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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I don't have a new question. But I am still troubled by the

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I don't have a new question. But I am still troubled by the situation and I really feel I have made a mess of it all. I can't be satistfied without knowing the "WHY" I have been treated so cruelly without reason. I know you don't suggest that I go see the person but that is what my heart is telling me to do. I have a box full of things that need to be returned to the person and I can't mail all that. It is just making me crazy. I don't think I can ever process this till I can actually talk to the person. e-mails are something a person can just ignore but they can't ignore you when they have to look at you. Just talking about it now just makes me feel so defeated, that I just want to sit down and cry

Hi, thanks for requesting me to help you.

I understand your pain. If you feel strongly about seeing this person, then what we can do is prepare you for the reactions you might get from them when you see them.

One, they can say hi, act friendly, and maybe try to get back into your life. This is not likely, but it could happen. Decide how you want to react to this possibility. From what you have told me, this person has caused you a lot of pain. Consider that. Also, be prepared to feel that you want to go back. Understand that you were willing to accept this person's behavior before, so you may feel vulnerable to them again. So it is important that you prepare a response in your mind on what you would say and do. Then practice it.

Two, they could say hi then ignore you. How would you feel if this happened? Consider what you could say to this person if they responded this way. Think about the points made in the first scenario and play this one out for yourself the same way.

Three, this person could be angry with you. They could lash out, claim you are bothering them, tell you to get lost and never see them again. Again, consider what you would do and how you'd respond.

Four, they could completely ignore you. Act like you are not there. How would you respond?

Also think about what outcome do you want from this confrontation. What do you want the person to say to you? Be careful you do not expect more from this encounter than is going to happen. And keep in mind this was not a healthy relationship for you so your goal should be to get the person their things back and leave.

Since you know this person, you may be able to think of more possibilities of how they might react. The point is to run through them and play out your response to each.

The purpose of doing this is to maintain control over your emotions while near this person. In the past, they have manipulated you and you got hurt, a lot. These feelings will come up again when you see them. They will be powerful. So if you spend time practicing your responses, you will be less likely to allow your feelings to control you and you will get the outcome you want from the interaction.

Let me know if you need any more clarification,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have read and reread your answer. I am left with not knowing what to do. I had planned to just meet this person after they get off from work as they come to their car and give them the box of things. I don't believe they will do anything but act embarressed by how they have acted. I did plan to ask them "why". The whole thing is that I ask myself WHY AM I THE ONE ASKING WHAT I DID, when it is they who have not acted as any normal person would. I know you think I must be a person who another would want to be rid of. That is the way I see myself is as the person responsible no matter if I know that I didn't do anything and this is hard for me. If I could just understand or be told a reason, if it wasn't true then I could accept that they were believing something or had some kind of idea that wasn't true and I could walk away from that as I do NOT want any kind of relationship with this person now or ever again. I know I have screwed up royally in the past letting them talk their way past me. That is another thing they are good at is "handling you." I hangs on my heart not that they are not in my life anymore, cause that is a good feeling not to have to deal with their crap anymore, never knowing when you are going to be blindsided. Having things go so well and good for months and then BAM all of a sudden they do something off the wall that hurts. I wrote such a expressive message to them and asked for an explanation and reminded them what a good and true friend I had been and it was not fair or that I deserved more respect than the actions they were exhibiting to me. I told you that they never returned an answer. In the past when they have done "things" to me that hurt so much, they never had a problem with talking to me or facing me. So this time I don't understand cause they never had any shame before, they were able to make me feel I was totally off key with being upset.

I am a writer (historian) and today I picked up my book that has just been printed. I have done 8 books in an historical series. I took one of the books immediately to the local library where they have all the others. The books are so heavily trafficed that they take off the soft binding (all I can afford) and put on a hard back so that they last longer. I had been working on this book for 10 years, because it was on and off again, and I worked for 4 years etc. etc. It shocked me so much that they were so glad to see me and had noticed they had not seen me for along time (the foot surgery took me out of commission and my Mother's illness, all I did was sit in a hospital with my foot on a box). Anyway they made me feel so loved and special and couldn't wait to get the book on the shelf. It was shocking to me to think that there were people who actually liked and loved me and appreciated my work. I am in tears writing this. I have had so many people disappoint and hurt me. I have been taken advantage of many times by people and especially on the job.

I can live with anything if I know the reason why and to think I must go on and never be able to actually ask this person WHY did you hurt me all those years and why did you choose this time to actually throw me away? It made me feel like nothing. And it made me feel so stupid. I can't get over that.

I guess I need help in actually moving on and letting it go. This person had taken over my life for so many years and I had no other contacts but them. It shut me off and they were involved in my book project too, going with me to do research and it was just kindred spirits or so I thought. When I started to resist their domination in my life or their demands, then things started to be wrong. They married and it didn't last so then they came back to me and then when I expressed any of my wants and needs to them it didn't matter that I had done that type of thing for them and given up many things sometimes so I could be with them then they wouldn't give over to any of my needs, and it led to hurt and frustration on my part. I don't know if I was being punished and now they feel I have been sufficiently disciplined and they decided to cut me out. It was just that they called me and talked normally like they did everyday and then they were gone, a whole month and had no idea of what had happened to them or where they were, not that it is MY business but when you are with someone that much isn't it strange that they would deliberately keep that from you. What did it accomplish.?????

I want so much in my heart to make them face me. And I realize it may be the wrong thing to do. It is just that you play out that in your imagination and what you want to say and then you don't get to express your pain.

I don't want anything they ever gave me around. I have some books that I feel they would want very much and hate to loose and a very expensive CD that can no longer be bought (it is a research CD with a huge database on it). And I have some things that they gave me that I just want them to have back, sound childish, maybe so but if it is returned then it is like a final thing. I remember one time being with them at a fleamarket and at that time I was not working and I had helped this person find a job and encouraged them and helped them back on their feet and they bought a beautiful oriental giesha statue for me as I love these oriental figurines and had two. Now everytime I look at her I think of t his person and I want them to have it back.

Oh well I am so afraid you think me mental. I assure you I am as normal as the next person and finally realize that. Maybe it is true that I want to give the things back in person to make a point. I am just human after all.

I am going through a real ordeal with my middle sister right now too. After Mama died and we have started settling her estate she has all of a sudden developed a terrible attitude and was explosive at the bank about 2 weeks ago and it was uncalled for. I have to deal with her tomorrow and my other sister too. Some months ago my mother's house was broken into and my mother was living at assisted living and I found the house with the door kicked in. My Mother's small amount of jewelry, her wedding rings, a class ring, a locket, and a locket that belonged to my Grandmother were all precious to her and they people that did the break in did not take anything they looked in drawers but they put them back you couldn't tell except maye the drawer was not perfectly shut. Anyway I had said over and over that those things should be put in a safe deposit box for safety. Luckily they were not taken and after I had the law come, he advised me to take them out of the house. I have a huge floor safe (antique) in my home and so both sisters said for me to just lock them up, the same with my Father's prized pearl handled pistol. I hate guns and am scared of them. Anyway now she is wanting everything put back in the safe deposit box. She has no cause what so ever to distrust eithe of us, WE would never ever take anything. I had asked for three things, all things I picked specifically because I knew neither of them would want them and they argued slightly over a couple other things that I knew to stay clear of. She has even told me in an e-mail that she has no interest now in preserving the family. I told her tonight in an e-mail (which she now won't call), that unless she was there in the morning with the two of us that I would not go. I want her there to witness the things that I had locked up put in the box (which they were never there to begin with). She also wants the house left just as it is till we can all be there to divide the things. I understand we should all be there but she is being difficult on purpose. When we do meet to divide the possessions which are nominal (My mother left a great deal of money that they saved and saved and never had anything and it breaks my heart that she died never having lived). She doesn't have that much furniture or "things". Anyway that is also on my heart and I don't know the answer of "why" to that either. I want us to sit down and for her to explain why she is disgruntled. I am determined not to let her run over me. I am the youngest and there is 11 and 12 years between us and they have bossed me all my life anyhow. They know everything. My daughter is a lawyer (criminal prosecuter) and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Suma Cum Laude. They wouldn't ask her a question about law to save your life. She is not an estate attorney anyhow, but.... it seems to be a sore subject when it comes to even mentioning getting legal advice. I never mention her, for she doesn't want anything to do with it, doesn't have time and I don't want them to feel I think she should give advice. I have never paraded my child and they all have smart children too. Today my sister that is being difficult wrote me an e-mail and said she was bringing me the bassinet that was mine when I was born. her daughter had taken it 3 years ago when her daughter was born and she knows that my daughter lost her baby and it had never been mentioned of her bringing it back to me. All the grandchildren have slept in it and it is a tradition and of course my daughter would want to use it BUT it seemed today that not only was she severing all ties by making sure she got anything that was out of its place back but that she was in her own way saying "here's the bassinet now that you have no baby to put in it." Maybe I am wrong but it was interpreted by me as being done to be hurtful and not just returning the item.

I have prayed so many times (I am a Christian and depend on my faith to just help me survive). But sometimes after you pray for so long for guidance you just feel like you are making it up as you go , that everything will be okay and to be positive all the time and sunny is so hard. Maybe I have practiced to do that to hard. My mother was difficult, esp. in her final years. She frustrated me beyond words, and she did things to drive a wedge between her children. When I went for help my counselor told me she knew exactly what she was doing. It was so hard for me to believe. It helped me so much just to talk to him. He was non judgemental and I finally found I could tell him anything and he was not shocked nor surprised. I tend to punish myself and he said that nothing short of being nailed to the cross would be enough to satisfy my guilt and that I was a creature of duty. He also said I attracted USERS because of my nature.

There was alot of the thing going on with this friend at that time as well. He mainly listened to that and I don't remember alot of advice, he mainly let me talk. He made me realize that I was the normal person though and that they were not.

Still even with that knowledge there is hurt and anger with all this when you don't know WHY someone has caused you to be in pain and you don't know what it accomplished for them???? Every action has something behind it. And I am the kind of person that cannot stand the thought of someone hating me. I want to be loved and accepted more than anything in the world. and I don't know where that comes from of why I feel so unworthy of having a friend.

Well I have certainly taken enough of your time. Inside I am really crying out "help me help me help me". But I do my best to push it all down and try to busy myself with activities and then I will forget it for a while. There have een times in my life when i wished I didn't have to go on living it was so miserable. i worked on a job for 17 years that I purely hated and would cry before I left to go. I had to stay cause ...well this is a small town and there is not alot of opportunity. I felt like I was in prison.

Thank you for listening.

I think the counselor you saw was right on the mark. Somehow you decided sometime in your life that you are not as worthy as other people and this is how you view the world, particularly your relationships.

I understand your need to talk it out. There have been many things you have gone through that could cause you to feel down. However, it comes down to you deciding that you have had enough and deciding to change your outlook. How you do this depends on what you feel would help. Counseling is always a good option. It may be long term to help you learn to think differently and see your life in a different light. If you are a Christian, then this makes it even easier. God says we should focus on Him when our life is difficult. Jesus is our guide in life as well. Study how he handled the difficult situations of His life and model yourself after Him. You may want to talk further with your pastor about this but I believe your faith can help guide you out of this problem.

As for the person you have been dealing with, I think it is a good idea that you meet them at the car after their work and give them the box. We already went over how to deal with them so you can choose what you want to do. Then start working on putting this relationship behind you. Look at it as a lesson on the kind of relationship you do not want to have again. Work on changing your outlook. When you do that, you will start attracting different kinds of people than you have before. In other words, the healthier you are in your outlook and view of yourself, the healthier the people you attract will be. Your relationships will improve greatly as well.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hello again:

I just had to tell you about what has happened since we talked last. I don't have a question it is just to let you know that I think I realize what all the problem was. My friend who stopped communicating with me and would not reply after years and years of a friendship was the issue. I found out in a way that would be a million to one. Evidently there is a newspaper that comes out in our area of people that have been arrested in the last week. A friend of mine was being shown someone else's picture in our county area and she saw the person that I was having the issue with. They had been arrested for "theft by taking." I was really devastated. So I feel this is why I was shut out. I know that this is not the first time this person has done something like this and as I told you before I had befriended this person when they were very down and out, unemployed, and homeless. They got back on their feet (they had told me that they had in desperation because of debts made through their now divorced mate that they had embezzled money from their workplace but confessed to it and rec. community service as their father paid the money back). Now it seems that this person is married for the third time that their spouse had been working for a business that they owned shares in. The person is telling the reason they took the money was to get the business back on its feet and that they thought they could put the money back before it was missed. It was taken from a state wide organization that they were the treasurer for. I was told this information on the "theft" by another person this week and also it was a million to one find out. I am sad about their troubles and not gleeful in the least about it for them as i am not that kind of person but I do not dismiss it that they didn't know better. I am told in reading the minutes of this organization which is public on line that this person took somewhere in the amount of $200,000. They will not be able to put this money back so I do not know what will happen to them. I now go on with my life and put it behind me. Even with what I know about my now in the past, friend, it is hard to believe that they would do something like this. I know they did. Then it is not a surprise either. I have never known anyone that was arrested for a felony. They stole from an historical organization that I am closely aligned with as I belong to another historical organization that is similiar. It is something that you belong to with honor and to honor your ancestry from the past, so it is shameful that they would dishonor themselves and do this to the organization. I just wanted to tell you that i feel free of it all. I know this is why they stopped talking to me as it was about the time it was all found out. I suppose it was shame and not being able to know what to say. I cannot regain the lost time I invested in the friendship but I am left with the knowledge that I know I was a good friend to this person and helped them when they needed it. There are some feelings of being gullible but then again if we do not make ourselves vunerable on occasions then there would never be any friendships I suppose. It is sad to loose your trust in someone and I know I have been guilty of going through the same issues again and again with this person and expecting different results everytime when I knew that they would not be, but it is a hard t hing for me to give up on someone. Thank you for the support you gave me. I am glad that God gave me the information (and I believe it was because I prayed about it so much). I think He wanted me to have peace.

I am now at peace with it. This person has to face their own consequences now. I must move on now and not kick myself or feel I have been foolish. People like this make you not want to trust anyone but I am glad that I have been given the heart I have. I wouldn't change that at all, even though it causes pain at times.


Hi Karen,

Thank you for letting me know about what happened. Wow, I bet that really came out of left field. But it does explain how this person was acting and it sounds like it was completely about them, and not about you.

I am so glad that you were able to bring this to a close. You are right, if we do not make ourselves vulnerable there would be no way to have good friendships. There is just no way to know what some people are hiding and it sounds like this person was hiding a big secret.

There is no way you were foolish with this situation. You thought it through, you took your time to figure things out and you checked in with others about the relationship when you felt you were not sure. All good things to do and very careful things to do. Your instinct about something being wrong was correct as well. And you listened to the instinct which is even better. I'd say that it was a good lesson in how well you can handle a very complex relationship, something not all people can do.

Thanks again for letting me know. It's nice to have closure for you. Take care, and if you even need to talk again, let me know.