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Losing a Friend

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As most of you are probably well aware, i talk a /lot/ in my posts. So i'll try to keep this as short as possible.

i'm turning to the Stix on this issue because i'd like a bunch of honest, sincere advice on my situation, and i'm feeling low. The Stix always perks me up!

So the issue is between me and my best friend, Caitlin.

We've been inseparable for literally as long as i've been physically able to retain memories, because our parents met in college, and were always close.

Caitlin and i have had our little issues over the years, but mostly have seen eye-to-eye on most things, and we've never had a fight last longer than a couple hours

As we both enter college in the same year, and the same school, i noticed some distinct changes in her. So i tried talking to her about it.

She blew up at me.

After a while, i approached her and said we should work things through rationally. She agreed, and things were easy with us again.

Then she fell in with a different group of friends, and acting very differently.

So i talked to her about it.

She got mad.

At this point, i'm fed up with her treating me like dirt, or like i'm her property, simply because she knows i'm always going to be there for her.

I'll post below this to give better detail and more background.

Any thoughts are appreciated! this is just something that's been weighing on my mind for weeks and weeks.

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As most of you are probably well aware, i talk a /lot/ in my posts. So i'll try to keep this as short as possible.

i'm turning to the Stix on this issue because i'd like a bunch of honest, sincere advice on my situation, and i'm feeling low. The Stix always perks me up!

So the issue is between me and my best friend, Caitlin.

We've been inseparable for literally as long as i've been physically able to retain memories, because our parents met in college, and were always close.

Caitlin and i have had our little issues over the years, but mostly have seen eye-to-eye on most things, and we've never had a fight last longer than a couple hours

As we both enter college in the same year, and the same school, i noticed some distinct changes in her. So i tried talking to her about it.

She blew up at me.

After a while, i approached her and said we should work things through rationally. She agreed, and things were easy with us again.

Then she fell in with a different group of friends, and acting very differently.

So i talked to her about it.

She got mad.

At this point, i'm fed up with her treating me like dirt, or like i'm her property, simply because she knows i'm always going to be there for her.

I'll post below this to give better detail and more background.

Any thoughts are appreciated! this is just something that's been weighing on my mind for weeks and weeks.

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so, like i said, our friendship is based on a lot of common factors in our lives, close proximity of our homes, attending the same church every week, being homeschooled between my mom and hers, and both being slightly loopy, atypical, non-stereotypical african-american girls from canton, ohio. Basically, we're so similar that our own friends/parents can't distinguish between our voices. When people see a pic of one, they often confuse them for the other. People always assume that we're sisters. And we get along famously. it's always been "Briana and Caitlin", or "the partners in crime".

We've both been raised to understand the bible, the reason for living by it, and a plethora of applications of The Word to our lives. Neither of us has much experience with people who believe differently, having not attended a puiblic or private school. Caitlin is seventeen now, and, while she still attends church on sundays, i feel her moving away from her grounding. But not within her beliefs, but with regards to her behavior and apparent priorities. Basically, she's flirting with all the guys, ignoring her christian friends, and running with a group who has very different values than she claims to hold. I found out tonight that she signed on to be in a sorority.

Anyway, the issue at hand started back in the beginning of summer when we were both selected to be in a summer college program. there were only 15 participants, all living in a house together on campus. so we all got to be a fairly tight-knit group. It was at this program that i first sensed that she was willing to change up in order to please those around her.

So i tried talking to her about three times over the summer, and we wound up working it out once the three weeks were up, and we'd been e-mailing about it.

I thought we'd moved past that: next time she changed, i was to say something straight away instead of letting it fester for me, and fade for her. And she was to take my word for it when her bahavior was dishonest/inappropriate (she insisted one moment that she was doing nothing differently, then the next admitting that she was).

But now that our second week on campus with the entire freshman class is coming to a close, we're already in a similar predicament.

This time is worse, though, because 1: she's dressing differently

2: she's not just passively ignoring me any more. She's actively blowing me off.

and 3: she's not treating this like an issue any more. Which makes me think that she's made up her mind about what she's going to be. And that person is just not her. At all. Deep down, she's as soft as butter! she's so sensitive, and she's honest, and caring (toward some people Wink).

The way she behaves now, she's rude, inconsiderate, selfish and self-serving, fake, tough, and generally hard and aggressive. I'm worried about her. i really am.

ther's more to this, but i think this is adequate info, right?

please, please tell me what you think.

i guess my main question is, what should i do, in the long run? She's asked for space for a while longer, and i said take all the time you need. So obviously i'll leave her alone for now. But what about some time down the road? am i being a bad friend by leaving her while she's struggling with so many different things, simply because she's asked me to?

i feel so distressed and saddened from this. she really doesn't seem happy, deep down.

Thanks for your time, Stixers! i appreciate it!

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Been there, done that. Unfortunately.

It's really hard to be on your position but if I'd be you I would do what she asked. Give her some time and some space but always keep an eye on what she's doing and how she behaves. She might need your help. You always value more what you don't have and luckily she will realize she's losing an amazing friend (I'm sure you're a good friend, otherwise you wouldn't be so worried about this problem). If this doesn't work insist to have a serious talk with her, and even if it doesn't work she won't be able to say that you didn't tried.

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First and foremost I would like say thank you for posting this and that I am so sorry that you are going through this. Oh, I just cant imagine how odd and hard this is... People change and I have been told that I am going to lose close friends in the future because people change, start hanging around different people, etc.. I think that eventually if she dosent come to her senses, realize what she is doing, and fiqure out that she is going to lose a great friend then I think its time that you should let her go. I definately think you should leave her alone, you tried talking with her maturely and politely and she blew up. I give you credit for giving her so much time and chances, afterall people go through phases and change in life and just need some time or a reality check. I think that the best thing that you can do is give her a little more time and one more chance. But if you give her plenty of time and she is still doing these things than I think it would be time to move on. I have never lost such a close friend before so I do not know what it is like, I think you should look at the situation yourself first, then look at the advice we are giving you, and come to a conclusion of what to do. The best advice you can follow is your own. I think you need to be aware and know that line between being able to save a friendship and not. I am so sorry and I hope that you can save this friendship. If you need to vent more feel free to post here on the Stix or email me. Again, I hope that you feel better emotionally and remember, listening to Regina always helps Smiler.

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Having been in a similar situation, I understand your pain and confusion... Sadly, while you know who Caitlin was, who she is is undergoing a transition... You've voiced your concerns, and she's doing her best to understand them, and at this point it seems like the decision is hers to make. I don't think you should feel any guilt about 'leaving her' in this time of confusion, as that isn't what's happening. She's probably just as confused about who she is as you are, and her way of dealing with it is understandably foreign to you. It doesn't seem possible that she could be unaware of the importance of your friendship, and time will bring her to her senses. I'll keep this troubled relationship in my prayers.

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You guys are fantastic. I can't thank you enough for your honesty and caring! it's great to know i have someone more neutral to talk to without being told to take my triffles elsewhere. This advice has been really helpful, and the encouragement uplifting. Smiler

An update on our situation:

i've gotten close with my roommate over these past two weeks, and that's made things easier. i've actually made a number of trustworthy friends, including the girl living next door to me. We talked about this for a couple hours last night. She's really sweet.

I arranged to hang out with my dad all day today because he's, you know, great. and really easy to talk to. and i missed him. So he showed up on campus (while i was playing Machine on a pianoWink) and we went to an on-campus cafe to eat, when guess-who walked in the door. So i looked at my dad, and he said he called and invited her along, and asked if that was okay (the last few tiems she's been invited, she's claimed to have homework. every time it was the same 2-page First Year Seminar paper...)

i said it was fine, and so the 5 of us (me, my dad, my older brother, my roommate, and caitlin) went to a movie, and then out to eat.

Things were quite awkward between me and cait, because i wasn't quite sure how to be around her, and she seemed the same. i'm a little upset with her, and i know she's a little upset with me, so things were still weird. I was happy to see that she was making an effort, and i tried to make her feel welcome.

My dad said (after cait had gone back to her room) that caitlin felt out of place upon seeing how close Anna (my roomie) and i have gotten. i said i never thought i'd see the day where i had to make sure caitlin felt comfortable around /me/ lol we're kind of like each other's security blankets. (or at least we were.)

P.S. Two Birds is eerily relevant to me right now lol

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I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way: I think the foremost issue is her and your background. You admitted that neither of you have much experience with people who believe differently. Your values and opinions have been predetermined by your upbringing. School is there for you to question the values you have and discover others with different views and attitude. It seems she did just that. She began questioning her lifestyle. You didn't. I'm not saying who is right here. Just that she moved on. She needs to walk her own path, make mistakes. You knew Caitlin in a bubble - she probably is a different person when she steps out. The "new" person might have been there all along. I'm sure you didn't want to hear that. Hate me if you want but I want to be straight with you. Give Caitlin time, give her space. She might come back if her beliefs sustain. You might still be friends but the bubble burst - it won't be the same. Sorry.

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I'm gonna have to say that I think Appt is right. It seems that you have both been very protected all your life and perhaps now is a good time for your friend to try new things, explore the world, find out who she is. who she is without "the bubble" so to say.

often, people say you need some time to break free and discover yourself and the world, and then you come back to your background because it's just there somehow. but some people don't. they change and leave their childhood and their home behind.

I think you should just give her space and time. let her grow and explore the world. if the two of you are really compatible she will miss you and come back, maybe even after several years. or maybe not.

just let her be, but let her know that you will always be there whenever she wants to come back.

people change and drift apart... it's sad but on the other hand you seem to have found a good new friend in your roommate. Smiler maybe you too need some time away form Caitlin? are you sad beause the two of you are drifting apart or are you more sad about her not wanting to hang out with you anymore?

whatever happens, I hope you'll feel okay. Smiler

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thank you both for being so candid, and not trying to sugarcoat that. i appreciate it.

two things, though:

1. it's totally valid for her to want to try new things in life. i'm not selfish enough to not want that for her, if she needs it. But the thing is, the way she's living now isn't healthy for any person. Her new friends treat her with little respect. any time i see cait with this girl, she pulls caitlin away from me, even interupting conversations she was not included in. if it's too obvious that they're leaving when i'm around, this girl sends caitlin on errands to keep us apart. so i'll give her space, but i'm well aware that she's not in a healthy environment. (the only decent, honest people of her new friends haven't talked to cait in weeks.)

2: it does sadden me that she's blatantly ditched me and disrespected me in ways that i /know/ she knows are wrong. in treatment of any person, especially one who cares about you.

But the reason this has been such a problem for me is seeing how this new behavior is affecting her. The problem with her drifting isn't that she's drifting from me personally, it's that she's changing fundamental things about herself. and i doubt that it's because she wants to try new things, it's because she's fascinated with this new friend of hers and wants to please her.

okay, bottom line: if caitlin wanted to go have sex, get drunk, and do all the drugs she could find, i'd be willing to drop things until she regained sanity. But not if those decisions were being instilled in her by another person. Because then the behavior isn't her own exploration and "finding herself", it's the result of her "friend" egging her on and taking advantage of cait's obvious lack of self-confidence.

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