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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am a 46 yr old teacher, married mom of 2 teenaged boys.

Customer Question

I am a 46 yr old teacher, married mom of 2 teenaged boys. Dr. Z. ~ I am not sure if it's you online again. Sorry to burden you with the same story, but more details! My neighbors across the street are a married family with 3 kids ages 10-13. The man, Dave, is odd. He is my age, but I liked him as a neighbor and my family was always good to his in a neighborly way. I felt sorry for Dave as I knew he grew up in a bizarre home situation. Sad. We were the only neighbors nice to this family as they are rude and unfriendly. I overlooked their rudeness and always gave gifts to his kids at birthdays and holidays ~ they exchanged gifts with us, too. I always included the kids at my parties. We always loaned Dave yard tools he needed. Dave's brother, Bill, is a dad at the school where I teach. I met Bill 6 years ago when his child entered kindergarten. What a coincidence! Bill got my ear, and sought advice and favors from me to get his child ahead. I am a reading specialist so I deal with all grades K-5. I was happy to help. Bill appreciated me! He would blush when he saw me (crush?), but our conversations were always school related. Bill would email me now and then and praise me and thank me. When I would see him in the parking lot he'd beep and wave. IT FELT GOOD! I knew Dave and Bill had rough lives, and I was amazed at what a great dad Bill was being and how he was the opposite of Dave socially. I also thought it would bring me closer to Dave and family as I was "in" with his brother's family. I FELT IMPORTANT AND NEEDED. I also felt my husband and I would finally get some real couple friends. I don't have many friends ~ just acquaintances. Dave, bizarre as he is, got mad I was involved with his brother's family (jealousy)? For the past 4 years, Dave has gone out of his way to be a horrible and cruel neighbor. We haven't waved or spoken to him for 4 years only because he refuses to look at us. 2 years into me helping Bill, Bill backed off and his wife, Nancy, took over asking for school favors and free tutoring. Nancy and I became BEST friends. Nancy speaks broken English and is from another country, so when I emailed specifics on how to teach their children, I would cc Bill, as Bill is the one who did the HW. Nancy didn't understand a lot of what I was talking about! Three years ago, there was a fire at Dave's house ~ it was scary and alarming. I emailed Nancy and Bill and told them the family was in crisis, thinking I was doing a good deed, and Dave would want his brother's support. Bill STOPPED SPEAKING TO ME and told Nancy to tell me to stop cc'ing him on emails, and whatever goes on at Dave's house is none of my business. THE WHOLE STREET AND FIRE DEPT was at the fire ~ it was not a secret. I thought I was helping. I was crushed. Now Bill has very little to do with me. When he sees me. he turns away, The more and more I do for his kids ~ he says NOTHING. I wrote the most BEAUTIFUL recommendation to get his child in private school ~ he said NOTHING! Nancy thanked me, but Bill has seen me and knows my email add., but will not say thank you. It KILLS me. Question #1 ~ WHY DO I NEED THIS FROM BILL? I got the child entered in a nationwide scholarship. The child is a FINALIST due to my entry. We will find out next week if she wins, but again BILL HAS NOT EMAILED OR STOPPED TO SAY YOU HAVE BEEN AMAZING, THANK YOU! He USED to, but not anymore. Nancy asked me to go to the First Communion mass on Sunday, I was ignored at the church. I was so confused why I was invited to be ignored. At Communion time I walked up and smiled at them in the pew, Nancy acted aloof and turned her head on me. I was CRUSHED! I was HUMILIATED I was even there. I walked out after Communion. I later texted her and asked her if everything was okay, and she said yes, Dave and his family went to the church, too. QUESTION #2 ~ WHY DO THEY HAVE TO TREAT ME BADLY IN FRONT OF DAVE? Nancy hates Dave. I said to her "I am sorry Dave saw you treat me like that. I don't understand." Nancy said "I have had enough of your attitude. I am at work now, Have a good day." Nancy has treated me like this time and time again. Can you believe treating someone like this who has worked DAYS getting your child fame and fortune and a scholarship? It is so ungrateful. I got their child on the NEWS on TV! We don't know if the child is a winner yet, but to dismiss my feelings and say I have an attitude? I can assure you ~ I was humble and hurt, I do not approach people with attitudes. Nancy & Bill have the older child going to an exclusive middle school in the fall, but are currently in all sorts of school events. The director was impressed with them, and they've already asked her for favors. She told me how the woman and Bill have exchanged emails, how grateful they are to her, she's wonderful. What about me? HOW DO I MOVE ON? Why won't Bill recognize me? It is killing me.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. I am out of the office for the next couple hours. Do you mind if I take up your question at that time if you do not mind waiting? Or you can opt out from me and another expert will gladly take your question. Sorry if this is An inconvenience
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can wait for you.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I will get to you soon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Basically,

I am miserable 75% in this friendship with Nancy and I am hurt that her husband stopped acknowledging me, but I care too much to walk away. I also constantly question if I should be feeling the way I am feeling. Is it Nancy's personality and she means nothing by it? Does Bill feel that Nancy thanking me covers him from having to say it, was she just busy at the Communion and not aloof? I hate that I doubt how I feel but I know I am so hurt and depressed.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your responses, I am just currently working on your answer. It will take me around 30-45 minutes as you did provide a great many details in your question and I want to make sure I address each one.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your detailed explanation about this situation, I can understand how distressing this is for you. Right now you have to understand the way this family is treating you is not fair to you at all and that you cannot expect them to understand that and start treating you better because both Bill and Nancy appear unwilling to do that at this time. You can only control yourself and your actions, what Bill and Nancy do is completely up to them, which is why you are going to have to start focusing on what you can do to get past this situation and move forward from them. I cannot tell you why they are acting this way to you and treating you so badly as I cannot read their minds, but the reason why they are doing this is not of importance because the treating you badly is what needs to be focused on and that is all that matters here. This is why I think you will need to move forward from this family and try to break away from them as that is the best way for you to heal.
One technique that is very effective in helping you heal is to write a letter to them and writing down all your thoughts and feelings about them and this situation (do not hold back). Now instead of sending the letter, you are going to dispose of it in a meaningful way (most people burn the letter) as this is going to be a cathartic exercise for you as you are literally and figuratively getting rid of your feelings and thoughts about these people. The release will help you.
Another technique is called a Though Stopper, and this is where you put a rubber band on your wrist for 24/7 and everytime you think about them you are going to snap the rubber band causing a mild pain. This way the brain associated pain with your thoughts of these people and will instinctively and gradually start to prevent you from thinking about them, allowing you to move forward.
What you did for them was very nice and you did not deserve to be treated this way, but that was not your choice. You have to accept how they are treating you now and tell yourself that you deserve better treatment, so you will not contact them and the only relationship with them will be cordial. You need to be assertive on this to help you gain your own sense of self-worth and not let it be tied to how these people think or act around you. By standing up for yourself and moving forward you would have gained strength for yourself. You may never why they started to treat you in this manner as only they can tell you, but that is not important as the fact is they did treat you poorly and they do not deserve you as a friend. I know it is “killing” you inside, but moving forward is going to help you heal and increase your own self-confidence.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this complicated issue. I wish you all the best moving forward and I am truly sorry this occurred for you.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. If I answered your question satisfactorily I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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