You all know, I had a breakdown about 3 years ago now & am now pretty severely socially anxious. Well, before this happened, I thought I was living a pretty normal life, I worked, had friends & otherwise just lived what I considered normal. Now, I've never had a lot of friends. Basically 2 close friends S & J (mother & daughter). I had met S through work about 20 years ago & eventually became a much closer friend to her daughter J. I know I've talked about them before - they are "pull yourself up by the bootstraps type of women". Neither really gets my mental illness & I've been okay with that, I don't complain to them about what's going on in my life & have basically been a not so close friend over the last 3 years. Of course, they haven't invited me to their homes anywhere near as regularly as they did prior to my breakdown. Well last night I'm talking to J on the phone & again she asks me when I'm going to find a job, a topic her mother S, never lets go by in a conversation with me. I mention that I'm going to apply to a state program that assists disabled individuals in getting jobs. Her response is that I'm lazy & she knew once I got on disability I'd never get off. "Everybody's sad, Anyone who's put on weight like you is sad. Kate, people have real issues, not just ones in their heads, deal with it". This is supposed to be my best friend. I really don't have a question here, because I know - non supportive person, cut them out of my life, but that leaves me with no friends. Oh well, Thanks for listening to me. Kate_Te
I'm really sorry that she said that to you. I know they both like to bring up this topic. Have you ever really tried to explain to them exactly what it's like to have mental illness? That it's not just feeling sad, that your body literally has unbearable physical symptoms (explain to her what they are- increased pulse rate, rapid breathing, dizziness, racing thoughts, etc.) and that it is a true, disabling illness. People head to the ER ever single day, thinking that they are DYING, because of symptoms of panic. Maybe you could write a letter or e-mail, gently explaining all of this to your friend. And then ask that they please not bring up the topic again. I know it's not the same as a friend in person, but online friends are friends too so you're not alone. ((((Kate_Te))))
Thanks OTW. I have tried & I get "I know what depression & panic are like". Because she had a panic attack once (and went to the ER for it) & has been depressed a few times. I can't explain to them in any other ways than I have - other than to send them articles, but they'd never read them. It just hurts to lose a 20 year relationship. Plus it's not just those 2, I have babysitted J's 2 kids since they were infants - I've changed their diapers. It hurts that I wont see them again.
Have you tried specifically asking them not to bring it up? Ask that they agree to disagree on the subject and to just drop it? Since she went to the ER she should understand how severe it is and how she wouldn't be able to function either if she had them regularly. But obviously she doesn't get it and you're right, they won't ever get it. So they need to be told just to drop it. Or told that it's okay to ask if you've gotten a job but it's not okay to say hurtful things to you about it. I'm really am sorry. People can be so judgmental and hurtful sometimes.
That's the approach we've had for the last year or so - agree to disagree. I don't ever complain to either of them about my issues. For some reason, she just felt the need to lay into me with almost the exact same speech she gave to me 3 years ago (adding the fat part). I thought we were past this - obviously she can't get over it. I am just trying to accept that it's over. I don't want that kind of negativity in my life - I've got enough in my own head.
I wish I could wrap my arms around you and just hold you dear sister. Nothing I say can take away the pain this has and is causing you.
I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I could say: "I'd rather be alone than have hurtful people in my life," but I can not. That would not be true. Feeling alone and being alone, is one of the worst things I have experienced...
I wish I could drive over to you, scoop you up, take you back here to VT where people are more accepting and understanding of all that you are dealing with.
All I can say Kate-Te is that you are a wonderful woman and it's not okay for others to judge you, condemn you, tell you who, how and what you should be or how you should live. They are not you, feeling your emotions, hearing your thoughts, experiencing your life, in your skin, as you.
I'm sorry that they treat you that way. I have a strained relationship with my siblings because of my mental health issues. They both (brother and sister) seem to think I should just pull myself up by my bootstraps and get on with life. I've never had a salaried job, and I'm just now (at 31) getting to the point where I may be able to hold down a job. I also suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, and my brother says to me, "Just stop eating so much!" Its not that simple. *sigh* There will always be people in the world who think they know what's best for us. I wish it wasn't so. (*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*( Kate )*)*)*)*)*)*)*)*)*)*)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Of course, so does falling down a flight of stairs.
Thank you Bonnie & CJ - I am working through the anger. Trying to meditate, try to work opposite to emotion. Trying not to feel hurt. Actually thought about drinking today. First time in about 20 years. Then I looked for an AA meeting & found the only one that I'd be accepted in, is very difficult for me to get to. I will survive this. No SH, No suicide, No drinking. I will just get over it - slowly but it will ease. Thank you all, Kate_Te
Dear Kate_Te, I hear your pain. Just wanted to share that a couple of years ago I lost a friendship that was 20 years whose girls were like nieces to me. I watched them grow up, etc. It's not exactly the same circumstances as yours because with me it was because I made a mistake. I bent over backwards trying to make amends, and, you know, with friends one hopes that differences can be worked out, but she chose to totally cut me off instead. It still hurts. I still cry when I think about it. The whole story is for another post another day perhaps, but I do readily admit I made a mistake and said the wrong thing. I can't force her to forgive me. I have had to accept the fact that she has totally cut me from her life.
What also hurt was that I had recently moved back into the area and was looking forward to being around her and her family in person again. She wasn't the only reason I returned to TN, but she was one of them. We had a lot of history together. I stood by her through her divorce, etc., and she had always been supportive of my issues as well (mostly depression and weight issues).
I have made other friends since then, real God-sends who have been on similar PTSD paths, etc., and their support means the world to me. Kate_Te, I just wanted to offer you hope that other people will cross your path (or you, theirs), and there is hope for other friendships out there. And the others are right, I don't discount my on-line friends either. What a wonderful support the boards have been overall.
Also, ever since the PTSD started I have learned the hard way that I can't trust just any friend with my information, and some people I had considered good friends really just don't "get it," and have a mentality about them that is hurtful. The "just-get-over-it" sort, or, if they even believe me, I hear, "That was a long time ago, in the past, let it go." Well, hello? I didn't know I HAD it to let go, first of all. I started getting memories only 1-1/2 years ago, and I'm 48 years old. I'm processing them, and the heavy backpack of those memories gets a little lighter every time I can process it with my T, but it takes time.
Oh, wow, didn't intend for this post to get so long...I mostly just wanted to let you know that I know what it feels like to lose a long-term friendship, and it's really sad that ANYONE thinks they have the right to put you down or belittle you for any reason. Part of me gets angry for you, too.
Thank you Misty - It's hard. Like a rock in my stomach. Want it to fade faster, but have to let time take it's time. I don't discount my friendships on this board or on fb, just nice to have a friend in person every now & then. Of course she hasn't really been that for the last 3 years. I've really only seen her on birthdays & Easter. Oh well, I have to accept & move on. Thank you for sharing your experience with me - it gives me hope. Hugs Kate_Te
*nodding** Yes, it is hard. And, I'm sure you do greatly appreciate the on-line friends, and I'm sorry if it sounded like I thought you didn't. We all need flesh-and-blood support, too. That's just human nature. ((hugs if okay))
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