Author Topic: Feeling guilty, but.............  (Read 1308 times)

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stilltryen

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Feeling guilty, but.............
« on: February 15, 2011, 12:46:10 PM »
The house across the street from us is a rental.  "Frank" and "Fifi" - with their two kids moved in.  We really liked them and their son was the same age as ours, so the boys became good friends.  Fifi didn't work and I did.  She would come over and stay really, really late and despite my, "Well, it's been good chatting with you, but I have to go to work" and practically pushing her out the door, she was oblivious.  We invited them over for dinners, spend holidays with us (they have no family here), we invited them to parties, etc.  When Frank lost his job, I bought them groceries, bought the kids clothes, etc.  After a few months, Frank found another job and Fifi rejoined the work force.  For some reason, we were suddenly persona non grata to them.  They found another couple in the neighborhood and soon, Frank and Fifi were always hanging out with them, etc.

They never, ever once asked us to their house - for anything.  No dinners, no parties, nothing.  They quit calling and only came over once, to let us know they were buying a house and moving out.  For years, we heard nothing.  Once in a while we'd run into them, at the store or something, Fifi would always say, "Oh, call me, let's get together." and I'd say, "Oh sure, you call me too!" and we'd both go on our merry ways.

Last year, out of the blue, Fifi stopped by.  Turns out she's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She's taking a pill and that has kind of stopped it in its tracks.  We chatted for a while, turns out the other couple has quit hanging out with them because, as Fifi said, "They get tired of me repeating and repeating things."  Hubby and I went to dinner with them a couple of times, but now she's calling me all the time to go do stuff with her.  Am I horrible because I don't want to?  I don't work, but I volunteer, I hang out with a big group of friends, I babysit for my grandbaby at times, I help with my parents, I have a lot to do and I guess I'm still annoyed that they were so rude to us for years and now that she's sick, she suddenly wants me to be her best friend. 

Can I get some perspective on this?

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 12:55:02 PM »
IMHO: You are at choice. Your time is about what your priorities are. Choose what makes your heart sing and don't adopt anyone you don't want to adopt...no matter what the reason. You did a lot for that family and you found out that you had made a poor choice in doing that. It's up to you if you want to repeat the whole thing. That's my take.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

LaurieS

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 12:58:47 PM »
Yep.. I agree with Luise.  You know who she is, what she's made of and how much it hurt... my choice would be clearly settled in my mind.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 01:03:26 PM »
P.S. Another thought, if it were me, is that if I wanted to help someone with AZ, (and I do it every day because of where I love,) I would pick someone who wasn't into exploitation. Lots aren't. Sending love...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

stilltryen

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 01:28:30 PM »
Yeah, the rational part of me (which is still ruling) says that, but the emotional years of Catholic upbringing thinks, "Hubby works and she's all by herself, day in and day out.  Nothing to do and her brain isn't functioning on all cyclinders, it would be an act of kindness to go get her and take her to lunch, blah, blah, blah" and then the other part says, "Good grief, doesn't she have other friends whom she actually was nice to back in the day?"  And yes, she is annoying, but I understand.  Last time we went to dinner with them, she came in and showed me her new purse.  "Did I tell you my daughter bought me a new purse, isn't it great?" I heard that 6 times that evening and, guess what?  I acted totally surprised each time!  "Really?  That's a fabulous purse, I should go find one like that."  "It's a great purse Fifi, what a nice gift."  "Oh, your daughter is such a dear."   I can't get on Facebook any more, she's always on there and the minute she sees I'm on, she'll start with the IMs. 

So I will continue to fend her off and still feel God breathing down my neck telling me, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." and I'll try to stifle it another day.  Hubby and I do meet them for dinner every couple of months, I figure that's pretty darn good - considering we weren't worthy of even so much as a call for years.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 01:45:44 PM »
I call that my "yabbit-rabbit" when I say, "Yeah, but..."

I wonder if or every teaching (religious or otherwise) there isn't another that states the opposite. Take your pick.  ;)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pooh

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 02:10:59 PM »
My perspective: You are kindhearted
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

LaurieS

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 02:29:50 PM »
Wouldn't it be easier to blow her off once and for all then ask for forgiveness later?

holliberri

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011, 04:36:15 PM »
Yeah, the rational part of me (which is still ruling) says that, but the emotional years of Catholic upbringing thinks, "Hubby works and she's all by herself, day in and day out.  Nothing to do and her brain isn't functioning on all cyclinders, it would be an act of kindness to go get her and take her to lunch, blah, blah, blah" and then the other part says, "Good grief, doesn't she have other friends whom she actually was nice to back in the day?"  And yes, she is annoying, but I understand.  Last time we went to dinner with them, she came in and showed me her new purse.  "Did I tell you my daughter bought me a new purse, isn't it great?" I heard that 6 times that evening and, guess what?  I acted totally surprised each time!  "Really?  That's a fabulous purse, I should go find one like that."  "It's a great purse Fifi, what a nice gift."  "Oh, your daughter is such a dear."   I can't get on Facebook any more, she's always on there and the minute she sees I'm on, she'll start with the IMs. 

So I will continue to fend her off and still feel God breathing down my neck telling me, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." and I'll try to stifle it another day.  Hubby and I do meet them for dinner every couple of months, I figure that's pretty darn good - considering we weren't worthy of even so much as a call for years.

StillTryen,

I think you have more than enough on your plate, and I don't know that this has a whole lot to do with forgiveness. Even if she was a very good friend, by the sounds of your activities, you're doing more than enough to be kind to other people and tenderhearted. I don't think you're avoiding her b/c you have genuinely an axe to grind. You likely have enough close family and friends to look afte, and enough on your plate. We only do what we can do.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 04:59:22 PM »
This kind of thing used to hard for me. "No" wasn't an easy word to say...but I have learned that loving myself is important, too.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2011, 07:46:14 PM »
Stilltryen, you are very compassionate. I had a similar thing happen to me and it's been very hard to be civil when I get those phone calls now. Thank goodness my ex-friend isn't needing the attention yours is - mine just needs to ramble on occasionally via phone (yawn.)

If you decide to help her, consider severely limiting the time you spend with her. Be very firm about your schedule. Make a calendar for her with the days and times clearly marked, and do not let her talk you into doing more. The structure will help with her Alzheimers and she won't become overly dependent on you. She will have to get the rest of her socialization and caregiving from family or from an agency that is set up to do that sort of thing.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Nana

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Re: Feeling guilty, but.............
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2011, 09:28:09 PM »
I agree.  You are a kind-hearted person.   As Luise says  do what makes you happy.   You are obliged to anything extra.  You now know that being well she was selfish and ungrateful so you are not obliged to anything extra.  Probably be good to her when she calls because you are a compassionate person and do what you would with another neighbor in need, but she cannot be called your friend. 

Love
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare