/emotional energy to focus on someone no longer living in the same city. That's sad in itself, but at least you'll feel better for having cleared up the mystery, and hearing a "it's not you, it's me" explanation from her.

If you sense that she's being evasive about why she's acting that way, you could try to gently press her on it. If it does have anything to do with you as opposed to her (though it doesn't sound to me like it does) she's not doing you any favors by not being honest. But more likely it's reasons involving her, and you could make clear that she has your support and understanding while she goes through all this.

It can be hard to keep friendships going when you're no longer living in the same city or working at the same place. You have fewer common references, you tend to focus on what's there in front of you, etc. Sometimes, though, it seems like when you get back together in person you can immediately connect the way you did before. I hope that's what happens in Pittsburgh.


Logged
Jeff Wrangler
BetterMost Supporter!
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 26,322


"Tom Cody. Pleased to meet ya."




Ignore
« Reply #335 on: September 24, 2018, 10:02:06 am »

I hope she doesn't find an excuse to back out of dinner.  Sad
Logged

"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.
CellarDweller
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 32,018


A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.




Ignore
« Reply #336 on: September 25, 2018, 06:05:15 pm »

Yeah, very true.  Keep us posted!
Logged



Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
Brown Eyes
BetterMost Supporter!
BetterMost Moderator
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 10,375





Ignore
« Reply #337 on: October 11, 2018, 11:11:05 pm »

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the delay in the update.  The trip back to Pittsburgh went pretty nicely.  It was fun to see old friends there for the baby shower and Lucy along with her elderly mother did go out to dinner with me following the shower.  It was a pleasant visit and actually nice to see her mom - I'd spent a fair amount of time with her also over my years in Pittsburgh.  

I get the sense that Lucy is, in general, just pulled in a ton of different directions and frazzled by a lot of stress.  One weird thing that happened is that towards the end of the shower, not long before we had planned to leave to head to dinner, a friend called her and needed a ride home from work and all of a sudden she wanted to postpone dinner by over an hour.  It's hard to explain easily the dynamics there in a message like this but it caused a slight bit of tension.  I ended up reminding her that I'd driven from Delaware that day to see her (in addition to the baby shower). I brought a ton of birthday presents for her because the visit happened shortly following her birthday - which was part of the reason for going to dinner.  And ultimately she did go and give her other friend a ride and dinner was delayed.  Again, it was odd.  (And it may seem petty, but the thought did pass through my mind... "oh so you answer your phone for that friend."  Undecided )

After dinner we did have a chat about trying to keep in touch more often/ more easily.  I get the sense that she feels a little guilty about not being good at replying to texts and voicemails.  Though it's kind of a bummer to think about a friendship turning into an obligation or a guilt trip to maintain.

Ultimately I don't know how things will play out. Hopefully at some point when the current stresses in her life ease up somehow things will get better. It turns out that she and her husband are officially separated (and he even has a new girlfriend now) but he's still living at her house - causing a lot of awkwardness.  Plus taking care of her mother is a lot of work with the current situation.  She certainly knows that I'd like to be there for her - but I think keeping in touch for a while will continue to be a challenge.
Logged

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie
serious crayons
BetterMost Moderator
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,655





Ignore
« Reply #338 on: October 12, 2018, 09:23:25 am »

Sorry for the mixed outcome, A. I'm glad you had some fun. I feel bad for you, arriving with a bounty of gifts and eagerness to renew ties with your friend and then having a less than satisfactory experience.

It does sound like her life is kind of a nightmare right now. Caregiving for an ailing relative can take a lot of time and emotional energy. And the situation with her husband is really beyond what anyone should have to go through. Can they not afford for one of them to get a separate small apartment or something? Well, I guess it would have to be her husband, since she needs to stay with her mother. And maybe finances are an obstacle. But still!

As for answering the call, she may be more likely to pick up for a quick call from a local person than from an old friend in another city that would entail a longer conversation. That said, why didn't her friend just Lyft or Uber? I mean, that costs money too and I don't want to seem elitist if they're really strapped for cash. But at least around here, I can get most places I'd want to go for $15 or so during non-peak hours. And that seems immensely preferable to delaying dinner with a friend who is visiting from out of town.

Do you know anything about this friend? Is it just some regular friend, or could the relationship be part of what's complicating her life?


Logged
CellarDweller
The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 32,018


A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.




Ignore
« Reply #339 on: October 12, 2018, 06:58:21 pm »

(And it may seem petty, but the thought did pass through my mind... "oh so you answer your phone for that friend."  Undecided )


I don't think it's petty, I would've had the same thought.
Logged



Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 [34] Go Up Print 
BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum  |  Our BetterMost Community  |  BetterMost People (Moderators: Kelda, Kerry)  |  Topic: On Caregiving « previous next »
Jump to:  

Listen to Brokeback Mountain Radio 1
Listen to Brokeback Mountain Radio 1



Help keep this site operating by donating.


 
Web bettermost.net
Image courtesy of 'AuroraLucis'


No more beans.  I'm sick of beans.

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums