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Overbearing Friends Making Me Crazy!

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posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 01:24 AM
I've posted on several threads on ATS, and even started one last year. I am so glad to find a place where I can get this off my chest. Friend Number One has been a good friend for most of the last 27 years. We relied on each other through a lot of bad stuff, and up until the last few years it's been a strong friendship. About 8 years ago I noticed her getting very clingy, and wanting me to spend every Saturday with her while her husband stays with his mother. Fine, I thought, I can keep her company sometimes. Sometimes has morphed into every Saturday now, filled with negative rants about how she's the only one that knows anything about horses (she lives and breathes horse shows, and owns four show horses of her own) and everyone else is so pitifully stupid.

Combine this with constant moaning about having to do the least thing for her elderly parents, both in their 90s and still at home. If she has to pick up a loaf of bread at the store for them, I have to listen to two hours of complaining about how they totally dominate her life and take her for granted. Then the least thing they to criticize her or contradict her in any way, ends up with a screaming cuss fit the likes of would embarrass a lifelong sailor, and I have to step outside. I honestly don't know where all this is coming from.

She never used to be that way, and I do kind of feel sorry for her at times - she does not do well on her own by any means - and so I try to be supportive and try desperately to rub off some optimism onto her. It's not working, and the last three or so years have been terrible. I almost ended our friendship last year when she lead out one of her horses for me to use her huge expensive camera to take pictures of, and I fumbled for a second with all the buttons. Never used it, never saw the buttons before, and it confused me for a second. OMG, I was the unlucky recipient of one of her cuss fits. I almost threw the camera at her and walked several miles to get back to my car and go home. Silly me, I took it and tried to keep from screaming back at her. Tried to keep the peace, but I'm just about done with that.

She's a few years older than me (I'm 48), and I believe she needs to grow up. I think one reason she leans on me so much is because she's driven away everybody else who used to be friends with her. There again, I feel sorry for her, but I know I'm not helping her grow up any by sticking around and taking abuse. It's so much deeper than that, though. I know it's difficult when your parents get to an advanced age, but I stuck it out and didn't take offense for being asked to help with something.

The rages she takes out on her mother for not remembering and asking the same questions twice make me sick. I don't care if I have to answer her a dozen times when she asks how I've been, I'll do it. It's not that big a dang deal. The woman can't remember any more. I don't see how my friend could be so cruel sometimes. She didn't used to be that way... and yes, I've changed too over the years, but I hope for the better. I have a lot more patience than I used to, but my patience is running out. She wants to travel hundreds of miles all summer to go to every horse show in the region, and I meekly follow along because I'd rather go and be miserable than to try to stand my ground and get the pity party treatment... "I might as well get rid of all my horses, I never get to go anywhere, all I do is wait on people who don't appreciate me, blah blah blah!!!"

Enough ranting about Friend Number One. Let's take a look at Friend Number Two. This one is just a few months older than I am, and we have some similarities in our background. She had a much rougher time than I did growing up, and was abused so bad in so many ways it's a wonder she's in her right mind. This friend rages like nobody's business that she's totally independent, but then I'm her unpaid therapist any time she feels insecure about anything.

I helped her get through her associate's degree, then her bachelor's degree, by co-writing papers and being a soundboard for everything from emails to comments on other students' posts. Currently if her boss sends her a scathing email, she cusses and cries to me about it, then I have to help her write a rebuttal. She shows me incident reports from where we work (in totally different departments) and I have to help proof them, or hunt for discrepancies and correct them. That is not my job, and I definitely shouldn't be seeing those things, but there I go, rescuing her again. Any time she is seeing somebody, she reads me their text conversations and then asks "What do you think he meant by this? What did he mean by that?" trying to find something to be paranoid about.

Then when they break up, I have to listen to her complaining about how every man is the same and then she plays an endless list of songs on you tube, in my office, on my supper break (we both work evenings), and I have to sit there and listen to it all.Yeah, we're also co-workers... that makes it even harder to sever ties. Oh, and did I mention that while I'm barely getting by financially, I usually am expected to show up with a meal for both of us? She has rough times too, but is generally in much better shape than I am. I recently lost my house, and along with the daily guilt over that, sometimes she comes bouncing in and says what have you got to eat? I try to think of us both as much as I can when planning meals, but sometimes I can barely feed myself. I don't have a problem with helping somebody, it just gets to the point I feel like I'm just being used, both as an unpaid therapist and chef.

So here I am with my two friends. I work five evenings a week, give up Saturdays for Friend Number One, and rescue Friend Number Two most Sundays. I know to have a friend you have to be a friend first, but dang it, when do I get some freedom? If I even wanted to go out and meet somebody, or make new friends, or just enjoy some time to do something I like and am interested in, I don't have the time. I know we should strive for a life of service, but there has to be a limit somewhere. I just want some time to be me. I let everything I need to do fly out the window for one friend or the other, and I'm about done with it. I've even considered moving far away and quitting my job to escape all this stress. What I wouldn't give for a few whole weekends once in a while, to do what I let go the rest of the time. Or even just rest! Day of rest... I remember those.

Okay, I feel a bit sane now. If anybody stops by to read this, thank you for putting up with my whining. If you have any real-life suggestions, that would be great! I just love all those generic, well-meaning phrases like... Stand your ground, Explain your feelings, calmly discuss your feelings with your friend... yeah right! Good way to get my head bit off again. But then that might not be such a bad thing... it would get me a few days off!

edit on 6-5-2013 by Gazrok because: Edited by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Paragraphs.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 01:28 AM
MY EYES!! Holy wall of text Batman.
Could you please add some more paragraphs? It will be easier for all to read and you'll get more responses.

Dude or Girl, Stand up for yourself!!! Tell these energy vampires how you feel. You need your space and you're being suffocated.

Did you hear, Rush got inducted into the RnR hall of fame!!! Finally.
edit on 23-4-2013 by kimish because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 01:50 AM
reply to post by Scribe611

My friend kimish is correct with the complaint. Most of the atsers are inebriated in one way or the other so you need to break up your posts like this.

Every two or three sentences you must hit enter because of the way the text is formatted on this site.

Some people do it after every sentence which is overkill but it’s always better safe than sorry.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 01:55 AM
Thanks Billy!!!

What my friend Billy!!! is trying to say is, be honest with your friends. Feelings are getting hurt regardless. Why drag it out any longer? You're being hindered from living your life.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 01:59 AM

Originally posted by kimish
Thanks Billy!!!

What my friend Billy!!! is trying to say is, be honest with your friends. Feelings are getting hurt regardless. Why drag it out any longer? You're being hindered from living your life.

Exactly! Thanks.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 02:11 AM
I guess that's a negative on the paragraphs. Oh well.
At least I have Tylenol.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 02:18 AM
reply to post by kimish

Nope. I guess you chased him / her off.

Oh well on to the next thread....

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 03:04 AM
It's okay, you can stand up for yourself and have boundaries.

Unhealthy: I can never tell where to draw the line with others.

Healthy Boundary Builder: There is a line I have drawn over which I do not allow others to cross. This line ensures me my uniqueness, autonomy and privacy. I am able to be me the way I really am rather than the way people want me to be by drawing this line. By this line I let others know: this is who I am and where I begin and you end; this is who you are and where you begin and I end; we will never cross over this line so that we can maintain a healthy relationship with one another.

Source: Healthy Boundaries Packet

All right, enough of that. You may have this idea that it is your duty to sacrifice for other people like you are, but this simply isn't the case. You should evaluate your friendships by drawing a line down a piece of paper and comparing what you give to what you receive. In a healthy relationship, these should be about equal.

The source of a lot of this might actually be that you haven't had the alone time you need to find yourself and discover ways to replenish your energy reserves on your own. It sounds like you are financially secure and independent, so I would recommend becoming emotionally independent, as well as more socially diverse.

This allows you to hang out with your friends and not fear losing them by what you say - without that fear, you are not only able to say something like "Hey, stop swearing at me sister or I'm leaving" without sounding mean, you are also able to help more without feeling threatened.

I would recommend taking some time off - you know, see them every 2 weeks while you expand your social circle, your hobbies, etc. on the off week.

At any rate, not only will this help you, this will help them because it helps you.
edit on 23-4-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 03:10 AM
reply to post by billy565

I'm going to give you both stars! Yay more stars!

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 04:14 AM
reply to post by Scribe611

only one peice of advice - regain control i dont care if you do it gently - or brutally - just do it

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 04:35 AM
It's very difficult to be that crutch for others, especially where they are so dependent on you to vent.
I can understand that she feels uncomfortable about being left on her own at the weekends, and that she might feel under pressure by her parents to help them more... but to be very honest, she sounds like an adult brat.
She sounds like she's never really learnt how to be on her own, or how to enjoy her own company, that she needs someone around her all the time.

It sounds as though she is around the same age as my mum. My grandparents are pretty old now (in their 80s) and in the last couple of years, my grandad has battled with bowel, liver and prostate cancer. Twice. She would take him to appointments, sit with him during his chemotherapy sessions, run herself ragged for him. Now he has Alzheimers, and she's trying as much as she can to put some decent time in with him.

Thats why I don't understand when people say that they hate their parents, or begrudge helping out.

This woman is going to have to learn that you can't be at her beck and call every weekend. I'm sure you have your own life, and she is going to have to learn how to fill her time effectively.

I am very passive when it comes to my friends, I don't like arguing, and it makes me feel bad to think I might be upsetting others, so when they act like a bit of a douchebag, I will let it roll off me. If they continue, then I tell them. You don't have to be mean about it, but you can just say, "Look, I love you, you're my friend, but you can't talk to me like that, I'm not a dog for you to kick about when you're feeling unhappy/I can't be with you every weekend, I need to do other things too, and it's not that I don't want to spend time with you, but I am neglecting important things to spend this time with you every weekend, maybe we can do this every other weekend?"

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 04:47 AM
Take back control of your life, get a few weekends to yourself, tell your friends you are going somewhere for the weekend, then either do go or lock yourself in the house and take the phone off the hook (if you have a landline mute it or take out the wire, it will give the impression the phone is ringing).

If you lose the friends doing this they were not really friends. A true friend is one who stays a friend when you are at the lowest point in life, if they can't give you a few weekends to yourself, maybe you need to look for different friends.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 06:08 AM
Both these people are not good friends, they are just people you know who need to get a grip on reality and stop being so selfish.

Seems like they have pretty good lives imo, jobs, horses, homes, hi-tech, family, education etc etc. Yet they still bitch and moan to you.

Spoilt Princesses perhaps who need to wake up to the real world?.

posted on Apr, 23 2013 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

Thank you so much for your response. I guess one reason I've not spoke up with them sooner is because I don't want to rock the boat. To be honest I'm blown away by the responses I got. I really just wanted to vent myself, and I actually slept good after I posted on here! Didn't mean to upset so many people by not making enough paragraphs!

I know I'm going to have to bite the bullet and speak up if I want to keep my sanity this year. Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and for your encouragement! I wish you and your family the best.

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:02 AM
reply to post by kaleshwarchand777

You make very good points. I have followed this same pattern for so long, it seems I've forgotten that I get to have a life too. I like the idea of locking myself away for a few days!!!

Thanks for reading my post, and for sharing the wisdom about how true friends should be. I kind of feel guilty for venting so much, and I hope the long paragraphs didn't make you dizzy!

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:11 AM
reply to post by darkbake

Thanks for the advice on healthy relationships. I always seem to think of this type of advice relating to couples, but it definitely applies to friendships as well. All kinds of relationships, really... family included. I like the idea of making a list of give & receive types of situations. I used to do this for major decisions, have a Pro list and a Con list, and it helps to clarify things. It would help me to call on specific examples if I get challenged on the idea that I feel taken advantage of. I'm trying to play out the possibilities in my mind of how these conversations might go. I know they will both get defensive, and one might deck me!

Oh well... time to "put on my big girl panties" and set some boundaries!

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by kimish

It's Girl in this case! Thank you for the encouragement... and I do apologize for not making enough paragraphs! I will try to keep the inebriated in mind when creating future posts!

Thanks for suffering through my post!

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:19 AM
reply to post by kimish

Sorry kimish, I looked for a place to edit the original post but can't find it. Maybe I'm overlooking it... I'm not the most experienced poster on ATS!

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by ignorant_ape

You are definitely right. One way or the other I've got to stop this merry-go-round I've been on for so long. Maybe that's why I slept good after posting this... I found some peace. It may hurt a little while when I first approach this with my friends, but if they don't accept my point of view then how good a friend are they? Maybe I've been fooling myself all this time, who knows?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post (and apparently suffering through the long paragraphs)!

posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 06:52 AM
reply to post by Scribe611

There we go girl! Good luck to you. :-)
I haven't been in a relationship for years.
So my friendships usually are where this kind of thing comes into play.
It can be a hard world out there.
I wish you luck.

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