She's Like a Parent I'm Rebelling Against.

I'm 26 - she and I have been best friends since high school...we shared many intense times, going to California in a van, searching for the other side, having a child, losing family members, going to music festivals...she's such a beautiful person and I love her, but it's so very complicated.  She took on a mother goose role early on - introduced me to life-changing music and a different way of life...we really explored all aspects of life together and we laugh so hard together. But I'm beginning to think I idolized her a bit.  When people would say "you're the best," I would say, "second best" because I thought she was the best. I thought I should be like like her, think like her, act like her, dress like her. I still find myself thinking, "would she like this?" when I'm picking out clothes, couches, rugs, anything...because I feel like her perception and taste are superior...she's an artist, very sensitive, and she really does have a great eye for everything. but it's becoming confusing as I attempt to forge out my own personality and taste - it's riddled with her own.  That' s normal, I guess, but now I'm starting to resent her just as I would resent a parent I'm trying to break free from. I really think that I'll hurt her unbelievably if I ever try to communicate this with's not her fault, after all, that I put her on a strange pedestal.  It's more complicated...sort of too long to get into here, but another thing is that she doesn't really get along with my husband.  He loves her but hates her because it's always a clusterfuck when I go hang with her...she loses her cell phone, looses her keys, is an hour late, doesn't tell me if he calls, never has a plan, etc. and he can't take it. He tries to help me "get my **** together" and I think that she represent my past young attitude to him.  Also, I always get in these weird moods after I hang with her, I think because I'm so confused about our friendship and myself.  I always felt like the evil one, where she was the pure one. This stuff penetrates way down to the bottom of my soul...I guess everyone struggles with balancing their positive energy with their capability for human evil...the human stain, you know? The scarlet letter, the mark of a human. But I'm learning to embrace the complexities of myself (my husband has really been integral in that) and I resent my friend for not acknowledging that I'm growing and that my husband is such a positive influence in my life. SHe thinks it's just a part of growing up, that I would have done that with or without him, and maybe she's right. But all she sees is that he gets pissed when I come home from her house at 11 when I thought I'd be home by 8, you know? And can I blame him? He wants to spend time with me and his son, for God's sake. He works all day and doesn't get to see our son as much as I do. She's understanding, and never outright disrespectful, but I know what she's thinking. Or is that what I'm thinking and simply projecting onto her? See what I mean...I'm always "IN IT" with this woman and her role in my life.


althea althea
26-30, F
2 Responses Jul 2, 2007

I would recommend talking with her candidly about these feelings you have. I recently encountered a situation with one of my closest friends... We hadnt seen each other for a long time and she drove me crazy. One day I just couldnt take it anymore and I said exactly what I was feeling. (I was like a mad woman!) A few days later, we talked about it again in a more calm way and we were able to identify some problem points which werent obvious to either of us before. Some of the "problems with each other" we had were generated entirely in our own heads. The mind is a very complex thing. Express everything you feel in the most honest and respectful and calm way possible. Even though I didnt want to confront the negative feelings I had towards our friendship, I was very grateful for our conversation about it because I believe it strengthened our friendship. If I had let it alone and just "dealt with it" by non-confrontation, I am sure that we would have simply grown farther and farther away from each other.

Wow. There is a lot going on there in that story! I hope you get it sorted out. Based on what you said, I think that what you are going through is very natural and normal, but you have to handle it appropriately in order to maintain your relationship with your friend, and your husband. It is understandable that he would be annoyed when you come home three hours late, but if it is always like that with this particular friend, maybe you could tell him beforehand, "hey, I'm going out with Suzi (or whatever) tonight. I'm going to try to make it an early night , but you know how she I'll call if I'll be later than 10". That way, you are accepting the fact that she doesn't have her **** together, while respecting your husband and his rights. As for feeling like she's a parent that you are rebelling against, it seems from your story, that it is mostly in your head. It doesn't seem like she feels like that. Rather than thinking about her as a parent to rebel against, maybe you should think of your relationship with her as a favorite shirt that you have had for years. It doesn't quite fit the way it used to, but it still fits and still makes you feel good when you wear it. Perhaps you just have to tailor your relationship slightly to make it more flattering for your current psychodevelopmental mode, if you know what i mean.