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Jan,It really sounds like you are in a tough spot with your friend, especially given the struggle you have had with your son's physical ailments in the past 6 years. It is very normal for parents to get very protective when it comes to their own children, and it can be hard to sit with difficult feedback from others, even if it is coming from a place of love and concern. It sounds like your friend may be struggling to accept the extent of her son's condition and is likely triggered by additional evidence that his behavior may beyond the scope of her control.I imagine that with time and space, your friend and her family may be able to understand that your feedback about her son's choices came from a loving place. In the meantime, it may be important for you to refocus the energy you are investing in trying to understand what happened in this friendship into continuing to show up for you and your son.
I don't understand your last paragraph. Could you explain more?
Also, my son was not ill for 1 1/2 years.....it was six years. During that time, my friend, Lori, would not return my phone calls for months at a time and we had a disagreement about that as well. I had been feeling very depressed and felt like I just wanted to die. I phoned her and asked if she could come and stay with me for a weekend (they live 3 hours away). She offered to look after my son while I did something for myself. When I told her that it was her I wanted and needed, she backed out. I am feeling very hurt.
I am feeling very abandoned. I don't feel that they would ever resume the friendship. Lori can dish out the criticism, it seems, to others, but cannot be confronted.
Thank you so much for your responses. I really appreciate the feedback.
Unfortunately, I guess this has been an enormous life lesson in friendships--choices of friends and possible ensuing letdowns in life.
Of course, you don't know everything about me or the friends I mentioned or the dynamics, but I suppose that I provided enough information for you to respond with helpful advice. These relationships always have a lot of dynamics that cannot possibly be described in short paragraphs.
I know from this that I need to look at empowering myself more, of feeling more self-love and confidence, and of seeing myself as an important person worthy of reciprocal loyalty and care within a friendship.
I was somewhat aware during the course of the argument, that I was touching upon a sensitive issue regarding my friends' son's drinking habits. I think what I come out of this realizing is that I have more courage than my friend, to look at what is real; and to be able to work on my own issues and my son's and my situation with my own power, abilities, and my own values and judgement intact. It does boil down to a mother's protectiveness--and I was aware that two mother grizzlies had met full on to protect their offspring. The difference between the two of us was that I was protecting my son's health and mental health, and she was protecting her own worries about where her son was having problems. Does that make sense?
Thank you! Do you have any parting advice on developing my own self APPRECIATION or self-empowerment? Any books or any advice from your own soul?
It would be greatly appreciated.
ps Only one further question ( I swear). Was the video you sent re: Oprah's interview about shame and divulging who one is.....was that meant for me to determine who is a good friend who I can count on in rough times or was it meant for me to think about my friend who is perhaps feeling shame about her son's drinking? Or both?
Thanks so much!!
This has really hurt, but I also see it as an opportunity for growth. I appreciate all the suggestions and will look into your recommended readings.