Friend feels selfish with response to loss – Chicago Tribune



Dear Amy: My childhood friend of almost 50 years recently lost a child to suicide. We usually only call each other on our birthdays, and I haven’t seen him physically in almost 20 years.

I have struggled most of my life with PTSD as a result of the trauma of being sexually abused when I was 17 years old.

I didn’t actually start treatment until my current doctor diagnosed me and referred me to a specialist for therapy.

Suicides always send me to a dark place because for so many years she was on my shoulder.

My friend did not inform me personally; He posted the news on Facebook.

I saw that he was getting a lot of support, and I couldn’t bring myself to call him.

Months passed, and instead I wrote him a letter of apology for the lack of communication, while simultaneously expressing that I knew how sorry I felt for him in dealing with his terrible loss.

She hasn’t reached me.

I am stricken with guilt over my reaction to his loss. I usually reach out to people who have lost their loved ones in time.

She has had a tough life, but over the past 25 years she has remarried and taken life by the horns and has done quite well.

Although, I am finding peace now, finally I am getting proper treatment. I delayed arriving because of fear of my own selfishness (?) out of fear of my own instability.

How do I fix it?

– selfish

Dear Selfish: Your shame has sent you into a self-punishing spiral. Now that you’ve processed your own behavior, you should really stop making it about yourself.

You have no way of knowing how this tragedy affected your friend. You should assume that he has received, read, and appreciated your thoughtful note, but this type of communication does not demand feedback (unhappy people are not always able to respond), and so don’t assume that the ball is his. is in the frost.

You should call your friend, even if it’s not her birthday. Don’t continue to apologize or explain your reaction to her child’s death. Don’t reference your own trauma. Just let her know that she remains in your daily thoughts, and ask her how she’s doing. And then listen to him with thoughtful compassion. If she doesn’t want to talk about her loss, discuss other topics the two of you have traditionally discussed.

Dear Amy: Recently, a good friend was staying with me as a guest for five nights at an expensive resort.

He has a habit of having drinks and snacks throughout the day.

I am the opposite and watch closely what I eat and always politely decline whenever she asks for anything.

Last week she told me how rude of me it is to never eat anything when she does because she feels she shouldn’t eat “alone” and that she doesn’t enjoy her food.

I was stunned and still politely reassured and reminded her that I am not being rude, but do not eat in between meals (she knows this very well).

Well, she kept trying to get a different response from me.

I felt sad and felt as if she considered me as one of her children, husband or work colleague.

I let it end and I had no other reaction.

Did I need to respond by saying that I watch my weight and don’t eat or enjoy unhealthy donuts and explain the health issue that way or the other throughout the day?

Is it necessary for my friend to order something (only to throw) so as not to eat alone?

I don’t want to be bullied, extravagant, lost my friend or reprimanded like that again.

– Worried

Dear Upset: You don’t need to have breakfast with your friend to be polite. You don’t even need to be bullied and scolded by him.

Dear Amy: “No plaque” complained because her dental hygienist spoke to her using “baby talk”.

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As a mid-30s, I don’t remember spending much time with older people who didn’t have any kind of dementia.

It unfortunately has a big role to play in my life, family and social circle.

The same could happen to the hygienist.

– been there

Dear Been There: I’m sorry for your own experience with elders, but you need to get out there even more.

Baby talk is not necessary when dealing with dementia (which this author does not have).

©2022 Amy Dickinson.


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