Gransnet forums


friend not being a friend?

(63 Posts)
PinkCakes Wed 13-Oct-21 20:01:41

I've been friends with a woman for 13 years - she's a couple of years older than me, at 64, but was in a relationship with my son, for about 8 years.

I always got on with her, always liked her. She broke her wrist, then got breast cancer, and I supported them both emotionally, as well as doing their ironing every week for 6 months, and going with her to every radiotherapy session.

When they split up, she stayed in the house they were buying, and I remained friends with her. We bought each other Christmas and birthday presents every year. I used to pick her up 3 or 4 times a week, and we used to go to Zumba and Aqua Aerobics together. Every fortnight, my husband and I used to go out with her to various social clubs. When she had about 2 years of bother with her mum who had Alzheimer's, I was there to listen, a shoulder to cry on.

When Covid began, she was very anxious, wouldn't have anyone in her home, but I'd sit in her garden with her or we'd meet at the park. She had the vaccine, I didn't - I was a bit of an anti-vaxxer. Anyway, in July this year, I got Covid and Pneumonia, was on a ventilator for 2 weeks, and had a stroke whilst unconscious. My husband rang her to tell her. When I regained consciousness and was able to use my mobile, she and I exchanged a few messages, she said she'd visit when I got home and that she'd do my hair, that kind of thing.

I was in hospital for 6 weeks, she didn't ring once. I told her when I was home, she said she'd been very stressed with work (clerical work, from home) and that she missed seeing me. Still no call etc. She then sent me a card, through the post, which the Zumba ladies had all signed.

She's gone to the trouble of buying a card, getting others to sign it, buying a stamp and posting it, yet she lives LITERALLY 5 minutes' drive from me.

AIBU to think she could/should have rung me or called round?

Txquiltz Thu 14-Oct-21 01:56:03

She viewed you as a dear and close friend. Illness was not new to her after her own experiences, but then she saw you make a decision that nearly took your life and cost her great concern. I think I would also harbor angry feelings.

DanniRae Thu 14-Oct-21 07:13:30

I agree with all the above and hope that you have now been vaccinated?

PinkCakes Thu 14-Oct-21 09:04:03

For the record, YES, I have had the vaccine since. My friend was happy to be in my car, go to Zumba, come to my home before I was I'll. I hadn't had the vaccine then, she had. When I was in hospital, some of the NURSES hadn't had the vaccine. On the other hand, several people (in 6 weeks the patients came and went) HAD had one or both vaccines but still got Covid. How very judgemental many of you are.

Newquay Thu 14-Oct-21 09:10:19

Numbers are rising here and yet our local DD and family are all anti vaxxers. We had a very robust conversation about it and-from time to time-I ask if they’ve been vaccinated yet and it’s always NO! they’re intelligent, well educated folk who have fallen for all these (predominantly) American inaccuracies. We see them in the garden occasionally but usually on FT. We’re supposed to be going with them-in their vehicle-to a zoo outing this weekend. Think I’d feel safer in our car. And we’re invited to theirs for Christmas meals too!

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 09:14:35

Yes we are, because unvaccinated people as you were are much more likely to spread the virus, potentially killing or seriously disabling others even if they are vaccinated, and to clog up hospital beds as you did, so they are unavailable for people with serious non-covid illnesses, and place the NHS staff under unnecessary stress. Anti-vaxxers make many of us very angry indeed.

Shelflife Thu 14-Oct-21 09:16:23

Your post has generated much response! Each saying the same. I sincerely hope you are not too distressed by it all ? Please understand that posters are genuinely concerned for you and really hope you are ok and have reconsidered your decision not to be vaccinated.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 09:16:53

Crikey Newquay, I have to say I wouldn’t be in a confined space with them, in a car or in the house.

PinkCakes Thu 14-Oct-21 09:26:42

I should add that the last time I saw her was the end of June, when I picked her up for Zumba. She came back to my house too. I messaged her about an hour ago, she said she's been stressed because she's taken on extra work and an exam, (she's 64, got 2yrs left at work, definitely doesn't need the money, she could retire now if she wanted to) and that she hadn't realised how long it's been since she saw me.

VioletSky Thu 14-Oct-21 10:04:42

PinkCakes you seem determined your friend is in the wrong here. Yet you just put down her down, judged her on her need to work and her doing an exam for a job she obviously cares about. She also is under stress and you have made it about you.

I really think you need to listen and treat your friend more kindly or you are going to lose the relationship

maddyone Thu 14-Oct-21 10:22:21

PinkCakes, you’ve had the vaccine so well done, you obviously saw the good sense in that. It’s a shame you had such a terrible illness in order to get your vaccine, but thankfully you are well now and moving forward. I also had serious Covid, but not as bad as you because although I was on oxygen for many days, I didn’t need a ventilator and I didn’t have a stroke. You are a very lucky lady to have survived all that so well. I am vaccinated and am waiting for my booster, sometime in November. I’m terrified of getting Covid again because I had a really bad time in hospital, but not as bad as you did.
With regard to your friend, I’m afraid you’ll have to take it slowly. She’s been very frightened by your illness and is probably angry with you for failing to do the sensible thing and get vaccinated when it was first offered. When I had Covid I hadn’t had the vaccine because it hadn’t been offered to me then, that’s the difference between us. I haven’t lost any friends as a result of having Covid but that’s because my friends and family know it wasn’t my fault that I got so ill. You will need to build back slowly with this relationship I think, there is no way you can rush it. Maybe send her a note or some flowers and say how you regret not having the vaccine and have now had it. Please complete the course and get the second vaccine, and later the third.

Newquay Thu 14-Oct-21 10:44:26

Have just asked DD by text if they will all test before we set off in car on Saturday-answer NO!
So think we’ll be going in our own car ?

Inanticipation Thu 14-Oct-21 10:57:28

It sounds like you’ve been a lovely friend and I can understand where you’re coming from. My guess is that you becoming ill has heightened your friend’s already heightened health anxieties, which are totally understandable given her medical history, and she has been really, really struggling to cope. Take care x

Peasblossom Thu 14-Oct-21 11:02:50

Relationships of all kinds often rattle along for years quite happily, enjoying what you have in common and ignoring the things you don’t, until something so fundamental happens that the relationship can never be the same.

The splitting up wasn’t the rock on which your friendship foundered, but I think Covid might be.

I know I found it difficult to deal with people who ignored the rules. That fundamental disregard for other people, spreading infection and not caring about the burden on medical staff.
Refusing the vaccine would have been the nail in the coffin.

Sometimes the differences are just too big to overcome. I think you just have to leave it to her now. You made your choice and now she will make hers.

Peasblossom Thu 14-Oct-21 11:05:20

“When Covid began she was very anxious, not having anyone in her home”

That wasn’t anxious, that was sensible and what we were asked to do to prevent infection.

PinkCakes Thu 14-Oct-21 13:51:56

I've been really upset by some of the responses on here. I took my chances by not having the vaccine, paid the price (many of you will think it served me right) of it. As I've said, quite a few of the patients who had already had the vaccine, still ended up in hospital.

I can understand that my friend may well have felt, perhaps still feels, anxious about seeing me. I wish she'd perhaps 'phoned me, just for 5 minutes.

Some days I feel very guilty for having survived. The judgmental comments I've had have made me wish I hadn't. Thanks.

Hithere Thu 14-Oct-21 13:59:19

Part of the price of originally being an anti vaxxer is also how it affects relationships around you, not just getting sick

As for your last comment, tiny bit dramatic and insensitive dont you think?
Plenty of posters here have suffered losses due to covid (while doing all the right things) and your attitude is very self serving

AmberSpyglass Thu 14-Oct-21 14:27:56

It’s unlikely, though not impossible, that you’d have ended up in hospital with the vaccine. It’s very likely you wouldn’t have been as ill. So this is honestly on your shoulders and you should just accept that, and that it may make people just not want to be in your life anymore. That’s the price you pay.

SueDonim Thu 14-Oct-21 14:31:55


I should add that the last time I saw her was the end of June, when I picked her up for Zumba. She came back to my house too. I messaged her about an hour ago, she said she's been stressed because she's taken on extra work and an exam, (she's 64, got 2yrs left at work, definitely doesn't need the money, she could retire now if she wanted to) and that she hadn't realised how long it's been since she saw me.

You accuse many posters here of being judgmental and yet you feel free to judge your friend. Pot, kettle, black, it seems to me.

trisher Thu 14-Oct-21 14:45:03

I'm surprised anyone was going to Zumba classes in June. Were they in the open air? Most of the classes I know of have been cancelled since March 2020 and only available on line.
I'm sorry you didn't get the response you wanted, but I'm afraid I'm with the majority and see your anti-vax stance as the real issue. If you do want to keep her friendship (and I'm not certain you do) perhaps you could send her a card and some flowers explaining that you are now vaccinated, you understand how difficult she must have found it and you really want to stay friends.

M0nica Thu 14-Oct-21 14:59:55

Pinkcakes I think you were totally purblind in not realising just how seriously people have taken the the whole vaccination issue. Not only did you fail to take on board just how strongly most people took the issue and but also how extremist many anti-vaxxers are, so that anyone not accepting the vaccine is seen as conspiracy theorists and dangerous right-wingers.

I suspect that your whole attitude to the COVID crisis has been indiffernce and a slight feeling that everyone was making a fuss about nothing. You attribute all the careful protection most people adopted, including your friend to being 'anxious', and then when vaccine came along you really weren't bothered, probably couldn't see the point.

It has come as a shock to you that what you treated so lightly, has actually been treated as very serious by nearly all of the rest of the populaton, including your friend. That is why you are shocked by the responses to your OP that rather supports my belief that you never really realised how seriously everyone else was taking COVID.

Perhaps in the future you will ensure that you are well informed about issues that other people take very seriously, whether that means reading papers or news web sites and also think things through carefully before shrugging your shoulders.

AcornFairy Thu 14-Oct-21 16:26:48

While agreeing with your sentiments MOnica, maybe your wording was a little harsh? Covid has put our tolerance under a lot of strain and unfortunately a number of friendships have suffered as a result.

It saddens me that so many people - anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, anti-social distancers et al – have put their own personal “freedom” above the “freedom” of those of us who prefer to be cautious. And unfortunately, although the majority of us do err on the side of respect for ourselves and for others, there is a significant number of people who do not.

Social distancing became something of an issue for me, not least because I have mobility issues and cannot move quickly out of the way of those who encroach upon my 2 meter space. I dealt with this by establishing that 2 meters was – conveniently - the length of my outstretched arm with my walking stick at the end of it. This enabled me to protect myself in queues and elsewhere. If someone comes too close to me I now have the equipment to demonstrate!

I hope you can make-up with your friend, PinkCakes.

Scones Thu 14-Oct-21 16:40:10

PinkCakes Well I'm glad you survived and I'm sure everyone who loves you is too. Life is so precious.

The vaccine and covid makes people judgemental, but we are all only doing our best in our own way.

You can't live your friend's life for her. Things will work out between you or they won't. Life is still good...carry on enjoying your days.

Grandmabatty Thu 14-Oct-21 17:14:17

Well you've rather spit your dummy out, haven't you? Did you expect we would all say, "your friend is wrong and you were right?" You asked for opinions and you got them! I would have put a healthy distance between us if you had been my unvaccinated friend. And reading your responses, I would not contact you again. Why not accept what the majority are saying, apologise to her and leave the 'friendship' to her to continue or not.

Grandmabatty Thu 14-Oct-21 17:16:03

You too posted in aibu therefore you can expect robust answers. Maybe post under chat if you don't like posters saying that you are unreasonable.

MissAdventure Thu 14-Oct-21 17:30:00

And yet, at the height of the pandemic people here were telling others to mind their own business, stop pearl clutching and hand wringing about others' choices.
I do hope you can get back your close friendship; vivid hasn't done anyone any favours in that respect.
Give your friend time, it may take some work to get back to how things were.