Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I feel like I’ve been let down by everyone except from my partner, and it hurts. I’ve been suffering with depression for some time. My best friend moved twenty minutes away. After years of close friendship I feel like she’s just replaced me. Barely any visits or texts, and then on facebook, she’s suddenly doing everything with a new friend. She doesn’t ask about my kid, yet when we do talk, she wants to tell me everything about hers. she’s having money issues, doesn’t tell me, and then rubs it in that she’s got loads of friends helping her. Why didn’t she give me that chance?
At Christmas she asked what to get my kid. I took the chance to help by saying it’s okay not to bother since she has money problems. She said thanks. I was nice to buy her kids two presents each. I saw on facebook people saying thanks for the card from her, yet I didn’t even get a card. Then this new friend posted a thank you for a present she got. It was an expensive bottle with lights in it and said “you’ll always be my friend”. I feel disposed of. Five days ago, she asked how I’ve been. I texted back saying I was really struggling with depression. She read it and didn’t text back. its really making my depression worse–near suicidal–because I feel like a loser with no friends and I must be trash if I’m so easy replaced after years of close friendship.
Kind querent: Wow, that bites. I can understand why you’re so upset. Your friend is being incredibly self-absorbed by making everything about her and nothing about you. This is not the sign of a good friend. It’s the sign of someone who’s stuck on herself and doesn’t care about anyone else.
See, she’s playing the pity card over being broke, and people are jumping to her rescue. I’m not saying she isn’t actually broke. Maybe she is. But then she asks how you’re doing, and you’re really depressed. Her problem is that you’re not supposed to be depressed! How dare you be depressed, when she’s broke and needs sympathy for being broke? The nerve of you. She is not a good friend.
But please, if you become suicidal, call a helpline. I don’t think this person is worth becoming suicidal over, but I’ve been there. I’d also urge you to make new friends. But in the meantime, don’t beat yourself up for not having any great friends. I was friendless for decades, and it’s sad, but it’s not a reflection of you as a failure. You’re not trash. Your friend, however, doesn’t appreciate you. Please don’t let that get you down. She sounds completely self-centered.
Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I’ve always thought of myself as someone who wanted to be a mom one day. It’s been something I’ve been desiring a lot lately. However, my perception of things kind of changed over this past weekend. I wanted to use this weekend to relax but my uncle came over to visit with his two kids and they slept over for two nights (which I didn’t expect). I was able to handle his kids (5 and 10 years old) for a while but after a day passed, it really started to drain me to be around them. They’re very hyper and they followed me wherever I went. They are so sweet and loving but, very spoiled at the same time. When things wouldn’t go their way they would have temper tantrums, and if I left their presence they would make a scene. The whole weekend was really a whole series of meltdowns and kids breaking things. It felt like I just wanted to get away from them which made me feel guilty. But it really felt like way too much. It’s sort of freaking me out because I’ve always wanted to have kids; but after that whole experience, I’m a bit worried. Do you think it’s different and more tolerable for someone to deal with their own kids as opposed to the kids of other people? Should I let this experience influence whether or not I choose to have kids of my own later on?
Thank you for asking. What you’re experiencing is very common. There’s an episode of Sex and the City which sums it up nicely. Charlotte and her husband want to have kids, but then they go to a dinner party with some very poorly behaved little rugrats. At the end of the episode, they talk about it and then say those magic words: “Ours will be different.” They smile with relief. Crisis averted!
But this denial (or whatever it is) flummoxes me. Why don’t more people realize the realities of parenthood instead of blindly jumping in? It’s not going to be a bed of roses. You’d be smart to think carefully about these things before conceiving. But if you have realistic expectations, you’ll probably be fine.
Dear Mesmerizing Meg: I’m sixteen years old and I have been waking up in a wet bed three times in the past two weeks. I’m so unbelievably embarassed about this issue, and that’s why I haven’t talked to my mom or anybody else about it. Does anybody know what could be causing the bedwetting all of a sudden? I’ve never had that kind of problem, I was four when this last happened to me and I really just want it to stop. Also, I am currently going to an outpatient psychiatric clinic from Monday to Friday because I have a post-traumatic stress disorder since losing my dad to cancer. Could the bedwetting be a psychological issue? And should I tell my psychiatrist? She’s actually really nice but I just don’t want her to think I’m weird, and it’s embarrissing because you don’t wet the bed when you’re sixteen. I just hate that I have no control over my Body. Please help. What can I do to stop it?
Kind querent: Yes, please promise me you’ll tell your psych doc. It’s completely okay. You might have a urinary tract infection. Does it burn when you pee? You’d have to pee into a cup in the privacy of a bathroom and have your urine analyzed. Or you might be reacting to any psych meds you’ve been put on. And trust me, if there’s one thing psychiatrists want to hear about, it’s side effects. So speak up! It could be psychological, but you need to eliminate any physical issues first. Once you’ve eliminated any physical issues (and promise me you’ll do this), then it could help to take a cranberry supplement for a while. But to be clear–the cranberry supplement won’t cure any underlying physical issue, which is why you must speak to your psych doc about this. Trust me, doctors have heard about far more embarrassing stuff than this, but it’s all good. I’m so sorry about your dad.