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Hand-me-down gift

I know this is off topic, but this directly is a reason why I still haven't reached my goal yet and keep holding on to this weight. Just last week, my closest friend of 10 years said she has a birthday gift for me. I thought to myself, "Wow. It looks like she's making effort to make this an equal friendship." See, this isn't an equal friendship at all. I'm always the one giving, doing favors, listening to her, etc. On top of that, she has been demeaning to me all throughout our friendship. I know she is capable of being a good friend the way she treats her other friends. I'm sick of hearing/reading on Facebook her other friends say how sweet and kind she is, blah, blah. They don't how she treats me! She's giving with her other friends too on their birthdays, for example.

Anyway, going back to the gift. When we meet up for dinner with a few others, she literally just hands me a Cheesecake Factory card (without the paper card) and the back of it still has the sticky rubbery attachment on it. Obviously it was a hand me down. Also, I've only eaten at the Cheesecake Factory half a dozen times in my life too. She didn't even say "Happy Birthday" either. Most insincere gift I've ever received in my life. I guess it's an upgrade from last birthday...she came over to my house for a family dinner (along with bringing home leftovers and asking my mom for a bag of homemade lumpias she keeps in the freezer) and brings an unfinished birthday card lol! Over the next following weeks I have her over for dinner again twice (one of them I personally cooked a 4 course meal from scratch) and still no card...and couldn't even bring the drinks I asked her to bring.

Then another recent incident just happened last night. Back in June, I told this "friend" of mine that if she needs someone to fill in at her job (which I held for a few years) to let me do it instead of giving it to our other friend (who has a full-time job and doesn't need the money). See, right now I'm taking board exams and have very limited income. So I find out last night that my "friend" had asked our other friend to fill in for her next week.

I'm just so angry and I'm fed up. I've always been a very good friend to her even though she doesn't deserve it. She doesn't even see how she hurts me and hasn't changed. After the gift card, I truly realized she's not a friend and that the friendship is over. However, it's hard to really let go of a decade friendship. Plus, we know a lot of the same people so we'll be seeing each other again in the future.

The pathetic thing is that I've allowed her to control my use of food (aka using food to fill this void and the anger I have) and therefore my weight and thus my self-esteem. I have at least 15 pounds left to lose (mind you I'm short and small framed).

I'm not sure what I'm asking. Part of it I just need to rant. The other part is maybe I need futher confirmation that it's OKAY to let go of this "friendship." I want to confront her about the gift card (and even the above job situation) but I'm not good with these things.

Thanks for reading.

Mon. Aug 2, 4:16pm

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It sounds to me like your "friendship" has just run its course. I don't think you need to have some dramatic talk - just stop inviting her over for dinner, don't accept her phone calls and don't get her any more gifts. If you are out with mutual friends, just be polite. There is no need to over extend yourself to her if you don't feel like you are getting anything out of your relationship.

Monday, August 02, 2010, 5:22 PM

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I really agree with pp. Be kind to yourself and move on. Good luck to you.

Monday, August 02, 2010, 5:57 PM

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It sounds like you've come to your own conclusion and are looking for some confirmation... I think you've moved beyond whatever enjoyment you got out of this relationship. Some people are so difficult that we try to bribe them into behaving the way we want. This woman is never going to treat you as well as you treat her. Invest your energy in other friendships and in yourself. You deserve it. And good luck on the boards!

Monday, August 02, 2010, 7:16 PM

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Quit being a martyr and get some self respect. No self respecting person would actually need confirmation from nameless strangers to dump what you feel is clearly an uneven relationship.

That being said, your friend may show friendship in a way that you don't understand and not see things your way. Sounds like you've never actually spoken to her about how you feel.

Regardless, move on, don't mope on it, don't have a pity party about how much you did for her and she never paid you back, etc., etc.. Dump her, consider it water under the bridge, and move on **without a second thought**.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 1:30 AM

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OP here

Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate it.

To 1:30, I'll admit, that was a little harsh the way you put it, but I do agree lol. I'll admit, I haven't directly talked to her about how I feel about her...the last few years I've communicated it via the internet (email, instant messenger). Just a few months ago I emailed to her back and forth about how I feel the friendship is so unequal. I just feel so uncomfortable expressing myself when I'm angry with someone. Something I MUST work on, absolutely so, I'll admit that. I don't have a lot of self-esteem. At the same time, there are things you just don't do or say to your "friend." My recent birthday made me really realize who my friends are and how they are supposed to treat you. I don't have many close friends, but the few others I do gave me gifts, cards with lovely notes inside and took me out for meals/drinks and that made me feel so special. I was just so hung up on the friendship because she was my longest/closest friend I've ever had whom I shared many memories, personal things and gave a lot to. She was also someone I got to be myself around.

A few hours ago, I'm not sure what came over me, but I decided to "release" the friendship. I'm sure she knows the friendship isn't the same. Even a few months ago when I expressed to her the inequality in our friendship, she has made no effort to change things. In the past few months, we've had 3 IM conversations and the time spent having dinner with 2 other friends (that was the day she gave me the hand me down gift). First 8 years of our friendship, we used to communicate every day (even multiple times)....but then she got a boyfriend almost 2 years ago and things started to change in terms of amount of communication and priorities. That's another reason the friendship is different now. It's so freeing to be honest. I feel like I can just be the person I want to be and fulfill my potential without having someone put me down when I put effort in myself. I feel like I no longer have to be hung up on this friendship and having it cause me so much anger and eating. Wow, changing/choosing your thoughts is sure a powerful thing!

Thanks again. And yes I know it's pathetic to turn to random online strangers for advice, but I don't know where else to turn and I'm sure others I've discussed this with are tired of me talking about her haha.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 2:52 AM

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Sometimes you listen to strangers better than you listen to family or friends. :-) That outsider opinion can really be eye-opening even if it just confirms what you already know.

It sounds like your decision to pull back from your friend is a good one since you've both fallen into unhealthy patterns. You seem to have a hard time setting boundaries and asking for what you need, and she responds to that by taking what you appear to be giving. Since you never seem to protest or 'push back', you ae tacitly giving her permission to continue with her bad behavior. Since it doesn't seem that either of you are capable of healthy give and take with each other - pulling back is your best option.

Have you considered working with a counselor? They may be able to give you some concrete methods for dealing with people like your friend, and as you noticed it can feel really good to feel more in control in situations like the one you find yourself in. Because if anything is true about patterns, it's that they repeat, and it would suck to find yourself back in this same place. Often it's that outsider view that can make you examine your actions with fresh eyes and see how many changes are truly withing your power to make.

Best wishes!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 11:04 AM

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OP here

Thanks 11:04 for your insight! You're right-- I'm not setting boundaries and lenient with her behavior which is still why she continues to act the way she does.

I actually was in therapy for 3+ years but it was because of anxiety and depression issues. The issue of me sticking up for myself/setting boundaries was loosely and/or indirectly addressed. I'd love to go back to therapy but I don't have health care. I'm sure once I get through the boards and find a job, I will. Thanks again for your words, helpful!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 3:44 AM

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I have only one more comment. If you are like me, it may still bother you even if you have, as you say, "released" the friendship. I recently had a similar situation - a long-time friend and confidant who suddenly shut me out. I also "released" her and it felt better but I still occasionally had the need to know if there was a reason.

One night, I just asked to see her. She was negative and continuing to shut me out, but I insisted. I told her that I was "releasing" her. That I was hurt that she would shut me out and think so little of our relationship that she wouldn't even let me know what was going on. Then I told her that I did not deserve that kind of treatment and it was too bad, because in the end it was her loss. She had lost a good friend.

She actually apologized. We are not as close anymore and probably won't ever be. However, I feel much better for having voiced my thoughts and put the onus on her for the loss.

Good riddance.

Thursday, August 05, 2010, 5:35 PM

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OP here

No actually you're right so right! I'm still haven't officially "released" her and I'm even questioning it. But now I just don't consider her a real friend anymore. I'm not sure what I consider her. Even though I have uncertainty, it feels so much better to know that I've made a decision even though it's not 100%. For awhile, I kept in my mind that she is still a "friend", but it frustrated me so much that she could treat me like this despite all the things I do and treat her. (I mean, the friends she does more for has disrespected/created useless drama in the past.) Thus, I would engage in emotional eating. The last few days, I haven't had those urges to eat at night from anger/frustration which is really awesome!

5:35, did your friend give you a reason as to why he/she shut you out?

My friend (whom I met through my former "friend") is taking me out to dinner and she's bringing her best friend (whom I've met once before and like). She's also bringing me a birthday gift. What makes it easier to "release" my former friend is now I have a couple true friends that I can count on, respect me and do things for me (it's equal). One reason I kept keeping my "friend" was because I didn't have other friends. Also, next year, I'll be moving to a big city, with tons of people my age just starting out in life, so that's something I have forward to.

Thanks for everyone's input. It's been very theraputic!

Thursday, August 05, 2010, 6:46 PM

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5:35 again

My "released" friend was upset because she felt that I "threw her under the bus" on a work-related issue. Truth be told, she had already shut me out by then. She was always a very angry and unhappy person, but I tried to support her. But it gets to the point where it is difficult to support someone publically who is always so negative. It reflected on me and I just could no longer do it.

Anyway, because we talked, I was satisfied that I had done nothing wrong and it was her own issues and negativity that were the ultimate problem. All my years of support had made no difference. So I was justified in letting it go. It's called self-preservation.

Sometimes you have to make a decision between being miserable with someone and letting that person go in the hope that you can find happiness elsewhere. In your case, it looks like you have done that and are building other friendships that will be more satisfying and reciprocal.

Good for you.

Friday, August 06, 2010, 2:34 PM

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