Lost a lifetime friend: I have had a... - Bereavement Care ...

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Lost a lifetime friend

Naturelover58
Naturelover58

I have had a lifetime best friend for over 40 years. My situation is not that my friend has passed away, but in the last few years, she has suffered undiagnosed issues with mental health and accused me of never being there for her, abandoning her etc.,. Her therapist had told her that she wasn't being fair with me, but she said she needed this. Her anger would cause me to become anxious and I sought out counselling to work this through. The counselor had told me to discuss this with my friend. I did this, and I suggested that we got to another counselor to work out our differences and hopefully find a common ground. My friend went with me once, and then quit as she felt that the counselor was only seeing my point of view. She then told me that she was taking a break from the friendship and she didn't wish me to contact her. It has almost been a year. I feel that my anxiety(from her anger) has dissipated, but I've been told that I am working through grief at the loss of this lifelong friendship. Just hoping to somehow work through this. Thanks.

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chloe40
chloe40Administrator

Hi Naturelover58 Really sorry to read your post. A friendship that has lasted a lifetime, to turn sour is very hurtful. You've been through the right channels and I applaud you for it, now I suggest you have some 'Me time' look after your needs and hope your friend works through her difficulties.

Your friend has had a shock, the diagnosis must have been crushing for her, she's angry and can't digest the news yet. I do hope she finds the right therapist to assist her, and hopefully find a way to continue her life, at present, it's clearly a very upsetting worry for her and I would just let her know that you will always be here for her when she feels ready to let you in.

In the meantime, you're very welcome to stay close in our friendly Community.

Chloe <3

Hi Chloe, Thanks for your reply. My friend had been told by her new doctor, that she would have to go on meds to help her deal with her issues, but my friend became angry and quit with her doctor, so there wasn't technically a diagnosis as my friend denied the help that she was being offered. What became the last straw for my friend was that her 19 year old cat was ill and she called me early one morning to tell me about the fact that her cat wasn't doing well and we chatted a few times that morning, and then she made a decision to leave her cat with her vet for 3 days to see if there was an improvement. She then went out of town to visit a relative for the day. That same night, I was packing to go out of town myself and the next afternoon when I reached my destination, I called her to see how things were going. She didn't pick up the phone that day or for the next 3 days. When she finally did, she was extremely upset with me that I hadn't called the evening of her cat being at the vet as her cat had suddenly died. I asked her why she hadn't told me and she replied that she didn't have the energy, and now she was angry for me never being there for her. Previous to the last 3 years, our friendship had been wonderful. I had told my friend when I finally discussed our friendship that I had felt that there were tests made for me, that I felt that I could never pass and after attending the counselor with me one time, where she said that the counselor only saw things from my point of view, she told me that she was taking a break from the friendship and wanted no contact from me, as she would only resent me. I did continue with a counselor and that counselor has told me that this is all out of my control and I can't be there for anyone 24-7 and I need to go on my with my life and the grief that I am experiencing is the loss of the dear friend-from before, not the friendship that has been going on for the last 3 years. This, I am working on. Thankyou.

Long term friendships can end so awfully. Of course you are grieving what you had, and have now lost. As long as you are happy with your own actions then I would try to move on. Sadly people do change, and not always for the better. You tried so hard to save the relationship. You can, and will get through. Find solace in nature and each day as best you can.

Thanks so much GoGo_JoJo. I spent a considerable time thinking about what I could do to make the friendship work and the only answer I knew was to attend counselling with her, so that we each could talk about our needs with an unbiased listener. I knew that by telling my friend how I felt, I was risking her being even more upset with me, but if I continued on without speaking up, I was only losing myself. You are right about what you are saying. Thankfully, my decision to speak up came with a lot of thought, and I knew that was the path I had to take. The good part is that I still don't regret that.

That is the most important thing. We must remain true to ourselves or risk losing much more than a relationship. 💖

Thank you.

spykey
spykey in reply to Naturelover58

Hi Nature lovers58 I was reading your posts, and I felt sad for you trying so hard to keep your friend in your life, and she seems to be reject you but when you approach her, but when she needs you that's ok and you tend to answer her call! And that's not a fair relationship, it takes effort from both of you to keep it going a d stable.

I did some thinking and praying about your circumstances last night for divine intervention (hope you don't mind?) And an idea that I did many moons ago with my best friend, when we both had some difficulties, it didn't work miracles, but it helped me a bit.

I sat down and started to do it the old fashioned way and put pen to paper. I wrote down everything I wanted to say to her about how I was feeling about the relationship, how it hurt when she rejected me yet reeled me in when she needed me and had a go at me when I didn't respond exactly how she wanted or do exactly whatever she wanted.

EverythingI thought, felt, wanted, what she said that hurt me, how I could never reach her standards, and anything else I felt that was appropriate.

I then put the letter in a drawer, for safe keeping, not intending to give it to at that particular time, and then myself permission to breathe a sigh of relief, difficult I know, I even had a little cry to myself and then not easily did whatever my day needed me to do.

Not easy I know, but give yourself some me time for a change, with all you've been through you really deserve it.

I'm not gonna say its was easy in any way, and so t solve everyone's problems, and life can still be hard, and difficult in many ways. I never did read that letter to my late friend, although our friendship still had its ups and downs, but I felt a little stronger clearing my thoughts attic from certain thoughts and feelings.And any guilt I felt.

Hugs and Blessings

Spykey

Naturelover58
Naturelover58 in reply to spykey

Thank you Spykey, Years ago when my mother died suddenly, I found that journalling was immensely helpful and I mean immensely. 3 years ago when all of this started, my friend became very angry in a phonecall, stating that she was going through some difficult times and it would have to be about her from then on. After that time, our relationship had some good moments, but much was about what difficulties she was going through(and indeed she was). I never felt in that last year or two, comfortable about telling her some of what I was going through, because she would indicate that her troubles overshadowed mine, so I was always leery about what to say. I don't mean to say that she rejected me and drew me in when she needed me. It was more like, she would call me quite often(at the very least, multiple times in a day) and there were times where you are exactly right,"she would have a go at me, if I didn't respond in the way that she wanted." It just made me more and more anxious and not wanting to pick up the phone when she called. It was almost a year ago that she told me that she was taking a break in the friendship because she said that I was never there for her. Just recently, and you must have read my mind, I did start picking up a pen and paper and doing exactly what you are suggesting. What makes me said is that if she doesn't ever acknowledge her role(and so far it hasn't happened) this friendship is doomed, and I honestly don't believe I could ever return to that friendship where I was anxious to pick up the phone, never knowing how she would react to me if I didn't respond in the way that she wanted. For a friendship that had never had any issues until 3 years ago, this is very sad indeed, but as someone else has suggested-people change and not always for the good. I have to stand up for me here, and in the meantime just go on with my life. Thanks so much for your comments and for praying for me.

One thing that often goes through my mind is that before she made the break, my friend sent me a letter saying that she had only tried to let me know of her needs at the time, and that it hadn't worked. I did realize that over that last 3 years she had been having difficulties for several reasons and I did try to be there, but I still wonder if there was anything that I could have done to prevent the eventual outcome of the destruction of the friendship. In one case, her aunt had died and the night before the funeral, I had called her to talk about the upcoming funeral etc.., The next day, I was doing some volunteer work(at the time of the funeral) and after the funeral, my friend was headed out of town for a concert, so I didn't call her. I did call her the next day, and my friend was upset with me that I didn't call on the actual day of the funeral, even though I called the night before and the following morning. She also was angry that I hadn't offered to attend the funeral with her(which she told me later), even though she had never asked me to and she was attending with family members. She again took some time away and called me a few weeks later, and told me that she was aware that I would once again "drop the ball" in terms of the friendship eventually but in the meantime, she would continue on with me. This is the sort of stress that had followed me for the past couple of years. There were continual hoops that I needed to jump through, that would get smaller and smaller and I could never pass through. I just wonder what I could have done differently as for 37 years prior, we never had an issue.

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