Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friendship

I have been toying with writing this post for the past week or so.  I am not sure where I want to go with it, or even if what I am going to say is going to be post-worthy.  But, I need to sort things out, and this is usually the best place to do it.

Nine years ago, Junior and I lived in a trailer park.  It was a small park, with only ten homes.  Five on each side of the street.  It was a quiet place to live, and we were happy there.  The only problem was that it was a 2 bedroom, which was fine when Kasi and Ryan were that little.  But, once I got pregnant with Brandi, I knew we wouldn't stay there much longer.  Anyway, we had this neighbor.  She was a single woman, about ten years older than me.  We lived there for a while before we actually "met" her, but it wasn't until Brandi as born that her and I became friends.  We actually became very good friends.  She was always at my house, from morning until night.  She even came to family events with me, and my family got to know her well.  She didn't really work (she was trying to get on disability, so she held part time jobs...but never the same one for too long) so she had a series of boyfriends who paid her bills and gave her money.  Luckily, she owned her home, so her bills were minimal.  When ever she did get extra money, she always spent it on my kids. She especially treated Brandi like one of her own.

As time went on, I got to know her more and more, and I realized that there were things about her that I wasn't too fond of.  For instance, she was a compulsive liar.  I mean, it got to the point where I would know she was lying, but she would do it anyway.  I caught her in several lies, but instead of confronting her, I just let it go.  Then one day, about five years ago, she went a little insane and ended up in the psych ward for three days.  This just so happened to have occurred during a week that my sister was visiting from NY.  Well, She called me from the hospital, and said that she needed me to go to the hospital and sign her out, and take responsibility for her.  There were several reasons why I didn't do it.  For one, my sister hardly ever visits, and I wasn't about to change my plans with her.  Selfish?  Maybe. The second and more important reason...there was no way that I wanted to be responsible for her.  She has a grown (and married) daughter who refused to do it, so why should it fall on me?

After that, she didn't come around or call for a few weeks.  I knew she was probably ticked, but oh well.  Eventually, things got back to normal, and she was at my house all the time again. By this point, we had moved to a new house, and we weren't neighbors anymore.  I was getting tired of catching her in lies, and I was finally beginning to realize that she may not be someone I want to be friends with.  My sisters called her toxic, and I started to agree.  there are a lot of other things that happened, but you get the gist of it.  So eventually, I stopped taking her calls.  When she came by the house, Junior would tell her I was out with my sister or my mom.  After a few weeks, I think she got the message, because she stopped calling.

So, a few weeks ago, she went into where my brother in law works, and started asking about me.  At this point, it's been about four years or more since I have seen her.  he didn't want to give out my number, so he took her number to give to me.  He told me about it, and I wasn't too excited, or eager, to call her, so I didn't even take the number from him.

Well, last Monday, the park manager stopped Junior as he was coming in from work to tell him that some lady was looking for us.  It was her.  I couldn't believe it!  Apparently, my brother-in-law had told her the general area where we lived, and she drove around until she found us.  (I found out later that she stopped and talked to anyone she could find in their yards, asking them if they knew us!) Now that she knew where we lived, I felt it was best to just call her so she would stop coming around.

Now, this chick can talk.  I am talking about the type of person who will cut you off mid-sentence to talk about themselves.  So, I called her.  And she talked.  And talked.  And talked.  For about an hour and a half.  Not once did she ask how I have been...she just talked about herself.  I agreed to have her come by and see the kids, because she did love them like her own, and she wanted to see them.  Well, when she came over, she acted like the past four+ years never happened.  She bought my kids some school clothes, and has been here almost every day since then.  Yesterday, she called and asked if she could take me to lunch.  Actually, she called and said she was coming to get me, so I better be ready.  She treated us to a nice lunch, and I kind of enjoyed myself.  It's been a long time since I have been "out" without the kids or Junior.

Here is my dilemma.  I am still not sure I want to get too involved with her.  I don't know if I can believe anything she says, but I know she has a heart of gold and doesn't mean any harm...it's just how she is.  Listening to her talk this past week, it's apparent that she has no other friends.  She never did.  She has boyfriends, but no close girlfriends.  I don't know if I am feeling bad for her, or if I really want to be her friend again.  Does that make sense?

Does any of this make sense?  I know I've rambled, and I hope what I am trying to say has come through.  I guess my question to you is, have you ever (or do you now) had a needy friend, and if so, how did (or do you) keep your distance without hurting their feelings? 

13 comments:

Dawn said...

I have a needy friend !!!! She only calls me when she needs something. Her kids call me when they are bored and want to do something. I never hear from them. When I was in Florida, I asked them to take Pedro out when Roy worked. I think by now, you know that he doesn't work everyday, but he does work 5 days a week. He is working this weekend. But, anyway, I even told them I would pay them $50. I asked them the week before and never heard from them again. My friend texted me when her husband's dad dies. What in the world was I going to do being in Florida. I just said that I was sorry. I didn't send flowers or anything. I don't know if I mentioned this on my blog. My friend had an appt in St. Louis with a neurologist for her migraines. She called me on Thursday and she told me that I was going with her. She 'needed' me to tell her what exits to get off and on, too. I did it. When I have my surgery, it would be nice if they would check in to see how I am doing. Will they ?!?! I bet not. They are so focused on their life, that I don't even exist.

Her bday was in May. Her friends and me took her shopping and out to lunch for her day. I got her a gift certificate for a pedicure. My bday was in June. It was not even recognized. I was hurt. They hurt me ALL the time. But, everytime she calls and needs me, I do it. I need to learn to stand up for myself, but I don't.

Well, anyway, I have rambled. LOL I have just dumped my problem with a girl friend on you !! LOL Thanks for being such a GREAT friend !!

jenn said...

Dawn ~ that sucks. I have the same problem with this chick...I can't say no. I don't want to hurt HER feelings, even though my feelings don't mean shit to her. I don't see it as not standing up for myself (and you shouldn't either) I just see it as we are better people. Know what I mean?

Dawn said...

Yes, I know what you mean. It would be nice to have a girl friend around when I have my surgery. I have a lot of friends. But most of them work.

I never want to hurt anybody's feelings, either.

South Carolina Mom said...

Jenn, if I were you, I would be cordial and friendly but I would be weary about getting too close to her again. I don't see anything wrong with talking to her on the phone or email once a week or so, and even getting together with her occasionally for lunch, but you're a mom of 3 kids and you have your own responsibilities. I would make it very clear to her that you want to be friends and remain in contact with her, but she needs to understand that your family comes first and sometimes that may mean she has to be put on the sidelines. I had a needy friend once and it was difficult, but once I made it clear that I WAS still her friend even though I didn't answer the phone every time it rang, our relationship improved. Your friend is probably just so hungry for friendship that she is trying to get everything that has happened over the past x amount of years into 3 conversations because she's scared she won't have anyone to talk to if you decide not to continue the relationship. Does that make sense? I always liked your friend and agree, she does have a heart of gold and I would have a hard time knowing what to do in your situation, too.

jenn said...

Dawn ~ after my surgery, I felt best when I was home with just Junior and the kids. Friends and family visited, but I was so tired and in so much pain, I preferred to be alone.

jenn said...

Terra ~ I am having such a hard time with this. She made me feel guilty Friday because I told her I had plans all weekend (she wanted me to highlight her hair) but I didn't give in. I think I am going to keep the weekends "friend free", and only see her during the week. I think that's the best solution for all of us.

Dawn said...

I can't wait until Wednesday !! I am probably going to want to be alone. But, let me tell you, just about everyone knows that I am having this done, EXCEPT my mom and my aunt !!! :) :)

Dawn said...

I am autoimmune and take a chemo pill on the weekends. I have for over 25 years. I will explain that another day on my blog. I am at a HIGH risk for an infection. But, you know, for this type of surgery, I am sure you were put on antibiotics. I will be given antibiotics in my IV during surgery. No biggie !! I just can't wait !! :)

Dawn said...

That is why my Mom and my Aunt don't want me to have this done. But, I am. All my doctor's just say I am at a higher risk for infection. That is why I am not saying anything on FB. My cousin is on my friends and my aunt would be calling me a second after I would say anything about it.

Ok, I am done !! LOL

Crystal said...

Girl..U remember my friend Tasha? The one I did everything with and lived with for a while? She was like that. Would give u her last dollar but would lie about anything. I couldn't say no to her either...I finally got tired of listening to all the lies. I started distancing myself slowly. We had a few fusses and this last one I cut all ties and haven't heard from her since. Sometime u HAVE to be the bad guy, even when u don't want to...

jenn said...

Dawn ~ I am sure you will do fine. Just think, in 24 hours, you will be in there. I remember how anxious, excited, scared....man, I was feeling all kinds of things! Can't wait to hear you're home and well! Are you spending the night? I was supposed to, but they let me go home the same day.

jenn said...

Crystal ~ that's what I did last time. This time, I KNOW better than to believe her. I guess we'll see what happens. lol!

Donna said...

Find her a boyfriend! Or introduce her to another woman her age...but you need to put distance between you and her. It's not normal to spend that kind of time with you and your family. I know she's lonely(her choosing) but she's chosen you & your family for a reason... It doesn't feel right sweetie. It sounds obsessive. And that's not friendship.
Good luck with whatever you do...
Hughugs