I was minding my own business tonight and immersed in my book, relaxing. Just. Relaxing. This is what I need, what I deserve, and I should not have to explain myself to anyone. M has been busy the last several days getting a very loud air compressor dialed in for his next house project (replacing baseboard), shopping for materials, planning and getting ready. It’s wonderful. Anyway, he was occupied doing his thing, I was on the couch with my book …

and the phone rang.

I checked to see who was calling and chose not to answer it. Honestly, the last couple of weeks have been a compendium of other peoples stuff piling on with my own stuff. And if that stuff were truly critical and necessary, I would attend to it; I am not a completely insensitive friend. But this friend was calling me for the third night in a row to cry about her soon-to-be-former husband. He cheated, decided he wanted out of the marriage, and she’s destroyed by it. I do understand that, and while I feel a great deal of sympathy, I am actually rather tired of being her listening post. It’s been almost 8 months of at least weekly conversations about it, she’s been in therapy for it, and she calls her phone tree nightly to cry and be sad for as long as we will listen.

I hate to sound like this, but it feels more like a habit than anything else. I had to tell her last night when I got home from the gym (after 3 phone calls and 3 tearful voice mails while I was there) that I myself am having a very tough time and am probably not at my best right now. She took that as me tired of listening to her, and I was honest and said as gently as I could that she might want to explore more with her therapist or contemplate medication at this point because it has been this long and she does not seem to be making much progress after 8 months. I, not being a professional, do not know how to help her as she rehashes everything every time we speak or get together. It seems unhealthy.

Tonight was something new. Tonight she is desperate and feeling like harming herself she says in the voicemail. I am torn about what to do – what if I do nothing and it turns out to be something? I consult with M, he says call her back. I call another close mutual friend first, who got the same message and already called, could not reach her, and called a mental health agency to ask for advice.

Long story short, one of our other friends called 911 and reported a potential suicide attempt and actually went over to her home … to find her sitting on her couch eating ice cream and then very upset to find the police at her door doing a welfare check with our other friend waiting anxiously at the curb.

I talked it over with M and he feels some distance at this point is appropriate and I agree. But it’s hard. I really wish she should start a blog so she can vent all that stuff and get support from others who have actually been in the same type of situation.

I am so angry right now I am literally shaking. I want to write her an email and explain how I feel, how upset I am with her, and how her actions are impacting me. But I cannot. It comes off too harsh and too unkind and too influenced by my anger. So I am venting here before going back to my reading and soothing my brain that way.

Ugh. I so hate this kind of shit. Makes me want to crawl away and be a hermit.


4 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. Oh that’s a tough one. Probably right to not send an email right now. I too can’t stand that attention seeking behaviour but it’s tough when your friend is obviously in pain. I hope you figure out the right thing for you.

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