playbiller

Friends in trouble

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I am very depressed tonight, and it is not about the boards.

I had a ticket to a show and was going to bring a friend, but I got a call today, after 2 weeks she will not be coming. I don't claim to know the dynamics of her very strange loveless marriage, but her husband will not allow her to go out on Saturday - apparently this is a new rule. I did not want to push because she sounded funny, but I said she would be missing a good concert and she burst out into tears. I offered to go over to her house while her husband is at work and she insisted she needed to take a nap because it wasa 3 day argument. This is someone who never seems to need sleep and was usually available, except the rule was not to call her after 9 PM at night when he was sleeping. So, I asked if I could come over tomorrow - the answer is no. Then she hung up and did not answer when I called back.

I know that some men become more demanding as they approach retirement age and it could be some mental thing, but this sort of scares me because it is all new and I have known this woman (and peripherally her husband) for 30 years, mostly at work and over the phone because we were both so busy before.

I don't know if I should do anything or let it alone because it is none of my business. I am stymied. She was calling me almost everyday about going together, etc. I really should have more friends in state, it is not my fault that they keep moving to other states when they retire though.

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oh Play...I agree that is worrisome. Hope it didn;t excalate to something physical. I really don;t know what to do in situations like this. I say just try an call her when you know he isn't there.

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oh Play...I agree that is worrisome. Hope it didn;t excalate to something physical. I really don;t know what to do in situations like this. I say just try an call her when you know he isn't there.

So sorry that this has happened to her and to you. You know, we hide a lot of things from each other, even more from the people whose opinions we value most. This may be something new or he may have been more controlling all along than she wanted you to realize. And now, not being able to hide it at this point, it may be so embarrassing as well as disappointing for her that she just can't talk about it. I think I would give it a day or two and then call her.

You know her best but it might be better to just talk about something else and let her bring it up if she wants. If this is an ongoing situation, she will probably just want to pretend it didn't happen. If it's something new, maybe she'll give you some clue as to what part of it she is willing to talk about. I know that's leaving the elephant in the room, but sometimes that's just the way some of us have to live.

I wish I were smarter and knew of some easy way to ease the pain, but sometimes there just isn't one.

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good advice clayisnynumber1...I agree when you contact her...no pressure. Just let her know you are there for her. But I understand how you feel. It can be frustrating.

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This is a very difficult thing to become involved in. She's an adult who should be able to look out for herself.

If you try to intervene, she may jump to her husband's defense and treat you as though you're the troublemaker. To complicate matters, it sounds as if she doesn't live nearby so you don't see firsthand what is going on--not that you might see it even if you do live nearby as people certainly can and do act much differently when no one else is around. IMO, no one has the right to tell a spouse where s/he can go and with whom or monitor phone call times, etc. etc. Sounds like a pattern that probably started early on in the marriage and your friend has enabled the behavior by not standing up for herself. Sadly, I don't see how you can do much of anything. Calling when her husband is not there is probably the most you can do. Ask yourself how involved you want to be in this and what steps you can realistically take and go from there. Or leave it be. Back to lurkdom now :-).

Carol

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play, I think my advice to you would be this -- talk to some professionals in the area. If it truly is the way it appears just from talking to her, be ready with information on shelters. Getting her finances in order. Have the tools ready for her so that when she truly feels she needs them, they will be right there.

But, as others have said, it is her choice, as painful as that may be.

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This is a tough situation.

But she might be needing some help right now..

and you might be able to help her if you could reach someone that lives in the

area.. But iam sure you dont. I hope he doesnt harm her on any way. or she might be desperate

and try something.

gosh i wish i had an answer that will help . Do you live in the area?

if you do maybe you can get to someone around that will check on her.

Just a thought>>

Thanks for reaching out.. :F_05BL17blowkiss:

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I live about 40 minutes away, we don't see each otehr often because she cancels a lot - this has been our 30 year pattern, there were times when I wondered if she wanted to be friends, but she always begs forgiveness for cancelling.

When we get together we have a blast and she is very outgoing, I just stit back and shut up and let her take over.

She is unemployed, we both lost our jobs for the same reason at the same time even though we worked for different companies in different cities. - Still only get together a few times a year.

She has left her husband before, always goes back because "it is easier". There are grown children with issues of their own, there are other family members. She lived with her then best friend who is now dying in another state. I was on the phone with her for months listening for hours when she left him before, but did not want to interfere with her own decision of going back because you never know the whole story, something is always held back or exaggerated.

I called, but got no answer, I will try and take a ride over tomorrow and see whats up.

She had an abused childhood.

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thats all you could do ...be a good friend...

its so sad that some people just can;t get out of a pattern.

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Play, you are a good friend to catch all the signs. Good luck in whatever you attempt. It's tough. Nobody knows what goes on in people's house behind the closed doors but this guy really seems controlling at the very least.

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Well, I have called for 2 days and just got the machine. The house is situatued in the mountains (hills to people not of the east coast) and is difficult to get to, I have a tendency to get lost on the winding roads and usually call for final directions.

My next attempt will be Monday before I leave.

They have been married for 50 years, If anything, I think her husband may be losing it. My Father became oddly possessive of my Mother when his medication was off, not violent, just possessive, then he got confused and thought I was my Mom, that was weird. I got him to a new doctor who cut his medication by 7! He was much better after that.

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No. I am in North Carolina. I tried to call her from near her house, but I can't just drop in because she lives in the mountains(NJ hills) behind a gate. I called and e-mailed her, but no reply. I will be back at the end of a week and try again.

I have called and called and am hoping my friend is on vacation, which she goes on frequently, or with her friend who is seriously ill in another state. I left a message saying I was desperate and needed her help - hey, a little subterfuge. I will probably drive up tomorrow if I don't hear from her after that message. Sometimes when I have not reached her aafter a while, she says it is because she is too embarassed to talk to me.

Edited by playbiller

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OK, I finally reached my friend. She said she just got back from another state where she was helping her 40 year friend who has cancer. SO far, she has cancelled me out on 2 dates. I am going over there Monday and we will talk. Maybe.

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OK, I finally reached my friend. She said she just got back from another state where she was helping her 40 year friend who has cancer. SO far, she has cancelled me out on 2 dates. I am going over there Monday and we will talk. Maybe.

good luck...sending positive vibes...prayers your way.

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Good luck! Knowing that you care and are there for her is the most important thing. Even if she denies there's a problem, she may contact you later when she's ready to finally talk. She's in a tough position, no doubt about it--not easy to leave after all those years, and hopefully she won't have to, but he shouldn't be controlling her like that. If he's in a declining mental state, she's probably very confused about the whole situation, and what she should do. If he's become violent, she needs to protect herself before something terrible happens.

After reading back over the thread, this:

I was on the phone with her for months listening for hours when she left him before

tells me that sympathetic listening may not be helpful, in and of itself.

I had a friend who had all kinds of problems with her boyfriend at the time and would call and complain for hours about how his family (sister, parents) always came first, he never showed up on time, and so forth. Once I got more than a little tired of it and actually told her that I thought he was in the right in a particular situation (didn't show up because his sister was in labor). She got really mad at me, but ended up marrying him and having a very happy marriage that's still good 10 years later. She was in a vicious circle with all the complaining but not doing anything about it, and complaining to me instead of really talking to him.

Which isn't to say your friend's husband is in the right or that the situations are in any way comparable, except that my friend needed a kick in the ass more than she needed a sympathetic ear and it's possible that yours does too.

ETA: My friend lived far away from me at the time too.

My sister disappeared for years once. Hard to deal with when folks do that, isn't it? When she came back and I heard the whole story, I understood.

Edited by jmh123

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It is a long and complicated story. I was scared for her for a while and I do know some people do get odd when they get older. She does have children who live close by and see her a lot, I just think that something has changed in the family dynamic lately.

The reason I listened on the phone before was because she left the state and we would talk long distance. I was working and could not go visit her in Kentucky. She was staying with her friend who is now sick. I suspect the illness of her life long friend is not helping things.

I guess I should let this go until I can actually get her to see me again.

Hey, I have a friend who disappeared, just up and sold her house and left not saying good bye to anyone and I was her go to friend for emergencies! - so there must be something in the water here.

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Well this isn't really a friends in trouble NOW story but I guess my story fits here. My sister ran into an old high school bud of mine a couple weeks ago. She called me tonight. It was surreal talking to her. It's been at least 22 years since I've seen her although she lives a mere 15 miles from me. Our lives took vastly different paths, as did me and a lot of my friends. The crack epedimic hit my generation really hard. Talking with her she said she ws into it for 15 years but has cleaned herself up and gotten her life together.

The hardest part for me to deal with was learning details of a mutual friends life - my best friend's life. My friend from second grade until we went off to college together. We lived together that first year then split up because we were going to different colleges and the commutes were killing us both. But we were thick as thieves our entire lives. She moved back home after her second year of college. She was raped in college and I swear she was never the same again. She went back home, she met this guy who was no good. In fact she married him at the court house when he was on his way back to jail. And then crack grabbed her and that was that. Even her mom would tell me, don't give her any money. She went out for her birthday one day back in early 90's and never came back. They found her body in a crack den. She had been brutally murdered but was unidentified for 5 months. My memories of her are not from this time but from our youth growing up when we had our lives in front of us. But of course I couldn't help it - I listened to some of hte details of the dark life of her last year. God, it's just sad and shocking.

My old high school friend and I will get together but just talking to her I know our lives are still very different. But I want to see her. I did have to laugh when she told me someone had told her that I had changed from high school after somebody spiked my drink at a college party. WHAT THE FUCK CRAP? I told her she needn't worry about that..I'm the same person. BWAH. Yeah I partied in my twenties but I never did any weird stuff. Never did drugs and am as square as they come. Never had a drink spiked. HUH? OH well, this is gonna be intersting.

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That really sucks, couchie! I absolutely know how that all feels. Sad as hell.

I grew up in typical suburban upper-middle-class Silicon Valley. Of course, it wasn't Silicon Valley when we moved there in the early 60s. But that's a whole 'nother story. I was a really straight-laced, straight A student until Jr. High when I met a whole new group of kids. They ended up my best friends and I spent a lot of my time with them while my own family was divorcing, etc. Did a lot of drugs -- pretty much everything except heroin -- crack wasn't really invented yet -- we liked our cocaine straight. We were all stoners, none of us made it through high-school, etc. Long story short, that lasted until I was about 19 when *I* decided I didn't want that life any more. In order to leave it however, I had to let go of/push away ALL of my friends... well, not that there were too many of us left. My boyfriend from 14yo had been shot in the face point blank in a bad drug deal. My other boyfriend had been moved out of state as a result of arson charges, plenty of "us" were/are in jail, dead from overdoses, falling asleep with burning cigarettes, drunk over an embankment... and on and on... many others are still aren't right to this day. Only three or four of this particular group came out of it relatively unscathed, sadly. And I'm very close with them still, which ties me back to my past and reminds me of how lucky and strong I am when I need that kind of reminder. Whenever I feel like life is hard, I just remember what hard really looks like. Don't worry...I'm nice and boring now! Heh.

Every once in awhile I hear about the lives of some of the others though and it's really sad that they never really got their shit together. Two of my siblings still have on-again, off-again issues with crack. It's the worst thing ever. You can't trust them. At some point in life I realized that I can't try to help them anymore. They don't want help. They just want to get on their feet again (usually at your expense) and then they go right back. I can't understand why someone would choose that after getting cleaned up, and yet I can. It's some fucked-up shit! And I can't believe I'm posting this on the Internets. LOL!

So yeah... drugs not good.

I used to be really embarrassed about all of my teenagehood, but meh, it's who I am. I was a kid. 14 year olds shouldn't have to raise themselves.

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Thanks for sharing your story...funny how myopic people look at things. I never really associated crack with the burbs. Drinking and maybe cocaine? Yes. But crack. Not really. :F_05BL17blowkiss: You were much closer to it than me as I had pretty much moved away and wasn't around my "friends" while they were doing it. I would see them now and then and god, people on crack look like the living dead. It was overwhelming. I never knew how to help. I didn't do anything. Sometimes I feel guilty about that.

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There really isn't anything you can do--that's the thing. Be a friend, say you care, stay away, don't get sucked in. I had for a fairly short time a lover who was addicted--to alcohol, sometimes to cocaine, sometimes to crank (crystal meth), which is some nasty stuff. He would lie, steal from me, do almost anything for his drugs. I went to a few Al-Anon meetings and got the message pretty quickly, and I just let him go.

I expect it's a lot more painful and more difficult when it's a lifelong friend or a family member, and a lot harder to disengage.

I was quite the bad girl when I was a teen, but it was a much simpler time. I never even saw an alcoholic beverage til I was finished high school, much less drugs - LOL. I did start smoking at 14, and that's a bad habit I've never been able to kick.

Anyways, I feel for ya couchie meeting taking that journey into the past, and being reminded of all that happened to people you care about. And YSRN, GRRR. Must be a pisser with those siblings. I know I never understood that expression from the Bible to "harden your heart" until that relationship, and then, when I started teaching college I had to perfect it. LOL.

Edited by jmh123

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Guest Toots

YSRN I know that took a lot of courage to tell your story but the fact that you had to look at yourself while telling the story takes courage most of us will never have.

My beloved grandson got fucked up on drugs when he was about 13 or 14...don't really know why but conditions at home were not as they should have been, wrong friends, all the cliches.. He was kicked out of his house, kicked out of friends houses, and on and on it went. He came to me for help and he went into rehab, relapsed, then went back in because I told him I would withdraw my support ( home, food, etc.). He got clean, admitted his problems, got a good job and became the boy I loved so much from his youth.

He relapsed again, went back to rehap and left after 2 days and now he is just about destitute. He has no problem getting jobs that don't drug test and require a history. He loses them when he goes off on his binges. His mother is trying to work with him but no one can help him and he can't seem to help himself. I don't know how this will end but I just tell him I love him when he comes around, which is infequently now.

I appreciate and admire your strength in taking your life back. Thank you for telling us your story. It gives people like me some hope that their loved ones can recover.

:F_05BL17blowkiss: :F_05BL17blowkiss: :F_05BL17blowkiss: :F_05BL17blowkiss:

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Aww, Toots... you made me cry. I'm sorry about your grandson, but yes, people have choices all their lifetime. I hope he'll one day find a place where he's happy and can stop using. I'll be thinking about him a lot. The worst part at the time was knowing how much I was hurting the people who cared about me by doing what I was doing. It probably means the world to him that you love him and let him know... even if he can't show it.

Yeah, couchie... I understand that kind of guilt. The doing nothing part. I have a few of those feelings about some people I left behind... All you can do is use it to weigh what you'd do in new situations, I guess.

I went to a few Al-Anon meetings and got the message pretty quickly, and I just let him go.
Hardest thing to do ever.

squeeze.gif to you all.

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Couchie, I'll add to the chorus of "there really isn't much you could have done"

When my step daughter was about 13 she started hanging out with friends who were a couple of years older than her, who had friends a couple of years older than them, so consequently she started experimenting with drugs and sex at a pretty early age. She was a product of a broken home, we always felt she had the love and support she needed, but obviously some guidance was missing. When we first discovered the alcohol use she might have been 12. We chalked that up to just pre teen experimentation a one time only occurrence. Gradually we discovered she was smoking and then one day we came back from going to the hospital to visit my mom and she was passed out in a chair in our family room, her nose was bleeding. We were almost hysterical, we called her mom and the three of us tried to discuss a course of action to get her help. When she was sober and my husband tried to talk to her, she said she knew what she was doing, she wasn't going to take anything that would hurt her. WTH. She was passed out with her nose bleeding. Her mother and my husband and I all went to a counselor to see what we should do. The first thing he told us was that there was no one who could help her as long as she didn't feel she had a problem.

About a year later her mother moved to Texas, she thought that moving her away from the influences that caused the probems would give her a fresh start. She really just sought out the same type of friends just in a different location. The next few years were tough. She was pregnant at 15 a mother at 16, the baby's father married her, but was gone within a year or so. She had to take menial jobs to survive, but she did.

And Toots, this part is for you, because some stories like YSRN's and my step daugher's have a happy ending. She worked hard raising 2 kids pretty much on her own, she met a great guy about 13 years ago, he's several years younger than her, but I think he helped her see her worth. She started going to school, while holding down a job and raising her kids. A year and a half ago we traveled to Texas for her college graduation, she is a straight A student. She is now working on her masters degree on a full scholarship. We are so proud of her. She is now 40 years old.

So continue telling your grandson you love him, there is hope for him.

Couchie, I hope when you get together with your old friend, that you can find some good memories to talk about, and you can tell her, hell yeah I've changed, I've started a Clay Aiken fan board. Ha!

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Guest Toots

Thank you all for the kind words. My grandson went back into rehab today so hopefully it will work this time. He's been in and out but it has to kick in soon. He's young so time is on his side.

Everybody has a story and it's nice to hear them even tho it's sometimes hard to tell them.

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