Fessin’ Up Time

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationship that I have with my ‘selfish’ friend Lisa and the demands that she puts on me. As some of you know, the reason I started the Hump Day Poetry thing on A Whispered Wind was because Lisa issued me a challenge. In some ways, it was indeed a challenge, but in other ways, it was more of a guilt-induced demand. She saw that I had writing goals lined up for the entire year – some fiction and some poetry. She much prefers my poetry to my fiction and grumbled about how little poetry I would actually be writing this upcoming year. I tried to explain to her that it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between a fiction mindset and a poetic mindset, so if I was writing fiction, I wouldn’t be writing much poetry. She used the “what about me?” card. But if I truly loved her, I would write poetry, just for her. And that’s when she came up with the idea of me taking one day of the week to write a poem just for her. Reluctantly, I agreed.

I should have said no. I know my writing schedule for the year. I know the demands it will be making on me. I know how switching back and forth is difficult for me. So why did I agree? Partly because I didn’t want to hear her whine about how I didn’t love her enough to do this for her once a week. And partly because my word for the year is Abundance and I made a promise to myself that when opportunities came knocking, I would rise to the occasion. Especially if they were writing related. Still, I should have said no. What started out as a whimsical endeavor has become a soul-sucking one. I dread every Wednesday that rolls around. I become moody and dark, and these emotions last for several days. I don’t want to talk to her on the phone and I don’t want to read her emails. I’ve grown to resent her for pushing this on me.

So when I wrote last week’s poem, it encompassed everything that I’ve felt about writing these poems just for her each week – all of the anger, frustration and resentment. After reading it, she sent me this message late that Wednesday:

Well are you really have trouble in
finding the words that you can write
a poem each week sorry to hear this
& I will release you from writing a poem
just one more & you are free as a bird.

And this is where my frustration has grown. Knowing that I am struggling, knowing how I feel, she still wants one more.. one more before she releases me from this challenge.

So I expressed my concerns about this with my friend Claire and she gave me this to think over:

You did tell me you were diagnosed “borderline personality” right? Remember common borderline reaction/behavior: Snap judgment ~ snap-pullout from relationship to save oneself ~ running scared, resulting in abandonment of a friend who may (or, granted, may not) have your best interests at heart.

Ask yourself these questions:

Did you offer to help? even insist??
Is this how she has taken advantage?
Look closely, deeply…

So I’ve been doing as she suggested. And here is where it is time to make a confession. Some of the anger and frustration over this is MY fault. It all boils down to me not being able to say NO and then getting pissy when I have to actually do what I have promised to do even when I know I don’t want to be doing it. And I think because I know some of it is my fault, this is why I can’t bear to talk to her or read her emails. But I don’t think this is a snap judgement issue at all. Lisa and I have had many battles in the past over her demands. She only has time for me when it suits her (i.e. when she has no one else around to keep her company or entertain her) or when she wants me to prove to her that I love her. And no, I don’t think she has my best interests at heart.

I am left with quite a dilemma here. Do I continue to give into her demands and remain friends? Or do I set myself free? Only time will tell. I still have much to ponder here.

18 thoughts on “Fessin’ Up Time

  1. Lori, you may have a hard time saying no, but she knew what you were struggling with and didn’t give a crap. That’s not someone you really need as a friend. She doesn’t need to release YOU. YOU need to release her. Let her go. She is toxic and will always suck the life out of you. I hope you’re ok. Drop me a note or something.

    • Hey Calen… Sorry I am just getting back to you on this. I’ve been sick with a flu bug or something. I finally ended that relationship. Sent her an email, gave detailed reasons why I was ending it and told her not to contact me again. This isn’t the first time we’ve broken up as friends, but it is the final time. I’ve given her enough chances to change and she is just unwilling to do so. Thank you for your words of encouragement 🙂

      • Two years ago I had to cut my ties with a friend I’d known for 45 years. She had always been verbally abusive, but not toward me. And she was extremely negative about everyone and everything. I’d finally agreed to work for her for the tax season at an H&R Block office that she managed, and she was so verbally abusive to me in front of others that I’d just had enough. After the job ended, I tried three times to call her to talk things through and she wouldn’t return my call — I’m sure she knew she owed me an apology. That was enough. She’d been a toxic friend for years and Drollery and I had continued to hang in there with her for far too long. I have never regretted it.

      • Thank you for sharing this with me, Calen. It really is hard to give up a long term friendship like that.. it’s been 35 years for me and this friend. Like you, I just couldn’t take anymore negativity and toxicity from her. I don’t regret letting her go, I just feel sad that she couldn’t and wouldn’t change her ways. I feel most sorry for her parents who, in their mid-70s, still have to put up with her BS. Thanks hun!

  2. Sounds toxic to me…quite honestly Lori,,,I’d rather have no friend then one who leaves me feeling the ways you’ve been feeling…….friends like her are emotional vampires……hope you find your way out ❤️

    • Thank you, Linda… yeah, I broke our friendship last year over some crap she pulled and should never have rekindled it. I should know by now that she is never going to change. It is like she is a child and I am an adult and we just cannot seem to get on the same page. I know that emotionally and mentally I would feel so much better if I just ended the friendship once and for all. I have much to consider here. We’ve been friends for over 30 yrs.

      • I was hoping I didn’t come across harsh or mean Lori….it just seems to me that if your always left feeling empty and sad and not good about yourself, why have her in your life?! Regardless of the years,,,your well being is important…your feelings are important ❤️❤️

  3. I have a hard time saying no to people too and it makes me so miserable sometimes because I always think I wish YOU didn’t ask me this when really I just have to decline, but I never can =\ so I totally feel you here, I often think my friends take advantage of my kindness and inability to say no, but I haven’t been so great about changing that.

    • It really boggles my mind. Two simple letters and one easy word and yet so hard to say. The funny thing is, I can say no to some people, but not to others. I hope you have luck changing this. I think it is worth our well-being to try.

  4. Soul sucking stuff. Ever used TA techniques ? Check out Thomas Harris’ work “I’m OK, You’re OK’ and/or Eric Bern’s “Games People Play”. Just google them, you’ll find their websites. You may find something useful there 🙂 Goodluck xx

      • Eric Bern’s work led to the phrase ‘games people play’ becoming common use for manipulative and destructive behaviour patterns in relationships. Basically, if you stop playing the game (whatever the dynamic is) there is no incentive for it to continue and the behavior should eventually extinguish. That’s the theory 🙂

      • I need to learn how to stop playing my friends game then because I definitely need this behavior to be extinguished. Hopefully those books will help me learn how to do just that

      • You can’t. The trick is working out what kind of adult behaviour yours is, whether it’s an OK one or not. But she has to find her own way too. Impossible for anyone to change another person.

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