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Brwneyedchica

Pots And Friends

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I have a friend who i've known for 8 years. She moved from Ohio to Oregon several years ago and we've managed to stay very good friends through emails, phone calls, and miscellaneous cards and gifts through snail mail. She is getting married this June and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I have not been feeling well for awhile now. I have another friend getting married next month and I tried to go to her bachelorette party a few weeks ago and had to be picked up because I was ill. This was a party close to my house. I shudder to think what may happen on the two plane rides that it would take for me to get to Oregon. She also expects me to pay for my plane ticket, a bridesmaids dress, shoes, ect. I haven't worked since October, when I filed for Disability. I am begging and borrowing to pay for the few bills that I have and I just don't feel that I could in good conscience ask for any more money from my family. I also have no health insurance and am terrified of being stuck away from home and being ill.I tried calling my friend to talk about this and she won't return my calls. Finally I sent a long email and tried to explain to her, just how sick that i've been and to explain my point of view. The only reply i've gotten from her is an email stating that "I had better think long and hard before making a decision." I think I must have cried for 3 hours that night. Why is it so hard to make people understand what it's like? I try to be a positive person and to not complain about my illness, but when I don't then people assume that i'm fine and get offended in situations like this. It breaks my heart to not be able to go to her wedding, but I think that it's the best thing for my health.

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My heart goes out to you after reading your post.

I'm sorry you are having such a bad time with your friend, but a true friend would , I'm sorry to say understand.

I know its her big day and she is probably very excited about this, wanting to share all her enjoyment of this day with you , but honestly and truthfully if after you have carefully told her of your illness and the position you are in and all she can come back to you is this ' Id better think long and hard..............' well I'd think very long and hard about your friendship with her in the future.

I have a very good friend who I had not seen for 30 years , we found each other in 2005 and I had to explain to her that I couldnt just drop everything and rush to her , I was ill and not the person she had known all those years before, her reply ..........I waited and waited for 3 days , thinking OMG what have I done she will never want to see or speak to me again now ....................that night a knock came at the door .............it was my best friend , she had dropped everything , begged money of family and friends and travelled through the night to get to me , need I say anymore.

A friend is someone who excepts the good or bad about you .

A friend is someone who you know when times are bad , just talking to them makes you feel better.

A friend is someone who you can tell your inner secrets to and know they stay a secret.

And a friend is someone who would go to the ends of the earth if you called her ...........right now.

I'm so sorry she had to treat you like this , but sometimes it is very hard for someone to understand an illness .........when they have never seen you ill, its at if it just doesn't register with them.

She probably thinks its an excuse for you to use in order not to go to something she has arranged or do something with her , these type of people unless actually see you on your knee's head down the loo shaking like a leaf and begging for their help , will never believe your illness what every you say .

Our illness really does tear families and friends apart at times, some people bounce back when they see its real and not 'just all in the head' or an excuse' others don't and never will believe , until its to late.

I can only suggest that you once again send an email to your friend , tell her again about your illness , lead her to the POTS site so she can actually read up about it more , tell her that if you could possible get there you would , but with ill health and money probelms , as well as no one knows her or about your illness in Oregon , you would be risking to much to come , after all would she really want to be worrying that one of her bridesmaids was going to keel over , have heart problems and be in need of a paramedic at the alta , I think not .

Hope you can sort this out soon, best of luck AMI

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Sometimes I really do not understand how people tick. Does she really want to look back on her photos and point out oh thats my friend the ill looking one. And btw how the heck are you meant to stand still all that time while the wedding is on? I recently declined part in my own sisters wedding for the same reason. You do not want to steal the show by feinting and if she can't realise that then as the PP said she never really was a friend to begin with.

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Hi there, Just want to encourage you to take the advice of the other replies. You have to think of your own position and the effects on your health. I have a so called friend who, even when she SEES me sick and really struggling, expects me to be there for her and pays no attention whatsoever on how I am affected by the way she treats me. All she goes on about is her own problems and doesn't care in the least if I feel as if I'm about to drop dead with a heart attack or stroke which is the way I feel most of the time when either standing or even sitting up trying to have a conversation with someone. People like that are so wrapped up in their own little world to care about anyone else. Your friend wouldn't even appreciate the struggle you had to go through to get to the wedding even if you were able to in the first place. Don't put yourself through it or feel guilty that you can't. These are the very people who wouldn't do it for you. You deserve to be treated with respect.

Take care, Helen

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I read this and all I could think was "What in the world is going on in this 'friend's' mind??" I think it is terribly sad that someone could be that selfish and thoughtless about someone they consider enough of a friend to ask the person to be in her wedding party. I am truly amazed by how thoughtless and self-focused people can be. If she is really your friend she would understand that you are currently ill and unemployed and would totally understand when you say you cannot make it. I turned down several weddings about 10 yrs ago--b/c I was a grad student and broke--not sick on top of that--and my friends completely understood, even if they were disappointed. They are still my friends!

Give her some time and hopefully she will adjust her perspective. If she doesn't then she is not worth your friendship--which is so much more than being an attendant in a wedding. Boy, I wish her luck in her marital relationship.

Katherine

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I wouldn't have to think long and hard about this one. With "friends" like her, who needs enemies? The world revolves around her. She wants a court of admirers paying tribute to her, but she doesn't care about the personal lives of the admirers. Their purpose is to magnify her glory. Stop feeding that ego. It isn't good for either of you.

That being said, I'm sorry that that heartless woman has hurt you. You sound like a decent person, so you must be deeply hurt. Unfortunately, that is the downside of being a decent person in a world peppered with sociopaths. One of the best sources I've seen for understanding and dealing with this problem is a book entitled Emotional Vampires. http://www.albernstein.com/id55.htm

By not sacrificing everything (your health and your credit rating) to serve as her lady in waiting, you are depriving her of "narcissistic goods." How dare you? :-)

I'll tell you what a real friend is like. One of my friends took a day off of work to go with me to an appointment with an autonomic specialist. She's pleased when I can do things with her and understanding when I can't.

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I am sorry that you are in this position, but when someone doesn't return your calls and makes such an email comment--- well, I would call it almost a threat---- what friend does that?

This sounds like an unhealthy friendship--

too many thoughts on this one--- I can't imagine a true friend doing this. Friends are there to support us when times are tough. She should be expressing how much she would love to have you, but understands your circumstances and will miss you!!

Katherine - I love your comments.

I also have friends who will support me, transport me, cook, or whatever, a party of 6-8 will come this week to bring dinner and social time -as I can't get out. They do this on a regular basis. I know that many do not have this support system for a variety of reasons, but this is an example of healthy friendships. I have had the "toxic friends" as I call them and I had to make the choice to let those relationships go- the draining, self absorbed relationships!

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Just wanted to offer a (((HUG))) ;)

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Living with this illness, I have found who my true friends really are.

They are the one's who listen, try to understand how it feels to be me.

They are compassionate and always offer to help in anyway they can.

She sounds like she is only thinking about herself and not you.

I know it is hard, I have lost many friends who think "just get over

it." Once again, I think we find out who our true friends really are.

I refuse to feel guilty that I have this illness, I will not take on guilt period!

Dawn

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I don't think you should be too black or white in your thinking yet- if you're like me, and usually look fine when you feel terrible, it may be that she really doesn't understand. How much info did you give her about POTS? When people look at me, they find it almost impossible to understand how I can become so ill so suddenly, and in a world where people feign illness all the time to shirk work, responsibilities and to get benefits, too many people are sceptical of the *wrong* people- even people they know to be friends and good people.

I'd do as some of the others have suggested and give her the link to the POTS site, and explain that if you went to the wedding, you'd ruin it by potentially fainting in front of all the guests.

I had a similar situation last year. I was invited to a wedding about 250 miles away. I wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid, but the girl was a good friend of mine. I just explained that I felt awful about not going, but that my health and the smoothrunning of her precious day were too important to jeopardise.

Don't be angry with her- she is excited and wants to share the joy of her milestone with you. She might be angry FOR you instead of WITH you, I don't know, but it does seem very pointed to tell you to think long and hard.

I hope things come right in the end.

Let us know how you get on

hugs

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I can't add anything more but I hope that if this friend is truly a "true friend" then she will understand. She must know what is going on with you since you have been contact with her over the years. Perhaps she really does not understand to then extent of how you really feel. The others all gave great advice ;)

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Thanks guys, for all of your kind words. I guess I know that i'm going to have to decline her invitation. It's just too much for me physically and financially. This friend has been there for me over the years and has listened to me complain about being sick and upset that i was sick and missing work and school, countless number of times. I'm not sure what the deal is with her. I know that she does want me to be there, and I wish I could go. The last email I sent was long and detailed and really explained my point of view and gave her a pretty good idea of what I go through day to day. I think that she will get over this eventually, and if she doesn't i'll be left wondering what kind of friend she was in the first place...

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If she's been with you through thick and thin and then suddenly responds so harshly, maybe there is something else going on that she is not telling you about her needs?

Perhaps if you can speak with her and really find out why this is so important to her (beside the obvious wanting her friend at the wedding), you might be able to work out some kind of compromise where you can be there for her in some way for her special day... (phone call, video chat, attend her bachelorette party by web cam)

As friends, we POTSy folk can be pretty needy. It's easy to forget that our friends have very real needs, too, but with some creativity, we can meet their needs while being sensitive to our limitations. ;)

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I have to say, my friend who was getting married came to see me just a few weeks before the wedding, as I was in hospital and she was stressed out of her MIND. She said planning and organising a wedding is one of the moststressful things anyone can do!

My cousin is getting married in May, and his fiancee worked as a wedding planner herself- and even she feels like she is cracking!

It may be that your friend is finding it incredibly stressful. Weddings seem to be aboutr trying to please everyone, and she may be angry that people who mean less to her than you are going to attend, while you- the person she may want to be there most of all- can't

Just a thought

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I've never heard of the bridesmaid having to pay for everything, it sounds like she may have bit off more than she can chew in the planning of this event.

I just have learned that while some will attempt to get it, some just never will even try. I don't know where this girl is, but emailing and chatting is a whole lot different than traveling, coming up with money and standing. i think i agree with the above gals that say it is her day and you should just let her know that you don't want to rain on her parade by doing face plants in the middle of the ceremony.

Right now, depending on how you feel, you can give her the benefit of the doubt and see what happens after it's all over. Thinking long and hard can mean any number of things. I would assume she was blowing me off or giving no choices, but that is my personality.

I'm just sorry you have to deal with this. Only you know what you can and can't do. As a parent and as someone who has had to borrow money, I could never bring myself to ask for help for something I wanted, as opposed to needed. but then again, we are talking MY personality. Good luck with whatever you decide sweetie.

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I have to say this sounds like a typical case of a self-absorbed bride. I've been in plenty of weddings and been around plenty of self centered, spoiled princesses who think it's all about them. This has less to do with how you might feel, how you might be inconvenienced or how you'd manage and more to do with this being her day, how she feels and how she's being inconvenienced. Trust me, 90% of today's brides are selfish and inconsiderate. Stressed out or not, I still remembered people's feelings when I was planning my wedding. It's bad enough you have to try and explain your illness to regular people- your friends shouldn't be among them. How cruel of her to make you feel you might be "missing out" on something soooo wonderful you might need to "think long and hard about it". Be glad you saw this side to her now and not after you footed the bill for the dress, shoes, tickets, bachelorette party drinks, wedding gifts, etc.

At least you know all of us here understand how you feel and you don't need to think "long and hard" about whether we do.

:(

Bri

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I have known many brides to be and mother's of brides to be who go completely insane when planning a wedding.

My cousin was expecting me to go to her daughter's wedding, on the other side of the country, when I can't travel to the other side of town and was wondering if I could even afford to send a gift. And I barely know the bride.

You have explained to your "friend" your situation. That is all you can do. Decline, no guilt.

After the wedding wears off, she may return to sanity. Most do. For now, give her the benefit of the doubt. Even people who aren't insane with wedding fever don't understand our limitations.

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I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. It is bad enough being sick, and having friends who don't understand is just an added stress. I'm glad to hear you are thinking about what is best for your health. I know that's not easy to do, especially when the social support isn't there. Hang in there :)

Take care,

Shannon

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