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Old 10-03-2012, 08:10 AM   #46
The Mystery Machine
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Originally Posted by goofyintoronto View Post
Yes i agree.


Honestly, talking to her husband about it will stir up a whole new mess and make things uglier. I wouldnt go that route. If you can,just tell her youre going thru a few things right now and you need your space. Its a hard thing to do, but if you can tell her then that would be the best route.

Although knowing myself, i'd just probably dodge her calls until she gets the message. Yup, im a coward.
You know, it is not a bad way to go really. Esp. considering the fact that the OP's friend is mentally unstable. However hard to do if she is coming over banging on the door to be let in or stalking her.

And yes you are right talking with her DH could be a bad route to take. Your advice is certainly worth considering.

It is hard to say what the best thing to do is.

OP, you are going to have to think on it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:25 AM   #47
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You know, it is not a bad way to go really. Esp. considering the fact that the OP's friend is mentally unstable. However hard to do if she is coming over banging on the door to be let in or stalking her.

And yes you are right talking with her DH could be a bad route to take. Your advice is certainly worth considering.

It is hard to say what the best thing to do is.

OP, you are going to have to think on it.
Yes its very difficult situation to be in. But i still believe dragging the DH into it is a mistake. Why would you want to drag him into it anyway? for what purpose? This is between the OP and her "friend", her DH has nothing to do with it. I had a similar situation with a "friend". I cut her out cause i couldnt take it anymore. I honestly think she has some mental health issues as well, but not once did i consider talking to her DH about it. Its between her and I only. I didnt like the way she was treating me, she was very selfish, so i made the decision to cut her out. Plus, if she does have mental issues, im sure the DH, out of all people, would know about it right? he lives her with afterall.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:29 AM   #48
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Yes its very difficult situation to be in. But i still believe dragging the DH into it is a mistake. Why would you want to drag him into it anyway? for what purpose? This is between the OP and her "friend", her DH has nothing to do with it. I had a similar situation with a "friend". I cut her out cause i couldnt take it anymore. I honestly think she has some mental health issues as well, but not once did i consider talking to her DH about it. Its between her and I only. I didnt like the way she was treating me, she was very selfish, so i made the decision to cut her out. Plus, if she does have mental issues, im sure the DH, out of all people, would know about it right? he lives her with afterall.
Dragging the dh in it was out of concern for this woman's health and mental state of mind. Just in case he did not realize how sick his wife is and perhaps he could get her some help.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by goofyintoronto View Post
Yes its very difficult situation to be in. But i still believe dragging the DH into it is a mistake. Why would you want to drag him into it anyway? for what purpose? This is between the OP and her "friend", her DH has nothing to do with it. I had a similar situation with a "friend". I cut her out cause i couldnt take it anymore. I honestly think she has some mental health issues as well, but not once did i consider talking to her DH about it. Its between her and I only. I didnt like the way she was treating me, she was very selfish, so i made the decision to cut her out. Plus, if she does have mental issues, im sure the DH, out of all people, would know about it right? he lives her with afterall.
Because none of the woman's behaviour is the sign of someone mentally stable. There are always signs that things are progressively getting worse with someone, this is the first one. The obsessiveness, the stalking, the anger, the showing up unannounced.

When is it going to end? Because it sounds like even if she tries to make a clean break with her it may possibly send this woman over even further.

Yes it's awful that she's been through so much healthwise(I've spent 20 yrs with an illness that is just now really making me sick, I have depressed/angry days but I retreat instead of attach) but the OP cannot live their life just for this woman.

Back to going to the woman's husband:

Yes. She has to. Why? The OP won't be the first target. When someone is having this much of a breakdown this is just the start. Eventually he, the kids and perhaps the woman herself could be in serious danger. If the OP breaks with her the woman could get desperate. Not one item of behaviour described is normal AT ALL.

I have family that has gone through breakdowns starting with depression and obsessiveness, it can deteriorate really quick and things can get very ugly. Meaning she could hurt herself or worse, her kids/husband.

He NEEDS to know. He NEEDS to perhaps see some of these texts etc, the description of the behaviour. I'm sure he's already seeing much of it to begin with but he is waiting for someone else to back him up/help him help her.

She probably needs some serious help, whether therapy/medication or more.

If she is on medications for the illness, then yes that could be making them worse. When I was on a specific medication for my MS several years ago it made me freaking bonkers. My then boyfriend used to experience the brunt of my crying/anger jags. So yes, meds could very well be worsening this.

RadioNate, I think you need to go to him. I know you want to cut ties with her and while I understand that for your family, your need to move on it's necessary, you may need to stick around a bit more only under the stipulation that she gets help and I mean SERIOUS help.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #50
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To add:

One reason why advocate the going to the husband:

How many stories do you read about in the paper of a mother who is experiencing depression issues but whose husband was kept so far in the dark(sometimes they saw it but kept their heads in the sand) until they snapped? Way too often. There are a couple cases like this that have happened near my suburb over the last ten years.

Some husbands don't always see how bad it is when they're wives aren't well or are unhappy. Sometimes the friends see and experience the behaviour more.

When you see a friend having extremely abnormal mental behaviour, then good god yes you need to point it out to the woman's husband. Especially if it's starting to reek of unstable.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #51
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Dragging the dh in it was out of concern for this woman's health and mental state of mind. Just in case he did not realize how sick his wife is and perhaps he could get her some help.
Ya I hear ya. But honestly, i'd bet he's very aware of what she's like. Just a hunch.

Some people arent socially mature I guess. They just dont know where the boundaries are and what not.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #52
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OP, read the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. It gives some good advice about how to deal with crazy, stalker-like people.

The biggest advice he gives is when you break the tie, say what you have to say ONCE and then do not interact with the person again, no matter how many calls, texts, emails or showing-up-at-your-door episodes happen.

I would change my home phone, change my cell phone and get a new email address. If she shows up at your house, do not answer the door, regardless of how loud and long she's there. If you feel unsafe if she is at your house, call the police.

As far as telling the husband, I'd probably tell him that you were going to end the friendship to give him a heads up that she's probably going to flip out more. If she does flip out even more, that may be the way she gets help....if you end up having to call the cops due to her irrational behavior, they could force her to get help to a certain extent.

When you have this kind of person in your life, it's not easy to get rid of them.

If you ever gave her a key to your house, you need to change your lock as well. But do that before you tell her you're through.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:57 AM   #53
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Because none of the woman's behaviour is the sign of someone mentally stable. There are always signs that things are progressively getting worse with someone, this is the first one. The obsessiveness, the stalking, the anger, the showing up unannounced.

Yes. She has to. Why? The OP won't be the first target. When someone is having this much of a breakdown this is just the start. Eventually he, the kids and perhaps the woman herself could be in serious danger. If the OP breaks with her the woman could get desperate. Not one item of behaviour described is normal AT ALL.

I have family that has gone through breakdowns starting with depression and obsessiveness, it can deteriorate really quick and things can get very ugly. Meaning she could hurt herself or worse, her kids/husband.

He NEEDS to know. He NEEDS to perhaps see some of these texts etc, the description of the behaviour. I'm sure he's already seeing much of it to begin with but he is waiting for someone else to back him up/help him help her.

She probably needs some serious help, whether therapy/medication or more.

If she is on medications for the illness, then yes that could be making them worse.


RadioNate, I think you need to go to him. I know you want to cut ties with her and while I understand that for your family, your need to move on it's necessary, you may need to stick around a bit more only under the stipulation that she gets help and I mean SERIOUS help.
I can see your point. I guess there's obviously no harm in showing the husband her texts and such. That way the lady can get some therapy. I guess what I wanted to say was exactly what Lynne M had posted (sorry I didnt read all of the posts on this thread, only a select few)....

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Originally Posted by Lynne M
I guess the most important question is, did any of this obsessive stalkery behavior exist before her illness? At all? Any clingy/demanding behavior over your 20-year friendship?

If she wasn't like this before, and you can honestly say it's only been since she's had this illness....I'd be really concerned about her. And yes, I would speak to her husband, and tell him that you're worried for her. He may be aware of these behavioral changes, but may not know how severe they are - how fixated on you she is. It may be caused by her illness, it may be a medication reaction or side effect. Either way, her husband should have this info so he can share it with her doctor. She may need additional treatment, she may need a medication change. Maybe she can't be helped. But for a friend of 20 years, I'd want to try.

I know you've spoken to her directly, but I don't think you can be sure that it's getting through. From what you've described, I think she's not completely in touch with reality. As you said, no grown woman would forget that her close friend's kid was in the ER in a matter of a few hours. Something's clearly very wrong.

I don't know her, so I'm obviously guessing. But this seems to go beyond 'clingy and lonely'. I don't think talking to her is going to help, she's clearly not of sound mind, for whatever reason.

Now, if she's always been like this, and the illness has made the clinging go from tolerable to intolerable....well, then maybe I'd be more inclined to cut the cord. But even then, I think I'd talk to her husband first.
Totally agree here. Very well said. If she had always been this way, then im guessing its a behavioural thing (like my 'friend' that i was talking about), in this case i'd have no problem cutting the chord. But if this change came about recently, as a result of the meds etc, then i'd probably go talk to the husband.

Either way, the OP needs to look out for HERSELF. She cannot live a life of misery. She needs to do what makes her/her kids happy. If cutting out this person out of her life is gonna make her happy, then so be it. She needs to do whats best for herself.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #54
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OP, read the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. It gives some good advice about how to deal with crazy, stalker-like people.

The biggest advice he gives is when you break the tie, say what you have to say ONCE and then do not interact with the person again, no matter how many calls, texts, emails or showing-up-at-your-door episodes happen.

I would change my home phone, change my cell phone and get a new email address. If she shows up at your house, do not answer the door, regardless of how loud and long she's there. If you feel unsafe if she is at your house, call the police.

As far as telling the husband, I'd probably tell him that you were going to end the friendship to give him a heads up that she's probably going to flip out more. If she does flip out even more, that may be the way she gets help....if you end up having to call the cops due to her irrational behavior, they could force her to get help to a certain extent.

When you have this kind of person in your life, it's not easy to get rid of them.

If you ever gave her a key to your house, you need to change your lock as well. But do that before you tell her you're through.

Great advice. I've heard such good things about "Gift of Fear", and have been meaning to read it.

OP, especially pay attention to this: "say what you have to say ONCE and then do not interact with the person again, no matter how many calls, texts, emails or showing-up-at-your-door episodes happen."

We get into these situations because we don't want to hurt this person. So when they hound us to spend time with them, we give in. When they have a tantrum, we give in. When they show up at the door with their kid, we don't want to hurt the kid, so we give in.

Once you cut the cord with her, you CAN'T give in anymore. No matter how firm you've been about ending the friendship, any contact from you - even if you respond to her e-mail saying "stop sending me messages" - she'll see as an opening. She'll see it as "maybe" instead of no, because you're still talking to her, aren't you? You answered her, so you must still care.

Don't feel guilty. For your own sake, and for your daughter's sake, you deserve to have a life without this kind of harassment.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #55
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Dragging the dh in it was out of concern for this woman's health and mental state of mind. Just in case he did not realize how sick his wife is and perhaps he could get her some help.
Agreed. I'm finding it hard to believe that so many people would not want to try to help someone who has been their friend for over 20 years.

We're not talking about some weird person you just met and don't want to be involved with, we're talking about a friend you think is struggling with mental illness.

Yes, there's a point where you might not be able to stay involved - even IF she is getting treatment. But I don't think I'd be able to live with myself if I didn't at least try to reach out to her family and see if I could help or to let them know that there might be backlash when I step back.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:24 AM   #56
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According to the OP she has suggested therapy...the friend says she kows what they'd do in therapy so therefore it's a waste. She has made multiple requests to the friend with regard to texts, calls etc. The friend is not listening.

It sounds as if the OP has gone above and beyond to me from a friendship standpoint, putting up with all this baloney. At a certain point, it becomes beyond a friend's responsibilty to take care of someone who doesn't want a reciprocal friendship, but wants everything their way. The friend is married, and it is her husband's responsibility to take care of her if she is mentally unable to make good decisions to take care of herself.

The OP has a life too, children, she's recently divorced, trying to support her family, trying to build a new life. We cannot be all things to all people, especially those who do not want our help and do not want to listen to what WE also need as a friend.

Again OP, say it once and don't respond anymore after that, no matter what. Your friend needs more help than you can give and until she understands that, your hands are tied.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #57
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From someone who can be a little clingy sometimes...

This is not 'a little clingy.' This is mentally ill.

Your "Friend" wants and needs your friendship. She is lonely and going through alot.

Here's the thing. She an sense that there is a problem between the two of you. Her accusations are coming from the fact that she can feel that you want to dump her.

Cause/effect is off. She only wants to dump her becaues of her accusations and nuttiness.

She needs you and your friendship.
On the contrary, learning to cope withOUT OP and her friendship is exactly what the friend needs.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #58
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According to the OP she has suggested therapy...the friend says she kows what they'd do in therapy so therefore it's a waste. She has made multiple requests to the friend with regard to texts, calls etc. The friend is not listening.

It sounds as if the OP has gone above and beyond to me from a friendship standpoint, putting up with all this baloney. At a certain point, it becomes beyond a friend's responsibilty to take care of someone who doesn't want a reciprocal friendship, but wants everything their way. The friend is married, and it is her husband's responsibility to take care of her if she is mentally unable to make good decisions to take care of herself.

The OP has a life too, children, she's recently divorced, trying to support her family, trying to build a new life. We cannot be all things to all people, especially those who do not want our help and do not want to listen to what WE also need as a friend.

Again OP, say it once and don't respond anymore after that, no matter what. Your friend needs more help than you can give and until she understands that, your hands are tied.
Very well said. I totally agree. As I said, the OP needs to do whats best for HER. Nothing wrong with showing the husband the texts, but then step back and give yourself some space from this nonsense. Time to concentrate on whats best for you.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:36 AM   #59
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From what you have said it seems as though her Dh is aware of her issues and understands that she has caused problems for you. I think that I would talk to him, he is going to need a heads up about some of this very disturbing behavior.
There's a high likelyhood that the DH gets relief from this nutjob since she's focused on her friend instead of him.

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From someone who can be a little clingy sometimes...

Your "Friend" wants and needs your friendship. She is lonely and going through alot.

Here's the thing. She an sense that there is a problem between the two of you. Her accusations are coming from the fact that she can feel that you want to dump her.

I think you should take the time to explain to her that you really, really do want her as a friend and that she has no reason to feel insecure, and that she shouldn't feel the need to text you 17 times in 10 minutes.

There is no doubt that this woman will be very hurt when you dump her. She needs you and your friendship.
So you're condoning this controlling nutjob using the OP as an emotional tampon? Yes, it sucks to be lonely. It also sucks to have your life disrupted by someone acting like a spoiled child.

OP, dump her. Tell her why, succinctly, and close that door. You have enough problems for yourself and your children without having to "date" this needy nutjob and deal with her.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:39 AM   #60
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JMHO.

Tell her the truth. Once. Too, tell her that you will no longer be acknowledging her attempts to contact you. And then never acknowledge her in any way again, ever. Never. Ever. Nada. Zip. If she calls you, don't answer (change your number if necessary). If she emails you, delete (change your email if necessary). If she snail mails you, have the mail returned, unopened. If she shows up on your doorstep, do not answer the door. If she won't stop, tell her husband and see if he can stop her behavior. If she continues to harass you, see about getting a restraining order.

I recommend this as an "unstable" individual myself. Although I've always eventually been able to "take the hint" and make myself go away once I finally figure out that I'm the problem (and I'm getting much better at it nowadays than I was back in, say, high school), I think it would just be better for all involved if people would be more upfront about whether or not they wish to continue a friendship or not. No guarantee that it would work with your "friend," but the direct, honest approach does work with me.

Again, JMHO. I ain't no expert on interpersonal relationships or mental health, that's for sure.
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