Reader Q & A: The Saga of the Disappointed Diva

October 21, 2008 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

QUESTION:

Dear Irene,

I’m currently going through a friend breakup. She became very emotionally needy at the beginning of our relationship and I always felt compelled to help. She told me that I was distant and needed to let my guard down so that we could be close. I did and we eventually became BFFs.

I sort of became distant from my other friends and probably depended on her a lot more than I liked. We’ve had 3 riffs in three years. In my opinion that was a telltale sign that "the plane was going down." She is in an odd relationship with a total loser (with a child) who is extremely controlling. I’ve played the support role and picked her up when ever he tore her down.

The catalyst to prompt me to write was this was the most ridiculous thing ever. One, I was PMS-ing. Two, I had a blow up in a restaurant with a member of the wait staff (they told me to shut up). Yes, I behaved like a total ass and unfortunately, my frenemy’s son began to cry.

She became belligerent outside of the restaurant (this was a first) and made a scene for an hour. We both were angry and exchanged some nasty words when she got back into the car.

Unexpectedly she smacked me…..yes, I know. I lost it and we engaged in a cat fight in the back of the moving car. It was a long ride back….and she began to apologize (total half-ass apology) and I said nothing.

Three days later, I texted her because I’m torn up about it. I want to have a face-to-face conversation. She tells me that she needs time and has refused to speak to me. She has made the entire situation about her son and has not addressed me at all. She is passive aggressive and extremely controlling. She also has poor communication skills and avoids confrontation at all costs (who would think after reading this).

I feel dismissed because I know that this is a game for her because she reacted in the same manner with the other two very minor riffs. It makes me so angry because I feel like she is totally breaking the girl rules and is acting like a total man. Unfortunately she is the only friend that I have ever loved and she knows it. Moving forward and changing lanes…. What a bitch!

Signed,
Disappointed Diva

ANSWER:

Dear Disappointed Diva:

It sounds like this relationship with your friend has been stormy from the beginning and you’re feeling upset with yourself and with her—-because you gave up your other friendships only to get dumped by her in the end. But you do say that you already realized that "the plane was going down," so it shouldn’t have come as too much of a shock that the two of you were drifting apart.

Although it’s always painful to be the one who is dumped, I think you both need a long sabbatical from this relationship. You can’t make her speak to you if she doesn’t want to. I worry that if you got together now, things might get worse.

In any case, the friendship sounds too complicated to work. You can’t stand her "total loser." I’m sure she recognizes this and it puts her on edge. Also, it sounds like you both have problems discussing your feelings with one another openly. Finally, you need to put a lid on your temper, PMS or not. You can control yourself but you can’t control someone else.

When an argument between two friends turns physical—especially in front of a child—both adults need to take a long, hard look at themselves AND their relationship. It sounds like you harbor a great deal of hostility towards one another. This unfortunate incident was totally out-of-control and you have both breeched relationship rules rather than "girl rules." An explosive "riff" like the one you had with your once-BFF will be difficult, if not impossible to overcome.

Hope this is helpful. Try to take away the positive things you’ve learned from this
relationship (e.g. opening up) and apply them to nurture new
relationships.I know that with time and self-reflection, you will heal, temper your anger and hurt, and emerge healthier from this painful experience.

My best,
Irene

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Comments (4)

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  1. Irene says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes it takes getting clobbered over the head to realize that a friend is toxic. Sounds like your friend is very self-centered and your relationship was based primarily around catering to her needs. Case in point: she couldn’t even recognize the trauma you experienced with your husband and grandmother.

    Stick to your guns—there are many other fish in the sea!

    My best,
    Irene

  2. Irene says:

    In my opinion, it sounds like you handled this situation so well. Even giving your friend the benefit of the doubt, getting together again, and realizing she was still the same.

    It sounds like your friend was/is so self-centered that anyone who listens may be able to take your place.

    You deserve much more than that! Stick to your guns.

    Best,

    Irene

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hear you. I became friends in college with a woman who I think has serious mental issues. At first, everything was fine, we went out a lot together for drinks, or coffee. I noticed after awhile that she was a major drama queen. She had a new medical crisis all the time, she called all her exes “abusive” and “sociopathic” and “stalkers” even though I saw no evidence of this when they were together or in her breakup stories. She asked me tons of favours all the time, and was always looking for the “wow” factor when revealing her latest issue. She sought a lot of attention from men, I remember being puzzled because she would say someone was all over her or hitting on her big time, and I would have been at the party, and it didn’t look like that at all. There are lots of other issues that came up too, big time red flags.

    So, when she announced she was moving out of the country, I was glad. I regret that rather than being honest with her, I just distanced myself more until she moved away. Let the phone ring when she called, planned a short coffee visit once a month to see her…when she moved we pretty much lost touch, until six months ago she emailed me to say she was moving back.

    I feel like I’ve come a long way since we were friends before. I feel like I was young, naive, and never really felt like ending a friendship with a nice person was an option. I had (still do to a certain extent) a hard time speaking up and putting my needs first, but I am working on that. I felt guilty because she was really nice. So whether she knows it or not she was manipulative of me being too nice.

    When she moved back, I kept my distance, and was polite but not rushing to make plans with her. Since I hadn’t heard a peep from her in a long time, and honestly heard no dramas while she was living abroad, I thought perhaps she had grown up and moved on. Silly me! I agreed to meet her for lunch a few weeks after she moved back, and it was obvious nothing had changed. Same strange situations that she is the victim of, like suing her ex employer, saying her 8 year old daughter has OCD, another sociopathic ex, etc.

    So, I stuck with my decision that I was DONE, kicking myself a bit for getting my hopes up that we could have a friendship. I left our lunch being polite, and simply didn’t contact her again. I told myself if she contacted me, I would have to be honest with her, saying I don’t wish to continue the friendship because it is draining to me, and I don’t enjoy spending time with her.

    It has been five months since I’ve spoken with her. She never contacted me after our lunch. I wonder if maybe she picked up on me not being her “therapist” and hanging on her words anymore. Or maybe she found someone else to bother. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard from her at some point, not sure.

    Sorry this is so long, just good to get it off my chest. Your blog helped me to realize that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this blog. I’ve been reading all the good advice.

    Six months ago I broke it off (finally) with a friend who was one of those people who had a major emotional crisis every week and would tell me she needed my help to her solve her problems, and everytime I had a problem and needed space to work it out (or even someone to lend an ear) — she’d come at me with her own problems as if to say, “No – stop paying attention to your own life! Pay attention to me!!!”

    It got to a point where I finally stopped confiding in her at all (at which time her self-created and made-up problems became even more frequent). Then finally she threw an emotional fit when I chose to pay attention to my husband (who had been in a car accident) and my grandmother who was in the hospital at the time, instead of her. She basically told me I was a terrible friend because I wasn’t there for her at her time of crisis (it was some nonsensical emotional crap that she created to try to get my attention). That was the last straw and I told her our friendship was over. I don’t mind being there for my friends, but to the detriment of my family who needed me more — no.

    Well – after I let her go, I started wondering about my decision. She’s been very persistent in trying to reconcile with me (including finding reasons to contact me – this last time to tell me about her alleged psychic dreams that involve me and predict my life in utter chaos) and I’ve done my best to ignore her, or to be civil. I wish she’d just go away (I think she’s crazy).

    Now, after reading your blog I know I did the right thing. I also know now that I probably ought to be more active in ignoring her instead of assuring her that her “psychic dreams” are not true and my marriage and life are both just fine.

    Our friendship was toxic and I’ve noticed I feel better and have more energy now that she’s out of my life (minus the occassional e-mail attempting to reconcile).

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