The individual who’d shared my Support Group outside the 12 county service region FINALLY called me herself.
She shared with me that our mutual friend had been calling her almost daily, crying, so upset by our exchanges. She thought she should rectify things before they got any more out of control.
We had a 3 hour conversation during which she revealed a lot of things that made everything else fall into place and finally make some degree of sense.
She told me she’d wanted to call me and talk to me once she’d been told I was upset about her sharing any information about the group outside our service region, but our mutual friend (the individual I’d been pleading with to have her friend call me, that a simple call would have prevented all of this) had discouraged her from doing so.
She indicated to me that she hadn’t wanted to be part of the ‘core team’ of my Support Group, that she and I had talked about that when she’d called me for support previous to the Organizational Meeting, and she wasn’t sure why I wanted her to be part of that team, as we’d discussed everything she had on her plate with her daughter, the school district, her own health concerns and her family issues. I reminded her that I’d told her I would not ask her to be part of the team, but if she came to the meeting (she’d indicated she wanted to attend) that I could hook her up with my sponsor to see if they could find her some peer support and I could look at her school documentation after the meeting, so we’d have privacy.
She told me that she’d confided to our mutual friend that she was uncomfortable, didn’t know what she could offer to the group, didn’t understand who had what role, what it was really all about. Our friend had told her that I wanted her to be part of the core team because she has resources to offer other parents and that I wanted her to be in the core team because I handed her a team folder. She said she’d corrected our mutual friend and told her, “No, she didn’t hand it to me, she gave one to you and YOU gave it to me, then you wanted one for yourself.”
We talked about how I felt our mutual friend was on board with what I was doing, had gone over all my materials, approved of everything I’d done, said I’d covered all my bases, until this other person had gotten involved. Once she’d begun talking about the group (and she admitted she really didn’t understand what it was about and she shouldn’t have been talking to anyone about it until she’d talked to me) and I objected to her doing so, (she acknowledged I had legitimate reasons for not wanting her to be speaking about the group yet) our mutual friend went on the attack, accusing me of not being professional enough by not including the counties served on the brochures or flyers, then accusing me of giving the appearance that I was using service providers to ‘screen’ parents for the group (a ludicrous, ridiculous accusation that makes no rational sense whatsoever).
This other individual understood completely how I felt and why I felt the way I did. She said she’d even told our mutual friend that she could clearly see how and why I felt as I did and that she had been in the wrong. She also confirmed to me the previous information she’d provided to me about her situation with her school district and her daughter, as I’d explained to her that when I’d mentioned something she’d said, in passing, to our mutual friend, she’d become very defensive and argued with me, more or less casting doubt on her own friend’s believability.
As we talked she kept saying, “now that I’m hearing this in context, it makes perfect sense.”
It turned out that our mutual friend, someone I had trusted and shared so much personal information with, had been telling her everything I’d been saying to her about this situation, but putting her own emotional filter and twist on the content.
The resolution we’d reached was that she never wanted to be part of the core team, had planned on participating as a parent in the monthly meetings, but had felt pushed into getting more involved by our mutual friend. She’d completely understood how I felt and why I responded as I had because I wasn’t getting consistent nor complete information about what this person was doing. She acknowledged that she didn’t really know what she was doing or should be doing and should have called me regardless of what our mutual friend had been telling her.
She determined that our mutual friend was too emotionally involved with her situation and she would have to reconsider how much she shared in the future. She never intended for her to allow her friendship with her to interfere with any other friendships and she’d wished that she’d have been able to separate her personal relationship with her from the group, as it should have been.
She also told me that she’d told our mutual friend that she could see how I would feel “abandoned’ by her pulling out of the group right before the first meeting, as that was just like what a previous individual had done, promising support and help, but pulling out the night before the organizational meeting. She said she’d expressed that understanding to our mutual friend, but she’d rejected that similarity, which she’d done with me when I’d said that upon learning she was pulling out without any discussion – letting me know via email just like the other individual had done… not even enough respect for our friendship to talk to me directly.
It turns out I and this other person are on the same page, I did fully understand what she’d explained to me about services for her daughter, about her daughter’s behaviors and she appreciated that I’d done my ‘due diligence’ by inquiring about all the possible contributing factors to her situation.
I’m not sure why our mutual friend got so confused and misunderstood, misinterpreted so much of what was happening and what was being said. I still don’t understand why someone who says they value and cherish my friendship, claims to know me, would think such horrid things about me, have such little confidence in me and assume such awful things of me. I do know that they weren’t listening, at all, to what was being said. Even this other person indicated that she knew when she was talking to our mutual friend on the phone, she was often texting on her cell with someone else, skyping with someone else, had chats open with several people. I’d noticed that too, because I’d be sharing something important to me and suddenly she’d get quiet, then just interrupt and start telling me about someone else’s problems, what they were sharing with them in chat… just cutting me off.
The whole thing was a result of her miscommunicating.
The lesson learned here is not to share things with this person that I don’t want to be repeated. When she had told me so much of her friend’s situation, I had not shared with her friend that she’d said much, just that she’d said that she was having trouble with her school district. I didn’t want this person to think that her trusted friend was sharing all her personal information with strangers… I guess that respect, consideration, wasn’t mutual. I’m very disappointed.
I know this is very confusing to follow, I wrote these blogs more for myself, to ‘get it out’ and be able to vent, analyze, etc. I apologize for the confusing way I’ve written this series of blogs.