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I had a friend in high school who was like a best friend, but at the same time we weren't "best" friends (I did not have a best friend in high school, but we had known each other since 4th grade or something like that), that got in touch with my mother on FB wishing her a Merry Christmas and me too.  And "really wants to connect back up" with me.

 

This has happened before with her but I just never called her or anything and nothing happened.  And the years went on.

 

 

So now, thank God my mother asked me first before she gave out any information.  I just emailed my mother back saying to only give her my email, that she could ask me for my phone number and address if she emailed me.  Plus if she wanted my address and phone number bad enough she could look it up (I'm not unlisted). 

 

I really don't want to do this.  I don't even know why.  It is just that I feel SO AWKWARD with anyone from my past, something I don't want to remember as it is.  I don't want to be asked, "So what do you do?" ETC ... everything that could possibly be asked since not talking to her since high school (I graduated in 1990). 

 

I don't want to be around people in person, and especially from my past.  And I don't want to talk on the phone with her, although that would be "better" than in person.

 

I don't think she'll stop asking either.  I decided I'd email with her but that is it, so my mother can give her my email.  But shit, I just want nothing to do with people from my past.  I guess I could say at least it isn't from college.

 

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I know exactly how you feel. I hate the "what do you do now" question! The honest truth is I do nothing. I hope to work one day but for now, the anxiety is bad enough that I do not and I feel so lazy when I say "oh nothing". High school was a miserable time for me and I have no desire to relive the past with anyone. I tend to connect with people on facebook or by email but if they want to actually come over and catch up I usually just hand them an excuse. I'm sure sometimes it's seen through but I feel like that's better than having to face them and be sociable with them when I really don't want to. Most of them stopped asking thankfully and when they're down my way I just say nothing or pretend not to notice. Don't feel under pressure to catch up with this friend. It's not something you *have* to do. You need to do what you're comfortable with.

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I tend to connect with people on facebook or by email but if they want to actually come over and catch up I usually just hand them an excuse.

 

I think this is what I will be doing.  I decided I'll email with her, but I want no other contact.  And hope I make that clear enough that she doesn't push it and ask for more contact, more than once.

 

Thanks for the support.

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You're welcome :) It'd be nice if in this world we could just say "no thank you. I have anxiety and no desire to rehash my past but thanks for the offer" and have people understand! Good luck! I hope she doesn't push it. I hate when people do that (or worse, just invite themselves over and then you feel trapped).

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You're welcome :) It'd be nice if in this world we could just say "no thank you. I have anxiety and no desire to rehash my past but thanks for the offer" and have people understand! Good luck! I hope she doesn't push it. I hate when people do that (or worse, just invite themselves over and then you feel trapped).

 

Thanks.  You're right; the world would be better if people would understand the word "no" and not push it. 

 

Idk how I'd react if ever she found my address and made a surprise visit.  I would probably be extremely short with her; I have no tolerance for anyone making surprise visits, let alone her, so actually being short with her would be like a compliment.

 

I'm finding tonight though as I process all this, since I found out she wants to get together, that I don't want to answer the phone.  I know I don't have to anyway, but sometimes when I am expecting a call I have to answer the phone.  I just don't want it to ever be her.  Some miracle would have to happen for me to have a sane conversation with her.

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I don't have any advice or anything, but I do understand how you feel (even though, for me, high school was less than 10 years ago). I don't talk to anyone that I was close to in high school or the early years of college. Too many bad memories, too many awkward moments, just...too much. People try to text me or call me sometimes (I no longer have any social media accounts and no one knows my email), and I systematically ignore all attempts. Sometimes I feel bad about it, since it's MY problem and not theirs, but I just can't bring myself to talk to them. 

Edited by hagar running
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I relate so much to this.  I have nothing in common with the girls (I went to an all-girls high school) I went to school with.  When our 20th reunion rolled round I was still on facebook (I've since ditched it completely) and someone managed to find out what my married name was.  Suddenly I was being contacted by women who I last hung out with two decades previously, and only then because we were thrown together at school and it was a matter of survival for me.  I am not interested in their perfect lives, perfect marriages and perfect children, and I'm equally not interested in becoming a source of gossip if they were to find out about my imperfect life, imperfect and abusive marriage, past drug use, current MI issues... etc, you get the picture.

 

I posted along these lines to you on the "complaints" thread, but in case you miss it:  I really think that you need to do whatever it takes to protect yourself.  If meeting up with someone you last had something in common with in the 1980's will derail you, then you're absolutely right not to.  If emailing her makes you feel unsafe, then I'd even go as far as either not responding at all, or just keeping your reply to a very short "Hi, nice to hear from you, hope you have a happy new year".  Just because she is suddenly feeling the urge to reconnect with her past, doesn't mean that  you have to get sucked into it.

Edited by miab
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I don't have any advice or anything, but I do understand how you feel (even though, for me, high school was less than 10 years ago). I don't talk to anyone that I was close to in high school or the early years of college. Too many bad memories, too many awkward moments, just...too much. People try to text me or call me sometimes (I no longer have any social media accounts and no one knows my email), and I systematically ignore all attempts. Sometimes I feel bad about it, since it's MY problem and not theirs, but I just can't bring myself to talk to them. 

 

Yeah, I agree .. too many bad memories, awkward moments, etc.  No one has tried to call since 2001 (and that was someone from college), but it didn't fly over well I guess because she never called back. 

 

For me though, I don't feel too bad because it isn't just my problem ... these people in high school and college were/are part of the problem. 

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I relate so much to this.  I have nothing in common with the girls (I went to an all-girls high school) I went to school with.  When our 20th reunion rolled round I was still on facebook (I've since ditched it completely) and someone managed to find out what my married name was.  Suddenly I was being contacted by women who I last hung out with two decades previously, and only then because we were thrown together at school and it was a matter of survival for me.  I am not interested in their perfect lives, perfect marriages and perfect children, and I'm equally not interested in becoming a source of gossip if they were to find out about my imperfect life, imperfect and abusive marriage, past drug use, current MI issues... etc, you get the picture.

 

I posted along these lines to you on the "complaints" thread, but in case you miss it:  I really think that you need to do whatever it takes to protect yourself.  If meeting up with someone you last had something in common with in the 1980's will derail you, then you're absolutely right not to.  If emailing her makes you feel unsafe, then I'd even go as far as either not responding at all, or just keeping your reply to a very short "Hi, nice to hear from you, hope you have a happy new year".  Just because she is suddenly feeling the urge to reconnect with her past, doesn't mean that  you have to get sucked into it.

 

That's the thing ... we have absolutely nothing in common anymore.  I am also not interested in their lives either.  A lot are on FB and are friends with my mother :huh::wtf: for some reason (that is how this person I am referring to got in contact with my mom about getting in touch with me ... she messaged her on FB).  They are all married, have kids, jobs, etc.  I think one even lives in the next town over from me.

 

 

And yes ... I do NOT want to become a topic of gossip among everyone.  Shit that would suck.

 

 

I've decided I'll email with her, but I like your idea of keeping it short and simple.  You're right, it's her urge, and I don't want to get sucked in.  Before I know it she'll be spreading my email to everyone we were friends with (the group of us).  I would hope though she wouldn't do that.

 

 

 

ETA:  I found out today my mom is not friends with her on FB.  Apparently this person looked my mom out and private messaged her.

Edited by melissaw72
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Sigh. I know exactly how you feel melissa. All my "friends" post on FB about their perfect family and kids and pets and house and cars, etc. seems like they don't have a care in the world! Country club work parties, etc are their biggest "problem". Like "finding a babysitter" is such a huge problem! Try being suicidally depressed for weeks and not getting out of bed. Or voices that tell you that you are worthless and should die. Or getting so manic that you wreck your life or relationships.

Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to post shit like that on FB. No one has any clue what I go through daily. And they complain over having to pay for their "other" house. Yes I know people who have two houses. Or their four cars. BMW and all that shit. I just want to say fuck them, sometimes. Meanwhile my husband and I struggle to get by. With an apartment two crap cars and student loan bills and medical bills up the wazoo.

But I agree with everyone especially to keep your replies short and sweet. Don't give any info out that you do not feel comfortable doing. I'm sorry this has happened to you. I get freaked out about those things too.

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hey melissa,

 

i don't know if you'd feel comfortable doing so, but i would offer a very clear boundary at the outset and say quite frankly "i'm not able to do more than email and only that with the expectation that my contact info is kept in the strictest confidence. i also am not up for discussing the ins and outs of why that is, but appreciate your understanding of my need for privacy."

 

and one violation of it *boom*, game over. you can only really expect from people what you tell them you need and if you tell her your needs and she can't meet them...well, life goes on just without her in any way in yours.

 

best wishes for navigating this. brutal...i seriously avoid the shit out of a whole slew of people from various points past. it's awkward, if nothing else, for everyone.

 

x

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Sigh. I know exactly how you feel melissa. All my "friends" post on FB about their perfect family and kids and pets and house and cars, etc. seems like they don't have a care in the world! Country club work parties, etc are their biggest "problem". Like "finding a babysitter" is such a huge problem! Try being suicidally depressed for weeks and not getting out of bed. Or voices that tell you that you are worthless and should die. Or getting so manic that you wreck your life or relationships.

Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to post shit like that on FB. No one has any clue what I go through daily. And they complain over having to pay for their "other" house. Yes I know people who have two houses. Or their four cars. BMW and all that shit. I just want to say fuck them, sometimes. Meanwhile my husband and I struggle to get by. With an apartment two crap cars and student loan bills and medical bills up the wazoo.

But I agree with everyone especially to keep your replies short and sweet. Don't give any info out that you do not feel comfortable doing. I'm sorry this has happened to you. I get freaked out about those things too.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they had nannies.

 

Thanks.  I will keep things short and sweet.  I can't deal with anything more than that.

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hey melissa,

 

i don't know if you'd feel comfortable doing so, but i would offer a very clear boundary at the outset and say quite frankly "i'm not able to do more than email and only that with the expectation that my contact info is kept in the strictest confidence. i also am not up for discussing the ins and outs of why that is, but appreciate your understanding of my need for privacy."

 

and one violation of it *boom*, game over. you can only really expect from people what you tell them you need and if you tell her your needs and she can't meet them...well, life goes on just without her in any way in yours.

 

best wishes for navigating this. brutal...i seriously avoid the shit out of a whole slew of people from various points past. it's awkward, if nothing else, for everyone.

 

x

 

I like that!  Thank you ... I think I'll say exactly what you said.  That is perfect for setting boundaries.  I can see her violating them (unless she has completely changed since I've last talked to her in the early 90s).  If she can respect them, then maybe things won't go too bad.  Thanks again, mell :)

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most welcome :)

one thing that was in my head only apparently upon re read:

"...all correspondence contents and my contact info..."

i mean, that should go without saying and i know you'll take what protective self censor measures are needed to keep content as comfortable as possible for you to be divulging, but then again, in the interest of clarity and what if i were her i would see as a real shot at rekindling whatever tie you might've had or even better starting afresh...it sets her up for maximum success and people oftentimes really flourish from having super clear and directly stated boundaries. i know i only flourish within them actually.

and hopefully she will see that as the significant opportunity that it is. i would upon reading that. i would think, holy shit, for whatever reason (that's none of my business unless she shares it unprompted and certainly that's not happening for a long time if ever) she's needing this respected and might value my friendship enough to extend it to despite that; i will be certain not to fuck up that trust.

sometimes hope springs eternal in me despite my more baseline bitterness ;) i hope she shows herself worthwhile of being in contact with you and sharing any portion of your life x

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Sigh. I know exactly how you feel melissa. All my "friends" post on FB about their perfect family and kids and pets and house and cars, etc. seems like they don't have a care in the world! Country club work parties, etc are their biggest "problem". Like "finding a babysitter" is such a huge problem! Try being suicidally depressed for weeks and not getting out of bed. Or voices that tell you that you are worthless and should die. Or getting so manic that you wreck your life or relationships.

Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to post shit like that on FB. No one has any clue what I go through daily. And they complain over having to pay for their "other" house. Yes I know people who have two houses. Or their four cars. BMW and all that shit. I just want to say fuck them, sometimes. Meanwhile my husband and I struggle to get by. With an apartment two crap cars and student loan bills and medical bills up the wazoo.

But I agree with everyone especially to keep your replies short and sweet. Don't give any info out that you do not feel comfortable doing. I'm sorry this has happened to you. I get freaked out about those things too.

I try to remember that this is what facebook is. I won't go there for weeks on end and when I do it's usually because I'm having a good day or a good week and I'll post something positive. I'm guilty of posting the odd thing about my kids (usually major achievements I'm super proud of) but I do wish I had the guts to say how I really feel sometimes. I do have select people on there who know me and I feel comfortable PMing about more personal stuff.

That being said I have 2 friends in particular who post whatever they want and I have no issue with it at all. I don't know if I'm more accepting than most because I understand but neither of them seem to have anyone say anything awful to them or come down on them.

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Thanks for posting.  I hope she respects my boundaries also.  Knowing what she was like in the past, she will prod for information regardless of what I say and will ask "why" when I don't want to give out a lot of information.  I can just hear her in my mind right now.

 

BUT, maybe she has changed, who knows. 

 

My mother sent her my email address yesterday, so at one point soon I should be hearing from her.  Hopefully all will go well.  At least in an email I can think about what I want to write, whereas on the phone I can't come up with words right away always. 

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UPDATE:

 

I just got an email from her: and this is what it said:

 

"Hi Melissa, How are you?

What's new?

I wish you a happy 2014!"

 

 

What do I say to this? I really have no idea what to write other than 'I'm fine and nothing's new' (even though we haven't talked in over 20 years ... it's like WTH do I say?).

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Well, I think she's almost given you a gift in making her overture so vague - you could either respond in detail and engage her by asking how she is, or you could do what we originally discussed here and send back something equally general and equally vague.  If I were you I wouldn't even say anything about asking her to keep her distance and not contact you via any medium other than email - keep that until she actually suggests getting together, which she hasn't in this first email, and perhaps won't at all.  

 

I think this whole issue is occupying too much space in your head, and you need to kick it out before the worrying makes you ill.

 

Hi X

 

Thanks for the email.  All's well here.  Happy new year to you too!

 

Best wishes,

Melissa

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