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Thread: feeling sad and overwhelmed :/

  1. #1
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    feeling sad and overwhelmed :/

    Hi everyone, some of you may remember my best friend threads, dealing with her abusive husband. Well today we had a fight and I am feeling overwhelmed.

    Over the past few weeks, her family and I have done everything to try to convince her to leave but the cycle of hot/cold and nice/angry is confusing her to the extent that she still is undecided about leaving. I have been there for her, talking to her, listening to her vent, having my door always open, etc..and she has told me she doesn't know what she would do without me. However these weeks I have been feeling drained between my own problems, my suicidal cousin, my overbearing mother, and my best friend here. However I have been trying to support her as much as possible but have made her reach out to support groups and contact the hotlines for abuse. Still, things are unchanged.

    I have expressed feeling a bit overwhelmed in my life with everything, and told her that I do not want to become a crutch to her in place of getting help/leaving/shunning experts. She responded with "I don't think that will happen".

    If I don't visit her for 3 days or so, she will tell me she misses me and lately this has been stressing me.

    Last night I was feeling particularly overwhelmed. Right as I sat down to read a book, she called me. I told her I was feeling overwhelmed and tired and wondered if I could talk to her in an hour. She said that was fine. I did talk to her a bit later on and heard all the same drama I have been hearing all last week. I went to bed feeling drained.

    This morning, early, as I was trying to deal with my dad (he has Parkinson's) she calls me. I ignore the call because I was busy and extremely frustrated. I text her after a couple minutes and ask her if everything is ok. She said she was having a parenting meltdown and that her kids weren't listening to her. I texted her that I am not a mother and I don't have good advice. I tried to remain cordial and calm. She texted back that she needed me to call her. I asked her what she wanted me to do, and she said all she wanted was for her to be able to vent to me, since I make her feel better. I texted nicely that I was overloaded and overwhelmed and felt like basically running away from everything here. I explained I haven't been getting time to myself and recharge (we have been talking for hours every day) and that I needed to recharge. She texted, ok sure, recharge.

    A half hour passed and I felt guilty for turning her down so I called her She vented to me about her kids not listening and honestly I don't even remember what the situation was I was so tuned out. At the end of the convo I tried to soothe her but ended it saying I was very overwhelmed.

    This afternoon, I texted her, saying I loved her, and that I will be there for her, and that I just needed some time to myself. Two hours pass without a response, which is very unusual for her. When she texted, it was a short, I love you too. I asked her if she was mad. To my surprise, she wrote "I need time to process this". I got sooooo mad and said, just because I had a faltering in patience, i m being punished? I told her I can't be perfect for her 100 percent of the time and I was doing my best to be there for her. She wrote, "exactly, you aren't expected to be perfect all the time. I just need time to process everything."

    I am soooo frustrated right now. I also feel horrible. She has been there for me. Today I wasn't there for her. I feel like an awful friend.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Here is a link to something regarding codependency that I think might make you realize that you DO NOT need to feel guilty for saying "no" to listening to her vent over and over again, nor do you need to feel guilty for looking after your own emotional/mental well being. Even on an airplane they tell us to put our own oxygen mask on before trying to help someone with theirs.

    [Register to see the link]

    The only think I think you could have done differently is to have told her face to face or at least over the phone (rather then text) that you needed some time to yourself and that if you didn't get back to her right away that she shouldn't worry that you would get back to her eventually.

    No need to feel horrible. There should be zero guilt when you are looking after yourself because you will be useless to not only her, but everyone else you are caregiving (caretaking?) if you are not in good shape yourself.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Here is a link to something regarding codependency that I think might make you realize that you DO NOT need to feel guilty for saying "no" to listening to her vent over and over again, nor do you need to feel guilty for looking after your own emotional/mental well being. Even on an airplane they tell us to put our own oxygen mask on before trying to help someone with theirs.

    [Register to see the link]

    The only think I think you could have done differently is to have told her face to face or at least over the phone (rather then text) that you needed some time to yourself and that if you didn't get back to her right away that she shouldn't worry that you would get back to her eventually.

    No need to feel horrible. There should be zero guilt when you are looking after yourself because you will be useless to not only her, but everyone else you are caregiving (caretaking?) if you are not in good shape yourself.
    This, this, this.

    Cara tell her the truth, you are in no position to be giving advise about her situation considering youre dealing with nearly the same unresolved trauma.

    I gave this example the other day, someones drowning but theres a life vest floating nearby in arms reach, you're in a boat but can swim, instead of pointing out the help that is logical and actually useful, what youre doing is jumping into the water to attempt to save her, even though you cant swim, dooming you both...

    This codependent attachment you two are forming is not only harmful to you but isnt actually helping her, its hindering you both.

    Please follow TWT's advice. She has family to advise her, you have to remove yourself from her to save yourself, hand her the life vest and you concentrate on rowing yourself to dry land...

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    No no no!!!!

    You have tried to help her and she refuses your help.
    How exactly do you “make her feel better”?

    By listening? While she rants and raves about the same thing day in day out?
    You need to stop listening to her daily drivel and tell her that you will be there to support her where and when she decides to act on what she is not happy about. And until then you can’t actually be her sounding board.

    It is easier for her to stay in an abusive relationship as long as someone listens to her about it. But the only way she will get out of it is if she actually speaks to someone who can help her who is unbiased.

    I’m glad you stopped the repeated cycle of venting and tell her that when she has actively starts doing something about her situation you will support her 100%!!

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You were way too involved in her life. It's great she is creating some appropriate space for both of you. Now stop texting her. You've told her multiple times that you need to 'recharge", "need time to yourself", "feel very overwhelmed", etc. It's good this came to a head and now you can step way back and stop "talking hours a day". Boundaries were long overdue.
    Originally Posted by caraviolin
    She texted, ok sure, recharge.
    I just needed some time to myself.
    she wrote "I need time to process this".
    She wrote, "exactly, you aren't expected to be perfect all the time. I just need time to process everything."

  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    You were way too involved in her life. It's great she is creating some appropriate space for both of you. Now stop texting her. You've told her multiple times that you need to 'recharge", "need time to yourself", "feel very overwhelmed", etc. It's good this came to a head and now you can step way back and stop "talking hours a day". Boundaries were long overdue.
    I agree. No offense, but she just used a different set of buzzwords on you to send the same message you've been trying to tell her--to please back off.

    You're not helping her to fix or exit her lousy relationship by listening to her to complain, you're embedding her in it. By acting as a pressure valve, you're allowing her to release just enough pressure to return to the problem.

    Skip that. I'd tell her that I adore her, and I'm willing to help if she tells me what I can do to help, Beyond that, we can speak about anything in the world, but I'm not willing to listen to complaints about her relationship anymore. She can come to me whenever she wants to enjoy our time together, but her complaints need to go to someone who is trained to help her handle those--I'm not equipped to do that.

    She will object and say you're the only person she can talk to about that stuff. I'd tell her we can revisit any work she does with a therapist, but I'm not a therapist. I want for us to enjoy the time we spend together, and when she's willing to do that, she can let me know.

    And that would be that. Either she seeks the help she needs, or not, but playing social worker with someone else's marriage isn't my job to do--and I'll only make it worse, not better, by sticking my nose into it.

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    Wow, thanks so much everyone. Your comments mean so much to me. I an't say how mny times I have told her in person that I was feeling overwhelmed. For her, girlfriends are essential; she always had them growing up. However she knows how I am, and that is, a true introvert. I was used to being alone, handling things alone all growing up into adulthood and never had a close female friend until her. I am just out of my element and and frustrated.

    I will do al the suggestions but I am nervous. I am afraid she will think I am turning my back on her. I was surprised to find upon waking up I was angry. I felt she made a bigger deal yesterday morning about a simple "needing time" comment. I also feel like she ignored my feelings. The night before I told her, on the phone, I needed space, yet hours later that morning, calling me to vent about parenting issues. Ugh. Is it normal to feel angry?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Look....you are doing exactly the same thing she is - you are not happy with this friendship and her dumping on you, you feel overwhelmed and frustrated.....buuuuut all you do is whine about it and then keep on listening to her. STOP. I'm serious. Stop telling her how you feel and just learn how to ignore the call. You are not her keeper. She isn't punishing you either. She is using you and when she says she'll back off...you flip and beg her to use you some more because you've correlated friendship with being her free therapist/enabler. This isn't a friendship, it's a sick codependence.

    I'm sorry for being harsh, I"m genuinely angry on your behalf. Please take a good look at yourself and what you are doing. You've got to grow a spine and stop trying to save others when you can't even save yourself. As someone else already said, you are enabling her to continue in her abusive relationship by being her release valve. Tell her straightforward that you will be there for her if she ever decides to leave him. Doesn't matter what time of day or night, how far away, no questions asked, she can call you and you'll come get her. Outside of that, you cannot help her any more or listen to her whining about her situation. Distance yourself and mean it. Don't ask her, do it.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by caraviolin
    Wow, thanks so much everyone. Your comments mean so much to me. I an't say how mny times I have told her in person that I was feeling overwhelmed. For her, girlfriends are essential; she always had them growing up. However she knows how I am, and that is, a true introvert. I was used to being alone, handling things alone all growing up into adulthood and never had a close female friend until her. I am just out of my element and and frustrated.

    I will do al the suggestions but I am nervous. I am afraid she will think I am turning my back on her. I was surprised to find upon waking up I was angry. I felt she made a bigger deal yesterday morning about a simple "needing time" comment. I also feel like she ignored my feelings. The night before I told her, on the phone, I needed space, yet hours later that morning, calling me to vent about parenting issues. Ugh. Is it normal to feel angry?
    No...

    Shes giving you the space you asked for...

    Whats the issue?

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by figureitout23
    No...

    Shes giving you the space you asked for...

    Whats the issue?

    I am not angry over that. I am glad she's finally leaving me alone a little. I am angry over the fact she responded in such a way that morning when I told her I wanted space. Like, it was some sort of a travesty. Like I can't falter, be imperfect...

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