Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Lost friend, miss her but...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by shutterspeed, May 12, 2010.


  1. shutterspeed

    shutterspeed PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    7
    It's a long story and I'm not even sure if anyone has any advice, but I just want to write it down and get some opinions on this.
    I had a friend for years and years, in 2008, we even went on holiday together and had a lot of fun and never disagreed.
    This woman has a fear of heights but I respected that and we avoided bridges and such. She has a dog and we often had walks together. One day she suggested we go to the South of Belgium where there are some hills. I let her choose the walk, so she could see if she could handle it. When we arrived, she suddenly refused to continue the walk because she got freightened. I tried to convince her it was only a very short distance and then the road would be flat again but no way she was coming. So I went left, she went right.
    A few months later she asked to go on another walk. Once again I considered her phobia and chose a flat walk.
    When we arrived there, each in own car, she got out, saw a monument on a hill and decided she would not in her life go up there. But...the walk didn't lead to the monument at all!! As I needed to go to the toilet, I handed her the guide so she could read about the walk. But she refused to even go and look at the start of the walk!
    So I was p****d and told her that this was the second time she let me down and drove away. I returned later and did the walk (not one hill in sight) on my own. The day after I sent her some pics of this flat landscape and told her what a shame it was she had missed this.
    I never got any reply, I phoned her a few times but she never answered.
    Surely it's not me who is to blame! I did everything for her, the way she was acting then and there you would have thought I would have asked her to skydive!!
    Of course, after a few weeks, I gave up phoning, mailing, but isn't it sad??
    We were friends for 20 years!!

    sorry, very long story, thank you if you made it all the way
     
  2. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,043
    Likes Received:
    200
    definately not your fault, i think she needs to get some help tbh as that is an extreme phobia to have.

    i wouldn't feel guilty if i were you, you did what you could and were VERY patient. I would be inclined to say she is of no loss as a mate.
     
  3. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    12,615
    Likes Received:
    3,392
    It's so difficult when you think you have made a good friend and something like this happens.

    Reminds me of a friend I made for a few years and thought she was true but turned out she left me to face bailiffs and all sorts of nasties. We worked together and our boss was in financial difficulties. He wanted her to go with him to drum up more work, I said I needed some support and she said she would stay. I turned up for work to find myself on my own, neither of them bothered to tell me. It was the straw that broke the camels back. I told the boss I couldnt do it,closed the office and went straight to the Dr who signed me off. When I took in my sick note, he made me redundant and kept her. I was fulltime and she was parttime. A while later she wrote me a letter saying how she valued our friendship - I wrote back saying I no longer called her a friend.

    I dont feel this was your fault and you have made the effort to make up so perhaps you should look at this as a stepping stone/learning curve in life.

    It certainly taught me that true friends are rare and mostly those you grew up with, others fall into the bracket of acquaintences.

    Dont beat yourself up over this, you are the better person here for feeling as you do.

    chin up x
     
  4. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,043
    Likes Received:
    200
    yep not your fault.

    i've had several 'mates' over the years that have treated me rubbish.

    just recently a 'mate' who i got on with really well, even liked her 11 y/o kid (extremely unheard of for me). she didn't drive, so was constantly asking me for lifts, i only gave her them if i was going that way myself, like in town and going round to hers after, picking her up on the way to hers etc. i'm not as skint as her but there are limits to what fuel i'll waste and why. taking her kid swimming when i'm not actually going swimming myself 30 mins drive away at is NOT

    constantly used me, i supported her and gave her heaps of advice through a rather rough time over the WHOLE friendship, did shifts for her so that she could stay at home instead of getting a kid-sitter in the evening etc,

    was ill for 2 weeks, didn't talk to anyone! went back to work and was so busy and tired that i didn't talk to anyone for another week after that, she got the hump even tho i'd told her i was just knackered and not up to going out. During that swapping of emails i ask if she wanted to come to basketball practice the next weekend at a court next to her house, and told her my woes about stepdad being gravely ill etc ... her one sentance replies didn't mention stepdads illness at all. Her parents are both dead and a lengthy courtcase is going on regarding it.. i always ask how its going etc

    next weekend walked to the bball court, text'd if she wanted to come along (300 yards from her house in a massive park) said no she had to walk the dog, i said dog could come along she could help me practice then we could take dog for a walk (usually 2 hours as he's a malamute) and get some tea on the way back. she didn't answer me...

    i was at the court about 45 mins, walking back (45 min walk back to my house) she called just as i was leaving to say come round for a cup of tea... what happened to the dog walking?
    i didn't answer.

    the next weekend i was away up to aberdeen to see my mum and stepdad (who might die very soon during a tumour removal op) had told her the week before i was going away and why, also had massive stress about my NEW car being in the garage and having to rent a car to drive up. She text me saturday asking where i was, i didn't reply. we didn't get back until the tuesday night, late. i went on face book on weds at work lunch and found that she's taken me off her friends list.
    needless to say i removed her daughter from my list, and haven't bothered texting her back to see what the problem is. no great loss as far as i'm concerned.

    i have decided that i stick with my male mates as any female mate i've had has either been a nightmare personality wise or has been a complete user and waste of my time. I have 2 girl mates who i don't see for months/years sometimes on end because we live so far away from each other... yet we pick up where we left off each time..same with my male mates.

    some people just aren't worth the effort.
     
  5. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,759
    Likes Received:
    466
    its such a shame people are like this.

    I have very very few friends as I just dont trust anybody!

    OP what happened wasnt your fault. Obviously your friend has a phobia but it sounded like she wasnt really helping herself. Theres only so much you can take!!
     
  6. Lulu's owner

    Lulu's owner PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    96
    It felt strange reading your story because something similar happened to me with a very longterm friend, but from the opposite point of view. We went walking with llamas and for some reason I expected it to be on the flat (I think I was thinking about camels in the desert, looking back on it!). It turned out to be on a steep and winding hill and I was terrified. I didn't actually back out, but I was frightened and my friend was angry that I hadn't enjoyed the "treat" she had arranged. We ended up having an enormous row that destroyed our friendship. Looking back on it, I feel sad that this happened and I wish that she had been more understanding of my fears. It was a mistake to take part in this activity and a shame that it put an end to all the positive aspects of the friendship.
     
  7. classixuk

    classixuk PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,826
    Likes Received:
    329
    Obviously, you aren't to blame for her fear of heights. And yes, of course you would lose patience that she cannot accomplish such a "simple task", but as others have said, her phobia sounds severe and she'll probably be better off with CBT than setting herself tasks which she cannot accomplish.

    I've had a fear of heights most of my life. When I was younger, I thought that I would cure it by...abseiling forward down the front of a 200ft hotel block and then immediately afterwards, jumping out of a plane from 12,000ft with nothing but a parachute for safety.

    The experience was so terrifying (yes; I did them both) that I was left with a very severe fear of extreme heights. I can face them if needs be, but my legs turn to jelly when I do (like a bad dream when you need to run away from something but your legs don't work properly). It's generally if it's a severe drop such as a cliff face, a balcony on a block of multi-storey flats or walking across a very high river bridge. The fear isn't so much you falling off, as you throwing yourself off in a blind moment of panic and wanting to escape. It's called vertigo I believe.

    It does lead to "avoidance" of certain situations, and you do feel like a fool when you have to make your excuses. I recently went to see Cesar Milan at the Liverpool Arena, and we were placed so high up that I told OH I would either have to leave or be re-seated after managing only 3 minutes in my seat. The experience was horrifying (luckily we were reseated).

    I think your friend might be feeling frustrated with herself and feel like a burden too because of her "disability". The day after, when you sent her some pics of this flat landscape and told her what a shame it was she had missed it, it probably made her feel even more stupid and maybe even slightly misunderstood/bullied (not because you did, but simply because she would).

    Your heart was in the right place, there is no doubt of that, and the frustration you must have felt seeing your very good friend frankly letting herself down and actually missing out on her life experiences must have been very hard to bare (and no doubt upsetting for you). I understand where you are coming from.

    If you want to make contact with her again though (which I'm guessing you do), I would send her a little message on Facebook or something to break the ice, say something like "Listen, I was a bit stupid and insensitive when we went for that last walk, but it breaks my heart that I took that walk without you by my side. I felt you were ready but I overstepped the mark.
    I just want you to know though (if you'll pardon the pun) that there "ain't no mountain high enough" that would make me think any less of you!! I really miss you, you're my best friend and I hope you can forgive me. My frustrations come from a good place, never a bad place, but I know now I should curtail them and just enjoy our friendship wherever we are...no pressures this time!!! I really do miss you. Get in touch and let me know how you are. xx"

    Personally, that's what I would do...you can rekindle the good parts of your friendship, and simply avoid hills at any time (even if SHE suggests them!).

    ;)
     
  8. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,043
    Likes Received:
    200
    have to say i disagree with classix.

    from what you've said you've done all that you could to help, you suggested walks with no to little hills as possible and ok she has a phobia but if she's not getting help for it .. then what are you supposed to do? move to holland?

    she NEEDS to get help to combat it, if she doesn't then you will only end up where you are now again. she will feel like you're not being sensitive enough and you will be frustrated and doing all the work to appease her.

    she's not being fair on you, after 20 years she should know that you were showing her the walk so that she could phone you up and ask to try it again, rather than feel bullied. if she doesn't know that by now.. chances are she won't ever.

    that's just my opinion though.
     
  9. shutterspeed

    shutterspeed PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    7
    I forgot to mention that I did suggest she should look for professional help.
    I have this phobia of birds, but I have come a long way and I feel very much at ease standing on the beach photographing seaguls. As I type this, I hear the sound of so many sparrows and I enjoy it, they breed in our chimnee and I don't mind.
    But some people don't want to tackle their fears. I mean, how silly can you be, refusing to go to the second floor of a shopping center??
    She had to turn down lots of job offers because she could just not work on the 10th floor.
    I have always been very understanding and I would never have got her into scaring situations on purpose, but this was really ridiculous.

    Still, I miss her, we got on well otherwise
     
  10. classixuk

    classixuk PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,826
    Likes Received:
    329
    That's why I think you should get in touch and break the ice.

    It would be awfully sad if something as silly as a hill got in the way of what was otherwise a good friendship.

    I would just start again with her, agreeing from the off with her that you accept her fear of high places but that it's not your problem to solve, and doesn't affect your friendship.

    I really don't see how a hill matters when you're sat together on a flat living room floor downing a nice bottle of wine together and laughing. ;)

    Just make sure she is prepared that if you ever go anywhere together and there are heights involved that you might like to go climb that hill, or pop into that second floor shop and you can always meet up afterwards.

    Good luck!

    :thumbup:
     
  11. classixuk

    classixuk PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,826
    Likes Received:
    329
    Owie, I appreciate where you are coming from, but you must also realise that you are thinking rationally. Phobias are irrational. You cannot solve an irrational thought with rational discussion and thinking.

    The fear in any phobia closely resembles the fear felt as a child when you are first encouraged to ride a bike without stabilisers. It is daunting and scary. It can't be solved with lots of lovely pictures of children riding successfully without stabilisers. It can only be solved when the child agrees to tackle the fear.

    Luckily though, Shutterspeed is not her friend's parent, she is her friend's friend. The problem of her friend not being able to "ride a bike without stabilisers" should surely only effect them if there's a bike ride planned?

    At all other times, it shouldn't matter? Surely?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice