Friday, December 04, 2015

Sad and Confused

My oldest friend and I both love our cats. We have since we were little girls (back then, hers was named Smitty, mine was Tommy). It's the first of many bonds we have shared since Kindergarten.

When we were in Las Vegas, less than two weeks ago, she knew how worried I was about my old boy, Joey. I mentioned it to her often. As we were leaving, and she bemoaned returning to reality, I said I'd be willing to stay a day longer if only I wasn't so worried about my ancient tomcat. That was Monday.

Wednesday I sent her an email, letting her know how concerned the vet was about his condition and how worried I was about getting the results of the bloodwork. I heard nothing back.

Thursday, she sent a little text wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. Friday, nothing. Saturday, nothing. Sunday, nothing, Monday, nothing. Tuesday, nothing, Wednesday nothing, Thursday afternoon = I get a chatty email about how she has to meet with her counselor at the program she's in for her depression, and how much she's enjoying the Al Capone book I recommended to her while we were in Las Vegas. 

Not a word about Joey. No question as to how he's doing. Also, no mention of the protests that went on throughout the Loop after the Laquan McDonald video was released. I know those demonstrations got national press coverage and she knows I work in the Loop.

I was hurt. I was offended.

I resent the Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving) email and said, "Was surprised when you didn't respond."

She replied she must have dumped it without reading it, that she's glad Joey is doing better, and she understands about the Loop because of the terror attack in San Bernadino.

Um, no. Joey is not doing better. Joey is dying. And no, she doesn't understand about the Loop because San Bernadino is an hour from where she lives and works and I'm in the Loop every day, twice a day. (And added that I was happy she was enjoying the book and that Robert St. John was my favorite character in the Capone saga.)

That was yesterday afternoon. I haven't heard a thing since.

I don't know what to do with all I'm feeling.

I know that she's fighting depression. Biochemical depression that makes it almost impossible for her to function. She's learning to deal with it. She's adjusting her life to meds and positive self talk. She's working on it. I know she is. I appreciate it. I applaud it.

On the other hand, she's become monstrously selfish. She says she'll always be there when I need her. On the other hand, in October, when I called her, she didn't pick up and voicemail was full and she responded to my SOS text by saying she was out to dinner and would call me if she didn't get home "too late." She never called me. Now this.

So she can't take my calls because she's too busy and she dumps my emails without reading them.

Maybe that's what she has to do to keep her head above water. She's admitted contemplating suicide more than once over the last two years. Perhaps this self absorption is her self preservation. Maybe expecting her to get over her depression is like asking her to get over her heart disease.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle this. I love her and I don't want to put a foot wrong. I want to stand up for myself without hurting her.

I wish I was back in therapy myself, just so I could ask a shrink what to do.


  1. Oh Gal, you have every right to feel angry and hurt. I know (how I know) what it feels like to both understand the situation AND feel enormously hurt. There are times I remind myself that maybe that is all this person can give me and I don't look to them for that any longer because I'm only upsetting myself.

    I'm not your therapist (or anyone's!) but as someone who loves you, I'd say feel ALL the feelings about this. They're yours and they're valid.

    And then come to terms with the fact that whatever she's got going on in her life (mental health issues, family, jobs) for whatever reason makes it so that she cannot be present for you in the way she used to. It's likely not intentional but it's still what's happening.

    She is not able to give you what you need. That's the truth of it. And it's okay for that to be crappy. Don't feel guilty for feeling what you feel.

    Your part is to come to terms with what this means for you. It might mean looking in a different direction for that support. It might mean telling her clearly how it makes you feel for no other reason that you express it. It might mean something entirely.

    It's like asking me to do calculus in my head. I could love you 'til the cows come home and I Period. That's where she is. You're asking her to do calc in her head and she cannot. (at this point, anyway)

    You know how to find me if you need someone to listen or SOS text or whatever.

    HUGS from your non-therapist-but-person-with-a-lot-of-opinions-friend

  2. I agree with your friend Lisa above. Your feelings are valid. Your friend is not able to give you what you need right now and you'll need to look elsewhere, at least for a while. I know that is hard; you will need to grieve that loss.

    Writing it out on your blog is part of looking elsewhere and bravo to you for sharing it with your readers. I am so sorry she's letting you down, but you have distance and illness to overcome and some relationships simply cannot take those strains. Mostly, take care of yourself and your Joey, accept hugs when they are offered, and take kind words from strangers to be little drops of love in your life. Be well and be blessed.

  3. I agree with Lisa, too. Feel all the feels. Even voice them to your oldest friend. But until she is capable of really being there for you, you may have to release those expectations to avoid hurt and disappointment. I hope for both your sakes that she'll find her way back to being a good and supportive friend.


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