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How to not take this personally?

Old 01-25-2012, 08:39 AM
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How to not take this personally?

I have a group of friends that I have known through some difficult times with AH (not ex yet but not at home for anyone wondering).

I shared something pretty personal last week and shared that I was feeling really down and full of self doubt. I shared that I'd made some mistakes recently and was picking up the pieces and fixing what I'd screwed up etc...

I just needed to vent I guess and I was open to whatever feedback they had to give.

Perhaps the woman I am closest to (or was) responded and in the course of doing so said that I was claiming to be full of doubt to have an excuse to wear it as a badge and was trying to take the easy way out. She also insinuated that SHE knew better than I what was going on in my life and essentially accused me of lying.

So, I am upset. I shared something I wasn't proud of with what I thought were good friends and got a response that is frankly reminiscent of AH in response.

I tried to clarify and even said that a few specific statements she made were hurtful and "defended" myself I guess by giving evidence to prove I was not being dishonest.

All that did was start an ugly ball rolling of more accusations and before I knew it I was in a situation like one I'd been in with AH so many times where rational thinking makes no difference and accusations continued to be thrown at me and I stupidly defended myself.

I am kind of shocked and beyond sad at all of this. I have no idea what's going on with 2 of these women in particular and it's clear that my assessment of them as close friends was waaaaaay off.

They have both told me that I take things way too personally and that being defensive proves they were right.

I think that politely stating that a few very specific statements were hurtful (bc they are based on facts that aren't true) isn't taking things too personally and more importantly what is it that is wrong with me that makes me attract people who treat me like this?!?!?!?!?

Maybe I do take things too personally, but when I open up, and am blindsided with judgement and rudeness in response simply bc I dare to say "please don't treat me this way", what am I to do?

I know this is all vague-- I figured the back story was irrelevant (it has to do with my mother and sister and not setting great boundaries with them).

Right at this moment I feel I am the one who is at fault and that I am to blame and I am a screw up. I HATE that people I trusted (like AH) are acting this way. And instead of being able to detach from their words and assume that it's their issue and not take it personally, it's literally eating at me.

They also, in a low blow fashion, made a point to commenting that perhaps AH wasn't really the problem after all and turned on me like crazy.

Are there people out there who are REALLY so insecure that they treat others this way when they are called out on their bad behavior?

How can I continue to be such a collosally bad judge of character?!
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:07 AM
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WOW. That's awful. The feeling that you get when someone who you thought was your friend literally turns on you.
I know it's hurtful. I would be terrible hurt. However, from the outside looking in....it's probably good that you found out now how they are. So you can remove yourself from that situation also.
eeew. Just, eew. That really sucks.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:09 AM
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I'm sorry. I have been mightily disappointed in some of my "closest" friends since the initial crisis with XH was over. Everybody rallied round for a while, but when the drama was over and I was rebuilding, my own growth and even vulnerability seemed to bring out something ugly and vicious in them.

It has been harder losing friends than it ever was losing XH.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:13 AM
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WTBH, ((((HUGS))))

One thing I have found with my recovery is that friends and confidants that I had before I started recovery don't "fit" as well as they used to. My frame of reference has changed too much and we just do see things the same way any more. It doesn't mean we can't be friends but it does mean that I'm not going to ask them for advice on anything important again.

So, instead of blaming yourself for
How can I continue to be such a collosally bad judge of character?!
, instead look it as much progress you have made in your recovery.

Your friend,
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:13 AM
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Right now I am making myself SICK. I feel like I HAVE done something wrong and am waiting for the next email or call telling me such.

I guess this falls under detachment right?

Am I nuts to find these kinds of things said to a "friend" upsetting?

I'm questioning everything right now and half believe the nasty things these 2 women said.

And it's especially hurtful that these are women I have shared such deeply personal things with and can't understand how they can reconcile their current behavior with knowing that I've trusted them.

I ended my last communication saying that I was simply asking that I be treated as I treat them and that I do not state opinions as facts and make judgements toward others and wish they wouldn't do the same.

The response I got was "I'm surprised this is not being written by my husband bc you are so damned over the top. Since you can not stop yourself from insulting us, we have no choice but to stop talking to you until you can reign it in".

For the record I haven't insulted anyone.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:15 AM
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I'm very sorry you've had this painful experience. It's situations like this that have led to being judicious about who I confide in. It sounds like you've just learned the same thing.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by stella27 View Post
I'm sorry. I have been mightily disappointed in some of my "closest" friends since the initial crisis with XH was over. Everybody rallied round for a while, but when the drama was over and I was rebuilding, my own growth and even vulnerability seemed to bring out something ugly and vicious in them.

It has been harder losing friends than it ever was losing XH.
OMG, this is it exactly! I am not a weak, needy, please rescue me type anymore and when I say I am vulnerable and feeling down, it's genuine and I am sharing how I feel- not looking to be a victim (another accusation from them).

It's almost as if now that I don't need their "expertise" (both women are or seemed to be further along in their own recoveries with the spouses- though both are still with their spouses) they need to cut me down to keep me in my place.

The whole thing is making me sick. Literally I feel like puking and am trying to keep from crying since I am at work.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:33 AM
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OMG, that sounds terrible. I'm so sorry.

I would be upset too but you did nothing wrong. Who needs enemies with friends like that! No contact might work for more then just spouses. Quit reading/listening to them until you find your equilibrium. What a shock it must be to see their true colors now but do not internalize. Your recovery gives you tools to watch their actions and make decisions that are best for you.

I don't tell anyone anything - except maybe here. The whole world is full of crazy people as far as I can tell. Present company excluded
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:36 AM
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I agree completely with what Mike has said.

The further I got into my own recovery, the more the dynamics changed with family and "friends."

It turns out there are some people who are just downright toxic to me now, and that's okay. They are no longer a part of my life.

I have a right to surround myself with healthy, positive people who enrich my life.

I've watched your progress since you joined SR, and I don't think you give yourself nearly enough credit for how far you have come, dear!

I was so thin-skinned and vulnerable when I first got into recovery that I can totally relate to the difficulty in not taking things personal. I had many incidences over the first few years where I got chewed up and spit out by people whom I had not considered toxic before.

Like you, it ate my lunch. Thank God for 12-step programs, loving sponsors, and positive friends within the rooms of recovery.

It's okay to be hurt. It's also okay to re-evaluate your friendships and establish healthy boundaries for your own recovery. Sometimes that means walking away from people.

Sending you hugs of support!
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:05 AM
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wow, what a response from them. I, personally, would drop them both. It's hard losing friends, but these women clearly are not the kind of friends that you need.

I agree with Mike, a lot of my old friends (during time with AH) I no longer really communicate with. I have found new (BETTER!) friends who appreciate me for me.

The sting is still there from the loss of some of them, but I am much happier. I think your friends in this case are the ones with the problem.

I wouldn't engage any more with them.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:05 AM
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I don't know these women, but they are talking as a "we", meaning that lines have been drawn.

It's a horrible feeling, but it's a textbook codependent situation - and I am in one right now, too, so I know - where you HAVE to detach because being attached is making you crazy.

Retreat, retreat, retreat is my advice. Function at low levels. Drink tea, read to your girls, go running if you possibly can, get in bed early.

*Again, I don't know them, but want to say this:
The former friends who have turned it around on me "You are too needy" are the same ones that I hear through the grapevine are having their own marital issues. Their words and actions don't reconcile (remember that red flag?) and you can't count on their goodwill.

It hurts like crazy, but it's the same scenario, different players as with your husband/mother/etc.

Choose your actions accordingly.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
The response I got was "I'm surprised this is not being written by my husband bc you are so damned over the top. Since you can not stop yourself from insulting us, we have no choice but to stop talking to you until you can reign it in".
Us? We? They are both writing this?? Talk about ganging up. They have each other to convince themselves that they are right about this. Problem is, they are wrong, but arguing with them won't solve anything.

These two don't know what friendship means. Sorry, but you are lucky to be shed of both of them in one fell swoop. Let them enjoy tearing other people down because they both sound like the types to do that. You deserve better and true friends. A true friend would never behave the way these two old bitties are.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 AM
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I don't have many female friends for this reason.

Absolutely pathetic how many grown women still act like they're 12.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:20 AM
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Same here, choublak. Women can be vicious and two-faced back-stabbers. Most of my close friends are male. When it's strictly friendship, men are much better to confide in and you know they aren't trying to compete with you at the same time.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:53 AM
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What is it someone here likes to say, again?
"When people show you who they are, believe them."

My experience has been much like Mike's, that when I changed, my relationships changed, too. I had one very good friend who was always there for me as long as I was married to AXH, but when I left, so did she.

I was disappointed. I was hurt. But I never thought it had something to do with me. I don't know what it was -- maybe she had supported other friends who had left addicts and gone back and she didn't want to go through that again; maybe she was having issues of her own that made it impossible for her to handle a friendship with someone in crisis; maybe she had a migraine...

It's easy to blame ourselves for other people's actions -- let's face it, we're pros at it -- but important, I think, to remember, that for most people, we are not the center of the universe. I can't count how many times someone has behaved in an unexpected (and sometimes hurtful) way toward me, and I have much later found out that I was really just an innocent bystander and the cause of their behavior was something completely unrelated going on in their life.

Another thing I've noticed is that when your relationship status changes, so do your relationships with other people. I have married girlfriends who are only comfortable inviting me to their homes now that I'm in a new relationship (yeah, because at almost 50 and overweight and graying, CLEARLY I'm a man-eating wench trying to steal their husbands away... ). I have married male friends who backed off when I became single (one even said we couldn't be friends because I was single).

So it might not have anything to do with you. You daring to be vulnerable might have triggered something in them. Walk away. They don't want to talk to you, and you don't want to talk to them. Just send them this:
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:54 AM
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I have a placque on my bedroom wall that I received from a (real) friend... it says:

A real friend walks IN when others have walked OUT.

These are not, in any shape or form, your real friends. I don't care WHAT the issue is or HOW it was said, no real friend would ever treat you that way. This is clearly not about you, but about their need to make themselves feel superior. YUCK!!!
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:04 PM
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Thank you all so much. I have continued engaging today and am heartsick. I shared something with them both that I have found useful from al anon and tried as best I could to be the bigger person, be diplomatic, take responsibility for my stuff etc... and one friend replied "whatever" and the other replied with "you are so ridiculous with your al anon crap that I can't stop laughing".

I feel like I am in freaking 6th grade with the mean girls.

What GROWN women act this way????

Oh and the one who said this also told me that it is perfectly natural to ALWAYS question whether someone is being honest with them and that she has every right to doubt my honesty.

This is the same woman who has a spyware program installed on her husband's cell phone that he does not know about.

I guess I knew her character a while ago already huh?

Un real.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
This is the same woman who has a spyware program installed on her husband's cell phone that he does not know about.
There you go. She's obviously not healthy emotionally or working any sort of program.

There's been a saying around here that caught my eye one day...this is probably a paraphrase. "People who are hurting hurt others."

Detach and pray for both of those women. That's what I do with people like that.

Gentle hugs from Kansas.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:29 PM
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anvil- here's me being as honest as possible... know what i think right now? i think that the problem IS me. i think that it's possible that if i have this many issues (with AH, his family, now these friends) that the common denominator is ME and they are right.

not all of me thinks this but it's this thinking that i can't shake right now.

insane, i know. but a good part of me believes the problem DOES lie in me.

why is it that no matter how far i feel i am getting in recovery, i can get this down about myself this fast based on what others say?

i think i am a good person but frankly am surrounded with people who i have trusted and shared personal things with who think otherwise and can they really all be wrong?
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:30 PM
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freedom- i will remind myself of that statement often today/tonight... thank you!
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