Friendship And Boundaries

I’m going to have a ranty moment…

Everyone has “that friend”…the one who drives them absolutely nuts. Everyone has different triggers. This woman is hitting all of mine. I am trying to be kind and understanding, but I’m running out of patience…and you all know how honest I can get… Today I had to follow the age old rule handed down from parent to child “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

One of my old friends from high school is a friend of mine on Facebook. She and I have been playing each other in SongPOP. A few of my followers from way back probably remember how much of an addiction this game is for me. Well, one of the things you can do in between games is send messages back and forth. With this particular friend it ALWAYS starts with a message from her… To give you a hint at the cause of my frustration I’m going to throw in a song…you all know how well I relate through music.

Today it started with the following messages:

Her: Ugh. Having a shitty day. My first real boyfriend is being deployed in 24 days to Afghanistan

Me: (thinking…this has absolutely nothing with you and it’s been more than 20 years since you dated him…and not in the mood to coddle you.) My best friend was there for two tours.

Her: I don’t know what the future holds for him. He’s in the Navy. He has 2 children. He’s 42. He signed up later in life. Fucking dumbass. Been chatting with him today. I’m happy with who I’m with, but he’s my “could have been”. I feel terrible.

At this point I didn’t respond. Maybe it was callous of me, but I didn’t see how anything she mentioned should contribute to her “shitty” day. It had absolutely nothing to do with her…not really. If anyone had the right to feel that he was having a shitty day, it was her friend who’s being deployed. The nasty, catty side of me wanted to start listing off all my friends that have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan…but quickly discarded it. I’m not big on pissing contests.

Then she sent me a text: Not sure why I’m getting so emotional about him going to Afghanistan. I’ve known about it for six months.

The thing is…this friend has a knack for making everything all about her. For example, on my wedding day she came with her husband. I have a large family. So does my husband. He’s Italian….that pretty much says it all. Anyway, we said hello and spent a few minutes talking before we had to go in to the reception hall. Several days I got a call after the wedding telling me her feelings were hurt that I “ignored” her and that she didn’t understand what she’d done. Hello! It. Was. My. Wedding. Day!!!

Or there was the guy who I went to high school with that died of a heroin overdose. Apparently she’d seen him several weeks before and he hadn’t been doing very well. Almost every time we talk, she brings him up and how terrible she felt that she couldn’t save him…and how she’d known “a different side of him” back in the day. One of my closest friends used to be his live in girlfriend and was madly in love with him. She doesn’t carry on about him the way this friend does. Anyway, I guess she was talking to the girl who was once our mutual best friend the other night.

Her: Was talking to our old friend about Max last night. She feels I shouldn’t have cared.

Me: (thinking, good. Someone who was friends with them both giving her some brutal honesty) Our old friend is good at compartmentalizing.

While I was in El Paso she called asking to talk for a “few minutes” late one night. That call turned into a 2 hour ordeal that kept me up till 3 am when I had to be up at 6. She’d had some medical issues a while back that required surgery. After she’d been able to return to work, certain circumstances had happened and she wound up without a job. She talks about wanting to write…but that the well has run dry. She talks about getting a job, but she doesn’t try. She told me she was depressed. I recommended she talk to a therapist or get off her ass. She didn’t want to pay the co-pay for a therapist…and she’s not ready to get off her ass.

She then went into the fact that she can’t understand why she’s not dead when “so many people she’s known over the years are”. She suffered with cancer as a child…and many of the children she knew didn’t make it, but she did. She’s nearly 40 now. I just want to shake her! Or wash my hands of her. Seriously.

I mean…this is the same woman who called me a month or two before my wedding and unburdened herself on me with the fact that she cheated on her husband. (Granted her husband was verbally abusive, but still…timing is everything.) This is not exactly something you share with someone about to make those vows, you know?

::Deep Breath:: Thanks for letting me rant. Really, I think it boils down to this… I don’t need to invest in this relationship. I don’t need her drama… Seriously. And I’m beginning to think she’s happy wallowing. Am I overreacting?

So…that friend that drives YOU crazy…what is it that they do that makes you nuts? Please don’t let me be the only one…

I promise…tomorrow I’ll talk about something fun… Maybe sex toys… 😉

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50 thoughts on “Friendship And Boundaries

  1. MisBehaved Woman says:

    I’ve had several…many of them I met doing prison advocacy. Yea….buddy…women who intentionally seek out lifers or death row dudes have some…issues? And they’re ‘leaners’ always needing a shoulder to sob about how *if only* and *someday*. Agh!
    Now I have an unlisted phone number…it was the only way to find sanity after a couple of friends really wore me down.

      • MisBehaved Woman says:

        Well, lessee…issues? 1 husband, 2 kids, 3 step kids, 2 dogs and an aging father…me? Nope, nothing better to do at all than watch/listen as people deliberately create life issues or exaggerate the problems of others (oh my poor boo! he’s so miserable!) to get sympathy for themselves. I feel bad for a couple I’ve known since waybackwhen in school but pity doesn’t always outweigh the urge to smack the beejezus out of people now and then! 😉

  2. lenwilliamscarver says:

    Glad you could rant it out! I am a pity party person but jeez once I get it said or written in my case I can pretty much let it go and stop wallowing. I am afraid I would have to tell this ‘friend’ of yours that you don’t have time for her b.s. and have a life that you need to keep all positivity in and all negativity out. If she ever finds her positive side let you know.
    but see I am blunt in that way.. when asked to describe me one time by fruit or vegetable, my employees said I was like a spear of asperagus…straight, to the point, and you always knew where you stood. Sorry that you are having to molly-coddle someone like that.

  3. datinginvegas says:

    I love the term “ranty moment.” I have a hard time cutting anyone off that I’ve known a long time, but I agree with not investing too much time in the relationship. I think we’ve all had a friend like that 🙂

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Yeah…. I think we all have. I just get lower on patience when people wallow by choice, then whine about their situations…or worse, make things that don’t actually affect them into “all about them”.

  4. ramblingsfromamum says:

    Ahh the Martyr syndrome – I am going to wallow in self pity so I get recognised and people feel sorry for me…. erm don’t she’s just biding for attention..if she erks you – stay clear or comment at you own peril 😉 xx

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Yup! My mouth is now sealed against such things with her. I simply don’t have the time or the inclination…and, quite frankly, I’m not a therapist getting paid to listen to her crap.

  5. viveka says:

    When thinking about it … I don’t have any friend that drives me nuts, none of them are normal, but they don’t drive me nuts through talking or action. Strange, when I was younger I had a few.
    Nobody has the martyr syndrome (like that word) .. neither, maybe it’s because we are all single.

  6. sydneyaaliyah says:

    I have a friend like this. We had lunch yesterday. I told her, I’m a little concerned I haven’t found a job yet. She goes into a 20 minute monologue about her nervous breakdown and how she has almost used all of her 10 months of sick leave. I can’t find a job and she got paid full salary for 10 months doing nothing. Ok, happy to get that off my chest.

  7. beadstork says:

    I have a friend who ONLY calls when her life is in the shitter. She never calls when things are going well. I don’t hear from her for months, and then some negative thing happens and she’s on the phone in thirty seconds. Really. Sick of it.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Yeah. I hate that. It’s those kinds of people that had me reevaluating friendships in my early/mid 20’s and cutting out a few. They’re also notoriously the ones that are never there for YOUR hard times because…you know, that’s not about them.

  8. Jane Sadek says:

    Sounds like you need to find the eject button. It’s hard to do, but sometimes you have to put up boundaries. Thankfully, it’s not something I have to do very frequently, because I am the world’s biggest people pleaser, but once I do jettison them I fell like I’ve just relieved myself of a 500 pound gorilla.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Fortunately I have half the country between us. If she lived in the area, you’re probably right. We shall see how it goes with limiting her to simply playing games together online. I think I’m pretty much unavailable for the rest for a while. 🙂
      I’m glad to hear that you rarely have to hit the eject button, yourself.

  9. Jessica says:

    I feel for you. The older I get, the more easily I can walk away from friendships that are not mutually beneficial. Sure, you act as her shrink, but does she return the favor? You can only be emotionally drained for so long before you start to get resentful or write a ranting post on your blog. 😉 Hang in there and always remember that there are more fish in the sea of friendship.

  10. Ray Colon says:

    Hi Kitt,

    You are definitely not overreacting. In fact, through this rant I can see that this is a problem that you have been dealing with for a long time. I have to ask: Why?

    I understand that it can be difficult to part ways with people you’ve known for a long time, but it can be done. There’s a startling lack of self-awareness on her part. Even when I’m down, or I should say, especially when I’m down, I’m mindful of coming off as a whiny, self-centered, woe-is-me type of guy. Nobody wants to hear that mess! Sure, friends can talk about things that are bothering them (briefly) but they should be things that actually affect them… in real life. Your friend sounds a lot like my sister. That makes the situation harder to remedy, but I’m working on it.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Well, I think the reason it’s lasted this long is because we live on opposite sides of the country & I’ll go months without hearing anything before she gets a bee in her bonnet to “catch up”. Either way, I’ll be tuning her out for such things. I just have no interest…& if she isn’t willing to put in the work to improve herself, I need not put in any effort.

  11. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I think I’d consider exiting the friendship, unless she is adding something really positive to your life. She seems to bring too much negative. If it’s just a once in a while friendship, always have a ready made excuse to get off the phone. If she puts herself first all the time, you should reciprocate. 🙂

  12. amadiex says:

    I call these types of friends “feeders” This type of friend suck all your attention and thrive on having a crisis happening. And as other posters pointed out, unless she is providing you something that justifies the negative it would perhaps be more beneficial to you to start placing distance and not be available. These types of friends don’t want to be fix, rather they are the happiest in complaining and it will always be about them…..feeders….

  13. wordsurfer says:

    Lovely rant and I got all angry and frustrated just reading about it. My advice is distance – don’t react to her drama and don’t make the first step yourself. She will recognize that you won’t be her audience. I hope.
    I once had a “friend” like that, who I listened to for hours and hours and helped through several crises and problems and hard times and who never asked me how I was or helped me in ANY way. (small case in point: I helped her move three times and the only time I moved, she happened to “forget”) The “friendship” died a natural death after I distanced myself, first emotionally and then also when I moved away.

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