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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Yes, I wrote my question last night and evidently it was not

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Yes, I wrote my question last night and evidently it was not processed, very hard to repeat the explanation again. I have been friends with someone for at least 18 years and been very close to them, daily phone calls, worked on projects together, had same interests, just close, could tell each other anything. This friend has over the years done things however that were extremely hurtful, like would talk to you one day knowing they were going to be gone on a trip or something for quite a long time and not tell you. Then after a month your feelings are quite hurt that you weren't told and you questioned why and what did that accomplish. After several episodes of this over the years I told the friend that if this was going to continue that I felt it was best for me not to be part of their life as it was extremely hurtful and I felt in some way that it was deceptive and for what reason I did not know. If you are going off on a trip why would you not tell your closest friend. There would be promises of they would not do that again. Things would go along pretty well and then that or something else would happen again. I again told the friend the same thing that this wasn't working for me, not that someone owes you to tell you everything but when you talk everyday and the person disappears for over a month and you don't know where they are, well I think any normal friend would feel something of the nature of frustration. When I expressed the need to us just discontinue our friendship, they would say "why would you want to do that", I want you in my life, I won't do that again, and I would be in tears explaining how much it was hurting me. This seemed to register on this person as they are not stupid that it was causing me trauma. I even went to therapy for a time over situations in my life where people have done things to me in life and on the job that have been hurtful to me. The therapist said that people like me who are kind and generous and good listeners have people like that gravitate towards them. This friendship meant a great deal to me as I am a lonely person and don't have many close friends like that I would repeatedly try to go on. Then about 4 mos. ago I told my friend I was about to undergo a major surgery to reposition the bones in my ankle as it had become painful to walk and the ankle was bending inward. We talked on the phone on a Saturday and we had also been discussing a function that was coming up the next month for a 100year celebration of an organiztion in our town and it was historical and we talked all about my dress and the program and the friend was going to be there to see it all etc. During the phone call on that Saturday they told me they would call me back later on that afternoon so we could talk some more. That was also a situation that I told them that i wouldn't hold my breath cause this person would do that to me too, make me wait for a phone call that never came. So no the phone call didn't come. Then on Monday I didn't hear from them, I was busy and didn't think much about it and several more days went by and I became concerned. I called their cell phone and inquired for them to call me as I was worried. This person had at one time gone to the hospital and had a heart problem and I didn't know it cause they were unable to call. Anyhow that made me feel very foolish being concerned about their health as they didn't return the call and for over a month I heard nothing. I asked another friend who knew the person if they knew what had happened to them. They didn't know anything either. So one day weeks later I saw my friends car at their place of work and so I called their cell phone and asked them to call me that I felt we needed to talk and that I did not understand why they were behaving this way. No return call. I called once more and left a very sincere message to the effect that "please let us not leave things this way after all the years we have been friends, it is not fair to leave me to not understand why you are doing this and giving me the silent treatment." I also wrote and e-mail, a mature, sincere message. I asked to just be able to be given the opportunity to discuss this and after that they would never have to be bothered by me again which it makes you feel like all these years you hae been a bother. I have helped this person through thick and thin, when they were homeless and didn't have a job, I helped them move, gave them money, they had no car and I drove them places. They told me how much they loved me and how glad they were to have me in their life. We had a special friendship. I look back and feel I have been tortured for a very long time and it has left me so hurt that I can't seem to let it go. During my recuperation of my ankle, My mother also got very sick and died. I heard nothing from my friend. I am hurting and need help in coping with all this. Tell me what to do please.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like this friend is telling you that they are not interested in being friends, at least not the normal kind. To be nice to you one minute then cut you out of their life the next or to tell you they want to see you then go on vacation and not let you know are not a signs of a true friendship.

 

It sounds like that this person either has mental health issues, primarily a personality disorder, or they have anger issues and are taking it out on you. Although having an idea of what might be wrong is good, it still doesn't help you.

 

This relationship, based on the length of time you have gone through these games and the attempts you have made to repair the relationship, needs to be over. Regardless of the reasons for the behavior, this person is not going to act normally in your relationship and the time and effort you are putting in maintaining your end of the friendship is not working.

 

Since you have tried a few times already to contact this person and they have not responded, you should probably just let it go. If they contact you again, just say you have moved on and no longer desire contact with them. If they persist, then hang up or move away from the situation. Keep responding in the same way until they leave you alone.

 

Here are a few books that you can use to help you understand your relationship better and how to avoid another one in the future:

 

When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You by Jan Yager

 

Toxic Friends/True Friends: How Your Friends Can Make or Break Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Career by Florence Isaacs

 

You can find these on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Did you get my last correspondence? I wrote a response to your answer and I don't see it here. It is all confusing.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

No, I didn't. Did you reply here on this post?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I wrote a lengthy reply to your answer but I don't know where it went to. I thought it was replying directly to you. I will try later on to compose my thoughts again. I'm just feeling so down and depressed. But I would like to share the other throughts I had with you. I am dealing with losses all the way around and this situation is a part of it. I felt like today I just couldn't get out of bed. I feel like I don't have a real friend in the world. Everybody I know has some "use" for me. I'll write more later on. Hopefully you will reply to this and then I will have an opportunity to write back. I think the letter I wrote to you was done under your picture as reply to the expert etc. It wasn't here. I've had a problem with login and finally discovered why. I'm sure in time to come all this may seem trivial but right now it isn't.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I received your reply on this question so it seems to be working. If you want to explain more about your issue, that is fine. It may take me a bit to get back to you as I have appointments, but I will response as soon as I can.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wanted to tell you that I appreciate your answer to my dilemma. I agree with all you said. It makes sense me in hindsight that this person has some kind of issues, mentally or anger wise. This person controlled my life for many years and put stipulations on everything about our relationship and I did all I could to accomodate but eventually I stopped doing that and while I didn't really get any payback for that per say, and they continued to be friends with me and communicate daily, about every thing in our lives, the things started that I told you about, like talking to you one day and not saying anything about being gone, and then disappearing on a trip for a month leaving you to feel you had been deceived, and maybe you will not agree that is an appropriate word but to me it was a form of lying. After that happened several times (and oh by the way one time they didn't tell me they were going on a trip but sent me an e-mail telling me and also saying they didn't tell me cause they thought I would be upset). I have no control over where this person goes. But when I am friends with someone I would not go off and not tell them. This behavior was repeated several times, gone a month and no word at all from them. I finally voiced that it hurt me and made me feel forgotten and used and it made me feel deceived, this was met with "Oh I won't do that anymore, I'm sorry", then after another time I said "I don't want to continue any friendship with you anymore and I was in tears", they said, "why would you want to do that." By the end of the conversation I had been manipulated into believig things would change. I an feeling now that when I stopped cooperating with every one of their wishes that even though they continued to be friends it was on the basis of some kind of revenge and punishment. I feel this person has tortured and traumatized me. And yes I know you will say that I alone allowed it to happened but my personality is one that is a "fixer" and if I put enough energy into it and tell a person how I feel we can make it work. I now feel like a fool and that is what is so hard to live with. All the energy and time and frustration that was wasted on maintaining this relationship and now this person has the gaul to walk away, not respond to any request to talk or explain to me what is going on. This person has married three times, and their children have been thrown from pillar to post and when they married the second time, it lasted a year and three mos later they were married again. I stopped going to the house when they were single because the house was so bad i couldn't stand to be in it. I on the other hand am an immaculate housekeeper and I tried to help and clean and get this person moved into better housing. I gave money, furniture, and did everything I could to help. I finally quit going to the house because the person had one child living with them, and it had a little dog, and the dog was in such sad shape, eatten alive with fleas. I got the dog up and bathed it and doctored it and told the person it was cruelty to keep the dog in that shape. The last time I was by the house I went in just to use the bathroom as we had been on an outing together and when I turned on the light in the bathroom the walls were covered with roachbugs. I told the person they needed to tell the landlord that they would not want their house to be infested. Never did anything. Everything fell on deaf ears and I was made to feel i was the one that was not normal. I had never said anything about the shape the house was in but they knew how I lived and that it was not how I could maintain a life. yet I tried not to judge and because I wanted the friendship because of the interests that we had together, and it seemed that I had to give up some principles to have that friendship. I can't tell you how confused the whole situation kept me in. And when things would happen and if I voiced anything about I felt mistreated then I was the one that was wrong. That I didn't have a valid reason for feeling that way and somehow I would get convinced I was overreacting. I don't know how to heal from this experience. I am hurt and inside what i want to do is be able to face the person and tell them exactly how I feel. This person once told me that a therapist told them they were "introverted." I understand now how another person can brainwash and manipulate a person who is trusting. I feel I need to find a way to forgive myself for being so stupid and I can't. I feel like I deserve to be punished. It is hard to put it all into words. Because of my friendship with this person over the years it cut me off from everybody else too and now it leaves me alone. This person worked on a project with me and had com;puter knowledge and made me dependent on that as well.

 

If you have any words of support i would appreciate hearing them. I also worry about what will I do if I run into this person eventually. I also had some books that belonged to them and am I obligated to get those things back to them? I thought about going by their work one day and wait till they came out of the building to go to lunch so I can give the things back. I am the one forced to live with this and it has become a rock in my chest over the past months. I can't help thinking about how wrong this person treated me. It hurts so much and that they will not talk to me....that after all the years we knew eac other that my Mother dies and that they did not even send me a card? What am I supposed to think of that person now?

 

Yes I need your help. The past 5 months I have not been able to walk, been in a wheelchair with this surgery, after 3 weeks in a cast my Mother became critically ill and we sat with her round the clock for 2 mos before she died. I had the grief of seeing her breathe her last time, then my daughter lost her baby, my sisters are being difficult in settling my Mother's estate and that has had me in a fog.

 

I am a very intelligent woman, and I am not mental, I am just very hurt and disillusioned, disappointed and very down on myself. Like I said I feel I just about the most stupid person in the world and I deserve to be hurt and traumatized because I let this go on for so long. How is it that someone can make your life so miserabel and yet you get so conditioned to them being in your life everyday that there is an empty place there. I should feel joy and I do feel a relief that I won't have to hear the lies and the "I shouldn't have done that" anymore. I just feel cheated that my feelings were not heard. I would like to have that person have to face me and hear what I have to say, but i am sure you are right, that it wouldn't do any good. They have no honor or conscience anyway.

 

Help me if you can.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I would not say that you deserve any of it, or that you allowed it to happen. Sometimes, it is very easy to be pulled in to a relationship and once you are there, the companionship, the fact that the relationship worked in some way and other reasons will make you want to stay and keep trying. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens to everyone, even someone as intelligent as you are. All of us need love and to be cared for.

 

As for this person's belongings, you could always send them to her through the mail. There is no need to have personal contact. I know that that might help you feel you are getting more closure on this, but it may also hurt you more as well. This person could lash out or even ignore you and that would be worse on top of what you are already dealing with. If you run into this person, try to ignore them. If you feel the need to say hello, do so but say nothing more. If they try to engage you in conversation, keep moving. Say you need to go then leave. You have no obligation to talk with this person.

 

Have you grieved for your relationship? This is a loss and it's a big one. Plus the hurt that was involved in addition to your losses of your mother, your daughter's baby and your health gives you a lot to grieve. Allow yourself time to work through your losses. Write out your feelings, much like you did here with me. Keep a journal or start a private blog on line. Write as much and as often as you need to. Say anything you feel, don't hold back. You could even write a letter to this person (don't send it of course) saying all of your feelings. Anything to help you keep in touch with your feelings and work on healing.

 

Do something positive each day. Talk to friends and family. If you can, go out somewhere fun. You need to start having experiences that do not include this person. Create new memories to help you move on in your life.

 

Try some of the books I recommended. They will help you see that you are not alone in your experience and they will give you ideas about how to see this relationship for what is was- a very toxic and difficult relationship that harmed you. You deserve better.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5481
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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