I'm regretting reconnecting with an old friend

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I'm regretting reconnecting with an old friend

Postby delicatehues » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:47 am

Hi everyone, I'm new here. My name is Emma :)

This is kind of a strange problem, I think, but I could really do with getting some advice.

About 6 years ago I met a girl at a party and we became friends. She was super smart and very interesting and we had lots of things in common. I saw her from time to time and we became friends. After four years I moved away from my home town of Manchester to Inverness in Scotland and she became incredibly clingy. If I didn't speak to her every single day she'd start contacting my mum and brother! It became apparent that she had some serious problems and I felt like I couldn't ignore her because she'd tell me that she'd hurt herself physically when I didn't talk to her!

About 7 or 8 months ago my life got super stressful what with one thing and another and I failed to contact her for over a week. She continued messaging me, my mum, my brother and even their friends when she could. Eventually I sent her a message back and said that I was very sorry that I hurt her and explained all the things that had been going on in my life so that she would understand why I cut contact and maybe CALM DOWN.

Parts of our friendship had been good, like I said we both liked a lot of the same things but her needy and clingy behaviour is not something I can handle and I finally explained that. She rang me to discuss it and was very curt and clearly very angry. I was saddened to have hurt her and to have led her on by reconnecting but I was relieved to find that she was annoyed with me and she even said that she didn't see a way for us to be friends anymore.

Unfortunately I have a desperate voicemail from her this morning saying that she wants to fix things and she doesn't understand what happened. ](*,)

What should I do? She is taking up so much of my time and energy and I feel so incredibly guilty. I jump every time I get a new e-mail or my phone rings. I just want her out of my life but no matter what I do she remains obsessed. I'm really not that special, you guys! I think it's just because I gave her so much of my time but I never want to do that again.

How do you break up with a friend?

Thanks for reading :D Emma
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Re: I'm regretting reconnecting with an old friend

Postby ILoveChristmas » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:39 am

Hi Emma, welcome to PP.

I don't think ignoring her will work, in fact you've already proved that, so I think you definitely need to talk to her either over the phone or by email, but phone would be better.

If it were me I'd explain that you felt under pressure to keep in contact and at times a little intimidated by the level of persistence she showed in trying to get in contact. I'd explain that the much-reduced contact you've had of late has been a welcome breath of fresh air and that for the moment you'd prefer to keep your contact to an occasional email. The thing is, you don't actually have to keep in touch, but you're not slamming the door on her either because that could be potentially hurtful and I'm not sure that there's a need for that.

Following on from that I'd say in future if she does email you, respond in a courteous but short way. If she phones you don't answer, or if you do have a chat for a couple of minutes, make your excuses and say goodbye. I would also advise that you tell your family and friends to ignore her. The point is, you keep your conscience clear but any normal person will get the message and leave you alone. If she doesn't get the message then would be the time for more decisive action.

You may also consider adding her number to your phone's black list so you don't get calls from her, and/or installing an app like SMS blocker (Android but iOS will have something similar) that will stop her texts too.

Friendships don't always last forever and in this case it sounds as though she has some serious issues of her own. You're not obliged to be the person to help her with those and in any case you're a long way away from her.
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. - Stephen Fry.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick
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Re: I'm regretting reconnecting with an old friend

Postby delicatehues » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:37 pm

Thank you so much for your advice, ILoveChristmas.

Your post made me feel much less guilty about the whole situation.

I tried to call her but she didn't answer so I sent her an e-mail with a polite message explaining, as you suggested, that it had all got a bit much. I got no reply until last night when she sent a message saying she'd leave me be, she was glad she'd met me and she hoped I'd have a nice life.

I am so relieved, it must sound terrible but I have felt so awfully guilty and pressured and she is finally out of my life. I wish her all the best but I'm glad she's not after me anymore!

Thanks again, ILC, I needed an outsider to help me see things clearly.
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Re: I'm regretting reconnecting with an old friend

Postby highlandcow » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:05 pm

delicatehues wrote:I got no reply until last night when she sent a message saying she'd leave me be, she was glad she'd met me and she hoped I'd have a nice life.


Wow, that must be a huge weight off your mind!
Go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say:
'It's good to be alive!'"

- Billy Connolly
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