I am a bad friend :-( More Cancer talk.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Some people on here already have read my posts about my friend who is currently going through chemo for breast cancer. I want very much to be a good friend to her, but it is getting very hard.

    I am trying to just suck it up and plow through, but she is stuck in the anger phase and adamantly refuses to even consider using anything other than anger as a way to manage this crisis. She tells me anger is good and energizing and hopeful and that as long as she stays angry she can focus on fighting her disease. This is all well and good and I hear what she is saying, but the endless anger is leaking out all over those of us who are trying to be her friends.

    No, I cannot really truly know what you are going through. You're right, I can't. But, I would like to help you through it anyway.
    No, I am not managing to put my life on hold and turn it upside down and leave my family for five days out of every fourteen to help you, but I will do what I can and probably more.
    Yes, leaving my family IS a big issue and I do know that I am very lucky to have one.

    She has very little family and she does not have kids. She doesn't get that me leaving for chunks involves the effort of my kids, my husband and my in-laws. And, besides I really really miss my children and husband if I am away from them. And my garden and my chickens and my dog!

    She keeps making nasty cracks at me about the decisions I have made in my life. I am pretty sure she is really talking about herself, but I think my life has been quite worthwhile and meaningful, thank you very much, but she flat out told me the other day that my life was meaningless and I had squandered my potential. I am not going to list my resume, but my life has impacted many others so it has great meaning to me. She criticized my career, half of which she seemed to have forgotten I had, she criticized my husband and my family situation. Fortunately she likes my kids!

    I cannot be her therapist and she refuses to even consider going to one. I believe she is depressed and angry, but how much do I really have to tolerate? At what point is it OK for me to turn the mirror back on her? At what point do I say I am tired and won't help some one who is endlessly berating me? [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    Wow. I can understand your friend's comment that her anger helps her. However, it's the cancer she needs to direct her anger at, NOT the people who are trying to help her through it.

    Are you the only one who has stepped up to support her, or does she have a team of friends backing her up? If there's a team, I'd be talking to the others to see if she's treating them the same way.

    Is there a time when she's a little less emotional, when you could have a calm conversation about this?

    Sorry. That's all I've got.

  3. SallyF

    SallyF Songster 9 Years

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    You seem to have an excellent grasp of what her issues are and where the anger is coming from. You also sound like the kind of friend who won't just walk away and let her suffer, and I admire you for that.
    That being said, you have a perfect right to express your feelings also, and it sounds like you already have a grasp on using what therapists call "I" statements. Counter her rude comments with polite factual statements on how those words make you feel. You are what you are, you are being a good friend, and the choices you have made in your life are enabling you to be that. She probably knows that at some level, but the anger she feels at having an ugly disease has to come out; unfortunately she's spewing it on you. Just remember, you can't change other people, but you can change your reaction to them. When dealing with a similar situation in the past, I used to picture a neon sign on my friend's forehead, flashing the word "disease" to remind me that it is the disease talking.
    You also have to be careful not to let her anger ruin your other relationships, like with yourself and your family. There may come a time when you have to walk away for self-protection; when that time comes, do it knowing that you have done all that you can do. Good luck to both you and your friend, and God bless you and your family for caring. YOU ARE NOT A BAD FRIEND. Yes, I meant to shout that. A bad friend would be hiding and not trying to help at all.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  4. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    I don't really have any words of advice, as I can't picture what I'd do in your situation.

    I can tell YOU, that YOU are NOT a bad friend. A bad friend wouldn't care enough to seek out ways to work through this with her.

  5. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Sounds like she's beyond anger, and it's overflowing into your life. Don't let her do this to you. You can only do so much as a friend, than you become a doormat for her bad emotions.

    She needs to know (from you) that she is poisoning your space and wrecking any kind of friendship that might be left. I think your last sentence.....you should say that to her.

    Maybe in a way.....she's wanting you to get mad at her and tell her how it is. She just might need that from you.
  6. smileybritches

    smileybritches Songster

    [​IMG] Tell her its ok to be angry just not at you. Would you put up with it if she wasn't sick? Being a friend and a caregiver is hard-I know i got my feelings hurt and almost burnt out. I finally stopped feeling sorry for her and started being her friend again and did have to tell her whoa don't treat me this way, be mad at the cancer all you want but don't personally attack me. I haven't read all the posts on your friend, so I may be completely off base. Talk to her doctor if at all possible, or her chemo nurse. Tell them about the anger and depression/anxiety, even if you have to overstep your boundaries. The mind has to rest so the body can heal. The question is would you put up with this if she wasn't sick?
    You ARE making a big sacrifice in caring for her, you must have wonderful family and a big heart. It takes a very special person to do what your are doing. Yes it is ok to call her on her actions, she is still the same person. I apologize if any of this offends you it is not my intent. Caring for someone in a battle with cancer is very hard and very draining. Please take care and don't burn yourself out. [​IMG]
  7. smileybritches

    smileybritches Songster

    or what lunchick said!! [​IMG]
  8. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Being sick does NOT give anyone the right to strike out at people... especially the people that are loving her. She needs to be told this.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    I think angry and bitter people strike out at people who are being nice to them as a way to 'run them off' .. thereby "justifying" their anger.

    I hope your friend works through her anger (and the direction she's spewing it) .. and I pray for healing ..

  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    WHAT, you have been trying to support this girl since this all started. You sought out our advice when you were first given the news and have stood beside her every step of the way. These folks have given you good advice, it's time for you to really have a talk with her.

    These people are nicer than me, lol. It's time to sit her down and lay it all out for her. TELL HER what an *itch she has become. TELL HER that she is driving away her people who want to help. TELL HER that you will no longer be her punching bag for all the anger she has inside. TELL HER that she is your friend and you wouldn't be there if you didn't care. And TELL HER that if she doesn't find a counselor or an online group that deals with Breast Cancer to share her fear, anger and anxiety with, that you can't be there to help her.

    She needs to get past the "Why me?" phase and move it the "Why not me?" That's one of the most important steps. "Why not me?" should one of my sisters, neices, or Mom have faced this instead of me. NO! I gladly take this on so they don't have to. And I would do it all over again even knowing what I know, if one of them be spared.

    You are not a weak person, my friend. But you should not have to bear what is her burdon. Share the road but not the load.
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    This is seriously affecting your life, so NOW is the time to have a face to face talk.

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