First of all, I want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas. And for those who are grieving, I am sorry for your pain. After losing a loved one during the year ourselves, Christmas isn't really the same without them. I wrote a blog here a while ago about this situation however, due to it's explosive nature, it was taken down. I was rather angry (ok, I was #*#&**$ livid!)and distressed about the whole saga, I didn't hold back as is my way. However, after some developments, it has been playing on my mind and I wanted to put it down here and get some opinions, because really I'm rather confused. It all started about a month back between a friend (now ex-friend) and I. To put it lightly, this 'friend' is a bloody drama queen and as I came to know her, I realised that she is one of those people who likes to say things to illicit sympathetic comments out of her friends so she feels better about herself. Until the next time. I don't like this trait in anyone - it makes me feel used and I refuse to enter into stuff like this. Don't get me wrong, when I see a friend in genuine need, I'm there with the tissues, chocolate and shoulder to cry on but I don't like being used so someone can feel better about themselves. While on Facebook this particular day, I saw a status update from her and her latest relationship crisis. Again. For the hundredth time this year. In public for all and sundry to rip to pieces. For me, I think some things should be handled privately but I guess, not everyone feels this way. And as usual, I couldn't help but comment. And away we went into a full scale argument. I won't go into detail about it all because after calming down about the whole situation, I wished I had just shut my mouth, deleted her and left it alone. Once again, it's not my way although I wish it was. Damn foot in mouth disease. In the end, she basically told me that I was using Rob's cancer to gain sympathy for myself. *insert stunned silence here* This is the part that made me facucking angry! So I vented, blogged and moved on. All good right? I went to see my hairdresser (also a friend of 5 years now)to get my artificial dumbness increased (yep, I'm a blonde that goes blonder) recently. I had forgotten that I had introduced the above mental case friend above to my hairdresser until she mentioned that she had seen the mental case the previous week and wasn't happy. Oh boy. I shall call my hairdresser 'K'. K has recently been diagnosed with skin cancer and is going through a rather ugly divorce - I'm sure most of us here can relate to either of these! She has a young daughter and is trying to keep it together. The mental case - I shall call her 'T'. To cut a long story short, T screwed K over in a monumentous way and I was quite furious. K is a very giving, generous person who will not speak up when someone treats her shabbily. I, on the other hand, holds no bars, straight into it, what's your caper? I hate unfairness and injustice - I'm a Sagittarian, it's not my fault I swear. Damn foot in mouth disease. Before I know it, off goes an email to T, asking what the hell? Of course, I get a reply, telling me to mind my own business and a string of excuses for her rather shitty behaviour. I counter with that is no excuse for using someone who is helping you out, you should be ashamed of yourself. Again, a reply which regales our last argument and that I should stop trying to be a martyr. Of course, this infuriates me. She is a true martyr in every sense of the word and it angers me that she is so blind, she can't see it and then calls me the very thing she embodies. But then I stop and think - do we try to transfer how we really feel about ourselves onto other people so we don't have to deal with it? Or is she doing it because she knows how to push my buttons? Perhaps I have been wallowing in self pity because Rob is ill but I believe I'm more dealing with a situation (or situations if you like) that are rather emotionally overwhelming at times. At this stage, rational thought takes over and I derisively announce that 'thank you for showing me your shitty personality. At least now I don't have to waste my time on such a toxic, pathetic excuse for a friendship'. I block her email address in my Outlook so I can't receive any more messages from her. But it has left me... what's the word? Not distressed.. but in a bit of a quandry. Am I perhaps using Rob's illness to gain sympathy? Is that how people perceive me or is it just those few who have their heads up their asses? Am I just so emotionally overwhelmed at times that I vent to release the pressure? Or am I doing it for some sort of pay off? (please tell me, because I'd love to know what it is). Why has this affected me to the level it has? I think my mind is having trouble wrapping itself around how self absorbed and selfish a person can be. Hard to comprehend how a 'friend' has such little compassion or understanding because their latest drama transcends any problems that someone else is having. Perhaps I'm putting too much thought into something so trivial but for some reason, I still feel rather mad about it so perhaps it's not as trivial as I think it is. I have posted the blog that got taken down, elsewhere if you do want the background on this. But I doubt many are bored enough LOL but in case you are, you can contact me and I'll let you have a read. I'm curious to see what other peoples perceptions and opinions are or if you've been through something similar. And I can't help feel a bit stupid posting this now that I've typed it all out. There are so many people here who are going through so much compared to this trivial bullcrap. Someone please tell me to shut up... or at least help me take the foot out of my mouth..
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Super Contributor
Hey Versaillon I am sorry to read that you are having some problems with someone that used to be a friend. I think that cancer teaches us what is important and what isnt and to hang dearly to that is important to us. Let this other person just get on with her whatever it is that she does. If it was me i would get rid of her off of facebook and just get on with what you need to. Just a sideline here, you dont happen to play mafia wars on facebook? lol I need to bulid up my mafia and believe it or not i would never have played it bc and it has really helped to distract me this time. Julie
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Thanks for the message Julie! I did delete her off Facebook, my mobile and anything else I could think of. I just found it rather bizarre that she showed her true colours while I'm so busy helping Rob fight his battle. I've read where other survivors had issues with people after they were diagnosed, perhaps this is our similar experience. Being a survivor myself (road trauma, not cancer), you are right on the money about what is important, even more so with Rob fighting his cancer now. I won't put up with behaviour such as the above as I don't have time for it but my silly brain still won't stop thinking about what drives people to behave like they do. After writing this out, I showed it to Rob, discussed how I felt and I do believe it has highlighted my own personal growth to a point. How much I have changed for the better since my accident, now I have such a stronger sense of myself. LOL @ Mafia Wars. Rob used to play but I don't - I play the casino slots and Bingo though 🙂 I'm trying to resist Farmville.. although think I'll cave in eventually.
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Hey Versaillon I play fv too ... lol When i was at the cancer council place i even had a "real" farmer asking me how my farm was as i used to tell everyone that before i went for treatment i was exhausted cos i had to collect the eggs, harvest all the trees and crops. :D An amazing amount of personal growth occurs when big things happen in our lives and most times that doesnt come scott free, we hurt! 🙂 Grow we do thoug and if we shape the way in which we grow it can be a very positive experience. Thats what i try and do ... shape how having cancer affects me. I still go through all the normal emotons that everyone else goes through but "acceptance" is the key for me! Julie
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LOL! That's hilarious... Rob plays Wii to keep himself amused but even that is getting harder as his fatigue level amps up. The games on FB are great for helping you zone out from all of lifes crap though, aren't they? Even if for only 5 minutes haha.. Thank you, you are right. Personal growth doesn't come without some sort of hurt or pain - we wouldn't grow otherwise, would we? I have always viewed my personal growth with positivity, even though how it has come about has been rather painful and really sucked. I guess this is where hindsight is such a wonderful thing - it sucked at the time but now look what you have gained type thing. I look at Rob having cancer as concreting our relationship, strengthening our bond and aligning our life goals and values. It's been hard, it's really sucked, I've cried at how unfair it feels but it really has enriched our lives in some ways. The same goes for my accident, although I still struggle with this on some days. But again, that all comes down to acceptance as you said. You take the bad with the good.
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Hey Versaillon, I have been dealing with a brain tumour and a facial tumour since being diagnosed last christmas. Mostly I was treated surgically early 2009, but recent regrowth of both tumours has now caused severe epilepsy which is still not 100% undercontrol (so loss of driver's licence- living in a rural area with no public transport) and more surgery in November. I havent posted for a while as I have had my own personal 'stuff'to deal with which is only kinda related to the cancer- my marriage unfortunately collapsed the first time round, and after trying to give it another go for the sake of my 2year old daughter doesent look like it is going to make it, and I run a medium sized business which after having to spend at least 6 months of this year away is now a disorgansied mess (my husband doesnt work in the business - he doesnt work at all come to think of it - but thats another story) Anyhoo, what does this have to do with your post I hear you asking? Well in the week leading up to xmas I had not one but two 'friends' give me and earful about how I havent been there for them this year!!!!! Both of these friends I kept in contact with through facebook or email (remembering I cant drive, have a business a two year old and a brain tumour FOR F'S SAKE - I have also tried to keep the focus actively off my situation and not be focused solely on myself when talking to other people or catching up cause I figure it is kinda boring ) - ONE FRIEND - is in a likewise situation to myself business wise and with a toddler and we often talk about the same problems we have with staff etc and vent on those things, I noticed through facebook that she was unwell and had an inkling, so asked if baby number 2 was on the way and was politely told that it was and it was none of my ffing business you nosy b. I was only enquiring as a congratulatury way. This friend has also lost her mum to cancer, so we kinda of stay off that topic and she went into a full on rant on how I dont say anything about my personal life ao why should she say anything about hers - I was doing that not to upset her - I didnt want to get into the nitty of my poor 5 year outlook. Whenever, earlier I had mentioned the topic she had changed the subject so I learnt not to bring it up. FRIEND 2 - An old school and university friend, a sent off an email as I hadnt heard from in a while. Although she stood me up about three times in the hospital when she was coming to visit with her baby. I asked about her child and used a shortend name and was told off for using the shortened name - 'you use the nickname like you come and visit all the time - you have never even seen her" - my child is 12 months older and this friend has never seen her either. I was also told that bad news travels fast and acused of gossiping - apparently she had a miscarriage and she thought I had heard through someone and that is why I was emailing - I hadnt heard, I myself had suffered two miscarriages, which I then told this friend about and havent got a reply - as for the not visiting - well, stood up in the neuro ward three times kind of covers it, and I CANT DRIVE PEOPLE!!!! So I AM DOING A FRIEND CULL - I am a people pleaser by nature - a doormat type, cancer has shown me that I have always allowed myself to be taken for granted and people really only want to know me if they want something. My cancer council councillor pointed out that at the moment I dont appear to have any friends - just staff - and the reality of that really hurt - the two people who upset me in the last week I thought were still ones I could call friends. So, New Years resolution - one - make staff work next christmas (yup worked all this xmas (because I am a doormat, while my very expensive Gen Y staff (i am in a professional industry - all went on their little holidays) and GET A LIFE with some people that don;t want to get something from me - or abuse me in some fashion, and spend less time on facebook, Nicole xoxox
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Hi Nicole Unbelievable. People are just unbelievable aren't they? I was going to say geez, at least I'm not the only one but that doesnt feel right. It really sucks when people who you thought were friends and at a time when you thought you could count on them the most, aren't the friends you thought they were. When I had a nasty road accident a few years back, I really noticed how many so called friends didn't even bother to come visit me while I was recovering and it hurt. I've noticed with Rob's cancer, that people are REAllY self absorbed! People will call Rob up, wanting him to do something for them - expect him to drop whatever he's doing, do it now and for nothing. They know he's unwell, they know the chemo makes him really tired and that he's got a business of his own. (Rob works for the govt and we have a web design business on the side). But they don't care - they only care about what is going on with them and what they need at that particular moment. Or as like the above, I'm not being attentive enough or I'm venting too much. Well exxxxxxcuuuuuuuuuuuse me. It seems you can't win no matter what you do. I think I'll just stop playing the game. It's distressing for me to think that people are so callous and selfish during a time when all of your energy should be spent trying to save your life (or my husbands life, in my case). Good on you for standing up for yourself though. Bloody hell woman, you deserve it. Life is far too precious to let people's selfishness come before your own needs. Your situation, your life is just as important as anyone else's and don't you forget it! Jo xxx
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Thanks Jo, Don't Apologise, actually when I read your blog, I felt like crying and thought well, at least I am not the only one!! I just feel like a punching bag, that everyone continues on with their own little lives and they are of the opinion that I should owe them something because they of offered me a sympathetic poor you glance or thought 12 months ago - stuff em, onwards and upwards I say!' Good luck to you and Rob for 2010, I am personally pushing the delete button on 2009, Nicole
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Hey Nicole ... I can relate to you re being a rural / country patient ... it sucks big time and my car has now decided too not work (head gasket apparently) so i am stuck being unable to drive even though physically i can. I have been thinking along the friends line for a feew days now and wondering if it was me. I had a lot of support early on when i was in hospital and now that i am home and for all intents and purposes "looking ok" the friends are not in contact. I asked myself if i was being needy but reality is i dont think they can maintain the level of support that they first gave over such an extended period of time. So, i think in some ways it is my expectations and needs that arent being met, but then i think that i am asking a lot as their lives are going on in pretty much the same way ... its just mine that has changed rather dramatically. hugsss to you and you must do so wonderfully well to cope with all that you are dealing with. Julie
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LOL Nicole Please make sure you push my delete button for 2009 while you're at it! Although we got married this year, besides that, it's been a totally shite year which I'd just like to forget. I'm kinda glad I'm not the only one - I was starting to feel as if maybe it was me! Good luck to you for 2010! And if you ever need a shoulder, please come find us! Jo xxx
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Hey Jo Nowt so queer as folk springs to mind with all of this. 🙂 It really does get me thinking and questioning. hugss Julie
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Hey Julie Tell me about it. I keep thinking 'Maybe I'm the weird one and everyone else is normal'.. but then I think 'No one in their right mind would put up with this shit'. I've spoken to a few friends (Oh yeah, real friends) about the situation and they were all gobsmacked like I was so I figure I'm one of the normal ones :D I can't help but think about it. After reading a few posts here, this sort of behaviour seems to be quite common and I find it really bizarre. *hugs* Jo xxx
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hey Jo hugsss ... i wonder if people ever stop and think about their behaviour because i sure do. I tend to question my role in the scheme of things. Maybe i am not normal ... haha ... i deliberately didnt use abnormal there please note *g* On a more serious note, it is hurtful and hard to deal with at a time when people have already way to much to deal with. Julie xoxo
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Hi Jo, As you may have read on previous posts of mine, I have had 'issues' in the past with feeling like people don't care. Some people have surprised me by their 'absence' and others have surprised my by 'stepping up to the plate' when they are not someone I would have regarded as a 'close' friend, more like an aquaintance. Other people have come out of the woodwork (we don't see or hear from them for months/years) and as soon as they hear about Greg's diagnosis, they want to come around and 'catch up', almost like it is to make them feel less guilty for not being around previously. Most of those people we see/hear from once and then it's a loooooooooonnnnnnngggggg time between hearing from them again. I don't have the energy or inclination to bother with anybody right now. The christmas card list will be well and truly culled for next year, not that I bothered to send ANY this year. The people who have been there for me in these last couple of weeks are the people I will be focussing on. If someone else has a problem with that, then that is their problem. I've got enough of my own, without taking on theirs as well! Friendship is a two-way thing. It can't rest on one party to be the giver all the time and receive little in return. It is give and take,when one is down, the other is supportive, and vice-versa. Not sure that I've said what I was trying to say very clearly, basically right now I suggest you focus on Rob and yourself, true friends will understand and support you and be there for you long term. Everyone else can get knotted! Jill
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Hey Jill I was just thinking about you - I hope you are ok. Yeah, I've been really surprised by people's behaviour once Rob was diagnosed but really, I went through it once before with my own accident. I just thought back then it was me LOL. I've culled quite a few friends since Rob's diagnosis, including the crazy bitch above. I just can't give any more of my precious energy away right now but it seems, many do not understand how taxing it is. I thought perhaps I was being too whiney or venting too much but then I thought, what do people expect? My husband has cancer, I'm stressed beyond words and more than anything else, I'm scared. Probably not going to act within normal boundaries when it comes to something like this. So, I'm going to cut myself some slack - anyone else who doesn't feel like I deserve to, can get knotted! Thanks for your advice Jill... everyone here are life savers! Jo xxx
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