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Friends forgetting me - Is it just me?


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Hello everyone, hope you're having a lovely Sunday. Sorry I am about to whinge again!!

When you have your SAH, it's all so dramatic and everyone's worried and wants to help and is all concerned. Then some time goes by and your friends/sister realise you are alive, not massively disabled (in my case), still know my name and look pretty ok. Then the phone calls, etc lessen and it feels like some people forget about you. Is it just me or do other people have the experience where you feel forgotten about? I think I feel this very acutely as I am single, but though some friends are great, others are not. I really appreciate the kindness that has been shown to me and I still make an effort with people and I don't want to end up all bitter and twisted and angry at friends who I am currently thinking are being selfish. Does anyone understand this? or have I just gone a bit mad because illness is quite isolating isn't it and I think it can be tempting to go a bit me me me!!!. Perhaps I need to lower my expectations.

warm wishes

Vanessa

xx

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Hi Vanessa,

you are not whinging! It's quite difficult when people 'forget' about you and you are not alone in this! I have a friend who visited me just the once when I got out of hospital and I have not seen her at all for 11 months. The other day, she sent me a message to tell me she her dog had died. In a way that's very nice, I used to lodge with her and so it felt a bit like he was also my dog, but I did think some negative thoughts about the absent time.

On the flip side of this, I have a friend who was amazing while I was ill but now seems to think that she should have a strong say in all my decisions. It can be quite disabling at times because she is very persuasive and since my sah, I am very easily led.

Perhaps people are trying to give you some space to come to terms with things? Maybe they are waiting for you to ask for help/company rather than wade on in and take over.

Dawn x

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Vanessa,

Most of my friends and family have been in my life for a 100 years. I do not think they forget about me. I do however have some fringe friends from like water aerobics and such that just do not get it. AS many times as I say it, they do not get it. I expect people to get it - I too look normal. SO everyone assumes I am my old self.

Last weekend we went to see James Bond and sat on the far right of seats where the wall light was shining in my eye the whole time. My friend ( next door neighbor & happen to also be co worker) got it that this was not a good place to sit.

I cannot say I feel left out or forgotten but I am suprised at how even the ones closest to me do not get that everyday I have stuggles to do my job, how it never leaves me and it is always there.

Are you involved in any activities?

It does hurt my feelings when I am blue and somehow I expect my family ( all from out of state) and friends to read my mind that I am struggling. I have noticed that I have turned kind of mean the past 6 weeks or so - I thought it was the Ritalin so I went off it but I am still mean in my thoughts. I confront people that make me mad or point out how rude they sounded as well. Not a good thing. I think I am just tired and tired of being tired. And although the ritalin helped liek a miracle my body adn mind can't thnk or work that much if that makes sense? I am struggling to find a balance right now. I feel I fall in and out of the blues like a 5 year old off and on a bike!

:) have a sweet sunday, you are not alone. mary

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Hi Vanessa,

I absolutely get what you are saying. Initially there are so many people phoning & visiting that you feel desperate for some quiet time........then you get the quiet time.....

Although I am still friends with old friends, I am no longer part of their world. They are still working, still going out etc. Doing things that I can't do now. Noisy days/nights out are just not me now. It's hard, it's sad & it's upsetting but it's just the way it is. Your good friends will still be there for you & you may make new ones who enjoy the same things as you post SAH.

When my son got ill and had his brain op last year the same thing happened. His friends and what's left of mine (:shocked:) rallied round for the first few weeks, then they all disappear. It feels like if you don't get better and get back to normal, they get bored with it & move on??? Like you, I am single & live alone with my younger son so I do understand that it hits much harder than it might if you have a partner supporting you, which would cushion it a little bit.

Try not to let it get you down. You will make other friends as time goes on & keep the ones who are worthy of the title. I always try to think of times like this as a 'bad time' that one day I will look back at and struggle to remember how horrible it felt because things will be so different & happier then.

Michelle xx

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PS as you age the only "friends" you have are the people you work with, LOL. We joke about that at work all the time. Because I am killing myself working I see those friends. My other long time friends I woudl not see either way. I do not live near them etc...

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I have pals but mainly my Family are my friends also, does that make sense?

When they stopped coming to see me I understood (mutters under breath, rude words lol ).joke

Seriously I knew they loved me but what did make me laugh was when my Hubby and Family knew I was ill it was Be nice to Winnie/Win.

Now I am lucky if I get a loving word but that means I am getting better and they do not have to spoil me as much. grrrrrrr j/k

People rally round when ill and then get on with life and we are still in their thoughts, just not as much..lol

Be Happy All As You are All Loved

Love

WinB143 xx xx

Edited by Winb143
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Now that I think of this I tend to push my friends away. Either they have small children which push me to the edge or I feel bad for not feeling good or being the old Mary. I think I have tended to push some people out of my life. I have the past 2-3 weeks made an giant effort to spend a short amount of time with one of my biggest supportor but she does not "get" what I am even talking about. She has 2 small children, 2 & 3 year old. But I have in the past month made an true effort to drive to the lake and take a walk, bring the kids McDonalds for lunch & spend an hour or less, last week I said no to the donut shop but called back and changed my mind to yes.

So I suppose I have pushed my friends away is more likely the thing I have going on. I won't shop unless they know we are only going to like a planned store or two etc....I cannot spend the day doing those things and when I do I almost do better alone so I am not usign my spoons talking and carrying on conversations. If this makes any sense or not?

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I've thought about this a bit too. When I was hearty, healthy and fabulously busy I saw friends at work, at the school gate, for nights out without much thought or care to be honest and it was always last minute and rush, rush, rush.

Now to catch up I have to organise and plan ways to meet friends (most of whom work) plus i bring restrictions on what I can do. That's probably not much fun! for them nothing has changed, they're still busy, busy, busy and now the initial shock has worn off they are more secure I'm ok so I'm not a priority visit any longer, I get that.

So I find my days are less visitor focussed and with less visits but I have become really good at asking friends for help and I've found that they really like that. and you know what, so do I? Asking for a lift here, a helping hand with the kids there has been liberating for me. I am so used to be the one to ' do stuff' that it's nice to be helped and it gives me company to do the things I want to do.

So just sharing that I think it's normal that people get back to their routines but the ones who care and love you will still take time to smile, listen, and nod and open their arms if you ask them to help out. And that's what friends are for. That's my experience anyway.

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I asked them for more help early on. Even if it was can you come over and help me organize something etc. really they were all babysitting me. But I do ask for help more. When we went to beach I had Kelly drive my car. I will ask for a gal to help me clean etc. I had many offers in beginning. Facebook has also kept me in touch with my 30 to 40 year old cousins and relatives

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Steph, I love your post :biggrin:

I am too independent for my own good and refuse to ask for help. This is not a healthy trait. I think it was mary who said earlier that she expects others to know how she feels without her actually telling them? That would be me & I am guilty of feeling p'eed off with people who don't see it & offer to help anyway BUT I also know that, sometimes, they do see it, offer help once & if I don't take them up on it they think I'm fine as I am.......

None of us want to be the 'victim' who needs a bit of help but equally wouldn't it be great if people could see through the front and just be there sometimes? I don't know if I would've thought of helpful suggestions before this happened. I'd like to think that now I would because I have a first hand understanding of how hard & isolating illness can be, not to mention being without a licence. I'd like to think I'd offer support & practical help to others if something similar happened to them without them having to ask.

Michelle x

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Michelle I was much more like you 10 years ago but I the fibro and being so ill prior to SAH ( think my brain was having a slow leak but no ones confirms it) I just got so worn down. BUT I have gotten better as I see my mother in me and that is scary!:redface:

What I came back to add to this thread was I have made a point to reconnect with K as she NEEDS me. I thought when she would have kids I would quit my job and watch them while she worked. Life did not happen that way. She reminds me of myself and my high school best friend when we were younger but I am her mothers age! We can laugh really hard and we are the SAME stubborn person, both so much alike. But she needs me more than I need her, and it is not that I am being mean right now. BUT I see she is struggling being a working mom and was older when she had her kids. I see I am missing in her life to keep her sane. SO I am forcing myself to BUCK UP my friendship. Plus she has very few good adult role models adults in her life because she is so private and does not open up to people well.

Just thought I would add that as that is where I am now. She has never given up on me the past 14 months. IN fact she sat at my hospital bed and said "You do not need to talk, "I" just need to sit here with you."

maryb

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Thank you everyone for the lovely interesting replies. It's hard to strike the balance I find between asking for help and feeling like a pest. I too suffer from the thought that it should be obvious that my life is very difficult now and I shouldn't always have to ask. I say this partly because in the past if friends have been in bother I have often helped without having to be asked so why don't they do that for me? This is one of the challenges of life anytime isn't it, whether one is ill or not, dealing with out expectations of others and sometimes people's lack of empathy. It is not easy and I find it a struggle to deal with the resultant anger. I am desperately hoping that I learn something worthwhile about dealing with other people from this experience and don't just turn into an old moo!!!

best wishes

Vanessa

xx

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Vanessa I think we all turn into old moos :lol: Michelle. It's a learning curve for me to ask for help, not to be the self sufficient creature I like to think I am. I'm learning from it though. Most people , certainly some of my friends , are not confident enough to step in in case its seen as intruding or interfering. In a crisis it's like they're given permission to act how they would like to for that time but some revert back to their perceived polite distance as you heal. Me? I was always confident ( brash maybe?) to think I would have something to offer someone and always offering help, opinions, maybe when it wasn't needed, but i can see now that if I use my confidence to ask a friend for specific help it brings us both together which is something we both enjoy regardless of how it was brought about.

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Oh I too SO know what you mean, yes friends & family sort of distanced themself from me reason I was told was it was just too upsetting for them seeing me like how I was Huh! :roll:

Michelle, Me too Im much to indepantant & hate asking for help - but sometimes you just have to never feel your being a pest Vansessa, it is a balance (Im still trying to find it, think I have then dont then do again) its the ever changing swings & roundabouts - dont you just love it...

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One thing I have learned from working in a small area with woman for many years together is we can express our strenghts and weaknesses. One gal coudl not go to funerals - she did not know what to say or how to act and felt stupid like she woud say something wrong. It was good to take her hand and show her how to act the next time a fuenral came up. Same thing or different things we all were able to share over the years that taught me so much about why some people often behave indifferent or aloaf ( sp????? geezzzzzzzzzzz) Anyway point I am making is like right now I am 2 weeks late sending out a sym card from a woman I use to work with whos son died, I Have LEARNED it is better to send later than not at all. But it took years to get there.

Nap time, mary

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This post has a lot of momentum!

Over my course so far I have had friends that have fallen away only to return as I have gotten better. I accept them back with no hard feelings as it must have been hard for them in a different way...me not being around as myself to help THEM solve problems because I became the sickest one in the room instead!

Then there are others who came out of the woodwork to really help at first only to fall back into the woodwork. These people were never really my friends but acquaintances. BUT they recognized I was in trouble and helped me. The helpers...I am so grateful to them even as I don't feel obligated to be FRIENDS.

Then there were the types that have been there both before and after and I can count those on one hand. They are the flexible ones that are able to bend with the changing. This is a very special type of friend and that's why they are few and far between. I consider myself lucky to have this type. I hope to be this type of friend to someone at a later date as well. I understand and hope I am willing to be flexible to their needs.

Take care of you and harbor no ill feelings to others who can't handle such a big ordeal. We are stronger.

~Kris

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm late to the discussion - as always...

It happenes. Firstly, they rally round. Some to genuinely help and see how you are, others to come and see if you look a bit odd or they can see some other evidence. Then, as you say, when people figure out that you are alive and you're not going to flake out afterall, their attention drops off. And then as time goes on, and you've done a whole lot of recovering, I've found that the majority of people actually forget, or at least assume that you are just like you were before the head explosion.

The thing which really cheesed me off, was a few months after I went back to work, people would ask me how I was (you know, that sort of loaded "How ARE you ?" intonation). A few genuinely wanted to listen for a minute or two (I wasn't going to go on and on about how I really was, just a couple of head lines I thought might interest them !). Many didn't. And frankly, I'd rather they hadn't bothered to ask. But as time has passed and I've recovered, I don't get those loaded questions much anymore. Its helped me to learn who are the people who have a caring side and those who don't. You learn who your real friends are through stuff like this.

Hang on in there, be as independent as you need to be, but don't be afraid to ask people to help. You'll be surprised. They really feel pleased and honoured to be asked.

Take care.

Mags

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