My mother used to have a saying - too late smart. That reveals itself to me several times a week with new revelations about widowhood, grieving, being alone, friends, myself. I am realizing the mistakes I am making and trying to correct them to get through this awful journey. Even though I have a wide circle of friends, I am basically a very private person. I do not grieve in public and rarely discuss my situation unless someone asks a more specific question than "how are you doing?" Like a lot of you have written, I try to act normal when I'm out with people. I'm a listener, which is good, until it comes to one specific friend. Actually, she is one of my two closest friends, and it hit me the other night that she is not good for me during this time in my life. Pat has a very low stress tolerance level and she has been going through a career crisis and now is selling her house. I have listened and listened to her rant, complain, talk, and cry about her situation for years. The other night she called at 9pm about something about her house sale and it was more than I could do to not tell her to shut up and put on her big girl panties.
I have decided I have to tell her that I can't be her sounding board; I have my own problems. I know you will think she is being selfish, and I guess she is, but it's time to start thinking about my own mental health, not hers. The bad thing is that Pat is also very sensitive, and my telling her that I can't listen anymore will make her feel awful about what she is doing to me.
Does anybody else have any poisonous friends? Maybe you're like me - you just didn't realize it, but it's something to think about. Don't be like me - too late smart.