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Am I being silly?

(57 Posts)
angie95 Sat 05-Aug-17 17:45:52

An old friend has lost both parents, her daughter lives abroad, and I have been going every week, with lunch etc, even though I am suffering myself. I have severe arthritis in my joints and spine, as well as curved lower spine. I am having eye operations, and all I hear is, how much she needs her daughter to send her money,as she has none of her own. She never once asks if I'm ok, just texts to see if I'm going round. I am suffering with stress, which is making my skin flare up with eczema, Have had lots of laser eye treatment for glaucoma, am now partially sighted in the left eye and having a cataract op on Monday on the right eye, (to say I'm scared is putting it mildly) on Thursday when I went round, not once did she say "Good luck" just "will you be coming on.Thursday?" I said "no, I need to get used to the eye feeling gritty,for a while,and won't feel like going out. Am I being selfish, even though I have been going every week since January?

ethelwulf Sun 06-Aug-17 09:33:37

Take some time out for yourself, and leave your selfish so-called friend to her own devices. As for your forthcoming cataract op, it's an absolute doddle. Just chill out and look forward to the significant improvement in your sight which I guarantee will come as a pleasant surprise.

Jaycee5 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:35:05

I agree with Ingejones and Radiclan. It is very difficult to keep friends if you are depressed and this may be her problem. It cannot be made your problem though. Friendship is a two way street or what is the point. You have become her support worker. You have to think of your own health and consider what you get from the relationship. She may be more prepared to contact Age Concern if she has to do without your help for a while. They are said to be very good on financial problems. If you are going to continue as you are, then it seems to me that you have to get angry with her and ask her why she never asks how you are even when she knew you were about to have an operation. What would you lose if you fell out?
Hooty's idea is a good one too. Ask for the help you would have given her if the situation were reversed and see what happens.

Theoddbird Sun 06-Aug-17 09:35:42

You are definitely not being selfish. You need to take time for your self and if she does not realize this she is the one being selfish.

Good luck with your operation. Take care of yourself x

fluttERBY123 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:39:25

I too agonised before my cataract op but reasoned - I won't feel anything (anaesthetic) or see anything (strong light in eye) and so it was. Worst part was a bit of a neck ache. You will be fine.

Tessa101 Sun 06-Aug-17 09:50:23

I agree with tho others you are not being selfish, the total opposite in fact. My father in law just had cataract done he said it didn't hurt and was over very quickly, I think it's just the thought that it's your eyes that they are messing with but they know what they are doing.Hugs.

Veda Sun 06-Aug-17 09:50:32

You are not selfish at all. I had two cataracts operated & threw away my glasses. The operation is over in minutes & it was a miracle for me. I had a lens put inb that also allows me to read.

holdingontometeeth Sun 06-Aug-17 09:55:35

You are not being selfish. You should be putting your health first and I hope everything goes well with your operation and recovery.
You don't make it clear what your husband doesn't understand.
I would imagine that he wouldn't be able to fathom out why you are putting devotion to your friend at the expense of your own physical and emotional well being.

pamdixon Sun 06-Aug-17 10:17:45

Defo put yourself first and make sure you are feeling stronger (mentally and physically) before you go to see her again. You are not being selfish - she is by the sounds of things.
I'm about to have a cataract op too - and intend to prolong my recovery (!) for as long as I can..................suggest you do the same! Good luck with it.

angie95 Sun 06-Aug-17 10:18:00

Thank you ladies, I now see that it isn't me , it's her. I did mention, that I wouldn't be going on the Thursday, and her reply was, that another friend older than us, (she has children our age, we are in our early 50s) was poorly she still went to see her, so she could nip out ( she was a carer for her mum, for seven years, ) and I felt that it was a slight dig, at "well she did it, so why can't you?" So I have decided I need to rest, I need me time, she never texts or rings, to see how I am , apart from to check if I am going round, the day before, One sided is right, so "Me time" here I come, Once again thank you, will let you know how I get on, xx

Apricity Sun 06-Aug-17 10:35:42

Recently I accidentally stumbled on this site (as one does on the internet) and joined as an Australian member. From the various threads I gave been reading I just wanted to say what a lovely, sensitive, sensible group you are. I have have been so impressed by the support, comments and suggestions made in response to a number of very painful and heartfelt issues raised by correspondents. I think you should all give yourselves a really big pat on the back.
Regards from Down Under.

JanaNana Sun 06-Aug-17 11:24:38

I think you are true friend very loyal and supportive despite your own health problems.....however you need to put yourself first and take care of you. I guess this friend is missing her parents and not having her daughter near has become totally reliant on you. Maybe she could be the one who visits you now. It would probably do her good just to do that if only once to see that friendship is a two way thing and can"t be centered just around herself. I wonder if she has had financial help from her parents in the past and now thinks her daughter should continue with this. One of the charities such as Help the Aged might be able to give her some practical advice if she is struggling financially......I think they can help/suggest an advocate or similar to help people who need help to sort out their finances. Hope you soon feel much better yourself and good luck for your friend.

marionk Sun 06-Aug-17 12:06:39

Definitely give yourself more than 2 weeks before you see her again, you sound like you really need some recuperation time and this will be an excellent opportunity to set some altered boundaries with her. Whatever you decide please don't fall into the trap of lending her any money!

All the very best for your op

inishowen Sun 06-Aug-17 12:11:16

Totally agree with HootyMcOwlface!

glammanana Sun 06-Aug-17 12:26:27

Apricity What a lovely post and how good it is to see we are attracting some more of our "down under nana's" smile
Angie Does your friend have any other visitors during the week or is it only you who visits on Thursday's at just over 50ish I would expect her to have a far more active lifestyle and either be working or making herself busy in some other capacity,could you not change your meet ups to going into town for a coffee for a change of venue or a trip out some where,If she truely needs company she can register with Age UK for their visiting scheme where someone will call in every so often for a chat.

ajanela Sun 06-Aug-17 12:32:43

Me too. I laughed when I read HootyMcowlface's comments. Love the name.

luluaugust Sun 06-Aug-17 12:38:33

Good luck for Monday, a friend had the op recently and was dreading it, then had to admit it had all gone much easier than she thought.

I really think you should prick your friend's conscientious as she should come and visit you after the op to see how you are. Long friendships can get into some very odd little routines, you have done your bit of support with the loss of her parents and it is now her turn to support you.

She is certainly very young to be stuck at home, presumably got used to it whilst caring, she really needs to get out and about and a cuppa with you would be a start.

FlorenceFlower Sun 06-Aug-17 12:59:57

Dear Angie, am sure your eye op will go very smoothly. My father has just had both cataracts done, three weeks apart, he's aged 93 and after I picked him up from the first one, we popped to the nearby garden centre for lunch! Ditto my aunt who was 91 when hers were done. Both said that they should have had their cataracts done years ago!

Some friends/acquaintances can be totally draining, and rather leach like, they are takers - am just disentangling myself from one.

You have a marvellous opportunity now to say no more lunchs for several weeks because of your eyes (we all need excuses sometimes) and perhaps ring her once a week, for 20 mins or so, instead of seeing her. While you are talking on the phone, perhaps make some of the suggestions that others have made in this thread AND have a cup of coffee.

And of course, some people feel that they are short of money, and they really are not. I hope you don't pay for lunch every time!

Good luck for tomorrow, please let us know how it goes - perhaps in a week or so. Huge hugs and please do look after yourself. 🌺

grumpyoldwoman56 Sun 06-Aug-17 13:23:26

Hi angie95,
You are certainly not being selfish. She is the one being selfish. You are having to cope with so much at the moment and you need to look after yourself.

Seeing this 'friend' is causing you stress which is something you don't need. There are a lot of selfish people out there and you don't sound like one of them. Remember you must love yourself before you can love another. Start loving yourself. Take care.

widgeon3 Sun 06-Aug-17 13:24:54

You might almost be writing about me healthwise..... quickly deteriorating vision in one eye and scared of the cataract operation on the good eye....... under medication for an auto-immune condition.....
but I have no such selfish friend situation. I understand the health part of your mail very well indeed and cannot empathise more over the friend difficulty
The health bit is bad enough. She doesn't deserve you. Look after yourself and let her know what yOUR situation is
Please let us all know how the operation goes

quizqueen Sun 06-Aug-17 13:27:50

She manages the other 6 days without you. I don't know why people spend time putting themselves out to help others whose company they do not enjoy and do not seem willing to help themselves. 7 months of your attention is plenty of time for her to have sorted herself out. Tell her you will come over to hers once a month from now on and if she wants to she can visit you alternate months and leave her a list of clubs and activities she can access.

NannyBadcrumble1 Sun 06-Aug-17 13:29:01

You're not being selfish at all my lovely. It's time to put yourself first. You need to look after yourself. Whilst I feel desperately sorry for your friend, she has certainly been taking you for granted. I can't understand why she's thinking the CAB will give her money?! They will let her know if she's entitled to any benefits though.

Good luck with the op, everything will be fine, my Nan had hers done years ago, best thing she ever did she said flowers x

GoldenAge Sun 06-Aug-17 14:49:39

Hi Angie - sorry to say but your old friend has progressed to the stage of being your dependent and with this has come her expectation that you have a duty to care for her and generally be her support. This is something that you must put right in her mind immediately, otherwise your long friendship might disintegrate and you might not want that. It's time for a frank chat and if this doesn't result in more of a two-way street, then you need to pull back even more. I have a widowed cousin in her 70s who has always helped her friends quite selflessly as she has nobody and nothing to keep her at home. One of her so-called friends has used her mercilessly to assist in helping when she has had her many hospital visits as this friend has an adult son with Down's syndrome. This continual expectation developed into something much more when the friend was hospitalised four months ago and she, together with her social worker asked my cousin if she would stay with the son for 'a couple of nights' as a temporary measure as it was a bank holiday and it would be difficult for the social worker to find a place for him. My cousin helped out but unfortunately that 'couple of nights' extended to eight weeks during which time her friend repeatedly gave her instructions about how to look after her flat and the son, etc., gave her money for taxis but asked her to account for every penny in much the same way an employer would, and basically began to treat her so-called 'long friend' (my cousin) as an employee. The outcome of this has been that once out of her convalescent period my cousin's friend requested my cousin to stay and continue (upaid) as a home-help. My cousin's absence from her own friends caused repercussions with them, and things went wrong with her own flat because she wasn't there to sort them out. Now the friendship has completely broken. This all came about because my cousin was just too gullible and put this friend's wishes and needs before her own. You have to learn from lessons like this - take care of yourself and don't over-commit. Good luck with your own health.

DS64till Sun 06-Aug-17 14:53:20

Not selfish at all. What a lovely friend you are xx So many people get caught up in their own dramas. Sometimes with my friends and how lovely they are at listening I might innocently forget to ask them and then berate myself afterwards, it's sometimes just so nice to have someone to talk to you get caught up in the flow of things. Hope you make a speedy recovery X

Hattiehelga Sun 06-Aug-17 15:35:47

It will be interesting to know if she enquires how you are after your operation.

pauline42 Sun 06-Aug-17 16:12:49

You should be able to care for yourself and your faltering health problems first and foremost .....but to recognize this firstly you have to value and appreciate the obvious need for your own wellbeing. This decision is your choice to make - not anyone else's - based on your respect for yourself.