General chatter - Am I in high school @ 47?




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losermom
04-22-2010, 10:32 PM
Let me lay the groundwork. I have 3 really close friends(Tami, Kim and Barb--not their real names) and we've been friends for roughly 10 years. Tami brought us 5 of us together initially.

Over time one of our friends (Mary) drifted away and I know she still feels badly about how it ended. Basically Tami and Kim broke up with her because she rarely made it to any events that we invited her to--Mary did gossip about us behind our backs and is a bit of a social climber. When I see Mary (we attend the same church) I am very cordial to her but we are not close. This is only back story and not my main question.

Back on topic. Over that last 1-2 years Tami and Kim have started to complain about Barb. They feel she is b$tchy, too outspoken and critical of others--especially of Kim's parenting. I admit Barb can be b$tchy (pithy may be a more accurate description), but I prefer b$tchy over whiny so Barb and I get along fine. I kind of get where they are coming from but I am feeling very torn. They have started inviting Barb to join us less and less over the last 6 months.

This is going to be hard to follow but bear with me. About 6 months ago, Kim met a new man and fell in love (she's been divorced for 10+ years) and while we were thrilled for her, Tami, Barb and I had not seen much of her in the last 5 months or so. I get it--she's in love. She definitely deserves it.

Fast forward to this winter. I invited Tami, Barb and a few other friends (you can never have too many friends at my age) to do some fun things--a movie night in costume, etc. We did get together once and it was fun, but something was going on with Tami. Barb and I know that she has struggled with depression in the past but Tami was unwilling to talk about anything and started to decline any invitations by me. In fact, when another mutual friend of ours (more hers than mine) was at my house (I was coloring her hair), Tami texted said friend to invite her out. I blew it off. Tami has every right to invite whomever she wants to whatever she pleases. Barb and I continued to get together off and on by ourselves but we were puzzled by Tami's behavior.

Get your tissues ladies because this is horrific. About a month ago, Kim contacted me to tell me that her oldest daughter, 18, was in a severe car accident and in a coma. Sadly, Kim's daughter died 10 days later. Tami visited Kim and her daughter at the hospital. The next day Barb and I visited Kim and her daughter at the hospital. I know that Tami and Kim are very close and I am grateful that Kim has someone that she can talk to about her loss. I'm not really feeling left out but I'm really confused about Tami's behavior in all of this, because she seems to be acting so strangely:


1.I am getting the distinct feeling that Tami is dumping Barb as a friend (and probably me by association). She has stated that she cannot stand to associate with Barb and her husband together because she doesn't like the way that Barb treats her husband. But we rarely socialize with spouses anyway, but maybe that's the problem.

2.When Kim's daughter was in the hospital, I reached out to Tami because I could tell that she was in a lot of distress over all of this. Tami was still reeling from the death of another close friends' child a month previous. We took our dogs for a walk. She did not wish to talk to me at all. She was all business about Kim's daughter. Tami and Kim were in very close contact at this time. I asked her what was going on with her (Tami) that she was so upset. She curtly replied, “I'm not going to talk about that.”

3.Barb and I drove to the hospital where Kim's daughter was to visit together (1.5 hours away). When we were halfway there, Tami texted us to say that Kim's family was not allowing anybody but family at the hospital that day. Now I do think that Tami was just relaying information that she had gotten at her daughter's (Tami's) school. Tami and Kim's daughters' are the same age but not really friends because they attend different schools. Barb and I forged on ahead. Kim was not answering her phone or texts—she was a little busy and we understand that. When we got to the hospital, Kim was relieved to see us and grateful that we had come. Barb and I were able to say our goodbyes to Kim's daughter.

4.I went back to the hospital the next day and spent the night. I am close with both of Kim's daughters. We have traveled together with my daughter. Another friend of Kim's was there as well—she was a great help to Kim and her family.

5.After Kim's daughter passed, I felt it was really important that Tami, Barb and I get together to discuss how we could help Kim during this awful time. Tami didn't want to come but did in the end. I think that we really need to have a plan for those important dates, like prom, graduation, etc. Times when I expect that Kim will really struggle. I also shared what details I knew about the pending memorial service. Tami shared that she and her husband had spent some time with Kim and her bf (prior to all of this), that we all agreed that we really like. Tami looked and sounded terrible. She left after an hour. Barb and I were perplexed since Tami often acts like this.

6.At the memorial service, Tami acted like she didn't want to talk to me. Her husband literally said hi and walked away. Tami's daughter was friendlier to me than Tami herself. DD even noticed it.

7.Last week, Kim asked me if I would help her write thank you notes at her mom's house Saturday. She was feeling pretty overwhelmed by all of it. I was happy to help. Friday night Tami texts me to ask if I want to walk to Kim's mom's house (it's only a couple of blks away). But here's what I'm shocked about (I know this is a novel). Tami acted like she was fine, happy even. She reminded Kim that she (Kim) and her bf were invited to her house that night. I was not invited. I just did my best to help.

I am stumped! I have not shared any of Saturday's events (#6 & 7) with Barb. I have a tendency to over read situations and be paranoid. But I really think that Tami is dumping us. And I do wish to remain friends with Kim, and I think we will. I don't have a lot of other friends but this whole sitch makes me want to find some new ones. I'm working on it. I know I can count on you chickies to help me. I am sincerely thinking that I have to come clean with Barb about this whole drama. But I do not want to hurt her feelings, nor do I want her or both of us to confront Tami—that is a lose-lose situation. I want to invite Barb out for drinks tomorrow night. Do I spill the beans or not?


mescelestus
04-22-2010, 10:57 PM
I say get it out in the open...dishonesty among friends will ruin it all in the end! And I am very sorry about what happened to your friend and her daughter...I lost a close friend in a car accident this past fall, and he was only 20. My prayers are with them!

astrophe
04-23-2010, 12:14 AM
Argh. That makes my head spin.

But I would say nothing to Barb or Kim. Why burden them? Esp Kim with a recent death and all.

The bottom line seems to be YOUR relationship with Tami. This seems to be what is bugging you. But let Barb + Kim maintain their own relationships with Tami.

Do you care that Tami is fading from your life? If so, address it and see if there's anything there you can repair. Do you think Tami is depressed and needs aid? Do what you can, and be prepared for denial or shutting out.

If you don't care that she's just fading down from "friend" to "acquaintence" or even "friend I used to know", just allow it to fade and maintain politeness when you paths happen to cross.

That's about it. Not all friendships are life long. Some are "time of life" -- I was friends for a good while with H. because we were in college classes together but our paths went in other ways once we graduated.

Some are geographical -- I was friends with A and C because we crossed paths a lot with our kids activities but once the kids went on to other things, our paths didn't cross automatically so then while we're still friendly, we're naturally not as close as when we saw each other several times a week because of the kiddie stuff.

Some friendships are like soul mates -- they stand the test of time despite geography, time of life, etc. Those are more rare.

But all types of friendships are rewarding however long it is they last.

GL!
A.


setweight4life
04-23-2010, 11:06 AM
That is a very sad story. Hope you're doing alright. I would agree with mescelestus. It would be good to open up to your friends when you get the opportunity. Let it out and tell her about your feelings for your group.

losermom
04-23-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks everyone! I am meeting with Barb tonight without Tami. I need to let her know what is happening and how I feel about it without Tami present. I may talk with Tami another time about all of this when I'm not feeling so raw about it. I hate this mean girl crap. I thought that with age it would all go away. I am actively seeking other women friends as well--making plans to meet up with old friends that I've fallen out of touch with. Luckily my DD22 lives at home (a college student). She and I are really close and I am able to talk to her about it too.

lizziep
04-23-2010, 04:15 PM
It almost sounds like maybe Tami is upset about some slight that she hasn't told you about yet. Maybe it's something she'll just get over - or something she'll eventually tell you if cornered. Either way, I agree it is pretty High School. I almost think it would be better to let her fade out of your life if that's what she really wants.

Then again, I have a low B.S. tolerance, leading me to have a very small amount of actually good friends.

losermom
04-23-2010, 04:16 PM
A, I totally understand that friendships can be fleeting and can fade over time. Do I care if Tami and I are not long term friends? Yes and no. Yes because she seems to be one of those people that connects others together and I do like her a lot. And no because she seems to be wanting to disengage from Barb, and I feel like me too by my association with Barb. Tami often seems aloof and distant--qualities that I would not normally look for in a friend. I do know that she struggles with anxiety and depression and Barb and I have often attributed her distance to that, but this feels like much more especially after her behavior on Saturday. I have always made it really clear to her that I am there for her. She does have another really close friend that I know she confides in (the one that I colored her hair).

losermom
04-23-2010, 04:19 PM
Lizzie, you bring up a very valid point. Barb and I have racked our brains trying to figure it out. I do know that she was upset with me once last fall that I kept telling a funny story(at least I found it funny and endearing) about her. She told me point blank, in front of Barb, that she didn't like it and didn't want me to ever repeat it again. Of course I did drop it and apologized immediately, but she was not the same during the rest of our time together that day. In my mind I have moved on, perhaps it's harder for her.

losermom
04-23-2010, 07:28 PM
I probably would not be so upset if I had not been dropped by my best friend of 20 years about 5 years ago. It was very traumatic for me and there were lots of issues surrounding the break up. I should note that this best friend was, and still is, bi-polar and a total toxic friend. Now I am sounding like a total loser...

Seraph
04-24-2010, 02:55 AM
I'm only a few years younger than you, and I haven't found that friend issues get any easier. In some ways, they get harder because it's harder to meet potential friends. I find myself holding on to some friendships longer than I should and trying to build friendships with people who aren't healthy for me to be around. On the plus side, a lot of issues that seem so important in middle school (i.e., appearance) aren't issues at 41. There's more of a level playing field, I guess.

I think that at any age, a lot of friendship issues have their root in communication problems, such as whatever is bothering Tami that she isn't telling you about. And communicating openly, especially when there's a problem with the relationship, is difficult for most people. It is for me, anyway.

losermom
04-24-2010, 09:01 AM
Well I met with Barb last night for a few drinks and dinner. I had texted her about the plans. She texted me asking if I had invited Tami. I responded that no I had not been in contact with Tami. What I did not tell Barb is that I wanted to see her alone without Tami to talk about this whole mess. Barb had forwarded my invite to Tami. And Barb and Tami had talked during this past week. Barb said that Tami now seemed fine, which confused both of us, and Tami joined us after awhile and seemed perfectly normal. :eek: Now I realize that I may have made the whole thing up in my head or whatever Tami was going through is now over. I give up. I need to really stop over analyzing people and situations because I drive myself crazy doing it. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.