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Request for Advice from Everyone Here

Discussion in 'Social' started by 2quilt, Nov 9, 2007.

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  1. 2quilt

    2quilt I'm a VIP

    Two very stressful, typical American, family-stuffed holidays are fast approaching in the next 8 weeks, and I am having a very serious problem that I need your advice on, please. I am about to lose another best friend. Last year at Thanksgiving my husband and I were invited to another friend's house to celebrate, and I thought it was okay with the host for me and my husband to invite Amy, since she was going to be alone on Thanksgiving otherwise. So I invited her. Then, the host told me no, that the guest list was getting too long, so with a heavy heart, I had to tell Amy that she was not invited. That was hard for all of us, and it hurt our friendship, but I thought we resolved it last November. I really screwed up. What happened was, at Amy's insistince, we went to the host's house and did not contact Amy all day on Thanksgiving. Fast Forward one year. We are planning this year's Thanksgiving, at the house of a mutual friend, including out of state cousins of that friend, about 20 people total, but the stress is not bad because they are not our relatives, but the relatives of the mutual friend. Amy dropped a bomb on me last night--she insists that she was never invited to Thanksgiving by the mutual friend, but my husband and I were invited because we are more important than she is, and that she is strongly considering ending the friendships because we planned Thanksgiving without her then talk about it in front of her when she is not invited, rubbing her nose in it. Then she brings up last year's Thanksgiving mistake, and there's a 2-year pattern of her being excluded, overlooked, left out.
    I want to hear all your thoughts on this, please.
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  3. ruddy

    ruddy Active Member

    As I read this I got the impression that your friend Amy is alone. I'm wondering if Amy is feeling more hurt than angry or slighted. It is difficult to spend the holidays alone. The stores are closed, the gym is closed, everyone else is with their loved ones, and everyone's buzzing about their plans. A holiday can be a cruel reminder that you are alone and make you wonder if anyone cares. I spent many painful holidays alone before I decided those days would be better spent volunteering than feeling sorry for myself.

    Since I don't have reliable lucid relatives I cherish my friends and rely on them to a greater extent than most people do. There are many things that people with family take for granted like getting a ride home from the hospital after that test that required anesthesia. Fortunately, I have a circle of close friends in the same boat (no real family). They understand and we are a kind of surrogate family.

    As I read your post, my impression was that you did not do anything wrong. I'm wondering if Amy is more upset and hurt than the situation merits because she is hurting by virtue of the fact that she is alone. People without family can become very needy friends (too needy). She may be expecting more from you than you realize or are willing to give.

    Is this way off base? If so, please disregard. Otherwise, you might want to think about and have a discussion on what role you want to have in each others lives.
  4. vera

    vera Active Member

    i am not sure who Amy is, but i think that if she's over 16 she should get a hold of herself.

    sorry, i don't mean to sound rude, but... this is not the way in which friedships actually end, this is manipulation. it's not like she just stops calling and never says why (which would be terrible if you care for her) or like she tells you "this situation hurts me, what could we do about it" (which would be better in the long run, i guess). it sounds like she's threatening to dissapear to make you feel guilty and manipulate your behavior, and that's not healthy.

    and the part of "talk about it in front of her when she is not invited, rubbing her nose in it" is too teenagerish.

    sorry, i must warn i'm in a complicated state right now, i've been posting triggering things to my diary, and i can't find the words to say this "nicely". but if i could say this nicely, the content would be the same. i don't mean to be mean to your friend, but i don't think you have to play along. specially taking into account she could have just invited you guys over long ago if it had really been that heartbreaking for her and important.

    hope this helps... i'm very sorry that you are in that situation. i mean no harm. i just think you should protect yourself from that kind of structure.
  5. ovation228

    ovation228 Member

    I'm facing a similar situation for the holidays since my wife and I separated. For the first time in 6 years, it does not look like I will get to see my much loved in-laws.

    I would think that your friend is hurting and does not know how to reach out properly. Kinda like many of us at certain times...
  6. 2quilt

    2quilt I'm a VIP

    Amy is alone in that she has no family to speak of. And yes, I have been the one to take her home from surgery, help bury her pet, I would do anything she asked of me as a sister-friend. I felt so damn bad last Thanksgiving when we were at that other house and I knew Amy was alone all day, not wanting any call from me. And she is way above 16; all of us in this friend group are between 40 and 75. Amy and I both have PTSD, both have similar childhood abuse issues, and I suspect that's the source where either (A) she perceives that we have left her out of holiday plans intentionally, which is wrong or (B) she is using last year's Thanksgiving invitation un-invitation mistake as a reason to get out of participating in this year's fun. I wish she and I were mentally healthy and could talk about this problem rationally, but we are both triggering each other's PTSD as we attempt to be friends and solve this problem, handling each other with kid gloves. We are a pair, as you might imagine! I trigger her PTSD by joking about sex too often, and I am really trying to stop doing that. I use humor way too much and it triggers her childhood memories. If I can do that, it may save the friendship. And here's the other thing, Amy refuses to tell this year's Thanksgiving host, the mutual friend whose cousins are all coming over and who invited Amy and me and my husband, even though Amy insists that Amy was not invited, ...Amy refuses to tell the host that she is hurt and upset that she was "not invited", Amy refuses to discuss the matter with the host at all. Of course, the host has come to me and asked me if something is wrong with Amy because she has been acting funny, to please find out what's wrong and report back because she won't tell me what's wrong. Now Amy has made me swear not to tell the host what's wrong.
    I will obey Amy's wish not to tell the host what is wrong because I promised Amy that I would not divulge what she told me; those are Amy's feelings, Amy's words and she has the right to divulge them to the host if and when she is ready. That is not for me to do. It is a hard spot for me to be in right now because the host is expecting answers from me about why Amy is acting funny.
    I have been crying and depressed.
    More advice please.
  7. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I'm glad you wrote more details about this, 2quilt. It seems to me that the responsibility for Amy's being with friends on Thanksgiving rests with Amy. I didn't see before that she was invited this year. It also seems that you are in the middle of things, which doesn't seem right. If the host wants to talk to Amy, he/she should leave her a message and not rely on you to be the go-between. If Amy won't talk to the host, that's her decision. I don't know what else you can do except encourage her to overlook last year's complication and be with you guys this year. Another question I have though, is the host this year the same person as the host last year?
  8. ruddy

    ruddy Active Member

    2quilt, they have put you in the middle, and that's not at all fair. Amy and the host are not being fair to you. It sounds like you have been very supportive of your friend, and are also hurt by her reaction. No friend, family member, or loved one can be there for us each and every time. Does Amy realize that her ptsd may be causing her to be overreacting? Is she in a state where she is trying to push everyone away? I think all of us with ptsd need to take responsibility for our inappropriate emotional responses. In other words, it doesn't give us a license to make unreasonable demands and treat other people like crap. It does not sound like Amy is acting rationally or treating you fairly.
  9. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    PTSD and the holidays is sometimes a disaster in waiting to begin with. Sounds like she is lonely, doesn't want to go anywhere and wants to be with you, but doesn't know how to say it.

    Sorry that you are going through this......It just sucks....But the bottom line is that you have to do what's right for you....

    Hugs.....I hope things work out for everyone involved....
  10. 2quilt

    2quilt I'm a VIP

    Ruddy, If Amy does realize that her PTSD is having this effect, she is not saying so. She does not think her responses are inappropriate at all. She feels that she was never invited, that my husband and I and this year's Thanksgiving host planned this year's fun in front of her to intentionally hurt her feelings, and for these reasons, and also because I trigger her because of my sex-related humor, she is thinking about ending our friendship, and that between Amy and the host. As you know, PTSD skews perceptions, and I hope she does not end the friendship. ////
    Hodge, the reason this year's host, Rita, who is not last year's host, can't communicate with Amy herself is because Amy refuses to talk either by email or by phone, and has been unresponsive for a month to the Thanksgiving host,Rita, asked me to intervene on her behalf, since Amy was supposed to some over to my house last night to see us since we just got home from Greece. Rita knows something is wrong, but since Amy is giving her the silent treatment, Rita asked me to find out what was going on, and if she was offended, or what. Rita wants to resolve this before Thanksgiving. Now I have been sworn by Amy not to tell Rita what Amy is mad about, and Amy refuses to tell Rita herself. What a soap opera. I have to let Rita and Amy communicate without me anywhere near them, and have earplugs handy when that moment does occur. It won't be pretty. I will be ready with tissue boxes for the aftermath for both of them, I am sure. I am not sure how many friends I will still have, one or two, only time will tell.
    How do you deal with someone who gives the silent treatment?
    How do you effectively deal with a manipulative person?
  11. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    Arrange for coffee at the same place, same time with both of them, without telling either of them. Once they are there, lay it out for them and let them resolve their own issues. This is not your issue nor should you be trying to fix it. Friendship boundaries are tough but don't let them push you around like this.

  12. 2quilt

    2quilt I'm a VIP

    thanks to everyone for their advice and insights on this problem. it has not yet resolved, but i sure feel better after hearing from you all.
  13. Seeking_Nirvana

    Seeking_Nirvana I'm a VIP

    My friend is giving me the silent treatment and that is the way she deals with her issues. If she never calls me again then that's one last problem to deal with.

    When people manipulate me I tell them I don't like basing friendships on control and manipulation, but trust and compassion.

    No way would I even deal with that situation. I'm not feeling very nice right now so maybe my advice probably isn't the best.

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