A friend is need is a friend in need.
March 22, 2013 10:42 AM Subscribe
Should I try to repair this friendship or let it fizzle and move on? I met my friend T about 9 years ago in college and we were close friends for about the last 6 years. Ahe was always more outgoing compared to me (I am a bit of a loner). Long details inside, thanks for taking the time to read...
posted by WeekendJen to human relations (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
T is one of those people who invest a lot in their social life and expect a lot in return. She updates facebook about 5 times a day, is always initiating hang out time equally in one on one and group scenarios, and doesn't seem to like to spend much time alone. She is often domineering in group situations, needing to trump other's knowledge, stories, etc. She sometimes sort of takes over by force of loud. I'm pretty low key and enjoy spending time alone and prefer small hangouts to larger groups because I don't feel as connected to everyone in larger groups. However I enjoyed my friendship with T because there was never a shortage of things to do and while domineering, she was also supportive and would tell you how great you are and how much x sucks and is wrong to do or feel n towards you when I was down in the dumps. She often came and spent overnights with me when I lived in beachtowns and when I moved further away I made trips up to see her. We shared similar tastes in pop culture.
Over the past 2 years or so, both of our life situations have become stressful. She graduated college and got a job in newspaper reporting (she was a journalism major), but she didn't like the rediculously low pay and didn't see much chance to move up so she enrolled in a 2 year nursing school. Her parents support her, she lives at home, and they aid in school costs. Also over the past 2 years she had her first serious, albeit short, relationship and the guy dumped her. She developed a new hobby, running, ran a marathon and was training for additional marathons, superman runs and whatnot. She has been skiing since childhood and started volunteering as a ski patroller (this required heavy commuting) and eventually worked up to a part time paid patroller position.
I ended a six year relationship because I realized that my boyfriend at the time was never going to marry me and did not want kids. I started another relationship which is good, but it's very strained by external factors (immigration / citizenship issues). Basically logistics could ruin this relationship for me and I feel like my life is on hold while we try to work out these external things. I have also had extremem job dissatisfaction and no luck finding an alternative and I have a lot of anxiety because I have no financial support and if I loose my job and can't find a replacement I will lose my home. They are laying off people at my job and our company is merging with another by the end of the year, which will result in more layoffs.
So basically here's the problem. As the stresses piled on for both of us, we were able to vent to eachother and in turn would be told "you got this." However, at some point things shifted and I felt that when I was talking about some trouble, she would basically start saying how her trouble was worse and more serious. Because when I vent I really want more of a pick me up than a vent spiral, I withdrew a bit and stopped telling T of my troubles. Telling her my troubles started to turn into some sort of competition as to who has it harder and I was not interested at all in competing. T continued to vent to me and she seemed to exaggerate the gravity of her troubles more and more. things came to a head when she called because she was demoted back down to volunteer ski patrol after her and another patroller did something thath was a big no-no (i forget the technical details becaues I didn't understand too much of it) and broke some equipment. I tried to tell her that she would be ok and could work herself back up, its near the end of the season, learn and start fresh next season, more tiem to focus on school, etc. She responded by saying that she won't be happy unless she can be a full time ER nurse and a paid Ski PAtroller because she wants to be someone who is an expert, who really knows something thath others turn to. I said that she should be careful to not set herself up for disappointment as being both of those things at the same time is very time consuming and may not be doable, but she can still excel at nursing and skiing. She was also upset because she lost her only source of earned income and was planning to go on an expensive ski trip to Canada, to which i said that sucks, but if you need to save money maybe you could do a vacation next year or choose a closer place, daytrip, whatever. She exploded and basically said thath she wants it all and is devestated thath she can't get it. There is no option other than being all these things and going on this vacation she can't afford. Told me I was a shitty person and all that. I told her that I really didnt have the mental space to indulge in these dramatics and that being her friend as her expression of troubles escalated more and more felt unbalanced and taxing. huge fight.
Well the following week she broke her foot slipping on her floor, meaning she's out of patrolling fo rthe season, can't run, and can't complete her clinicals for school since she wasnt able to walk for a few weeks. Because it was so soon after our fight I texted her and said I heard she broke her foot, sorry to hear it, and hope it heals up fast and that her life will get back to normal because i know she's determined. She responded curtly "thanks friend." Later I realized she defriended me on Facebook (I'm not a big user but to her that's a big statement to make) then she texted to say that hshe doesn't like the state of our friendship and that she can't take time to bother with someone who won't even call and that I'm not "there" for her and too withdrawn. I just responded and said "Ok" because I don't want to deal with a dramatic "breakup".
She has been a friend for many years, but I feel we may have grown apart and I may be more at peace with myself while she is still trying to figure out where she fits in the world. But due to teh history I keep thinking maybe I should give it a shot and try to repair the friendship. Thoughts?