Advice Pls - "friend" (warning: long and boring)

This is something on my mind, I have discussed it with my counsellor (and then was annoyed i’d wasted a £35 session on this), also with family to some extent but there is never the time to get all my thoughts out so I thought I’ll write it out on here in case it helps me. I think I know what I want to do (never speak to this friend again unless I have to for some reason) but just would like a sanity check (I don’t have much left). Any comments/advice welcome.

I’m 40. I was part of a large friendship group at college (age 16-18) and there was a girl on the outside of the group who was lonely, We got talking once and she was a bit weird but interesting, I helped her become part of the group and often tried to make her feel more confident within the group, introducing her to people etc.

When we left college I fell out of contact with everyone just because I and they were growing up. I got married to my husband and this girl was the only one I remained in contact with from school/college (we had also come from the same high school but I hadnt known who she was then). That was mainly down to her as she kept contacting me and I always responded but if she had let the communication stop I probably would have done too.

My husband and I would support her with a lot of advice about various situations and she would come over for tea. Sometimes we went to festivals together. She told me it made her feel more lonely when I came with my husband (she never had a proper relationship and lives with her parents) so sometimes i just used to go with her to try and be a good friend as she said she had no other friends to go with. We also went to a few minibreaks together which I usually dreaded because her and I are not similar type of people and I find i have to look after her a lot as she is very unpredictable.

Once we had a big falling out at a pub quiz because she gave me an ultimatum that i needed to choose between her or my husband because she thought i shouldnt have brought him along (even though i’d asked here before hand if it was OK). Of course I chose him (no contest) and thought we’d never speak again but after a year she apologised and said i was her best friend and she missed me etc so we started to socialise again, Sometimes with my husband (who had more patience for her than I did actually) and sometimes just the two of us. In the last 5 years I probably only actually met up with her six times a year or so but she would text me weekly for advice and sometimes phone when she was upset due to family arguments (usually i’d actually think her family member was in the right and explain that to her gently, she does have a low anger threshold). She’s not the kind of friend you can rely on but she is sometimes fun and she does try hard at being a friend sometimes but she lacks social awareness and I think that is why she doesnt really have any friends except for me (she calls me her best friend despite we hardly see each other).

When my husband died, I only told her a week or so later as I knew I would have to comfort her and I didn’t feel up to it. When I phoned her I had to be really calm and try hard not to cry to avoid her freaking out. I told her to sit down as she did start freaking out and asking if i was joking and telling me how she felt and asking me what she should do now as she was on a walk. It was quite a difficult phone call for me. She also came to my house with flowers which she left on the doorstep and then texted me that it was a long drive for her but shed left me flowers but that she had had a row with my (nice) neighbour because she had parked blocking that neighbour’s drive… so i had to comfort her about that too… I avoided her offers of a visit or phonecall because i found her a lot to cope with on top of everything else.

I answered her phone call a few days before the funeral because she had texted me freaking out about where she should park at the crematorium (which is somewhere me and her used to meet up at for a walk anyway sometimes so she should know it really well and it is very near her own house). During the phonecall she gave me a lot of unsolicited advice like telling me she had a vision I will meet a new husband. That my husband is at peace with the angels (I am an athiest) and all the usual BS. She also kept offering to help with all the funeral admin but I knew i couldnt really rely on her so instead i just showed her the covid seating plan the crematorium had asked me to fill in and asked if she could help with sitting people in the right place so that close family can sit in the few indoor spaces and we need to respect the covid rules. She agreed.

At the funeral I heard her introducing herself to people as my “best friend” and she kept talking to me about where she’d parked and stuff about her when I was trying to compose myself on the way in and others were trying to offer condolences. After i’d followed my husband’s coffin in and sat down at the front chair on my own she came running in and over to me saying she had forgotten the seating plan. I was a bit dazed so couldn’t really understand her as i was also trying to listen to the first song which i’d purposely chosen to try and cheer myself up at what i knew would be a hard moment. She sat down herself in the chair intended for my Stepdad, then my brother, then my auntie and then my uncle before finally standing at the back of the chapel (not allowed as she was standing right behind my elderly aunt breathing down her neck). If she would have been carrying Covid she would have spread it to all those chairs and the commotion meant i was facing the wrong way when the first song ended and the Minister started speaking, I missed the coffin being laid down and the photo being put up because I was trying to calm her down and direct my other confused relatives where to sit after she caused such confusion. I knew she was nervous and tried to see the funny side, as my husband would have done but in truth it did upset me a bit as the service was not very long anyway.

Afterwards she was very nervous and came and explained some more things to me that I didn’t have capacity to take in (something about her plans for the rest of the day and if she could have a spare order of service). I was almost glad when she’d gone which i feel a bit mean saying as I know she was trying her best at not an easy occasion for her too.

In the following weeks I didn’t hear much from her but then she asked to meet up. I was suicidal and shaking/crying all the time by then and grateful for any company to get through the minutes so I did. One time she did let me tell her about the day my husband died and that did help (she’d done a first aid course recently and showed me the bag you are supposed to put over the mouth when doing CPR as I was really upset about that aspect of the CPR, it helped me a bit to talk about that).

I met her around 4 times the following weeks, it was always a double-edged sword as except for the first time I could feel she was not listening to me and a bit bored by my continual grief but on the other hand it did cheer me up to have the company, even if sometimes it upset me a lot more afterwards thinking about what she said. She also gave me a present of a tiny angel carving she believed is magical. I thanked her a lot and appreciated that she thought to give that to me, despite that I don’t believe her point of view I am glad for her that she does believe that and put it up on my shelf to remind me that someone cared about me rather than for it’s magical powers.

I did tell her that I knew she was trying to help but the talk about angels, god and that i will find a new husband upset me more than helped so i would prefer if she dropped those subjects. Then she would say “i know you dont believe this but i believe… and still say them”. It got a bit on my nerves so I stopped meeting/talking with her but we still remained in text contact every few days.

She tried to encourage me to join a zoom video quiz she was organising and to invite anyone else (she needed more numbers). I really didn’t want to and told her that but she gave me a ticket for it (she was selling them so free to her but the others had to pay). I didn’t do it and I think it irritated her a bit. She also wanted me to join other similar events like a zoom version of crystal maze (last thing i could think of to be honest!!) and other events with people i don’t know from a social group she’d joined and volunteered as an organiser for. She had a lot of operational difficulties with it that she asked my advice about to.

I noticed that if i told her i was upset she would always try to solve it, She did google things like a local bereavement group (closed due to covid though), CRUSE and WAY to tell me about. She also found some other forums and would send me links often to “funny” posts that actually i didn’t find funny like she did on account of feeling the same (things like a woman who slept on her dirty sheets because she couldnt bear to change them due to they smelled of her husband).

She kept asking how she can help and i said i just needed her to listen to me, not try to solve things. I was quite direct but she could never really manage that (I know it’s hard and too much to expect).

I slumped further and was really going to kill myself, I confided only in her about those feelings and how alone and hopeless i felt. She said everyone has bad days and she felt like that on a monday driving into work sometimes and that i needed to get hobbies to cheer myself up. I’d also told her about the panic attacks i was having in the night where i could only see my husband’s dead face and the 1,2,3,4 in my mind of the chest compressions and stuff like that. She said i should ring her if i had a time like that again. I did and so i texted her. She texted back something like “we all have problems, my phone battery is low, goodnight”. It was a lot to ask texting here at 4am i know and i was surprised she replied at all but still I felt a bit let down after all her many offers of help.

There had been a point when I didn’t reply to her text for 2 weeks when she’d asked me if a new neighbour was attractive and I felt sickened that again she was insinuating i could replace my husband.

She left me a voicemail saying her Dad had to go to hospital and she sounded upset. I got back in touch fearing the worst for her but she was quite cheerful and said her Dad, Mum and her had just been out for a takeaway lunch and walk. Her mum had taken him to hospital because he was suffering anxiety due to Covid restrictrions and not being able to go on day trips/to his favourite cafe but he was fine now. Over the following weeks I asked after him and they’d often been on a local day out together the three of them so whilst I appreciate he had anxiety and i know from experience that is really not nice, it’s not like what i thought from the voicemail she left me that made me think he’d had a heart attack or cancer diagnosis or something…

She wondered why I had not replied for two weeks and I explained that i knew she didnt mean to upset me but when she said things like that I did tend to feel upset so since i didnt know what to say i hadnt replied as thinking about it upset me and since i was suicidal and only just hanging on i didnt want to think about it,

We had normal messages back and forth for a bit and i tried to reduce my thoughts of how i really was and keep the focus on her as i could tell she was extremely bored by my depression. She was saying that i would be a lot better once covid restrictions were over as she couldnt wait for it and started making arrangements for us to meet up with someone from her quiz group whose husband had died several years ago, saying the three of us could meet at a local tourist spot for lunch during the week.

I said I am trying to hold down my job and do not drive so cannot come during the week but don’t really feel up to it yet either. She was a bit annoyed about that and kept pressuring me, saying she had made arrangements already. Then she changed the day to give me more time to book the day off but i said i still didn’t want to. She abandoned that plan eventually and again we were just talking about normal things via text like songs or her work. She also would send me links about youtube videos “proving” angels are real and this kind of thing to prove me wrong and I no longer commented back on those texts as I didn’t want to crap all over her beliefs which she takes great comfort from. She would often tell me things like she had a message from my husband which I did find a bit uncomfortable though.

Another day we were talking on WhatsApp and she was laughing that she had broken her mum’s precious vase that belonged to her dead Grandma. She had done this in the background of her mum on a zoom church meeting so her mum didn’t react straight away but she knew her mum would come up and say something once the call was over and she was laughing and asking me what to say. I was a bit shocked that she was not upset herself (as i would be) so i tried to explain to her that her mum may be very upset because that is one of the last things she has of her dead mother… when her mum came in, she repeated to her all I’d said so her mum was pacified but then once her mum had gone she was laughing to me about it again afterwards. It shocked me that she could put on a show of understanding grief without caring at all and made me wonder if that’s what she does to me.

One morning I got a set of very long texts from her out of the blue suddenly saying she had been holding it in but she wanted to know if i thought it was a good way to treat a friend who tried to help me to not speak to them for two weeks over one stupid comment.
Also she said did i think it was acceptable that when my husband was alive i’d spent my birthday having cocktails with him when she’d wanted to visit me so she wasn’t good enough for me then but now that i needed her i was “all over her texting all the time”.

I replied saying yes i texted more now because indeed i need her for the first time and actually my texts are usually only in reply to her texts. I said yes i ignored her for two weeks because her comments, whilst meant to be helpful were not helping me but actually upsetting me more at a time i felt suicidal already so i needed a break for my own health. Then i said i wasn’t sure what she wanted, is it me to reply less or more because she was having a go at me for both things. I also said that I felt she doesn’t listen to what I am saying and regards other people’s grief as entertainment.

She replied back that she thought I had a real nerve after everything she has done for me and that this is the end of the friendship. I said I agree and wished her all the best.

I noticed some time later that she must have unfriended me on Facebook that day. I then blocked her on WhatsApp in childish retaliation. I felt a bit relieved to be honest after that though also sad/angry. I’ve had a few times where it has been on my mind since feeling anger towards her and i had a few sleepless nights where it was all on my mind a lot. I told my mum and she said she always thought that friend was a bit weird (though could be nice) due to some things she’d done at my wedding too (that i hadn’t thought about).

Anyway, it’s been about 2 months since that angry exchange (it was just before i had a flip out and went to live with my mum temporarily and on the anti-depressants, I think the whole thing was one of the contributing factors as i was very lonely and it upset/shocked me a lot that she had a go at me at the time i needed it least).

This week i received a notecard through the post from her.

It says.

"We have been friends for over 20 years, I remember our first conversation…

When you told me the news about René I was about to go for a walk by the canal and it was completely out of the blue, unexpected and left me in disbelief. I am still in that place now.

I was upset that you ignored my messages for two weeks and that you thought i found grief as entertainment. I’m still left wondering why you would think so little of me. I have never suggested that you should get a hobby either.

I understand what you said about how you like how the counsellor listens. I suggested the bereavement group in the town centre and that we could meet for coffee as a suggestion.

The last few months have been hell for us as dad has been poorly so we have constantly been at A and E and up all night.

I didnt want to bombard you with facebook messages or texts. The restriction and lockdown have made everything even more unbearable.

At least i know that i tried to apologise for anything i might have said/done to upset you. Was it the light forums i sent (links?)
xxx"

A few things cross my mind now but I am not sure if it is the grief and I’m not being fair.

First option is just to ignore her. If i bump into her one day i can say hello to be polite but not go into a conversation.

Second option I could write back explaining it for her and then ignore her. To me it feels like her card is less about being a friend to me/apologising but more about continuing the argument to prove something. To me it looks like a “sorry not sorry” type of letter.

Thirdly of course I could apologise as maybe i am in the wrong and I’m too harsh. Things would go back to how they were for her but I don’t think I could truly ever really forgive her in my mind though i could put on a good show.

My initial compulsion on receiving it was to send a cute card back, returning the angel she gave me (now in a cupboard after a nearmiss with the bin first before i felt too shady to throw it away) and then inside the card I’d just write “F*CK YOU” but I know that is not really the mature thing to do here!

It was a very long post I know and no worries if no one posts. It did me good to finally write it all out anyway and if anyone got this far reading, then thank you and I hope you had a brew to keep you going!! :slight_smile:

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I started reading your post, with lots of similarities reflecting my life, but yours then escalated and made me gobsmacked. I say this with the best intentions: I don’t know if you feel you need permission to cut toxic people from your life, but hun, please do so. You do not have to reply, answer the door, respond in any way to this nightmare “friend”. If you suddenly find yourself face to face, you can be polite but don’t invest. This needy person has sucked away all your energy when you so desperately need it for yourself. You are not being unkind by cutting her out of your life, you are empowering yourself by putting your own needs first. Whether you do this gradually or immediately, please take back the energy you deserve. Good luck!

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This woman is not your friend and she is dragging you down. Please tell her you are ending the friendship and want nothing more to do with her.
When I read it, I thought at first that it was a wind-up, but now I realise it is not. You have enough to cope with, so please see sense and ditch her. She sounds as though she needs help, but not from you. It would be more appropriate for her to get help with her mental health.
Good luck.

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Cut her loose Fleur, she is a draining you dry & comes across as very needy & clingy. I agree with AnnR she obviously has mental health issues and you are ( Understandably) barely coping yourself without an emotional vampire like her sucking everything out of you. She is not a true friend she is a user, she brings nothing positive to your life so get rid. The fact she has no other friends says everything, she’s a queer fish who has taken advantage of your good nature, you need to toughen up and cut her off entirely . Ask yourself what would Rene tell you to do?

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Hi FleurDeLis

I always read your posts with interest as you inject such honesty and often humour into what has been an awful time for you.

Friendships are not hard work like this. I agree with the other posts. I wouldn’t bother responding and I wouldnt feel bad about it.

This woman doesnt enhance your life in any way. She didnt before Rene died and she doesnt now.

Cheryl x

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Dear FleurDeLis

I have read your post from beginning to end. As others have said this is not true friendship. True friends would not send stupid links, make stupid comments, be so insensitive and needy. I do not think she is worth expending the energy in making a reply.

This journey we find ourselves on is hard enough without dealing with this level of crap. I do not think she brings anything by way of support to you in all honesty. She clearly is desperate for friendship and whilst that is very sad in both the short/medium/long-term she will cause you nothing but stress.

Take care of yourself.

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Dear FleurDeLis.

This is going to be a short answer to your comments, as this is what I would do.

Text and tell her you no longer want to have any contact with her as she is making you ill. I think this person is totally unstable and needs to be out of your life now, if she answers your text ignore it. If she knocks on your door, ignore it, if she passes you in the street and says hello, just nod and then ignore her. You are a nice person and hate upsetting people but then they take advantage of you, it is time to be strong and tell her to ‘F’ off as that may be the only way to get rid of her.

xx

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It seems to me that with this situation you have a parasite stuck to you, you have become her host and slowly over the years she has been feeding off you, like parasites they give nothing in return they only take, for her to say your husband or me I can’t contemplate what she was thinking. I understand you need friends at these times but I do not think she comes under the discription of a friend burn the leach off you need warmth not cold remarks.
Ron x x

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Hi @FleurDeLis,

I’ve been thinking about you. Strange, isn’t it, how we manage to make friends in the wilderness of cyberspace???

I used to have a few people like that in my life. My soulmate taught me how to deal with them. Sometimes he’d suggest what to do, I’d try it, and usually get a very timid and tentative reaction from whoever it was the next time I encountered them, otherwise I wouldn’t encounter them at all.

This ‘friend’ is, I think, a deadweight - an albatross if you like - in your life. For whatever reason, she’s still living with her parents. She hasn’t really got a life of her own. In her way, she’s probably content with that, but at the same time she is envious of people like you, who have graduated into true adult life.

As everyone else has said, you don’t need this. I would be inclined to ignore her, to not respond at all. If she continues contact, I’d simply say something like: 'I’ve enjoyed your friendship over the years, however right now I am really struggling to come to terms with losing my husband. I have had to ask for professional help. (!) Please can you give me time and space to recover? Thanks in advance…

You are a kind and giving person, but sometimes, to stay that way in the future, you have to be kind and giving to yourself.

With love,

Christie xxx

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@FleurDeLis I have read your post. I have no words! Xx

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Dear @FleurDeLis,
I agree with the other posters, you don’t need this woman in your life. Her behaviour at René’s funeral was nothing short of atrocious, she should have been quietly supporting you, as a real friend would, not making demands for your attention. You have been more than supportive of her over the years, and at the worst time of your life when you need good people around you more than ever, her behaviour is totally erratic, one minute appearing supportive, the next minute making demands of you. She’s an emotional quagmire, don’t let her bring you down, ignore her and block her number on your phone and on social media. She’ll get the hint, but if she persists any more, I think @Lonely’s advice is spot on. YOU do not need any additional grief that she is causing.

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Oh my goodness.

You need to get her out of your life once and for all. What a horrible person.

She clearly has a lot of issues but the top and bottom of it is that she is NOT a friend to you. She is selfish and self-centred and she doesn’t deserve the patience and kindness you have consistently given to her at this terrible time in your life.

It’s very easy to tell people what they should do but I think this person is toxic to you and you should very firmly sever all ties and make sure she knows you mean it.
I am so sorry you’ve had to go through all this on top of your grief.

Nicky x

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@FleurDeLis

I read the whole post and realize that you’d helped her so much since college, I suppose there was only so much you could do trying to fit an oddball into a square slot. She seems to have problems understanding other people’s feelings, judging by how she was laughing after breaking her nan’s vase, the fiasco at the funeral and other incidents, if I were you, I’d have probably cut tie with her after the ‘we all have our problems, battery low’ text, when you were struggling so much and dying inside, it was like the lousiest cliché of an excuse to not care about others. I feel your pain and emotional exhaustion imposed by her.

I agree with one of the posters above that she needs help but not from you.

Do you feel like it’s better to write back as a closure? Or simply ignore her?

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Hi @Riley,

I’ve been thinking of you too.

I had someone like this in my life when I was in my early 30s. At the time, we were both trying to do ‘x’ career-wise. I lost touch with him as I hunkered down to actually do ‘x’, which I managed to achieve a few years later. It wasn’t easy, there were lots of pitfalls, at times I felt almost suicidal because I’d thrown my life into this, and it often seemed I was getting nowhere.

I met this person in the street, and he launched into a sermon about becoming a born again Christian. This, he said, convinced him that he was saved. He then went on to his career objective. He’d had an encouraging letter from an important person in the field 18 months ago, however as yet he hadn’t managed to respond. He then went on to the project we’d discussed 4 years ago, which had crashed and burned. We MUST revive it, he said.

I managed to make my excuses and leave at that point, with him protesting that he didn’t have my phone number. I then got flooded Harry Potter style with a series of long and then longer letters. I replied to a few, saying succinctly that I had a crisis in my personal life - my mother was then in her 80s and had developed complex dual dementia. I was struggling to find the right care for her. I didn’t reply to subsequent letters.

I then encountered in the village where I live another man, also a born again Christian, who attended the same church. He told me he’d heard I wasn’t replying to letters from someone who needed help. I replied that at the moment, as was known in the village, I had huge problems making sure my mother was safe and as content as she could be, and I didn’t have time to help people who simply couldn’t walk through an open door themselves, in a figurative sense. He thought about that and agreed with me, we parted as friends.

By this time, I’d had guidance from colleagues that, as a novice, I learned from. They’d all had similar experiences. They advised that, in a situation when someone is clinging to you like a leech, you had to be quite brutal in tearing them off, shutting the proverbial door, and letting them find someone else to cling to.

Thing is, someone who is determined to cling to you in this way will interpret any response as positive.

It’s not easy, because we are all human beings and we all have feelings for others. In this situation, however hard it feels like at the time, I would always ignore. I learned this more than 25 years ago.

That’s simply my coping strategy. Some psychologists describe this as co-dependency, which I feel is an unpleasant term, because it’s in a way exploitative and discriminatory against what I think are normal human emotions.

I don’t know, is the simple answer. Sorry for this long and boring ramble.

Love,

Christie xxx

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I too had someone very similar who attached themselves to me when my husband died nearly seven years ago. Apart from saying hello to her in passing, I have never once had a conversation with her.

She managed, somehow, to get my phone number from a friend of mine and wanted to meet with me and go out for lunch, afternoon tea etc. as she had lost her husband 15 years earlier and knew how I must be feeling. I thought she was very kind and took her up on her offer. We went out and about once a week to a different town but I was finding more and more she was like my mother and I was her daughter even though we were the same age, as I had to do everything, even pay for afternoon tea, she never offered to pay half or take her turn in paying. If I went out shopping, she would be standing at her window looking out and as soon as the taxi dropped me off and went on it’s way the phone would ring and she would want a conversation that lasted ages and I still had my coat on. She knew when I went out and came back. She knew I ordered things online and asked me to order goods for her and she would pay me, which she did, then when the goods came and they were not what she wanted, I was the one to have to go to the post office and return it. I slowly discovered she was a user. Anyway, twelve months later the husband of a neighbour died and she dropped me like a sack of potatoes, she had found a new victim. Even our sons told me to ‘kick her into touch’.

These people know what they are doing, they are users, it is all about them and no-one else.

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You are all such treasures to me, thank you. I didn’t expect anyone really to even read it to be honest as I know it is long-winded. The fact so many of you did and then took time to write very supportive, thoughtful and helpful replies is a massive help, thank you every one of you.

I also thought that if anyone did comment that maybe it would be to say that I was being too impatient/unappreciative of someone trying to help me and one of the few sticking around, I thought maybe I was being unreasonable as I feel a lot more hot-headed than I used to be nowadays. To have you back up my instincts makes me think maybe I haven’t gone completely nuts after all then.

I will miss some things about her, of course there were times we had fun and that she is the only person who has known me so long except for my family. Also that she may have some conversations/memories of René in her head that I don’t know about that she would have told me if I stayed friends with her as I don’t know many people who knew René (since him and I just kept ourselves to ourselves in the main).

However those are not good enough reasons to continue with what indeed doesn’t seem to be a real friendship, I can see that now and whilst I don’t wish her harm and can see she has her own problems, you have made me see that doesn’t mean I need to be the one to help her.

I am in two minds whether to just never reply (and ignore her when she inevitably turns up at my door one day or I bump into her) or whether to send a text reply. I am erring towards not replying as thinking what exactly to say hurts my head and also that it will encourage her to reply again even if i block her. So I think I will ignore her and if i get forced into speaking to her somehow at one point then I will say what Sheila/Lonely said and leave it there as quickly as possible.

Thanks again and I am sorry to hear that this is not that uncommon from several of you too… it just continues to astonish me the losses upon losses we face. Take care everyone.

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FleurDeLis

I’m so glad you’ve taken this decision.

I also think if you communicate your feelings to her, she will not accept what you say and will keep upsetting you. It’s all about her you see, your feelings and circumstances aren’t her motivation.

Ignore ignore ignore and know we are all cheering you on and supporting you xxxx

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Dear FleurDeLis,

I am happy you have taken this decision to drop this drain on your health and I know it will be hard making her understand why you have done it because she is the type of person that doesn’t seem to comprehend what you are saying, it is as if her mind is whirring away and thinking of something else and not taking in what you have said to her. Say what you have to say, tell her not to contact you again and remove her number from your phone and if she texts or rings you don’t answer just block her number permanently. She will soon get the message.

Please let us know the outcome.

I used to feel as if I was being stalked when the woman who pestered me was looking out of the window, waiting for me to come home, it got to the stage that I had to ask the taxi driver to drop me off in a different place so I could walk to my house using a different route so she wouldn’t see me coming home. But I always got a phone call a little later which I let ring and when it had stopped ringing, I dialled 1471 to find out who it was and if it was her I didn’t ring her back. These kind of people can make your life a misery, no-one should have to put up with it especially when it changes the way you live your life. She was so nosey that none of the neighbours liked her and she was always arguing with them, she used to ring me and ask me to go round and deal with them for her. I said no.
xxx

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Hi @xxx,

That’s a very good idea. I’m just afraid she’ll respond with a flood of mixed-up emotions. I did a course online the other day, it was all about coming to terms with trauma.

Thing is, ‘trauma’ is a highly emotive word that means different things to different people. When I was a student, I went to live at the University of Essex one summer. There had been a really heated student protest there, and the entire campus felt very tense. Psychologists had been brought in to deal with the aftermath.

My boyfriend came to see me, and suddenly this room-mate who had long blonde hair burst into the room sharing she felt compelled to talk to us about her issues. My boyfriend listened, intrigued. I was rather narked, because I had long brown hair, my relationship was new-is, and I thought my boyfriend would fall for this bitch.

When she eventually left about an hour later, I asked him what on earth was going on??? He replied that he was utterly intrigued by the woman, because he’d never met anyone as self obsessed as she was in his life before. He’d even realised that her blonde hair was false - he’d seen the dye line in it.

Sometimes men have an entirely different perspective from women - that is, men who are baby boomers, who grew up in the 60s with flower power and hippies and Women’s Liberation all around them, along with such joys as the pill. Men were used to being the providers/wage earners but their role was changing, as was the role of women. Men and women who came of age in the 1970s, and became adults in a world that was rapidly changing. It was very confusing, but somehow we came to terms with it.

Oh dear, I’ve said enough. I hope nobody interprets my comments as sexist. I’m just mulling over the fact that despite the rapid change all around us, some people stay the same as they were in medieval times.

Thanks @FleurDeLis for starting such a fascinating discussion, and that’s everyone who’s posted here for such amazing responses.

Christie xxx

Hi again,
Don’t be sad that she might have been able to tell you things about your husband. From what I have read about her, anything she would tell you would likely be lies anyway. You are well out of that!
Don’t let her influence you. You are worth more than that.
By the way, your husband sounds lovely. That’s the trouble, mine was too and it makes it even harder when they die.
All the best, Fleur de Lis.
AnnR xxx

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