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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Uncomfortable friendship

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Author Topic: Uncomfortable friendship
soft_masc
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Member # 108895

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This situation maybe requires some background.

I have a friend, Josh, who I was once very close with. Over the last six months, I have retreated somewhat because I have had difficulty coping with how jealous they were of my girlfriend. Before that, Josh, their girlfriend and I had a sexual component to our friendship. I am monogamous, so that ended when my girlfriend and I started dating.

7 or 8 months ago I had something of a pregnancy scare. My period had been regular for years and it was three weeks late. I knew then as I know now that the risk was at least not at all likely, while Josh considered it entirely impossible based on their recollection of dates I had trouble keeping straight in my head. Despite that, my body was doing something weird and it was scary, and I struggled with some pretty severe anxiety at the time.

A week or so ago, Josh and I were texting and the subject of situations that cannot create pregnancy came up. We were being silly, but Josh tried to tease me about having thought (well, not even really thought, but considered the possibility) that I was pregnant. I shut down immediately because of the shame I felt at the whole idea that I went through all this pain and they were so dismissive of my experience that I had thought they sincerely supported me through.

It seems unreasonable to ask them not to bring that up just because I feel foolish for worrying, but this was over a week ago and it's still bothering me. Should I address this with them or leave it be?

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silvergirl_sailing_on
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Hi , so I'm not scarleteen staff or even anything close, I've only been here a couple of days myself, but my short answer to your question is- no, that's not unreasonable. What I would say to consider is how likely is it to be brought up again? If it's unlikely you might not want to tell them about it, but if you feel it is likely or you're just not sure enough to feel comfortable with the chances, I'd say yes, talk about it. I get the impression that Josh wasn't necessarily teasing you about this. Perhaps they didn't realise how much it had upset you, I'd certainly hope that a good friend wouldn't use it against you like this if they did know. So perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt by bringing it up casually and aiming not to sound accusatory, I'm sure your friend would be happy to avoid bringing this up with you in future. Perhaps even phrase it something like this "hey, I just wanted to talk to you about what we were talking about the other day. I know you were just teasing, and you didn't mean to upset me, but talking about my pregnancy scare brings up some unpleasant emotions for me, and I'd prefer it if we did not discuss it again." Or adjust it to how you would normally speak. However, I do wonder if it might be worthwhile for you to work through your feelings about the event on your own or with someone you trust. Perhaps it's something that a proper scarleteen volunteer or advocate could help you with. However this is just a suggestion and would be totally your choice if you felt it would be helpful to you to work through the feelings behind it. I'm sure you've heard this before, but I promise you it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's understandable that you have those feelings, but we are all only human and we all make mistakes or get worried about things. As a species I'd say we're pretty good at it! I hope you can resolve the situation with your friend, especially as you seem to be working to form a good relationship again.

--------------------
~Ciara

"Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way."

Posts: 40 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
soft_masc
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I'm not even sure how much of the issue is really residual anxiety about the scare, I think I'm over that. I'm more hurt that they thought it was okay to bring it up in that manner. I mean, I know now just as I knew then that pregnancy was next to impossible, but anxiety disorders can make it so that no amount of factual information will calm the feelings. When I was hurting over it, they seemed to be sincerely trying to help. I don't think I'm alone among mentally ill people who've experienced stigma surrounding illogical panic attacks, and I don't think Josh would ever consider teasing me for panicking at heights or small spaces, even though they're just as illogical, because that would obviously be inappropriate. Them bringing it up like that, and basically making fun of me for worrying about pregnancy, makes the support they offered at the time seem really disingenuous in hindsight. Does that make sense?
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silvergirl_sailing_on
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Ahhh ok I feel like I understand a bit better now. (Maybe not, feel free to correct me!) So they were helpful at the actual time of the scare but acted as though it was a joke when they brought it up this time? I see where you're coming from better now and can totally see why that's hurtful. It's not so much that they were teasing about the issue itself and more that they were teasing about how you felt about it? Well, first I'll say that that's definitely not on! I'd also wonder if maybe because they don't recognise the pregnancy scare as a "common" fear (like heights or small spaces) that they haven't properly connected it to more general feelings of anxiety and panic. I feel like I've worded that really badly but hopefully you get what I mean! As someone who suffered from anxiety attacks too (and for the weirdest of things- I went through a period where I would almost start crying if a bus drove past me because the noise was so loud) I totally understand what you mean about the stigma surrounding them. I wonder if perhaps they didn't connect your upset about the pregnancy scare to a panic or anxiety disorder. I'd still definitely stick by what I said earlier- I don't think it's unreasonable to inform them that it hurt you. It probably wasn't their intention, but if that's the case, and they are truly your friend, then they would want to know that they had hurt you by accident so that they could apologise properly and make sure to be more careful in future. How about something like "I don't think you meant to upset me, but I found it really hurtful when you teased me about my worry over my pregnancy scare. I really appreciated your support at the time, but this has made me feel like it was insincere. I value our friendship so I just want you to understand how I feel about this." Or something like that? I'd also ask- what is it you're hoping most to get from bringing it up with Josh? [Smile]

--------------------
~Ciara

"Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way."

Posts: 40 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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