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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Abandoned by a close friend

Topic: Abandoned by a close friend

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Progmaster
    Progmaster avatar
    10 posts
    4 September 2014

    Hey all, my name is Matt and I have Bipolar II and Aspergers. I recently chose to end a friendship with a girl who I work with and is quite a bit younger than me (and it was a friendship, nothing more). We shared a lot of laughs, went to see bands together, shared the same sense of humour and just really clicked. She is a much more guarded person than me, however, and she became a little less comfortable after I told her about my condition and symptoms. But we remained close and she said she would always be there for me. One time, I had a major alcoholic meltdown in front of her and her friends. A couple of months later, we were both drunk and got into a shouting match because I made a statement and she loudly belittled my statement with opinions I found totally offensive. I didn't talk to her for a week but we patched it up. Around this time, I started going to the gym, rarely drinking, jogging, entering fun runs, all of which made me feel so much better. I maintain this lifestyle to this day. Anyway, while I was making all this effort and being much more positive, this is the time my friend decides  to give me really negative, passive aggressive vibes whenever I tried to have a conversation. This went on for months, I was feeling belittled and humiliated and one time when I asked to eat lunch with her, she lied that she was going to be out of the office to avoid having to eat lunch with me. We were once such close friends and even though my behaviour was sometimes far from perfect, I always learned from my mistakes and was overall a really loyal and supportive friend to her. She even helped organise a mental health workshop through her sporting club! So, finally, after months of negative vibes from her while I'm doing everything possible to improve myself, I recently unfriended her on Facebook and sent her a lengthy but very respectful message explaining that I was going to cut her loose as a friend and pointing out her strange, cold behaviour to me during an overall positive time in my life. She messaged back that things sometimes run their course, that she supposed she had changed but that was natural too. So now we are just work colleagues. Even though I feel the final result is for the best, I am still confused, upset and hurt that this once very close friendship has died. She was one of my very best friends but now I feel raw, hurt and abandoned. I've never had such a close friend freeze me out before. Any advice to help me feel better?

  2. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
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    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    5 September 2014 in reply to Progmaster

    Hi there Matt (and am intrigued about your Progmaster name as well - sounds interesting!)  :)

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for coming here and providing this post of yours.

    Can I firstly say Congrats to you on working very hard on your illness, in so many respects.  Firstly coming here is always a positive step.

    But you've also sought out a healthy and physically active routine which you are maintaining and that is awesome.

    I'm sorry to hear of the fractured relationship with your 'ex best friend', but from all that you've written, you HAVE done the right thing.  And wow, that must have been so hard for you to do that.  That would have taken a hell of a lot of courage to build yourself up to do that - and then not knowing what possible 'barbs' might be fired back at you.

    You must have honestly felt so let down by this "friend" when you spilled out to her all the issues and background and baggage that you're carrying.  When she made all those horrible remarks to you.  Just stuff you could really have done without.

    Matt, all I can really say is that YES, you've absolutely done the right thing.

    One thing you haven't mentioned is whether you have other friends and how those relationships are going?  One of those could blossom into a more closer friendship.  It could, but if it doesn't then that's ok too.

    You really sound very level headed and it was great that you came here.  I hope you can post back as well - and I feel sure that there'll be others who'll come here to offer some advice and support for you also.

    Neil

     

  3. Progmaster
    Progmaster avatar
    10 posts
    5 September 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Hi Neil, firstly thanks for your post, it was most helpful.  In answer to the Progmaster question,  it comes from a nickname a friend once jokingly gave me, the Progmaster General as I am a massive music nerd and, amongst many genres, I love progressive rock from the classics (Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes) to modern prog (Opeth, Dream Theater,Porcupine Tree).

    Regarding the friendship I lost, while it remains very painful, I can also look at it from a more balanced perspective. I am in my early 40s, but both look and act younger, and my former friend is 25, so the age difference surely played a role. I guess what really gets to me is that even though she is young, she knows about my condition and has been very supportive but was always veering between hot and cold in her treatment of me which turned to completely cold ironically when I was improving my life and behaving in a nicer, less negative and much less angry manner. The drunken argument we had wasn't about my condition, it was just prompted by something I said and she loudly tried to shoot me down in front of everyone present, turning into an all-out shouting match. She has displayed a lack of remorse and empathy that I find quite worrying and I don't believe she would have a great deal of emotion about my ending the friendship, despite our past closeness. She is too much of a closed book to discuss any of this deep stuff in detail,  so I thought it best to just relate to her as a work colleague instead of a friend.

    This is the only time in my life I have had such a close friend freeze me out like that. I have other friends who know about my condition and accept me for who I am. I'm fortunate enough to be a well-liked person overall, despite my mental illness struggles. I guess this friend break up really hurt because we were so close and I wasn't used to bring treated like that as most prople find me an approachable nice guy.

  4. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9749 posts
    5 September 2014 in reply to Progmaster

    Hi Progmaster,  Welcome also here on BB forum

    I have bipolar 2 like you plus other things.  I'm interested because I've also had a few close friends "freeze me out" as you call it.  And I'm one to write a long winded (they call it that) letter/message to them asking why etc.

    In your case I think your friend is immature.  She seems to not be able to really speak her mind and she knows she has made things difficult for you but allowed this to continue. That's odd. It's as if she doesnt care enough to sustain a friendship. I'd be assuming at this stage that she is the one with the problem.

    One thing she did state that could be right "friendships run their course". Friendships are fluid. They come in and go out of our lives. Because of this next time it might be better to leave it alone and not send her a message and see what happens (I wished I took my own advise lol). You never know all developments with her own private life. EG say she met a guy and felt awkward with you for some reason. But a letter to her at that time might have made her think you were demanding. If she felt this way however (for whatever reason) then she has shown she hasnt got the maturity to deal with it.

    I think the age difference played a large part in your situation. 

    I had a friend that called me the "poison pen" for a while in reference to my letters. He might have had a point. Since then I've altered my ways. I let things go for a few weeks then ring them and sense the vibes of the call. Then I'll know if the friendship is really dead or just had a hiccup.

  5. Progmaster
    Progmaster avatar
    10 posts
    5 September 2014 in reply to white knight

    Thanks White Knight, your words make sense. The age difference was certainly a factor,  I think. Though I re-emphasise we were just friends,  I have a loving partner closer to my age for whom I am immensely grateful.

    As far as my ex friend is concerned, there will be no more lengthy messages. Weirdly, when I used to send her epic messages and was more messed up and in her face, she was a closer friend than the end of the friendship when I was positive and not bothering her as much.

    It's true that friendships run their course but this is the first time that a really close friendship has ended for me while I am still in regular contact with that person - in the past,  friendships have just petered out due to people having kids or moving or whatever. So I guess I'm lucky that this has happened only once to me, because I can be a bit overbearing partly due to my condition. 

    This friend break up feels awful, and I keep veering between blaming her and blaming myself. Ultimately,  though, while I feel I was treated appallingly by her, I don't hold grudges and don't bear ill will against her. I am sure both of us will survive in our separate existences and I am going to try to concentrate my energy on the people and activities that bring me positivity and joy. Still hurt and confused at the moment,  I hope it passes.

  6. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    16213 posts
    6 September 2014 in reply to Progmaster

    dear Neil, a lot of wise words from Neil and WK.

    Even though you have told her of your condition, could it be that you were wearing the mask most of the time, so she didn't really know of how your illness was affecting you. and when the argument happened the mask was thrown off.

    It's never pleasant when you have a close friend at work and it was platonic, but now she's closed the door, so this makes it extremely difficult to be able to work together, so is it possible to get a transfer, not in terms of location but from one department to another. Geoff.

  7. Progmaster
    Progmaster avatar
    10 posts
    6 September 2014 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff, thanks for your reply! Fortunately, we work in different buildings,so no transfer will be required. I'm thankful that this friendship ended without any fighting or name-calling. My Asperger's and Bipolar II mean I go over painful or humiliating experiences over and over in my head. The worst two experiences I ever had with this person were the aforementioned argument and the time I had a breakdown after drinking an entire bottle of Wild Turkey, my behaviour on full display in front of her and some friends of hers that I don't know as well. So I know these two experiences would have clouded her judgement of me - but most of the time, we got on really well, she was sympathetic about my condition and right up until I ended the friendship, I was a loyal, supportive and considerate friend to her. This is why my mind is so conflicted about this - we both played a role in the friendship's downfall and I'm incredibly upset and stressed about it. The thing is, I have been making really good life decisions lately with the ending of a negative interpersonal relationship and the continuation of my exercise and healthy lifestyle, so I know this pain will pass. I just wanted to vent and I really appreciate the helpful support I have received. I will visit the forums as often as I can, and want to be supportive to others as well as just asking for help. 

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