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Old 07-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
SLK1
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Needing to vent...

My friend and her DH wanted to take a weekend cruise to celebrate their 20th anniversary. She asked if I would watch her DD, age 11, while they're gone. The DD suffers from "sleepover anxiety" (for lack of a better word) and simply cannot sleep anywhere without crying and usually ending up going home. I asked the mom if the child was ready to spend a weekend away from her. She assured me she was.

Well guess what...she wasn't. The first night she worked herself up so much she made herself physically ill. I ended up taking her back to her OWN house (only a mile away) at 3 AM and I slept on their couch while she slept in her bed. That's the only way we will make it through the weekend.

In the meantime, her dad texted her from the cruise, the child told him what happened and he never thought to text ME to check in on things. Yet he had plenty of time to post pictures on Instagram and "check-in" on Facebook.

When the initial "sickness" was happening, I had asked another friend about it and she said, "Yeah, she (the mom) was afraid this might happen".

I feel very used. I am a HUGE wimp when it comes to confrontation but my DH is not and wants to let them have it when they get home. We celebrated our 20th by a simple dinner out because we have four kids and don't ever leave them. In this case, they should have asked a relative to come or simply put off the cruise until their daughter really was ready or until a relative could stay...btw, they have two teenage boys, ages 18 and 15 who are home alone.

So anyone want to chime in? Am I over-reacting? Should I say something to them when they get home about feeling used? This is a fairly good friend and we have gotten closer over the past year when her dad died and I helped her through it. I don't want to have a friendship ruined but I see her as a very selfish person now.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #2
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I would definitely say something to them BUT I also think you are partially to blame, you knew the history, you should have done a test run before they left for the cruise so you could know for sure whe was truly over the sleepover anxiety.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK1 View Post
My friend and her DH wanted to take a weekend cruise to celebrate their 20th anniversary. She asked if I would watch her DD, age 11, while they're gone. The DD suffers from "sleepover anxiety" (for lack of a better word) and simply cannot sleep anywhere without crying and usually ending up going home. I asked the mom if the child was ready to spend a weekend away from her. She assured me she was.

Well guess what...she wasn't. The first night she worked herself up so much she made herself physically ill. I ended up taking her back to her OWN house (only a mile away) at 3 AM and I slept on their couch while she slept in her bed. That's the only way we will make it through the weekend.

In the meantime, her dad texted her from the cruise, the child told him what happened and he never thought to text ME to check in on things. Yet he had plenty of time to post pictures on Instagram and "check-in" on Facebook.

When the initial "sickness" was happening, I had asked another friend about it and she said, "Yeah, she (the mom) was afraid this might happen".

I feel very used. I am a HUGE wimp when it comes to confrontation but my DH is not and wants to let them have it when they get home. We celebrated our 20th by a simple dinner out because we have four kids and don't ever leave them. In this case, they should have asked a relative to come or simply put off the cruise until their daughter really was ready or until a relative could stay...btw, they have two teenage boys, ages 18 and 15 who are home alone.

So anyone want to chime in? Am I over-reacting? Should I say something to them when they get home about feeling used? This is a fairly good friend and we have gotten closer over the past year when her dad died and I helped her through it. I don't want to have a friendship ruined but I see her as a very selfish person now.
Bottom line the friend "used you" and that does stink.

Instead of going "guns blazing" I would take this as a "life lesson" in that if you know there is an issue do not expect things to be different.

As I have gotten older I realized that I have to be the one to recognize "reality" and then put it into practice.

If I know there is "an issue" and I was not able deal with an issue, then I have to have to speak up and say no or do a "test run" first as PP stated.

Apply this philosophy to the rest of your life. It will never steer you wrong.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
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Sorry this didn't go better for you. Are they back now and if so what did the parents say when you told,them how it went?

I guess if it's going to "eat at you" and undermine your friendship then it would be better to express your feelings to your friend. But what would you be expecting for a resolution? A sincere apology? An admission that she "dumped and ran" knowing this would happen? I imagine even though the possibility was discussed beforehand with the other friend, the Mom here was really hoping for the best. Things often don't go the way we wish they will; it's too late to undo it now. I'd be clear going in (at least with myself) what I want to accomplish even if it's only to establish to the Mom that "I will never babysit your kid again and here's why...". Best wishes to all of you.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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I would say something. Since they KNEW this could happen, they should have made arrangements for someone to stay in their house in the first place.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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If you want to stay friends, then let it go. Don't EVER put yourself in a similar situation with her again though. Control what you can control.

If you don't care whether you stay friends, then be honest. Because discussions like that usually don't end well. I would be OK with losing a "friend" who would do something like that to me anyway, so would probably not be able to resist saying something.

You totally got hosed.

If you stay friends, she would totally owe you in a huge way. End the friendship and you might never get to collect!
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK1 View Post
My friend and her DH wanted to take a weekend cruise to celebrate their 20th anniversary. She asked if I would watch her DD, age 11, while they're gone. The DD suffers from "sleepover anxiety" (for lack of a better word) and simply cannot sleep anywhere without crying and usually ending up going home. I asked the mom if the child was ready to spend a weekend away from her. She assured me she was.

Well guess what...she wasn't. The first night she worked herself up so much she made herself physically ill. I ended up taking her back to her OWN house (only a mile away) at 3 AM and I slept on their couch while she slept in her bed. That's the only way we will make it through the weekend.

In the meantime, her dad texted her from the cruise, the child told him what happened and he never thought to text ME to check in on things. Yet he had plenty of time to post pictures on Instagram and "check-in" on Facebook.

When the initial "sickness" was happening, I had asked another friend about it and she said, "Yeah, she (the mom) was afraid this might happen".

I feel very used. I am a HUGE wimp when it comes to confrontation but my DH is not and wants to let them have it when they get home. We celebrated our 20th by a simple dinner out because we have four kids and don't ever leave them. In this case, they should have asked a relative to come or simply put off the cruise until their daughter really was ready or until a relative could stay...btw, they have two teenage boys, ages 18 and 15 who are home alone.

So anyone want to chime in? Am I over-reacting? Should I say something to them when they get home about feeling used? This is a fairly good friend and we have gotten closer over the past year when her dad died and I helped her through it. I don't want to have a friendship ruined but I see her as a very selfish person now.
Not only did your so called friend use you but she outright lied ot you because when you asked about her dd's anxiety she told you her dd was over it yet she expressed to another friend that she was affraid what happened would happen.

I would point blank ask her why she told you her dd would be fine when she knew her dd wouldn't be. I am different, I can take alot but once you lie to me I will never trust you again. The friendship seems to be more important to you than her.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone! You're all correct...bottom line is listen to your gut, or don't ignore the red flags. If I was concerned enough to ASK if she was ready, I should have known it really wasn't so.

As for saying something to the friend, I guess I should look at what I hope to accomplish. It will accomplish nothing. I was used, they had their cruise, their kid was miserable (at night anyway...during the day she's just fine). But going forward, NEVER AGAIN!

Have a great day!
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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I think it's inconsiderate that the parents didn't check in with you after they learned she was having problems and that it's not cool that your friend wasn't forthright about the likelihood of this happening. However, given that the writing was on the wall that she probably wasn't going to be the easiest houseguest (and that you have young children of your own to watch), I wouldn't have agreed to watch her unless I was okay dealing with her separation anxiety.

I also wonder whether it was really necessary for you to stay the night? I would have texted the parents (even at 3 am) and tried to get their permission for her to sleep at home in her own bed, supervised by her brothers, then picked her up in the morning. Her 18- and 15-year-old brothers are plenty old enough to supervise an 11-year-old, particularly while she's sleeping.

Based on the facts that you presented, I don't know that I feel you were "used." While her mom knew it was a possibility she would have problems, you did too. It's possible that your friend genuinely was hoping for the best and that her lack of contact/apology is out of embarrassment. However, if she doesn't bring this up with you, I would definitely let her know that her lack of forthrightness about the likelihood of problems wasn't appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #10
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I agree that you need to say something about the lying, because that is going to eat at the friendship regardless of what was lied about.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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This is such an odd situation. They were obviously aware their daughter has a serious issue with sleeping away from the home so why on earth wouldn't they have left her in peace with her siblings? 18 and 15 is far old enough to be responsible for an 11 year old for a few nights, especially considering how she's perfectly fine as long as she's in her own home. It's almost like the parents wanted to torment her, or you. It's just odd. If they were, perhaps, trying to forcibly resolve her sleep-away issue, I don't think this was the way to go about it. It sounds like this girl needs counseling.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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As a parent of a child with sleepover anxiety, here are two thoughts:


(1)-- did the child play down the severity of the situation when her dad texted her? Do you know what she actually said? The dad may have figured that since he hadn't heard from the adult in charge, that it was a more minor issue.

(2)--the mom may have genuinely thought the child was ready. My daughter thoroughly convinces herself (and us) that she is ready. She packs up her sleeping bag and sleepover stuff and gets all excited to the point where we are all sure she can do it-- no apprehension or anxiety whatsoever. In fact, it appears she can, until lights go out and other kids drift off first leaving her the last one awake.... If your friend's child hadn't tried it in awhile, then they all might have thought she genuinely was past it.

We discovered that soccer camp overnights were ok because there was a universal lights out and they were all so body-tired they fell asleep immediately. Now she has a 6th grade two-day overnight this fall and I'm holding my breath, but we are sending her as its a school activity. One thing your friend could try is melatonin. We find this makes dd drowsy if she takes it about 1/2 hour before bedtime.

My point is, I would have some compassion for your friend because she may not have intentionally dumped her child...but trusted you as a friend to support her dd with a difficult situation. Also, wouldn't you want to be supportive of your friend so she could celebrate her anniversary?
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #13
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You were not used. You agreed to watch this girl, even knowing that she has anxiety issues. You knew there could be problems while she was in your care. I would just NEVER do it again. Lesson learned. Don't beat up your friend over something so minor.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #14
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I don't know, but you sound very angry, and, reading between the lines, I suspect it's not just about this.

If you value the friendship, neither you nor your husband should "confront" them right away. Give yourselves a little time, like several days, to calm down so you can discuss it rationally. Otherwise, IMO, your anger may dissipate but you will leave them feeling like absolute crap. Is that really how you want them to remember their anniversary?

Maybe you (and I, and probably many others here) may have done things differently, but for whatever reason, it sounds like they really wanted to get away alone, and after 3 kids, I can't say I blame them. Maybe it was important to their relationship or well being, who knows? (Maybe your friend has been depressed since losing her dad.)

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't say something. I'm just saying be careful how you do it. I think it is important to have good communication in friendships so little things don't add up and boil over when something like this brings all those issues to the surface.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:33 AM   #15
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You were not used. You agreed to watch this girl, even knowing that she has anxiety issues. You knew there could be problems while she was in your care. I would just NEVER do it again. Lesson learned. Don't beat up your friend over something so minor.
I agree

I also agree it sounds like more might be going on then just this weekend.

You were not used , she was not selfish, she asked YOU said yes period...
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