Throwback Thursday #TBT

I’m sharing an old post from December of 2013. I had experienced some major upset in my life and after a year of therapy, found myself in a better place. This post is a prime example of what happens when some people don’t get what they want from you. I had learned that I have to take care of me and set boundaries. That’s all I was trying to do.

Friendship Lost


Some Will Never Understand….

Something has been on my mind lately. (Well, something is always on my mind! I can’t help that.) I’ve been mulling this certain thing around in my head for nearly a week now. I have to write about it to get it out of my brain!!

A friend of mine, read something I had posted on Facebook about chronic pain issues. She messaged me about it. She said she had read several things I had posted about chronic pain and chronic illnesses, and even some personal things about my own situation. She said she couldn’t help but notice how focused I was on my pain. Immediately, I felt defensive.

HER: Why are you always focused on your pain?

ME: Because my pain is a huge part of my life. Everything I do or don’t do is based on my pain level.

HER: If you just forget about it you’d be happier.

ME: How do you know I’m not happy?

HER: Because you always seem to complaining about your pain.

ME: You ain’t even heard complaining yet!! I save that for my therapist.

HER: You see a therapist and you still focus on your pain?

ME: Yes, I see a therapist. She has been very helpful in teaching me how to deal with my pain and other issues.

HER: What other issues?

ME: That’s none of your business.

HER: Ok. I still think if you’d just stop focusing on your pain, you could live a better life.

ME: You have no idea, and you never will until you are faced with a chronic illness, how hard it is to even get out of bed on some days. You will never understand that just taking a shower sometimes takes all the energy you have for that day. You don’t realize how much time it takes to do any given task because of your pain. You have no clue how depressing it is to not be able to just go and do the things you have always enjoyed, such as hiking, site-seeing, playing at the park or going to the zoo with the kids/grand kids, making bath products, fishing, shopping for hours on end at the Mall, planting a garden every Spring, rearranging the furniture, volunteering, washing the car, holiday celebrations, birthdays, cooking, going to the movies…. You don’t have a clue! When you have a chronic illness, your entire life changes! Everything is different. You approach things differently. You do everything differently. I hope to God, you never have to know what it’s like to have chronic pain!

HER: Isn’t it just arthritis?

ME: (Seriously wanting to punch her in the face!) It’s not JUST arthritis! It’s arthritis in my entire lower body, from my hips all the way down to the joints in my toes. It’s a degenerative disk in my spine and arthritis working it’s way up. It’s arthritis in my fingers, that gets bad when it’s extremely cold and even worse if I don’t crochet every day. It’s arthritis, that has resulted in knee bone damage with severe pain! I walk with a cane because sometimes I am very unsteady on my feet. I can’t sit, stand, or walk for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. I am in pain 24/7. I get NO relief! I don’t even sleep well due to the pain!!

I hit send on the messenger….but I wasn’t done. I had to stop this conversation.

ME: Don’t say anything. You are seriously coming close to ending this friendship. I’m done with this conversation.

That was the end of it…. I haven’t heard squat from her since. That’s ok because I don’t need the drama. I have enough to deal with. 

Honestly, if you don’t have a chronic illness, then you will never understand completely. You can try. You can also try to be more understanding of those who DO have a chronic illness. They really could use your support.


Friendship Lost

Wow, it’s been over a year since I last posted in this blog!

Well, the good news is that I am back and after a long year of therapy, I am in a better place. Anyone who knows me, knows I have been through the wringer the last couple of years. Therapy has helped me separate myself from the actions of others and to not carry blame or guilt that is not mine to carry. I have learned to distance myself from things and people who expect more from me than I have to give. I have learned that I don’t have to help everyone. It’s not my job! I can’t help someone who won’t help themselves…which brings me to the subject of this post.

I had been trying for a very long time to get a friend of mine to get some help for her depression, whether it be a medical doctor or a therapist. She always responded with, “You’re the only therapist I need,” and other such statements. I’m not a therapist. I can’t help her with her depression. I was going through my own bouts of depression. I could listen, sure. But after every conversation, I would be exhausted, totally wiped out. I often wondered if this was normal in a friendship. Deep down I knew it wasn’t, but she was my friend. What was I suppose to do? I fought with myself daily! I tried to tell her that I was going through some things that I couldn’t talk about. I told her many times that I was having a hard time myself and that I couldn’t handle her problems AND my own. It didn’t seem to sink in. It didn’t seem to matter. She would dump everything on me and it would suck every ounce of my energy! Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW she has every reason to be depressed. She’s been through some horrible events over the past few years. I feel for her. But I want her to get some help.

Therapy helped me to realize that it’s not my job to take care of her (or anyone else) and that if she’s not willing to help herself then what else can I do? I had to tell her. I tried my best to explain. I told her I couldn’t help her and she had to help herself. I told her I had to distance myself from her until she got help for her depression. That went over like a fart in Church.

Immediately, she went on the defensive. I expected that. I also understood. She was hurt. I knew that it would hurt her but I was taking care of ME, something that I had not done in many years. I always put myself on the back burner. Not anymore. I was done.

What I didn’t expect, was that she would take this to the extreme. She blocked me on Facebook and THEN called me a hypocrite for talking about her behind her back. (Who blocked whom and then started talking trash about the other? Not me.) She made up lies and told half-truths about me and my family. She showed her true colors. She doesn’t know that I know what she said, but since I DO know, we will never be friends again. How can she be trusted?

She said I was throwing away our friendship because she has a disease called depression. It’s not the depression itself; it’s her inability or unwillingness to get help. I didn’t throw away the friendship. I put it on the back burner, instead of my own needs…. for once. She threw away our friendship when she gave me a bashing on Facebook.

This friendship has weighed so heavily on me for years because I couldn’t help her. If I didn’t care so much, then none of this would have been an issue. I did what I had to do to protect myself and it was my last-ditch effort to get her to do something. I hoped that it would jolt her into realizing she needs to take care of herself. I guess it was wishful thinking…but it’s her issue, not mine.

A Nice Surprise

A few weeks ago, I was thinking of a woman I was friends with back when I was pregnant with my daughter. This woman was my neighbor, my best friend and someone I could count on at any time. In fact, I did count on her for many things. She was there for me all the times my ex was being a real jackass. She was there for me throughout my pregnancy. She drove me to the doctor all the times my daughter was sick, when I was without a car and living out in the country. She brought me a real Christmas tree on Christmas Eve one year when we couldn’t afford one. She watched the baby for me when my ex wouldn’t make time, so I could shower. She took my kids to the park one evening when my ex and I were fighting. Gosh, there were so many things she did for me. I hope I was as good a friend to her as she was to me. I hope she knows how much her friendship meant to me.

I had been hoping to reconnect with her after all these years. It’s been 15 years or so since I last saw her or heard from her. I spent the better part of a day, searching Facebook and MySpace, Twitter and the Yellow Pages – problem was I knew she had remarried and I didn’t know her last name. I tried searching for her boys. They were all small when we knew each other. There were three of them; the oldest was only 7 when we first met, the youngest was about 8 months older than my daughter and the middle child was about 4 or 5. They use to call me Aunt Debbie! I tried to find them. I searched Facebook and MySpace, Twitter and the Yellow Pages looking for them. It was difficult because the names were so common and I really didn’t know what they looked like any more. I was discouraged after many hours. Would I ever connect with any of them again?

This morning, I was catching up on some sleep. I’ve been sick and hadn’t been sleeping well. My daughter woke me up and told me I had a phone call.

It was my good friend’s oldest son. I was really happy to hear from him! He took the time to look me up! He found me on MySpace. (Thank the heavens for the age of MySpace and other social networking sites on the internet! Thank the heavens for the internet!)

He still called me Aunt Debbie! It was a great conversation. We talked for half an hour or more. He told me about his brothers, his mom and his own children. He’s in Iraq right now, working as a medic in the Army.  He’s been in the Army for 11 years! I pray he comes home safe, to his family and friends. He may come visit me when he comes home. It will be totally awesome to see him again. We have connected on Facebook and MySpace and will definitely keep in touch. He has put me in touch with his brothers and his mother. I can’t wait to talk to them all!

I like surprises, nice ones that is, and this was most definitely one of the nicest.


I’m sitting here tonight, thinking about an old friend who contacted me this afternoon. A friend whom I have been hurt by before…..

She and I always had a lot in common BUT yet we are so different. Different is good, right?

It would be nice to reconnect; have a friend nearby to confide in, share my thoughts with, laugh with, cry with, get pissed off with. But I just don’t know if we can be friends again. It can never be like it was before. Or can it? I just don’t know if I can trust her…..

I don’t like to play games in any kind of relationship. If I say or do something to hurt someone’s feelings or make them mad, I expect them to be honest and tell me about it. I do not appreciate mind games, because when I realize what is going on, I lash out. I confront. I feel hurt. I feel betrayed. When she denies, denies, denies……I sever all ties.

How many chances should one give a friendship? This will be the third time for this friend and I. I have a weary heart and I don’t know if I have it in me to do it all over again.