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New Here; Just Lost A Friend


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Hi all,

I've been a depression sufferer for a long time, but lately things have gotten worse partly due to life changes (moved back to home state for health reasons, unemployed for a while, living with a relative while looking for a full time job that will pay enough to live on my own again, and school challenges). Unfortunately, my friendships are beginning to suffer.

Back in April I made a friend through a fandom we both loved after she messaged me, but things got uncomfortable quickly. She is from another country where topics that can be hot button issues in the states are discussed openly and without argument even among strangers. She enjoyed bringing up topics I wasn't really comfortable discussing and it soon became clear that we didn't share the same opinions on some things and if we did share opinions, there would be differences in other aspects of the issues. Perhaps it was a symptom of the depression, but I felt very criticized by her. I must have asked her at least five times to please stop bring up such topics. I know that they were important to her, but as a depression sufferer and someone who cares deeply about the state of the world, these conversations really took a toll on me.

She continued to bring various issues up even after I asked her not to and explained why. Finally, last night I said that talking to her was just taking an enormous toll on my mental health and that I wasn't sure I could endure it anymore. She kept talking to me as if everything would blow over like it had previous times, but then she turned around and said that it was my moods that were affecting her and she ended the friendship. Her parting words were "I regret ever messaging you. I shouldn't have."

Now I completely understand that sometimes a depression sufferer's moods can wear friends down, but really... she had to say she regretted ever meeting me?

I just don't even feel like trying to make new friends anymore.

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It looks to me from what I read from your post that she wasn't respecting your boundaries and when she couldn't get/do what she wanted, she left. It looks to me she just didn't respect your issues. There seemed to be a big cultural barrier or something because she seemed persistent. But then you mentioned this is happening or beginning to happen with other friends. I have been there and I'm there now. Depression does wear out people around you and I can imagine it being hard for everyone involved. But from what I have experienced, some people are really uncomfortable and try to rush you out of depression and then project their insecurities on you and that is not ok either. I know there are times where friendships just fall apart due to people moving in opposite directions in their lives which is normal. But I do notice a trend with depression and losing friends. it is sad. Is it ok if you share more so I get more of what's going on? Sorry if I sound nosy.

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You definitely should give yourself credit for setting boundaries to protect your mental health. Even though this is someone you like, you correctly identified that your interactions with them were distressing rather than supporting you. Long distance friendships can have this kind of problem more, since they don't see the look on your face when they say the thing that triggers you.

Feelings of loss and grief would be normal no matter what they said in the end. Ultimately, this individual didn't understand an important aspect of you, so the friendship was going to end sooner or later in either a bang or a whimper. Give yourself time to process your feelings and time to recover. You will find others that understand you more as a whole person in time.

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Thanks to both of you! I definitely think cultural barriers had something to do with it. We also only communicated online so there were no other clues such as tone of voice, body language, or facial expressions to go off of. What confused me was she'd ignore my boundaries and then get annoyed and angry because my thoughts were getting moody and dark. I don't think it ever occurred to her she was making things worse for me. And I feel like I don't have a way to communicate this to her. She signed off before I could reply to her. I just feel like I'm going to have little closure now. I think she really needs to know that she can't just steamroll people with what she wants to talk about when it makes someone else uncomfortable or their mental illness worse, especially as she wants to work in a mental health related field.

As for my other friendships. I have two or three close friends that I've had for ten to twenty years. But we typically don't talk about heavy duty things like the above chick liked to. They're the only friends I have offline and they live in other states so I don't see them often. Online is harder because again, no other cues like tone and facial expressions. I struggle more with online friendships. I don't know if online people are more willing to talk about things that might be uncomfortable?

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HI! I think you're putting too much emotion into online friendships. I, myself have done this as well. I have more often than not done the same exact thing. Please just try to keep in mind that what goes around comes around. It sounds to me like this person, if you want to call her that, didn't respect herself. If a person doesn't respect themselves, how can they respect others. Friendships are two-way streets. The more open friends are with each other, the more lanes a friendship has. I wish I had friends to share with like you do, the couple of friends you mentioned that lived out of state. I live in the states, on disability, and don't have any friends other than the family I ended up marrying into. Sweetie, just keep your head up, and try to keep positive people around you. If they're negative, they'll end up making you negative.

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