- Feb 17, 2021
I've recently made friends with someone who reminds me of an old friend I had in school. The old friend had a lot of mental health problems and put loads of pressure on me to solve them for her, which I was too young to realise wasn't possible. She wanted to be in constant contact with me and always used to tell me I wasn't doing a good enough job of helping her and making her feel better, even though I gave up loads for her and did everything she wanted. I realise this was a terrible friendship but at the time I just wanted to do everything I could for her. She used to periodically find a new friend and out of the blue stop contact with me completely for a month or two and then come crying back to me when the new friend couldn't cope with her. Eventually, when I went to uni, she cut off contact with me completely and we haven't spoken for years. I lost a lot of trust in this friendship when she kept cutting me off and now I expect that to happen with new friends. As I said, the new friend I have made reminds me of the old one in some ways - although she isn't a bad person at all. The reminder comes because she has similar mental health issues that she's told me about. She doesn't expect my help but I have offered it and she's trusted me enough to tell me about her problems sometimes. We contact each other a lot - sometimes pretty much every day, but when she's having a bad time, she tends to go quiet. I always make sure to give her a message telling her I'm there if she needs me and she does reply but very briefly, which I understand. This usually doesn't last more than a week and then she starts messaging more again. The problem for me is that it feels like when my old friend used to get herself a new friend and forget me. I know that isn't what's happening but I can't help going back to that and getting really worked up and thinking she won't contact me ever again, which feels like the end of the world to me. I know in my head it isn't and it's just me being reminded of a bad experience, but right now it's all I can think about. I think I'm quite aware of the problem and what is causing it but I'm really having trouble dealing with it and I really don't want to lose this friendship over it because I really enjoy her company. I don't feel like I can tell her I'm feeling like this because I really want her to be able to be herself and not have to change her behaviour for me, because she isn't doing anything wrong. Does anyone have any similar experiences or advice on how to deal with feeling like this?