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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I recently lost both of my grown children, 13 months apart

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I recently lost both of my grown children, 13 months apart in age and died 16 months apart. I'm extremely sad and know that it's possible that my reaction to others statements could be off but one person has hurt me so deeply and I don't understand who it is me or her? I will give a history of our frienship. We were friends for over 15 years and even from the beginning of the frienship I thought some of her behavior was appalling, but overlooked it. After my first son died by suicide, her statement to me was what a stupid stupid boy! Ok people say things that hurt, not necessarily meaning to hurt another. Two weeks later, on my way home from cleaning my sons house out, she told me her sisters couldn't understand why I wasn't rolling around on the ground kicking and screaming? They just couldn't understand that I was able to hold up at the funeral home. It really hurt to be judged by the way I was reacting to the death of my son at a funeral
home. Then in her habit of sending political e-mails, I open one up and its a huge picture of a gravestone with suicide written on it. I was devastated that she wouldn't think before she would send me something like this. Those things hurt so bad and I realize that people do make mistakes but Holy Cow, so thoughtless. Then my other son died from heart failure. She was the only friend I had that had said and done such hurtful things. She seemed almost to be jealous of the attention I was getting, even though it's an awful kind of attention. Then she started to get defensive with me. Example: I had another couple over for dinner? Mad,Really? The last straw for me was when she asked me to help her pick a work of art for her house. I took an artist to her house and without me knowing it she purchased the painting. Called me the next morning and very haughtily TOLD me to call the artist and tell her to not cash the check. I asked her why I should call her and not she herself call? Not her first haughty behavior with me. Her statement was I don't have her number, which I know she did, and I couldn't at the time get it for her, so I did it for her. I previously and early on told her how much her statements and actions hurt me and she looked at me like I was insane. She has always been an attention seeker in sometimes the most appalling ways and she has treated me very haughtily for things she wanted me to do for her as well. When I confronted her with things she has always done she denied all of it and then had the nerve to ask me if I was drunk? Wow, couldn't believe she would say something like that to me when she has never, in 15 years, called me and I was drunk. What is the matter with someone that acts like this? It exasperates me. I can't seem to get over her treatment of me and her denial of the things she has said and done at this critical time in my life. I have ended the friendship and really don't want to ever make up. But it still hurts me. Does she have a personality disorder or is this me being sensitive because of my situation? I think that I have read somewhere that when someone looses loved ones that there may be people who you were close with that you may never speak to again. Does this stem from past resentments? Am I justified in being so offended by her treatment of me.

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

First I would like to say how sorry I am that you have suffered such a loss. It must be devastating to have lost not only one child but two. My condolences to you.

After reading your description, I have to say that you pretty much have answered your own questions! You seem very insightful and right on target about your former friend.

All of the things she said and did to you were cruel and uncalled for, no matter how she felt about your situation or any attention you were getting as a result. You are right, sometimes people do say things during crisis times or other times of loss that are wrong and thoughtless. It happens. People often do not know what to say and say the wrong thing. However, your former friend repeated these hurtful comments and then added cruel actions on top of it. That is not someone making a mistake, that sounds very intentional.

I think you did the right thing with ending your relationship with her. It sounds like she would just continue with her behavior and you would only continue to get hurt. When we have something so horrible happen in our lives, we need our friends and family to pull around us and support us through it. It appears that your situation brought out your friend's true colors and the relationship did not survive as a result.

It is hard to say why she did what she did. I think you listed some very valid possibilities as to why she acted this way. Since you mentioned that she has always had appalling behavior, then she may very well have a personality disorder. Some people cannot stand the thought of not being the center of attention and this may be her way to try to get you out of the spotlight. She may also be extremely insecure and need to pick on others to feel better about herself. No matter what the reason, there is someone wrong with your former friend and it sounds as if she could benefit from therapy, if she was willing to get help.

Again, I am sorry this happened to you. I hope you have a lot of other supports to help you through this difficult time. If you feel the need, grief counseling may benefit you. There is also a place to get additional support called The Good Grief center at If you do not know of this place already, they are highly recommended to help families and friends through the grief process.

I hope this has helped you. Take care,


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