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Feeling sorry for myself...kinda lost a close friend when i only have a few...


emma34

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Because I'm new to this town (6 years) when it seems everyone who lives here is from here... and also i have a fairly isolating job...i have a tiny social circle of people I hang out with mostly individually.

 

I have been lucky to have one close girl friend though. Lived with her for awhile, was just recently her maid of honor and spent my entire summer dedicated to supporting her in that, been pretty close with since I moved here....and in fact most of the acquaintances and contacts I've gathered over the past few years have been through her.

 

I think our friendship is over though...she is a toxic bully (i put up with it for a long time because i didn't have many girl friends) and although I still care about her and want to be her friend, I can't put up with it anymore, it's too harmful for me emotionally and very stressful, so I've decided to cool it...not cut ties, I don't burn bridges, but just...not be the kind of loyal friend I have been...

 

but its her surprise birthday party tonight and i am sitting home alone on my couch...and even though I know i really can't go (it's a long story but it would be too weird for me to go to celebrate her birthday given how shi**y the recent thing she did to me is) I just feel like...so sad...what a loss...i feel like i've invested so much into a friendship and now it's gone as well as all the connections i made along the way since they were really her friends....

 

not needing advice really, just kinda feeling sorry for myself...

 

i know i'm a good friend...i'm fun, i'm outgoing, i sincerely care very much about my friends... but feel like i have had really poor luck with girl friends....mainly i think to do with the fact that most of the people in this town are so cliquey...anyone else have experience with this?

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I moved to a small town right before I started high school and I never really felt "in", even though I was there for over 5 years. Likewise, I bought a house in a different small town now. I don't attend many community functions but when I do it feels the same as it did when I was in that other little town in high school. It doesn't bother me though because I really don't care what a bunch of small town people think. I suppose it's easier because I spend most days in a bigger city nearby for school/work.

 

It does suck when you have invested a lot into a friend and then it turns out like it did. You say she is "toxic" but she did make you her Maid of Honor. Some people are harder to get along with than others, but there are few people who I would consider toxic. I'm actually not sure that I can think of any. Obviously it is up to you if you want to remove this person from your life entirely, but are you sure there is no chance of maintaining a friendship? My sister has said fairly awful things to me in the past. I kept her at a distance when I needed to. All of the sudden we get along much better now and I'm glad I didn't remove her from my life entirely. Perhaps things might change with this girl too?

 

Anyway, you might not have as many friends as you would like but how many do you need?

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I don't need many...just a few good ones would be ideal for me...

 

i don't want to remove her from my life entirely...but our last conversation was her saying something really mean to me...and me just saying that i should go...and now she hasn't called to apologize or acknowledge what she said...

 

i'd like to stay friends, but how do i just pretend like it didn't happen when she knows she really hurt my feelings? that's sort of where my problem is with her...she just does or says mean stuff and then never acknowledges it or apologizes, and i just...let it slide because...well, i don't want to risk the friendship and she's too hard headed to reason with.

 

thats why i use the word "cool" because i'm still open to a friendship, but it would take at least a phone call from her...

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I understand how you feel. Like I said, my sister would do similar things. I didn't say anything each time but I got more and more angry with each comment until I blew my cap at one little thing. Which of course made me seem like the unreasonable one.

 

Sometimes people can be really dense to the fact that they have offended someone. But like any relationship (romantic or friendship), open communication is the best policy. If I were you I would see her in person and describe to her how you felt after she said what she said. How it hurt your feelings, how you like her and would like to remain friends with her but cannot maintain a friendship with someone who says such things to you. Perhaps it will make her realize what she said. Perhaps it won't. I'd say it's worth a shot. It takes some intestinal fortitude though. I know that I would be nervous about having such a conversation with someone. You never know, you might get an apology out of her and she might say she will try harder not to say things like that.

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Alli - that's really good advice, thank you. I would like to have a sit down with her but I wonder...I don't know how to go about it.

 

So I'm wondering, after you blew up at your sister? How did it get resolved? Did you call her afterwards and apologize? Did she call you afterwards and apologize? Who initiated the reconciliation? That's sorta where I feel I'm at and I don't know who should make the first move because I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand wholly what she did...

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No, we never have any sort of formal reconciliations. Some of the things she said to me, for example, was that "All spouses cheat when one is deployed" (As I was getting ready to get deployed to Afghanistan while also planning my wedding). She also said something like "It is a sad day when we send our daughters to war". Hello! I chose to join the military! As did she! She joined the military before I did!

 

As I said, we never had a formal reconciliation. I was pretty ticked. I didn't even want to invite her to my wedding, but I did ultimately ask her to be a bridesmaid which I'm glad I did. I'm closer to her now than any of my other bridesmaids. She is my older sister and thought it was her job to tell me how to live my life. Eventually she stopped trying to get me to move to Florida with her after I got married. I guess she finally realized that I was going to say with him! Also I have chosen to undertake a career which she finds acceptable, so she no longer tries to tell me where I should work, either.

 

After I returned from Afghanistan I reminded her of these exact things she said to me. She essentially said that I had "misunderstood" her implication that my husband would cheat on me when I was deployed, saying she was only conveying a fact that it nearly always happens with people in the military who are married. The second thing about it being sad that we send our daughters to war- she flat out denied saying it. I don't think she is lying. A long time had passed since she made that comment and it was probably so insignificant to her that she didn't remember at all.

 

So basically, I have accepted that my sister can be off the wall sometimes and that despite her sometimes seemingly cruel comments, her heart really is in the right place. It also helps that we've moved beyond a stage where she feels it is her job to tell me what to do with my life. But if she kept saying the things she used to say to me I don't think I could maintain a close friendship with her now.

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Oh I have no idea. It was like 4 years ago. We bickered a lot. She would constantly put in little digs and I don't remember what I would say when I got fed up, but certainly something snooty. It happened more than once. But we are sisters. It's a bit different than with a friend. I don't think there would be anything wrong with you reaching out to her first. I'd say it would make you the bigger person. Maybe you can ask her to meet you for coffee. When you are there, start with some small talk. Then bring it up like "I don't know if you meant for it to be offensive, but I felt _____ when you said ____" And again, emphasize how you care for her and appreciate your friendship and you would like to work this out. But first you need to know if, knowing how it made you feel, she regrets what she said to you.

 

Like I said, such a conversation can be uncomfortable and a difficult thing to bring up, but what do you have to lose? Even if she instead decides to throw more insults and storms out the door, at least you know you were the bigger person, expressed your feelings and attempted to make amends.

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Yeah, hopefully she will. But if you think about it, if she didn't have the filter to not say whatever insulting thing she said in the first place then she probably won't acknowledge she was wrong without being prompted. But there is always a chance.

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Times like these are when I reach for my biggest tool: inventory.

 

In what ways is this woman toxic for you, and what are the things she's said and done over time to hurt you?

 

What are the benefits she's offered you that have caused you to continue your relationship with her?

 

Compare these lists. Question whether the benefits you've gained were unique to this woman, or whether anyone else who played her role in your life would provide the same or possibly even better benefits for you?

 

Question whether what you grieve now is the loss of this particular woman for her special qualities, or whether you're grappling instead with the void being left in your life without a person currently fulfilling the role she played.

 

If your loss is primarily about being afloat without someone to step in fill this temporary void, then you're best off taking the time to normalize your life for a while without her in it. This may give you a strengthened perspective about cutting toxic people from your environment--because when one door closes, you may find yourself with entirely new skills to open new doors for healthier people to enter.

 

Embrace solitude as a skill to develop rather than a state to be feared. It's from this solid ground that you can surprise and enrich yourself--and you can make better choices regarding the people and interests you're wiling to pursue--and those you are clearly and solidly NOT willing to endure.

 

Write more if it helps, and head high.

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