- 2 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
You may feel that some of the things I am about to say about my friend are judgemental and nasty. I’m not trying to come across this way, but I feel that these things give a whole picture of who she is and may help when responding. A lot of the stories regarding neighbours and other people are things she has told me and not things I have ever witnessed.
I have this friend who I met through my sister and through my church (she went to uni with my sister and then my sister recommended my church to her and suggested she get in contact with me, which she did) and I have been concerned about her for a few years. For as long as I have known her she has had low self-esteem issues and, from what she has told me about her past, I have deduced that she has always been this way/had an inferiority complex. I see these things in the way she is around other people, the way she dresses (doesn’t care for her appearance, lives in jogging bottoms etc.) and the state of her house (always extremely messy and dirty).
When I first met her she lived next door to these neighbours who were awful, they didn’t like it when she was out in her garden and were offended when she hung her work clothes on the line (she worked in a school for disabled people and the logo had a picture of a person in a wheelchair on). There were other things as well, including him following her in his car when she drove to work one day.
She moved house to discover that she was now living next door to her ex-neighbour’s brother. I don’t think she had any issues with him but then eventually her ex-neighbour moved in instead. The behaviour continued of hating it when she went into the garden (they would go back inside) and they disliked the fact that she would leave the house more than once a day – in their view you leave the house once in the morning, come back and that’s it.
A few years ago those neighbours moved out, and then she started having problems with her neighbours on the other side (they moved in before the others moved out and my friend is convinced that ex-neighbours bad mouthed her to the other side neighbours). These problems have seem to been far worse than previous ones and, I can’t remember them all but my friend is terrified of going into the garden for fear of abuse. They have included neighbour calling the police on my friend (friend put a broken plate into the bin and neighbour was convinced she made a loud noise on purpose to frighten her) and, the latest issue, my friend wanting to replace the garden fence between their properties and the neighbour refusing access to the fencer to put it back in the correct place so it is now on my friend’s land rather than on the border.
The neighbour’s house is a Housing Association house but they are refusing to be supportive towards my friend and are letting the neighbour get away with it (I can understand with behaviour because it’s all she said, she said but with a fence that should go on the border…not on).
My friend lost her job a few years ago, but it wasn’t the best place for her to work as she was having issues there too. Her new job is much better for her now and is a more positive influence on her life. Shortly after losing her job she spiralled into depression and has been on medication for it ever since (I think the highest dosage you can be on). I was surprised when she told me that she wasn’t on it previously and had only gone onto it after losing her job because she always seemed to be quite low.
A few times since going on the pills they will try and lower the dosage slightly, but every time they do her problems with her neighbour seem to escalate (she talks about them more) and her “victimised” view of the world seems to increase (everyone is out to get her/doing things to purposefully hurt her feelings).
My friend is the kind of person who seems to always have the worst in the world. Honestly, if I told you all the stories that she told me about unkind people in her life/medical ailments she has, you would probably say, “how can one person have so many bad things happen to them?”
This morning I had an iMessage from my friend explaining that she was never leaving the house again, except for work and Rainbows (a group she leads for girls aged 5-7) and to take her off the rota for helping at church. At the moment I am not taking too much attention to her regarding this because she has done it to me twice more in the past and has never stuck to it. At the moment she is on a lower dosage of anti-depressants and is having more problems with her neighbours (fence issued mentioned above).
I responded to my friend explaining that she needs to re-up her medication (she isn’t as bad when she is on full dose) and I encouraged her to get help…having a fear/hatred of a neighbour isn’t healthy and, allowing it to rule her life, is doing her absolutely no favours. Just to say: I’ve been around her house many times, including into her garden where my friend gets abused shouted at her and I have never seen or heard anything.
My friend is a very caring and generous person, almost too much sometimes. She works for a family who have a disabled daughter on a Saturday plus holidays, and they definitely take advantage of her and the hours she works sometimes. But she is also quite a self-centred person too and will never or rarely ask about you and thinks only of herself.
I guess I’m writing this because I’d love to know if anyone else has friends/family who are similar and how it is best to help them without draining yourself simultaneously. I’m no medical expert but the behaviour I see I feel is more than depression, the fact that she is unable to have a high dose medication lowered even slightly before it causes her to get even lower and slight paranoia as well. I don’t want to “pussyfoot” around her because I don’t believe that will help. She needs to seek help or take charge of her feelings.
Low self esteem friend who is on highest dose of medication for depression has increased issues with neighbours/feels victimised a lot more when medication is lowered (2nd time it has happened now) Friend tells me lots of stories about neighbours (current and old) who have issues with her and, a lot of other people, she meets seem to take advantage of her/she has issues with them.
Friend has an inferiority complex and is always belittling herself and does not take much pride in her appearance, either of herself or her house. I feel that she would benefit from more help than just medication (this just seems to numb the problem) and that she needs to really get to the root of the issues if she is ever going to move on.
I want to know how best I can help her without draining myself.
Thanks for reading.