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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 8:20AM #1
One_World
Posts: 289

Hi everyone,


 


I know, I shouldn't just show up to complain about life problems when they come up, but I feel so comforted posting at the Depression Support board when I get overwhelmed just because I know people are reading and care. Thank you for that.


I have a coworker that I've become very close friends with over the last couple years of working together. She had a live-in boyfriend during that time (we're all in our mid-to-late 20s). As our friendship deepened, I started to have feelings for her beyond friendship. Everyone that knows both of us kept asking if there was more to it. I told them I doubted it, as she was still living with her boyfriend of 3 years. Finally in early June, I made the decision to tell her how I felt. I know it wasn't right, but to my surprise, she said she had kind of been feeling the same way for a while but couldn't act on it because she didn't want to hurt her boyfriend. Well, over the last month, they separated and then "officially" broke up a week ago. She's thanked me since because I made her sit up and assess her life. She said she can't jump into another relationship right away and I respect that.


So now she's getting a new apartment and all of a sudden, is not speaking to me. When I try to touch base as friends, she is coldly friendly but says she's just been so busy with life. She is finishing grad school and working 40 hours at our job and part time at another, on top of sorting things out post-breakup (separating phone bills, cleaning out their old apt, getting her stuff out of storage at his parents' house). I know she's busy, but she has time for female friends/coworkers to talk...I have been in a depression downswing the last week and I know my moods are affected, and on top of that, my friend's avoidance is breaking my heart.


Beyond caring about her romantically, I care about her as a friend. She struggled through a lot the last month, including many times where she thanked me repeatedly for sticking with her as she sorted out her feelings. Now though, when I need her to help me, she's absent. I feel all of the typical emotions (anger, hurt, sadness, desperation) and don't want to lash out at her but I feel like she's just being so cold towards me that it's killing me. I know this probably seems like small potatoes to many of you reading this in light of whatever you may be currently dealing with. But she is/was one of my best friends, and to just walk out right now is crushing. I am not on any medication for this and I know that I'm only driving her away right now with each frustrated email/text I send. I know insecurity is very unattractive, and I wonder how much of what I'm feeling is from her and how much is my own issues. Maybe if I got on something from a doctor, I would be better equipped to see this all in a better light. I want our friendship back more than I convey with words...she is such a special person to me, and feeling like nothing to her is just wrecking my spirit right now.


 


Thanks for reading, it's nice to just type this out instead of keeping it bottled up.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 11:19AM #2
StephenK.Adams
Posts: 1,723

Jul 10, 2010 -- 8:20AM, One_World wrote:


Hi everyone,


------- So now she's getting a new apartment and all of a sudden, is not speaking to me. When I try to touch base as friends, she is coldly friendly but says she's just been so busy with life.


------- Thanks for reading, it's nice to just type this out instead of keeping it bottled up.




In all probability you are not going to like what I have to say to you but please know that I am telling you the truth as I see it.  While you are sure that you want a lesbian relationship with her, she is obviously not wanting to go in that direction.  When you say that she is friendly with other women, you fail to say that these other women are not asking her to make a life changing decision.  The more we fear something, the less willing we are to talk about it.  It just scares us to pieces.


For your own good, your next email should tell this woman that if she prefers to have a heterosexual relationship with a man, rather than with you, that you are more than willing to accept it.  Afterall, she is not asking you to change the way you think sexually is she? 


As hard as the above advice might seem to be to you right now, I assure you that if she entered into a relationship with you but secretly wished that she had not, eventually, you would be even more miserable than you are right now.   In my opinion, you do not need some kind of mind-altering drug.  But you do need to face reality and get on with your life.  


 




We have nothing to fear except our lack of understanding of fear itself.
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 12:19PM #3
One_World
Posts: 289

I sincerely thank you for the response, but I should have been much more clear in my post. I see how it was misconstrued, and a big part of that is because I didn't explain everything as clearly as I should have. I'm actually male, and the office I work in is primarily female. There are only about 5 guys in a place of 20 or so. I am very close friends with her, and she worried immediately that people would think we were having a romantic relationship on the side. Once she began the process of breaking up with her boyfriend, she stressed that she was really scared of people at work all talking about us, because obviously coworkers should not be involved.


I do think you're correct about how I should get my life together and move on...I just hate to lose close friends without a fight.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 3:18PM #4
StephenK.Adams
Posts: 1,723

Jul 10, 2010 -- 12:19PM, One_World wrote:


I sincerely thank you for the response, but I should have been much more clear in my post. I see how it was misconstrued, and a big part of that is because I didn't explain everything as clearly as I should have. I'm actually male, and the office I work in is primarily female. There are only about 5 guys in a place of 20 or so. I am very close friends with her, and she worried immediately that people would think we were having a romantic relationship on the side. Once she began the process of breaking up with her boyfriend, she stressed that she was really scared of people at work all talking about us, because obviously coworkers should not be involved.


I do think you're correct about how I should get my life together and move on...I just hate to lose close friends without a fight.




Please accept my deepest apology for failing to look up on your Profile and determining  that you are a man.  Please ignore completely what I have said to you thus far.  --- I admire your last comments about not giving up.  It is true that relationships at work can cause problems of a serious nature, but it is also true that many happily married couples started out as friendly relationships at work.


Tell your friend that it is also true that many people who derailed a romantic relationship at work for a more distant relationship (not a co-worker) have spent much of their lives wishing that they had spent less time worrying about what other people think and more time thinking about their own personal happiness.


Don't be afraid to tell her the truth.  If you are afraid of failing, you will add to the chances of failing.  Tell her the truth and if she chooses someone else, go forward with your life knowing that you are an honest person who deserves to be happy.  That belief will one day help you to make such a future happen for you.     


"I just hate to lose close friends without a fight." Smile--- Hat's off to you sir and good luck and good skill to you in your quest for happiness. 

We have nothing to fear except our lack of understanding of fear itself.
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 3:41PM #5
One_World
Posts: 289

Thank you, my friend. You have given some fantastic advice, and I truly hope things work out. I know she has expressed a belief in fate, saying there is a reason she took the job at the company and we met, so perhaps she is aware that I am a special person in her life. I know I am, I just know right now things are so strained it's hard to see through those storm clouds to view the sun behind it all. Thank you kindly for all you said.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 3:48PM #6
StephenK.Adams
Posts: 1,723

Jul 10, 2010 -- 3:41PM, One_World wrote:


Thank you, my friend. You have given some fantastic advice, and I truly hope things work out. I know she has expressed a belief in fate, saying there is a reason she took the job at the company and we met, so perhaps she is aware that I am a special person in her life. I know I am, I just know right now things are so strained it's hard to see through those storm clouds to view the sun behind it all. Thank you kindly for all you said.




Thank you for your kind words.  Perhaps it was better that we started communicating with each other on this internet site rather than in person.  I might have been punched in the mouth for making such a dumb sexual mistake.  Smile  Don't forget the power of laughter.  Even in such tense times as you and your friend are experiencing right now, the right touch of humor can have more effect than thousands of serious words.   

We have nothing to fear except our lack of understanding of fear itself.
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 4:14PM #7
One_World
Posts: 289

I don't believe I look particularly feminine with my beard and mustache, so you likely wouldn't have any trouble deciphering my gender in person Laughing


 


But yes, humor is what we have going always. My friend has commented on how we have this weird, comfortable chemistry that everyone notices and how I can make her smile or laugh with one word sometimes. I wish she knew that that simple statement makes ME smile or laugh, knowing I make her happy. I hope we find that again, but you are right, things can get too serious and heavy and a quick wit can lighten the mood noticeably. I just don't like when it feels like so much of my happiness is tied into another person...I know this isn't healthy, but I can't talk myself out of the feeling. I will be okay knowing I have tried...I just hate not being able to help things.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 7:05PM #8
One_World
Posts: 289

Well, I was just informed that my friend doesn't foresee a romantic future. It hurts, but I appreciate knowing her feelings on the matter. I feel a little led on, but that's life, right? ;) Man, I guess this is better off in the Padded Room thread...just having this board open all day has been a comfort.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 9:25PM #9
karbie
Posts: 3,329

I would have thought that with her current work/study/moving/ending a relationship status, she isn't going to be getting into a romantic relationship with someone besides you, either. Even though you have been very close, I think she isn't ready for a rebound romance, especially one with all of your co-workers watching each word.


One of the reasons she has been hanging out more with the female coworkers is because they are all dishing on "Male jerks we have known" which would leave you totally out of the picture. She doesn't want them to think she broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years for another man. I think that her relationship with you made her see all the support, affection, and consideration she wasn't getting from her boyfriend.


Unraveling a relationship and going through the "who gets what" is stressful; the end of a relationship is painful, and moving at the same time--all of these are at the top of stressors list. Add in 2 jobs and going to school on top of it and I doubt she has the energy for a romantic relationshhip at the moment. I don't see how she works 2 jobs and goes to school as well. At the moment the people at work who can help her the most are the other women...but if they thought that you were the one who broke up her relationship with her ex, their opinion of her would be completely unsympathetic. Their opinion of you would be worse. It's not wonderful, but it's a combination of human nature and office politics.


Is there a rule against co-workers dating? I worked one place where the policy was that anyone asking another person how much they made or telling someone else what you were being paid was grounds for immediate firing. I would imagine in the current economy neither of you could afford to go job hunting. I think she is at least protecting herself from fallout for taking up with someone else too soon. No matter how lousy the relationship she had with the ex was at the end doesn't mean she won't be trying to figure out how it went so wrong and trying to make some sense out of it.


I hope that with time you can at least fall back to the friendship that you've shared all along. I know how hard it is to lose a friend for no reason. A woman and I were friends for 15 years, then--nothing. wouldn't answer calls or just tell me what I'd done to upset her. It's hard driving by a house you used to go into and know that you are no longer part of that person's life and not even worth an e-mail or have anything to go on. I guess she decided that I belonged to when she had been married and when our kids were close friends. My son didn't turn his back on hers--my son was finally having guys in his class want to play with him at recess, which meant a lot to him. No one would play with her son at all except for my son. He remained loyal when all of the boys from his softball team and from Scouting only made fun of him. I was proud of my son for that--it was totally his decision.


Do i miss her? Yes, I still do. but besides being the first friend I had here, she also did something for us I could never thank her enough for. She helped my son see that getting help when you needed it was not something that would ruin the rest of your adult life. I still pray for her and for her son.


I know that seeing her everyday makes it hurt more. I think the friendshop aspect at least can be regained. I agree about wit and humor; humor is always a great way of coping with things.


Don't feel like you are bringing something here that isn't as bad as what someone else is going through. Pain is something we understand pretty well around here in all the shapes and sizes it comes in. I've been in Pain Management for years and I've done it very well...if the sign of good management means never running out, then I should be getting a reward by now. It helps to know that there are people here that care about me even when I've been withdrawing a bit. We're here for each other when we need to reach out; thank you for trusting us to be there for you.


When my son was around 18 months, my mother was up for a visit and watched him go over to bring a few books back for me to read to him. I was sitting on the floor, and what got her was the fact he plopped down on my lap without looking behind himself first--he just trusted that the lap would be there.  that's pretty much the way things still work, although we might need to make some adjustments.


If you need someone there will be someone here.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2010 - 10:31PM #10
One_World
Posts: 289

Karbie,


I've read around these boards a lot today and in the past and I can say with 100% honesty that you have more to deal with than I do, hands down. Your quiet acceptance and fighting spirit shine through in each post, and posters like you and Steve help to give me the strength to keep on. I have my health aside from high blood pressure which is part hereditary and part stress levels, probably. I know that what I'm dealing with is not uncommon, and it's only the fact that I can't turn my overactive mind off when it's running on and on with negative thoughts that it feels overwhelming.


Everyone has suffered in love during their lifetimes...anyone who says otherwise is either a liar or ridiculously fortunate! I had a very tough relationship 4 years ago where I was engaged and she broke it off 11 days shy of the wedding. This was after a 6 year relationship. I had serious problems with feeling completely lost and rejected after the breakup, and it took a long time before I felt able to love again. I didn't want to compare someone or think of my ex in any way that might compromise a new relationship. I told myself it would take someone worth the effort for me to open myself up again....this friend was that person for me and right now I'm feeling like I bared my soul and got burned. I did not expect her to invite me to move into her new place or even begin dating me right now. But to thank me repeatedly for hanging around while she figured out what to do with her now ex, to hint that I should probably take up fishing because her dad didn't like her ex and would want a fishing buddy, etc...I let myself dream of how wonderful it could be while trying to keep myself grounded, and it caught me.


I have issues with depression and self-worth...people think I'm caring, friendly, out-going, funny, all of those things...yet when I think about myself I see a needy person who isn't accomplishing enough in life to offer anything to a potential mate. I look in a mirror and only see the bad. No one knows the real me...everyone acts surprised when I decline an invitation out for a night on the town after work...I can't tell them on that particular day it's all I can do to not claim a headache so I can leave early and retreat to my home where I can unwind and feel sorry for myself. I feel like I'm living this double life, as if people can't understand why I think life is just okay. I don't hate life, but I would say the negatives outnumber the positives. It's a struggle everyday, and for those of us who get derailed like a freight train when the shadows come in...it's all we can do to act our way through the day with a fake smile or positive attitude.


That is why I give so much credit to those of you who have been through a lot more than I can comprehend and still pop in here to comfort others...I believe that many of us are overly sensitive, and it makes it painful to feel the world's hurt but also that it's very therapeutic for us to help others. I thank you both for that.


Karbie, I'm appreciative that you can relate to feeling cut off from a friend. Your story is more involved...mine is just me letting my guard down against a woman with a beautiful soul...someone who makes mine happy simply by being close to hers. It hurts so much to struggle with feeling like you'll never find happiness in love and then to be rejected by someone who knows you so well. For me, that feels like the ultimate downer. It's like a person gets to know you, warts and all, and then decides you're not worth her love. I haven't been on a date in 4 years, and prefer that fact to dating people just for the sake of feeling normal. I do not get attached easily, but I believe my heart when it says to go for it.


After all of those paragraphs of self-pity from me, I must say that your assessment of my friend and our work situation is right on. It's uplifting to me to consider that perhaps she just isn't ready right now but may be if the situation is right later. Perhaps she had to say she doesn't see a romantic future to get me to back off on my own feelings. I do not want to feel like it had to come to that...if nothing ever comes, so be it. I may be depressed and a little crazy, but I am not scary...it will be very hard to remain friends right now, but we are being sent on a 2 person road trip out of state for most of the upcoming work week...should be interesting and hopefully we can repair what's been lost in our friendship. She is at a point where she has so much on her plate and she gets stressed easily and retreats at times. I feel what she needs most from me at this time is not an abandonment but rather a gentle friendship that keeps me at arm's length while letting her know I'm trying to be here for her whatever capacity she needs. I wish I didn't care so much about her, but I do. It's hard to write this because I keep feeling as if it comes off as incredibly whiny and pathetic sounding ;)


 


Love what you wrote about sitting in your lap...so true! Some people are there for us whenever we need a rest, and we instinctively know that. That's a wonderful part of life. Thank you, and I hope today finds you exceptionally well. :)

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ~ Oscar Wilde
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