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I'm sorry, I can't pretend things are different than they actually ARE

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM
  • 65 Replies

We have a friend who has turned into a sympathy junkie. It's hard to watch and it's pathetic. Last year her older sister took her own life. Her sister had been estranged from the family FOR YEARS. In fact, not two months before her death we sat with our friend and her parents and asked about their other daughter, only to be told 'She's dead to us'. 

My DH and I have had many chats with our friend about her sister and her lifestyle and about ways to help her without shutting her out. She was a former drug abuser who stole from her family and abused their trust in the past. They had all given up on her.

A week before this woman took her own life she reached out to her parents. She needed to get away from her home to escape the heartache and the easy access to drugs. She had been clean for over a year. She had a 15 year old son and a husband who loved her very much but they couldn't keep tabs on her all the time. Apparently her sadness and depression crept up on her and she really wanted to use again and knew she couldn't. Her parents said no. She decided to leave the country to spend time with her in-laws. As far as we know it's the only place she felt she could go. After being there about 2 weeks she killed herself. Her body was never released and she was buried in a place that her family may never visit. They hadn't seen her or their grandson/nephew in 8 years.

When we found out my DH and I both knew this was going to crush them. We knew their would be guilt and anxiety. What we didn't expect was that they would pretend as if all that had happened was an illusion.

So, our friend has tattooed her sisters birth and death on her body with a RIP, My loving sister something something. She tweet and posts on FB about how much her sister was adored, treasured, loved and missed. She goes on and on about how the world was better with her in it. Her parents get angry when people don't respond to their messages on FB and twitter about how they've lost their daughter. It's just all so very sad.

I've lost respect for them. I can't stand to be in the same room with our friend. If she could keep from saying "you don't know what it's like to lose someone you love so much" I might be able to suffer through a meal with her. We knew her older sister, we just haven't seen her in years. In fact, the last time we saw her was 5 years ago when she came to visit her DH's extended family. When we told our friend and her parents we saw her they told us not to bring her name into their house. 

Can anyone here tell me what I missed? I'm very sad for their family and her husband and son, but I can't ignore the history. 

Can someone explain why our friend and her parents have turned into sympathy junkies? They aren't just alienating us there are a few people who seem to have an issue with their 180.

I'm not a callous person. I am incredibly empathetic. I feel great sadness for people who have lost family members and even for people I don't know. Those dumb Kleenex commercials make me cry. Why can't I feel something different than disgust for our friend? Seriously, it really pisses me off.

:sigh:

by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Denial is the first step in that process right? 

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I'm sorry, that is really difficult.  People are often dishonest, particularly within their families but I would not be able to tolerate that. I think you've learned something about your friend that you are not likely to move beyond.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:59 AM


Quoting stormcris:

Denial is the first step in that process right? 

It's been a year. Their denial is so acute thatthey deny being estranged at all. 

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM


Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I'm sorry, that is really difficult.  People are often dishonest, particularly within their families but I would not be able to tolerate that. I think you've learned something about your friend that you are not likely to move beyond.

I really want to be able to move forward and not lose our friend. = (

_Bama_
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM
2 moms liked this

That would be something hard for me to stomach too.  Its speaks of fakeness to me... and I like real people in my life. ):  For me V ... when I get disgusted with someones ways in life... I just cut ties.  I have never had a problem with just not pursuing a relationship that was just dead to me.  

_Bama_
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM
3 moms liked this

ETA.... that sounds like either fakeness or like someone said denial.... bad denial.... it will come back to slap them in the face... or maybe it does every time they look in the mirror and that is why they keep up with this charade.... to cope with the guilt.

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Well the only way that is going to happen is if you can stay away from her for awhile, but she may do this for the rest of her life. 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I'm sorry, that is really difficult.  People are often dishonest, particularly within their families but I would not be able to tolerate that. I think you've learned something about your friend that you are not likely to move beyond.

I really want to be able to move forward and not lose our friend. = (


Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM


Quoting _Bama_:

That would be something hard for me to stomach too.  Its speaks of fakeness to me... and I like real people in my life. ):  For me V ... when I get disgusted with someones ways in life... I just cut ties.  I have never had a problem with just not pursuing a relationship that was just dead to me.  

Our kids love them.  I just sit here shaking my head. These people are wonderful and have always been 'family' to us. I've never seen this kind of behavior from them. It sucks ass. We've tried to be gently honest with them and they lash out at us.

We haven't spoken in a few months. I logged onto FB this morning to read a tribute from our friend to her 'loving sister angel' and I about lost my mind.

Alysse24
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:05 AM
1 mom liked this

Maybe this is the guilt coming through;  they weren't there for her in life, but they'll honor her in death.  Another thought that occurred to me was, for all those years her drug abuse was about her and now in death the family feels that it can be all about them?  Maybe it's a culmination of remorse and attention seeking. 

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:06 AM


Quoting Alysse24:

Maybe this is the guilt coming through;  they weren't there for her in life, but they'll honor her in death.  Another thought that occurred to me was, for all those years her drug abuse was about her and now in death the family feels that it can be all about them?  Maybe it's a culmination of remorse and attention seeking. 

you make excellent points. Thank you. = )

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