A Friend is Making me Feel Guilty.

by Frances
(UK)

I don't know if this is the right place for me, as my problem is an elderly friend rather than a parent. (I was sole carer for my parents till they passed away, however.) Anyway, my friend is 70 and, like me, she has no family at all.


Recently she had a fall and is very bruised and shaken by it. She also has several other health problems (diabetes, diverticulitis, macular degeneration and angina). I want to help her as much as I am able to.

The problem is that I live several miles away and am not working for reasons of health, so I have little money for bus fares. I can afford to visit her once a fortnight (which I am doing) and to take some shopping to her then and help out generally. I also phone several times a week.

Someone else also gets some shopping for her. However, she is constantly asking me to visit more often and I am feeling that what I am doing is not enough. She hasn't had anyone else to visit her, despite the fact she belongs to a church. She keeps saying that no one bothers to go and see her, which makes me feel guilty and worthless. She is able to get out and about locally, so isn't completely trapped indoors.

I am at a stage in my life when I am trying to widen my social network and I don't want to give up the few activities I do socially, even though I could then afford to visit her every week if I did give them up. If she lived within walking distance, I would go there several times a week.

Given her age and her other health problems, I feel that this is the start of her needing more support generally and I am terrified of having to give up my life.

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Elderly Friend Making you Feel Guilty...
by: Wiser Now

You know that every situation is not the same, but I dare warn you about "people you only think you know."
You've done it!

Caring for your parents was the proof in the pudding. I am also doing this, gladly committed....burned out right now but still very much committed. I had an old friend for whom I did all I could, including bringing her into my home to care for her (she has 7 children). My dad passed and I just have my mom to care for now - he had Alzheimer's and bowel problems (I miss him... he was sweet and encouraging to care for, maybe because he also took care of his elderly parents).

My elderly friend is the same age as my mother.
She was however a very self-willed and self-destructive individual and I saw the negative impact she was having on my mother. She wanted everything from me. She continually robbed my mother of my attention, protection and provision. Did I mention that this person was diabetic, blind and an amputee, etc.?

She was highly manipulative in her dealings with all of her children and they disliked it but seemed powerless against it. I insisted that they must take responsibility for her care and I stepped away forever, realizing that I had done all that I could do for her.

This friend of mine was most likely not my friend at all. All the same I never dishonored nor disrespected her in anyway. I was only 38 yrs old.

There are vultures out there, old experienced vultures too who can spot a "softie" or a kindhearted soul from a mile away. I knew her for 15 years and she passed last month, and I did not go to her funeral. One of her children took the time to leave me a voice message letting me know she had died... I was traumatized and in shock. I did accompany her daughter to the Funeral Home, but I had no time to arrange for my mother's care in my absence and I was very tired. Amazingly, the next day I felt relieved! Thank you God!

I would warn you at this point, to be very careful of who you call your friend....Please don't be scared. Just be wise! Some people can be very tricky. I love the elderly but I'm careful not to call them my friend.
Wiser now.

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Friend?
by: Anonymous

Friends don't make friends feel guilty... We all can't save the world as much as we'd like to... You have a good heart.

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Welcome
by: Anonymous

Dear Frances,
Sounds like you fit in here just fine. It also sounds like you are a great friend; many people don't even call their friends and relatives that are lonely.

You're not only calling but actually taking a bus ride to go see her! I hope your friend will realize soon that you are a great friend and start just enjoying your time together and not focusing on when you'll be back so she doesn't push you away.

Guilt will bring you down, I hope you find a way to put guilt in a box on the shelf.
mary

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