Need to have surgery and move out - flatmate is blaming me!
I moved in with my best friend of 21 years in April. I have had a health issue since last October which required surgery. I thought it was all sorted but the issue has unfortunately come back and I needed another operation in August. My job contract is a zero hour contract so I do not get paid for sick leave from work. I have struggled the past few months financially because of this but am getting through it.
When we moved into our flat, we both knew my work situation but decided to go ahead with it anyway. Hindsight shows that it was a silly decision and we should have thought about it more, but what’s done is done.
I found out a couple of weeks ago that I need further, more extensive surgery in the next couple of months which will require at least 5-6 weeks off work for recovery. I am still in debt from the last time and can’t see any other way to prevent it getting worse other than moving back home with my parents.
I have told my flat mate about my money worries but since telling her that I’ve decided the only course of action is to move out (and therefore so will she, because she can’t afford to live there on her own), she has pointed the finger and blamed me for her ‘losing everything’ and ‘completely having to rearrange’. I have to add here that it really isn’t the end of the world here - she could move back in with her parents, who live a five minute walk away, or can move into a room offered by another of her friends. I am totally stunned by the lack of sympathy or understanding that a supposed best friend would show, because after all, yes she has to move back in with her parents for a short time, but I’m the one that has to go through another very painful operation.
I gave her a few days to cool off and have asked for her to apologise for saying that I ‘knew this was going to happen’. She brought up the fact I bought a new car in the summer but I don’t see what that has to do with any of this. I needed a new one for work (as my other one was on its last legs) so it was necessary at the time and I could afford the monthly payments easily.
She had said some horrible and very hurtful things but won’t hold her hands up to them and apologise. We have had several conversations about it but she won’t budge and has continued to make me feel more awful than I already do for the situation we are in.
Advice please on how to save this friendship!
Do you think she truly appreciated the situation and how it could prevent you from being able to honour your part of the rent? Do you think she was even listening and considering the future possibilities properly? Did you lay the problem and potential problems out straight, is what I'm asking. Or do you suppose, looking back, she was too excited about and fixated on being able to secure the flat to have given it all proper thought enough to appreciate what it all meant in real terms, including pounds and pence?
Surely her solution would be to find someone to replace you?
There again, if there are other friends she could move in with, I suspect her reaction is less about the disruption or living arrangement insecurity for her, and more her crushing disappointment as losing the cosy twosome of you and she. It could be that she's so overly disappointed, was loving the arrangement more than you realised, and simply incapable of getting over it enough to REMEMBER that you're not exactly having a picnic right now. Yes, she's coming across selfish but that 'BUT YOU COULD SELL YOUR CAR!' paddy is what tells me she's desperate not to lose said twosome.
What about if she agreed to play chauffeur so that you could liquidate the car? Or what if you used the money to buy into hers - a car share? Is that an option? I mean, you clearly are more like sisters and pretty much secure in the knowledge that the relationship's a neverending one. Or do you see no light at the end of the financial tunnel, here, meaning you'd just have more dosh to have to find after that?
Where are you? (I forgot to look at your profile, which I can't do while typing.) Don't you get state benefits for this sort of thing?
No, of course she won't apologise or anything else to make you feel better. She doesn't want you to feel better. She can't believe there isn't some other solution you could come up with in order to preserve the cosy set-up. You're not going to rack your brains or ask around for favours if she eases that pressure, are you?
Basically, she's emotionally blackmailing you but with her heart in the right place. You're obviously too brilliant a friend and, especially, flatmate, that's all I can say.
Go easier on her, she's obviously crushed and can't 'come down' yet. She's obviously not as mature as you, either, hence can't accept that Sh*t Happens and you just have to go with it, even if you really don't like it or can't face it.
PS forgot to add: Maybe she's also 'paranoid' that you're however much making excuses or just not willing to try hard enough to preserve the arrangement, i.e., "SHE DOESN'T LIKE ME AS MUCH AS I LIKE HER ANY MORE, AND WANTS TO END THE FRIENDSHIP OR DISTANCE HERSELF FROM ME, WAAAAH"? Have you tried making a forward date for a get-together to see if that reassures her that only the living arrangement itself is ending?
She knew the situation. We both did, yet we both went ahead with it anyway because we were just excited about moving out of our parents houses.
I didn’t really explain our relationship properly in the original post. She is my best friend but we have had some issues over the past year. A bit of background - I was in a 4 year long-distance relationship with a guy who I only saw one weekend a month. Most of the rest of my time was spent with her. When I ended that relationship and started seeing someone else from the same city as me, she got sort of jealous. I still spent time with her often, but because it wasn’t six days a week (like it was previously), she got the hump. She hates my boyfriend now, makes no effort with him whatsoever despite him trying so hard to form some kind of friendship with her.
A few months after this, she started seeing someone and had spent every waking moment with him since. She stays at his at LEAST 6 nights a week and is never in the flat. So I practically live on my own anyway. We have argued about this before (as she had the cheek to say my boyfriend was over too much), but have since decided not to bring it up again. After all, I pay half of the rent and can have over whoever I want, ESPECIALLY since she is never home to keep me company anyway.
Our relationship has therefore become a little strained. I’m reaching the end of my tether now though, because she ALWAYS talks about him and their problems and has NEVER asked me how things are going with my boyfriend. I have been there for her as a shoulder to cry on and given advice almost every step of the way, but I never get anything in return.
So from what I’ve said above, I think I know what kind of response and advice I may get. I’m in denial because I don’t want the friendship to end, but only because we have been friends for so long. Maybe it is time to let go?
Ah. So you HAVE been considering distancing or even removing yourself. So she's *not* wrong, then. She can sense you're not just leaving the flat arrangement. Hence the seeming over-reaction this time. Panicking and feeling in the dark about a fix being needed.
But it does sound like in her mind, your role is 'mum' and hers 'baby'. Has it always been that way?...with you now needing the friendship to evolve and mature, now that you're no longer kids?
If you don't want the friendship to end but find this one-way-street-ness intolerable (and who wouldn't), then you have a choice between ditching, backing out slowly by whatever degree until you find a comfortable distance whereat you don't have to give so much for so little return and feel constantly short-changed, or just keep standing your ground every time she tantrums at not getting her way until such time as she concedes defeat and gets with the new programme (or dumps you). I wouldn't do it drastically, though. If she's been allowed to become used to this dynamic for too long, to the point where it's now setting in stone, any sudden change *will* be too much for her and the friendship to handle; you'd need to make these changes bit by bit in more manageable mouthfuls for this wee daught-sorry, friend of yours. ;-) Then you might not feel that your choice were as Black & White as keep or dump.
What you choose to do depends on what it is about her that's had you wanting to stick around and then go as far as to move in together, for over two decades. Is it merely sentimentality that's keeping you in there, out of the fact of shared circumstantial history and a rosier past friendship that you'd hoped would somehow automatically return? Surely if that were the case, you wouldn't be hum-ing and hah-ing, the decision would be an easy one? Or is your own conscience holding you back? I only ask because you said 'decided not to bring it up again'. She's obviously Pushy Polly to your Let It Ride Rebecca, and has to be told something either a hundred times or in one very emphatic hit (possibly replete with hissy-fit), simply because, when it comes to her trying to get her way, that's the tack she takes with you. In other words, she insists and campaigns whereas you prefer to let drop for a quiet life. And she reads that as 'I don't really mind that much'.
There's your problem: she doesn't take you and how actually *strongly* you feel at the time seriously (nor have a fear of any real consequences occurring) because *you* don't push-nag-push-insist or simply steamroller ahead regardless (in the hope of handling any repercussions, should they even transpire), unlike the style she's become programmed by (growing up in her family). See it? Your method is to say it with your feet and take action (but too subtly compared to this time), which goes over Little Miss Wordy's head because she's vocalisations orientated and assumes everyone's like that.
So what you've got is, her not realising that you've all this time felt undermined, overlooked, treated unfairly, etc. - or its true extent - and seeing only you backing out, without really comprehending why and panicking.
If she's not easy to have a serious sit-down talk with - have you ever tried putting how you feel about this one-way-ness in a letter? Do you suppose if you did this equivalent of 'in your face "now really listen here, you"' (but not as abruptly as that), it might bring her up sharp and get her thinking properly about all that's gone on in your friendship and how things have looked and felt from your end?
I think dumping anyone should be a last resort, not a first or, your case, middle, after having tried everything you possibly can and, more to the point, properly so that you can walk away with a clean conscience. So if you're not confident at advocating and standing up for yourself to the degree that hits the radar of someone like her who is [understatement], you need to get to the DIY shop for a large piece of chipboard, a tin of White paint and paintbrush, write I'M NOT HAPPY WITH OUR ARRANGEMENT! in huge letters and tape it to her face, basically, lol. But seriously, can you in all good conscience dump someone for continuing a behaviour you've never really taken them to proper task or made a stand over? It's important for ensuring that if you finally do have to shuffle away to mere Acquaintanceship or walk permanently out of the door, you're not ever left with this killer lurking in your bonce: If only I'd tried x, y, z, things might have been different/better.
What do you think? And by the way, have you ever *had* a right royal barnie with her? And do you suppose that's what's been missing and why you find yourself in this situation (as a challenge put on by Life by which to further improve your interpersonal skills or have to get held back a class)?
Tricky, isn't it. But you do have all the power because, if this were a game of see-saw, she's run with the ability to always be in the high position to your always in the low, without having considered how just too easy and simple it would be for you to hop off as would send her crashing painfully to the ground, damaging her coccyx (whereas if *she* jumped off, you'd be fine). 'Despots' forget that.
What do you think? I think she's shown how much she doesn't ever want to lose you, and *not* just for the cushy flat-retaining aspect (because she *could* get another sharer, if convenience were all it were about). So that would force her to be receptive and take your complaints on-board (finally).
Yes I had been planning to move out when contract runs out in April anyway (I’ve had to use the break clause in our contract to end it early), and she knew this and was totally fine with it. I would never have used the break clause just because I didn’t want to live with her anymore. I was planning on seeing it through to the very end but, alas, the situation with my health has changed everything now.
I think you are right - I have let her get away with her temper tantrums and been treading on egg shells around her just for an easy life. So she has carried on acting this way and it has become the norm. I hold my hands up to that - it is something I have helped cause.
We did have a big argument back in July about my boyfriend being round too much (mentioned in my reply above), but the rest of the time we don’t see each other enough to have conversations about things that are bothering us. She loves a text argument, whereas I prefer to talk things out face to face. So sometimes I feel she avoids me for a few days for fear of confrontation until enough time has passed that she thinks I’ve moved on and I don’t feel it’s right to bring it up.
I think I have only put up with this for so long because of our long history. I am sentimental and rarely actively cut out friends who I have grown apart from, purely because I known them for so long and we have good memories. But in this instance, I need to put that to the back of my mind and think about who I want to surround myself with. I am fed up of the constant dramas she drags me into and think I deserve a friendship that’s, as you say, two-way.
I think I might take up your idea of writing a letter to her first though. Every conversation we have she jumps straight on the defence and is impossible to talk to, hence my points don’t get across properly. If she sat down and read how I feel, I might get a different response. But we shall see! Thanks so much for such detailed responses! (Y)
You've got it!
The letter will also be a great test. If she's essentially fair-minded and/or even has the maturity you (especially during your illness and shortness of cash) NEED at this juncture, then regardless of any interim, knee-jerk paddy, she should after a couple of days or so concede to any valid points or at least want to talk about it.
It's also an opportunity to say what you want and expect from a friendship at your ages, e.g., including someone to sit and discuss face-to-face and save texting for what it's MEANT for, like, 'At Pizza Hut, where are you?'.
But of course she avoids you. There's clearly *nothing* wrong with her 'nose'. She did 'sense' you out, right? So she's perfectly aware you have a scarier-than-average tigress inside of you. And, yes, it's constantly on a leash, BUT...who knows... And who knows when... You'd chew her up and spit her out and use her thigh bone as a toothpick.
Who was it made you too reluctant to ever show your tiger and keep it on a leash to where it started scratching at your insides? You do know this is how you got ill to this degree, I take it?
Would you like me to help you before you go back into the family home, i.e. mother ship ;-), if that's where you got taught to self-repress and -suppress? Or are you content to practise using your pen nib and claws (not literally) on friend first as a prepper and primer?
Feel free to draft the letter here, btw. If you like, I'll 'be her' and let you know if and which bits made 'my' ego go OOCH and GRR? Plus Ey AIRM....raaaather nosy. LOL (but I am).
Haha thank you. I will post it here before I give it to her. I’m away for the weekend now so will be early next week! Sit tight (happy)
Roger that! I don't tend to have the time to post every single day, guaranteed, anyway, so that suits.
So the whole letter thing didn’t go to plan. I wasn’t able to et around to writing it before the following text (of course) conversation happened.
It started with me sending the following message to her to cancel drinks we had planned Saturday night:
Me: I don’t want to argue but I can’t get past some of the things you’ve said and the fact you’re not going to apologise. That, and the fact I’m going away for the weekend last minute, means I’m gonna have to cancel drinks tomorrow.
Her (S) : Oh yeah I knew they wouldn’t be on. Fairly obvious.
I mean “some of the things I’ve said” really boils down to the car doesn’t it?
Cue the following conversation. I wish I would upload screen shots because this goes on for a while...
Me: Yes, because it was unfair and wrong to bring it up. But also “you knew this was going to happen”
S: And that’s your opinion, but it’s not mine. I’ll admit, poor choice of words on that front but it was always a risk. The fact still remains that your financial decisions - despite being in the employment contract you have - have now impacted my life, which is why I don’t feel that it’s “unfair” to bring it up.
Me: And I’ll say again - you knew about that and if you had concerns about it in the beginning why didn’t you say “hang on a sec, maybe this isn’t a good idea”?
S:I didn’t have concerns. You said all along you could afford it
Me: I could afford it. And I still can. But I won’t be able to in a few months time. It’s called foresight
S: Okay well if you’re going to be patronising I’m over this conversation
Me: I’m not being patronising. Just pointing out that I’m thinking about the future and acting on it now.
S: I’m just sick and tired of being quiet and rolling over for an easy life. You’re my best friend and of course I hate the situation that you’re in because it’s shit. I’ve told you time and time again that I’d be there. But I won’t be made to be a bad person just because you don’t agree something I’ve said is “fair”. As it stands, it’s looking like the sooner we move out the better
Me: You saying that sounds like it’s a regular thing for us. Look, we’ve disagreed on something but I’m not making you out to be a bad person.
S: I’m not saying that as a summary of our relationship, I’m talking about a history with everyone. We’ve never really had a major bust up apart from after school so it doesn’t apply. I don’t feel like a bad person because, from my perspective, I haven’t said anything personal or been cruel. I’ve just stated a fact.
Me: Fair enough, but if that’s nothing to do with me why are you saying it? And no disrespect, but you’ve never been one to stay “quiet and roll over”. If you’ve got a problem with someone or something then you say it. And that’s a good thing!
S: Because it’s the general vibe you’re giving off when you say Ive not given enough sympathy in the situation etc. And I know..believe me I know...but I meant more as the argument progresses I just roll over
Me: I think sympathy may have been the wrong word to use because I don’t want sympathy. I want some show of understanding. It’s all well and good saying you know it’s not my fault and it’s a shit situation but your actions and the way you’ve been towards me haven’t really backed that up. I know this affects you too but I feel like you’ve made this all about you and what a disruption it is to YOUR life and what you have to do next. As I said, that’s a natural first reaction but it’s been a week now and there’s still no change.
S: And you’re entitled to think that. It’ll always seem that way when two people are involved. I’m sorry you feel like that but this whole situation has happened as a result of nothing to do with me so i am going to think about myself in the situation. Okay I’m not going through what you’re going through but at the end of the day, it’s my life too and you can’t really be surprised that that’s how I’m reacting.
Me: I get that. I’m not telling you not to think about yourself, but there hasn’t been any thought about me. You haven’t asked how I feel about it all. I can be surprised because I know if it was the other way round, I would be supporting your decision, no matter how shit it makes my situation, and not making you feel at fault
S: I’m not trying to make you feel at fault. Like I’ve said before. And like you said, there are no winners. And please don’t do the “if it was the other way round” thing because that never works.
Me: You may not be trying to but that’s what has happened for the past week. Ok fine, well let me put it this way, if it was another one of my friends I was in this situation with, I’m positive they would be more understanding and wouldn’t be making me feel like this.
S: Okay well I’m sorry you feel like that. I’m glad you have proper friends in your life that react exactly the way you want them to.
Me: It’s not what I want but what I expect from a good friend.
S: Well that’s it then. I won’t have you imply I’m a bad friend. My conscience is clear. Like I said earlier the sooner January comes the better for both of us I guess.
Me: Well you haven’t really been a good friend recently. Particularly after my last operation. You said “I’ll be there for you and bring you anything you need” and then went swanning off to (your boyfriend’s). If I actually needed anything, you wouldn’t have come all the way back for me. You’ll say that’s harsh but it’s the truth. There were a couple of days straight after my op that you didn’t even ask me how I was feeling. Not every day, but enough times for me to remember. You went straight into taking about yourself and your problems with sam and not once did you ask anything about me. And it’s been like that for months. I ask about you and how things are going with (your boyfriend) but any time the conversation turned to me you would be texting and seem uninterested. You say that’s how (your two other close friends) have been acting towards you when you’ve been doing exactly the same to me. There’s no point in holding back now since you’re wishing for January to come round quickly.
S: Ok cool. I mean I could go back to every single one of those points with something you do too but I’m not going to. How dare you, honestly. You say the truth hurts, it obviously does which is why you’re so upset about the situation. Cut your losses now, I’m over this conversation. I know who I am and what I would do and If I’d done something wrong it would eat away it me. It hasn’t.
Me: You’re not coming back with points because you don’t have any. I didn’t ever ask because there was no point.
S: If that’s what you think, sure. I can’t be bothered with this anymore because you’re always right. M who sits on a pedestal above everyone else and judges from above. If that’s the life you want to live and try to make other people feel shit to make your own decisions feel justified and yourself feel better, cool. I’m not getting involved with that.
Me: I’m not always right. But you’re never wrong. I don’t sit on a pedestal and judge. I don’t need to make myself feel better because I haven’t dont anything wrong in this situation.
Me: (I wasn’t going to let it end like that. If our friendship is over, which it clearly is at this point, may as well get it all out!) - So that seems to be the conversation over. But let me just say this - you’re so quick to cut friendships when someone says something you don’t like. You won’t ever admit you’re wrong and look at all the people you’ve alienated... (friends 1,2 and 3), the list goes on. There’s definitely a pattern and you’ve got to ask yourself why.
S: You’re just delightful. You’re out of f**king line for that comment. Nasty as f**k. Didn’t know you had it in you. Please don’t contact me further. At least not today. Never once got personal and you’ve just shown your true colours. Thanks for that.
And that’s how it’s ended. I might have been out of line with that last comment, but it is 100% the truth and I had to say it. She said she never once got personal, but wasn’t the “M who sits on a pedestal” comment just that?
Thoughts please! I’ve asked a couple of people close to me and they have all said I said nothing out of line. But then again they’re all biased...
Just realised I missed sensoring one of the names. Doh! Never mind, pretty common name haha!
1. "Me: I could afford it. And I still can. But I won’t be able to in a few months time. It’s called foresight
S: Okay well if you’re going to be patronising I’m over this conversation"
If you were patronising then - only a TINY bit. Not enough to end the conversation. Not nearly. So methinks it was less the 'patronisation' and more the fact you got her bang-to-rights that had her threatening to flounce.
(My radar just went panoramic when I clocked that.)
2. "S: I’m just sick and tired of being quiet and rolling over for an easy life. You’re my best friend and of course I hate the situation that you’re in because it’s shit. I’ve told you time and time again that I’d be there. But I won’t be made to be a bad person just because you don’t agree something I’ve said is “fair”. As it stands, it’s looking like the sooner we move out the better"
I don't know what she means with the first sentance, but... What's she going on about? The argument wasn't about anyone being bad, the argument was about your announcing the foreseeable sh*t had hit the fan as meant you had to think with your sensible feet and put a stop to the living arrangement. Why is she redirecting focus from the issue to a mere insignificant detail? Where is her looking at her own behaviour, as started this, whereby you told her you were having to sacrifice a new and convenient part of your lifestyle because of this illness and yet all she came back with in response was 'Me-me-me-why-are-you-doing-this-to-meee!'?... and insinuating that you should want to keep her sweet to the tune of selling your car? So great...you sell your car, get a few more months of renting under your belt and - then what? Now you're in the very situation you were trying to act in accordance to originally but now also car-less? So what does she mean 'always be there'? What, with a new car for you?
There's only ONE answer to your original statement and that's this: Omg, poor you, oh, you must be really f**ked-off - me too, I was really into our little scene, but, who cares - of COURSE you'll have to go back home, of course! [etc] It's called, putting the team member that's in the most need *first*.
And what's all that 'As it stands' nonsense as well? Haven't you already *said* you have to move out? What - she'd feel better about the whole thing if she could somehow make out it was all her idea? What - her taking your rejection and seeing it with her rejection, and that's Poker?
3. If it's not a summary of yours and her relationship then why say it? Answer: it's called The Pity Ploy. It translates to this: Because everyone else I know walks all over me, you have to redress that balance by letting me walk all over you (or you're not a good friend and I might ditch the actual friendship, shown by my 'As it stands...' comment).
" but if that’s nothing to do with me why are you saying it?"
I swear on almighty god or fate or the magic unicorn in the sky that I had not read ahead and - look - SNAP!
Nuff said. I'm on your wavelength and page, missus, and getting the same reaction you got.
4. "S: Because it’s the general vibe you’re giving off when you say Ive not given enough sympathy in the situation etc. And I know..believe me I know...but I meant more as the argument progresses I just roll over"
Aw, that doesn't mean *anything*. She's just letting her mouth keep spewing nonsense because she doesn't even have any plausible argument left.
5. "It’ll always seem that way when two people are involved. "
No, it doesn't. It is *not* hard to show someone you care or the warranted extent whereby you're not even mentioning how *you* feel about any knock-ons.
Nah, I'm getting the strong impression it'll always seem that way when two people are involved *and she's one of them*. :-p
(I'm starting to dislike your friend, Sam-I-Am - sorry [sheepish grin])
6. "I’m sorry you feel like that but this whole situation has happened as a result of nothing to do with me so i am going to think about myself in the situation. Okay I’m not going through what you’re going through but at the end of the day, it’s my life too and you can’t really be surprised that that’s how I’m reacting."
(You can if you're an adult.)
Okay, I've heard enough. If someone's life has hit a ruddy great pothole and the repercussions happen to 'spoil your fun too' in the process, you *don't* lay a guilt trip on that person. The way she's (still!) reacting, anyone would think you'd ordered your current predicament from some mail order catalogue or something ...just to p*ss her off.
...except for this bit:
"and If I’d done something wrong it would eat away it me."
Not necessarily. Did I say 'necessarily'? I mean, 'narcissistically'.
And why were you out of line? She was there, threatening to cut your friendships. So you observed that she consistently does that whenever anyone criticises her over her behaviour.
You were not out of line. It was the truth, happening right there and then (or being what sounded like sincerely threatened) and you merely pointed it out and then pointed out that it was a pattern.
She's playing Victim. When she's the Perp.
Scrap the letter. She shouldn't even be *arguing* with you at a time like this, let alone punishing you for feeling hard-done-by when your so-called best friend is harping about her own mere practical inconvenience as a result of your massive one.
All in all, I think this (er) friend of yours is behaving very narcissistically (mild/low scale thus just constantly disappointing, dismaying, unreliable, incapable of two-way, etc.) and think maybe you should google 'Narcissist as Friend' to see if she's 'in there'. And then we'll take it from there.
This may be a short post because I agree with everything you have said.
The “I’m sick and tired line” refers to her other relationships ie with her boyfriend and with the aforementioned friends 1, 2 and 3. She is constantly arguing with them and ALWAYS plays the victim. She believes she is never wrong, despite the fact that it is always her that starts the argument.
I did google ‘narcissist as friend” and by God, it is her to an absolute tee. I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before! And it’s not just one or two points that relate to her, it’s most of them.
I have to say, SOULMATE, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I felt guilty for what I said because of her reaction, but hearing someone from the outside say that I have done nothing wrong and identify her as a narcissist has made me see the light. Despite us being friends for 21 years, I am just another pawn in her game and I won’t do it anymore. I don’t need that negativity and manipulation in my life so I’m done! 8=)
Thank you so much for all of your comments and advice! :-D
WAIT A COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE, missus. You're not done yet. Where do you think you are - MacForum? ;-p
What, you thought friendships - including ending them - were easy and work-free?
You do *not* have all the evidence for walking away, yet. (Nearly - shouldn't take long, few more posts.) You only have the evidence for being p*ssed off to the max. and for being in the right over this. And until you do, that conviction and relief of yours isn't going to last for long enough, certainly not a whole lifetime.
You're looking for 100% cleanliness of conscience so as to attain peace and happiness, I take it?
Qvuestions...beefore ve execute ze prisoner. ;-)
It's her *lately* to an absolute tee or do you mean as a whole, historical pattern of attitudes and behaviours? That is the 6 Million Dollar question as then tells you to where you next move on the board.
My definition of Narcissist (benign/low on the scale or malignant/high): DIFFICULT TEENAGER <---> TEENAGER FROM HELL <---> CHUCKIE, SUPERSIZED
They're *supposed* to be like that (bar the latter two). For a while. After all, they have, sort-of, just woken up to find themselves wired to the Matrix (remember?...gone are the unicorns and the rest of the magic/niceness?), which *doesn't* tend to put a body in the best of moods, especially not when they're meanwhile in a (socially) Do Or Die environment so have all these really tricky, scary things to get their heads round and master (or suffer terrifying-, nay, *petrifying* ostracisation). But - operative word: WHILE.
Teen age is the second Toddlerdom, when the butterfly struggles its way out of its cocoon to a higher plane of existence (not pretty; very distressing for the flutterby). My opinion is that the higher spectrum lot were never helped to comprehend the emotional world enough to get out of Toddler thinking/feeling/concluding/acting accordingly (hence still tantrum and throw things, including their fisticuffs and/or sulking for hours/days..). Whereas the low-on-the-scale lot never exited Teenagedom.
If you now go re-read that *highly* non-cooperative (her) text exchange, imagining it was from someone from school you'd fallen out with, at the age of 11-15. Fits, right? (You could pick her precise age better than I.)
So - back to the 6MDQ: Her lately or story of your life with her?
And then the *next* question is: What's the dark to light (positive/negative) ratio of the quality of the entire relationship from the day you met? E.g. 70:30 or 40:60.
The next: Is this a typical knee-jerk and she'll come round within a certain timeframe (which is what, normally)?
Because here's the other complicator: People who've been through too long-lasting (drip-drip for 10 years) trauma which comes to a head, or sudden and impactful traumatic event, whether the event occurs in the environment or in their head (ping!-"whaah!"), act exactly like Narcissists or any other type of personality disordered. So, hence the lately or not question.
*How* you end it is important. If the friendship is basically sound but only over recent years has she been playing up, meaning, could be sound again one day (because don't forget she's got some of your important memories) then you'll obviously want to preserve it on ice, meaning, use the right technique.
Haha, your way with words makes me laugh xD
To be honest, now that I’ve thought about it, it does seem like the right decision to make.
I understand that most people struggle with their teenage years. I did. And she was no different. She is an only child (well, has a much older half brother, but she was brought up as the only child in her household) and her relationship with her parents is rocky at the best of times. But I don’t see that as an excuse to act the way she has towards me, particularly since I have ALWAYS been there for her, even through my own struggles. I know other people who had tough teenage years, yet we’re still there for me as good friends are. And the thing is, she’s not a teenager anymore. She’s 25.
To answer the 6MDQ: she has been like this since school. We fell out for a few years because she was constantly cancelling plans with me last minute and focussing her time and attention on her one other friend at the time. I’d had enough at that point, but we got back in touch about three years later and got on like a house on fire. After all, we were young back then but had since matured and put it all in the past.
Since we got back in touch, the kind of behaviour she is currently exhibiting has reared its ugly head on many occasions, but aimed at other people in her life. It has, however, become much more obvious since we began living together and has been aimed at me more often than not. As I’ve said before, I rarely pulled her up on it because I knew she would blow up every time. I know by not confronting her about it before had made it worse, but living with someone you’re constantly at loggerheads with (as definitely would have been the case) is not pleasant. So I decided to not react to it for a peaceful-ish life.
She is very stubborn and in the past has not come round for months (or years! - see above regarding our falling out in school). He trigger for her coming round and apologising for x, y and is generally because she had fallen out with someone else and realised “sh*t, I don’t have anyone now”.
I don’t think preserving the friendship on ice is the right course of action for me here. I am totally drained from treading on eggshells around her for months and have often felt uncomfortable in Mynydd own Home because of disagreements we’ve had. My other half had also felt the brunt of this - I often tell him to meet me at my parents after work to wait for S to go out, just so we can go back to the flat without and fear of confrontation (if you remember from earlier, she hates my boyfriend for no reason whatsoever and kicks off about him coming round to the flat).
As I said, I’m emotionally drained and exhausted by all of this. And since the friendship has been one sided for a long time and I don’t get anything out of it but aggravation, Ive come to the conclusion that going our separate ways is the best thing to do. For my sanity, if nothing else!
Since school - case closed, nothing worth salvaging, Bye-Bye Time. Just wanted to be sure that you were sure. (You definitely do, now, sound sure, LOL.)
But - "she’s not a teenager anymore. She’s 25." Come on, we both know that isn't true. Scooby Clue: "And please don’t do the “if it was the other way round” thing because that never works." Look at what she's unwittingly confessing! That even when she tries to exert Cognitive Empathy (because she clearly never got trained in how to exert the Affective (emotional) type), *without* the latter type it doesn't work to shame her or trigger her into feeling sorry for the other person out of an ability to imagine or recall or by-rote work out how their problem *feels*. Or maybe she can but is so sick and tired of having been shamed her whole life (by the parents, in reaction to any complaint/beseechment regarding mistreatment?) that she leaps to self-defence mode to counter that emotional triggering. (She's stuck in war-zone mentality. She is (was) weaker or more susceptible than you to her past vampire as bit her and turned her into one but on whom she still emotionally depends.)
But the main thing is, her having the concept of intellectual empathy (as a back-up system) and the admission of having tried to use it in the past.
In that argument, I heard a stroppy, uncooperative 15-year-old (which fits), with the barnie happening in the school playground. A 15-year-old, under social and home pressure and raging hormones putting her into constantly altering states, wouldn't ever react with, 'Oh my god, I'm really sorry, I didn't MEAN to make you feel that way, I'd NEVER do that - what did I do, tell me?'.
She was more fixated on being deemed a bad person than worrying about the safety of your union as was under threat based on the fact you were feeling so upset and so outraged at the wound to your heart and sense of justice that you couldn't bring yourself to spend time in her company, come the Saturday (despite you watered-down the sting by introduce the other excuse) (mercy very much noted, btw). A healthy person would more likely have been fixated on the Saturday: "You're that upset about this? What, why, why, what - tell me, tell me?".
" As I’ve said before, I rarely pulled her up on it because I knew she would blow up every time. I know by not confronting her about it before had made it worse, but living with someone you’re constantly at loggerheads with (as definitely would have been the case) is not pleasant. So I decided to not react to it for a peaceful-ish life."
'So I decided to not react to it for a peaceful-ish life.'
Spoken like a true target-victim. ;-) Don't ever do that again. Keeping your dignity and diplomacy, rebel and point out "the Emperor's new NAKEDNESS" every single time. Because there is NO SUCH THING as a quiet life, and never was...as you now know past the point of deniability. Simple as, buds not nipped leads to ruddy great thornbush and LOADS more blood, sweat, tears, time and DELAY than if one had simply gone DELICATE LITTLE SNIP! at the time. With a Narc, stubbornness and independence of mind and being an opinionated wotsit Is Your Friend.
Rising above it is fine. But not when you're having to do it morning, noon and night. So as per - right qualities (yours), wrong recipient...or right alien (you), wrong planet.
The GOOD news - as transforms that definition, wasteage of time, is that while you were prevented from doing the practical, OH BOY, have you done an intensive emotional education. Now, that delay (go see MamaBear's testament on 'To stay married??? is it worth it?..' ) will be made up for as you recoup your destined life attainment and achievements in record time (you're the tortoise to their hare, see?). IOW, Narcs are agents for the emotionally intelligent, healthy survivor type for adding yet more skills to their emotional survival toolbelt. They hold your greatest fears right up against your nose. Once you've gone through that, virtually NOTHING scares you any more...toughens you up. Not for use against other normal healthies. But because Narcs from mild to downright nasty are bloody everywhere, always have been...but are on the increase (run, run for the hills!) thanks in part to this over-fast, modern way of living *no longer working* (even well-meaning parents are too crippled to rear and emotionally educate properly and keep their darker sides in-check when run ragged).
They're gym equipment on-legs that you've been forced to use, over and over. And now your mind is ripped like Arnie. :-) Maybe you didn't do a intensive version (romantic relationship), but you reached the equivalent due to the long, drawn-out time factor. You've been at the University of Life.
But who is she? From your past, I mean? I suspect, like all targets, you went back into the lion's den (I'm talking, following that long break you mention), the minute you felt more capable of tackling the past same or similar beast with the new face. Who is it you've just practised New You on 'friend' for?
To use the playground vernacular, since it is pertinent: which other bully in your life are you planning on scragging next? LOL
PS: Not 'for no reason'. They like to by whatever means send everyone else away so that they can dominate or bully you in peace. Don't stop there, keep researching, joining dots and learning. Hard to stop, anyway, so morbidly fascinating is it.
Well that seems to be it then! Thank you for all your advice. It all makes sense now and I’m kicking myself for letting it go on for so long, but hey-ho!
Now to try and survive the next week or so while I move all of my stuff out!...
You're welcome. Feel free to pop back in if you need any more advice or notes-comparing or simply need to vent. :-)
I’m sure I’ll have a few more things to say about my soon-to-be ex-flatmate/“best friend” between now and when I’ve moved all of my stuff out (A)
P.s Just out of interest, what do you do for a job?
Sorry for the humungeous delay!
It's handy, this 'ignoring questions' thing, isn't it? (MWA-HA-HA - backatcha! ;-D)
Nah. I'm afraid, being a long-term, permanent fixture, I really can't say... got to watch how much personal information I give out (and I've already over these last years given enough) because, you never know, someone(s) might be building an identity-stealing dossier.
Anyway, do you have an update for us re your fiend- sorry, friend? And, just out of interest - now that you've identified which traits and characteristics belong to the 'condition', have you begun to more easily spot other such types in and around your life?