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My friend made me cancel my plans

Marina wrote:

I am in an unfortunate dilemma with my "best friend" of 29 years. We met on the first day of first grade, when she first moved here from Australia.

Over our school years, we were each other's only friend, for we were both teased and taunted a lot by our classmates. It turned out in 9th grade she has dyslexia, so her parents sent her to a private school that specializes in that disorder. We have remained friends over the years by phone and weekend visits, however, things have turned weird over the last 10 years.

Several years ago, when I was living at home, she only wanted to visit when it was convenient for her to visit her doctor (her insurance office and doctor's office at the time was near my home and she was going to school in Pennsylvania- 4 hours away). So she gave me and my Mom a list of weekends she could come and visit, and she would have to leave for her checkups at that time. My mother refused her to stay.

She invited me to Australia, and we went on a 3 week long trip. It was going OK; before I left, I asked my sister if I could invite her to my sister's wedding, if there was room (she has been a family friend for years). My sister agreed, and friend's brother was reciprocating an invitation for me to attend his wedding several weeks later. She apparentley knew before the trip that her brother's guest list was limited, and there was no room for me. She waited until I had told all of her relatives in Australia that I was going; for two weeks straight, and how happy I was; that on the last day of our trip, in front of everyone, that I was not allowed to go.

I was so devastated that she did not tell me, that I lost my balance and almost fell over. I thought that she could have told me in private before seeing her relatives, but it didn't happen. Over the years, I have forgiven her.

The most recent of the weird events happened two weeks ago. I took an extra day off of work so I could visit on Memorial day weekend. She and I had made plans for me to come down and visit several sights in the area. She had twisted her knee several weeks (2) before, and it was taking time to heal. I wanted to go down any way to visit, since I haven't seen her in a year. I was called on the Monday before I was to leave, and I wasn't given any opportunity to discuss it, but she asked me to cancel my plans because she couldn't walk long distances. Of course, I understood, as I had a painful ingrown toenail too and couldn't walk a lot either. But I was hurt none the less (and no, I didn't tell her about the toenail or how it wouldn't matter if we sat around doing anything, I just wanted to visit).

I have been having family issues, for my great aunt is recovering from pancreating cancer surgery. I am 2nd health care proxy, and my aunt is now at home, under NO doctor's care,no treatment, and is refusing any home help. She basically wants to die. Needless to say, I have no control over the situation, but I wanted time away from it. One week went by, and my friend went with her brother who was visiting to a bagpipe festival. She won tickets to a renaissance fair near her home, and she decided to call all excited; and left a message on my machine to invite me down for 4th of July instead.

#1, I had made plans with another friend to go to Rhode Island that weekend,
#2, I was quite upset because I had to visit my great aunt the day she called and left the message, and
# 3, I am on a limited budget, and cannot afford to go to too many places.

When I got home from the visit with my Aunt it was 8:15 pm. My girlfriend called at 8:30 and said " HA- you didn't call me back!" I said " I just got home" and with no other words, I got so angry, I hung up on her. She instantly tried to call back, and kept trying for 1/2 an hour. I just let the machine get the phone, I was so livid. I couldn't take the phone ringing any more, so I finally talked to her. She had no idea that I had gotten angry. She was crying on the phone to me, saying she was only teasing and that she in the 29 years we have known each other she would never do anything to hurt me. I explained in the most rational tone I could muster that my aunt was being stubborn, and I was upset over that, I had just gotten home, and that there was no way I was free that weekend. I also told her that she should not have kept calling like she did, that her doing that really annoyed me. The last words I said were that I was sorry. Now, it has been two weeks since that incident, but I still feel bad that I hurt her.

I at times don't understand why, but I have no mean bones in my body, until someone does something to hurt me. I just feel like there is no more friendship in our friendship, and I just feel like we need to go our separate ways for a while. If it makes a difference, she lives at home with her parents. I just don't know what to do, for when she called before, she never even expressed any concern or worry over me and my aunt issues.

In fact, all she really does is talk about her dog and the job and what her parents are doing; and she hardly asks how I am. I think I have been mean enough to her; and I probably should try and explain it further. I just feel she wouldn't want to hear it. And I am still really angry. Do you feel that my anger is justified? Yes, I know that I do harbor a few grudges. That I acknowledge. But I just don't think I should keep this one going, for I felt like I have been slapped in the face one too many times and can't take any more pain. I just need some help. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Dear Marina

You really are seething with resentment, and have chosen to play the martyr on an Oscar winning level.

From what you've said, your friend is - and always has been - a little self centered. If that's so offensive, why keep the relationship going for so long after it had died a natural death? Why keep being hurt, feeling resentful, and going back for more?

Above all, why look for pain by expecting her to read your mind, and be senstive to problems she knows nothing of?

Failing to pick up the phone and blaming her for your bad manners is a real corker. friendship works in two directions. She sounds a little thoughtless; you sound fairly mean minded.

If you don't like her, move on - don't be spiteful to her.

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