Moodscope's blog

15

June


Foul Weather Friends. Wednesday June 15, 2016

We've all heard of fair weather friends: those friends who prove, in bad times, that they are no true friends at all. They are the ones with all the sticking power of a wet Post It note, the ones who disappear so fast you don't even see their dust.

But there are other friends who appear sometimes out of the blue, just when those blue skies turn inky black. They appear clad in oilskins, prepared to weather through the storm with you. Occasionally they might carry umbrellas and blankets, but more often than not, they provide only a comforting arm to lean on, an absorbent shoulder to cry on and the steady reassurance that you are not alone.

Dave was one such friend. Thirty years ago when I was going through my (very painful) divorce, he was there for me. Oh, I knew him casually as he'd been a member of the larger Dungeons and Dragons gaming group to which we belonged. He always played a cleric as it was against his principles to use an edged blade; although the damage he could wield with that staff was considerable; never underestimate a cleric, folks!

But the moment my ex and I parted, the moment I moved out on my own, there he was, at the end of the phone, night after night, deep into those nights, listening to me as I wept.

Just listening mostly, and not saying much. These foul weather friends are really good at listening.

And then disappearing when you don't need them anymore. The moment I was ready to stand on my own two feet, to set out to explore the next chapter of my life, Dave, with gentleness and delicate tact, just disappeared.

I have not seen him since, but have heard from mutual friends that he made a habit of supporting people in distress, people who needed him and then leaving when they didn't need him further. Something like Nanny McPhee, do you remember?

"When you need me but do not want me I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me then I have to go."

I'm thinking of Dave just at the moment as it is my turn to provide the shoulder for a friend, to listen deep into the night, to metaphorically hold their hand and to assure them they are not alone. It is an honour and a privilege and I appreciate deeply the trust shown to me.

Every blog we post here on Moodscope is designed to perform that same function. Moodscope, by its nature, is a foul weather friend.

No – we can't do much listening here, on the front of the page; but if you go to the comments then you will find a space there. Feel free to pour your heart out. You can do it anonymously and be assured of a safe space with no judgement and plenty of support.

We have hankies and hugs. You are not alone.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

LillyPet Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 6:42am

Hi Mary,
Thank you for this much needed blog!
Well my foul weather friends, pour my heart out I will! Well perhaps not all of it, just the bits that are hurting right now. The current situations that affect me, not past or future, although I recognise that past events have contributed to my anxt and I am aware of the future situations that bring the issues to the fore.
Although the sun is shining, the weather indeed is foul. For some reason I seem to be very territorial about certain things.
Situation 1 Having come from a job where I could make my own decisions, although my current job on the surface carries more responsibility, I am now part of a "team" which basically means I not only have a line manager who has proven doesnt have my back, but a group of people ready to stick their oars into what I do and how I do it at the drop of a hat. I can't stand being told what to do!
Situation 2 Having qualified in 1988 And had continuous training and experience I was horrified to disover that an inexperienced unqualified annoying relative is working as a "specialist" in a closely liked team and I have to remain professional in my dealings with an inlaw who I now despise.
I know it's all about how I view it and it's me that needs to change. I'm choosing to stay in the job and cant change the situations that feel so intrusive. I dont feel I have the right to feel how I feel. It's my feelings that are foul. Those individuals seem to have every right to intrude despite knowing how I feel and I just have to put up with it.
Most of the time I get on with my life and dont dwell on these negative situations. Today I am struggling because there is a team planning meeting where the "Team" all get a chance to get creative about how we do things aka stick their oars in! They're not all awful, but those that are are given free reign by the so called leader to tell me what to do aka get more for less out of me!
I've come a long way. I have been knocked down and depressed. I'm in a better place now determined to remain well. I'm still anxious about today.
I also have a meeting with the relative on Friday.
The so called "Team leader" knowing about the relative situation, has also planned a meeting of the teams in the next couple of weeks. How very thoughtful!
Well I've spilled the foul contents of my mind out and I'm sorry to you lovely people who dont deserve it!
Thank you Mary also Caroline and the team for opening a safe space not only for fair weather friends to listen and be there for each other.
I have to go to work now and would rather stay here with you all instead! I can feel your warmth!
Love
LPxx

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 8:40am

LP I definitely feel for you on this one. Our health records can be a bit of a trap when it comes to trying to move on anyway I also tend to shy away from the risk and uncertainty involved in getting a new job , not to mention the difficulty in going into a convincing upbeat mode for an interview! I have had a couple of bad bosses in my time ( one of whom just jumps up and down and piles the pressure on you when you go to him to try and get help on something, and the other of whom liked to micro manage everything ignoring my general level of qualifications, experience and professionalism). There's some restructuring going on at work again now and a slight risk that I could end up with the jumping up and down guy again (and to be frank the few weeks I did for him on small projects were quite enough). Anyway I am hoping I have already said enough to the right people to avoid being put to work for him and am busy working out my best strategy to get out by a level move if necessary. Are there other teams you could ask to move into LilyPet where things might be better? Nothing to suggest on your 'expert' relative I am afraid but I can see that must be at the very least deeply frustrating for you and you may well have valid wider concerns. Also in my life at the moment I am a bit worried about my Mum who has been ill and is awaiting some test results and is now in her 70s. We have a bit of an unpleasant situation with our neighbours at the after a tree from our garden fell and damaged their garden in a storm earlier in the year. There was a misunderstanding about what we would be paying for when they redid their garden. We only paid to replace what was damaged by the tree whereas they thought we should pay the full cost of redoing their garden from scratch. They are no longer talking to us which I find a bit sad and stressy since fundamentally I like them. Sorry Mary but you did invite the opening of the floodgates. Love TF

Anonymous Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 8:51am

Oh dear poor you Lillypet. What you describe, the circumstances at your work place would sound unbearable for even the hardened of employees. It sounds a very unhealthy environment to work in. From what you say, you are in an intolerable situation and I feel sad you are having to gather all your inner strength today to deal with these mostly dreadful people. All I can advise having been in your position at work before, is perhaps, go with the flow today and try not to assume you know what will happen. That way you may feel more relaxed at the meeting and therefore more able to deal with whatever is thrown your way. You should not have to experience this level of stress before you are even at your work place. You are obviously from what you have written before, good at what you do. Is it possible to carry on doing your job well and putting up a mental barrier between (like a white mist) yourself and those like the relative and your team leader? Sadly with me when I worked, it wasn't possible to form friendships with those at work. I tried to get along with them but they were out to get me..sounds paranoid but in the end that's what it boiled down to. (It wasn't just me). I do know how you feel and wish you bon courage. Maybe, hopefully today will not be quite as awful as you are anticipating and the meeting your team leader has set up to review the relative situation may turn out better than you think. Just detach yourself from it all a bit and look at them all from a distance. Jul xx

the room above the garage Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 12:23pm

Oh LP, it must be very frustrating having to work alongside a relative you don't see eye to eye with! Unhealthy situation. Yuck. I so wish it was different for you...sending my love, love ratg x.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 1:34pm

Just an update my Mums medical results didn't show anything to worrying. V relieved. TF x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 6:46pm

So relieved TF. Thank you for letting us know.

LillyPet Thu, Jun 16th 2016 @ 12:03am

Thank you TF Anonymous and ratg. The day, as you said Anonymous wasnt as awful as I thougt it might be. I someimes doubt myself too Anonymous and think that maybe I'm paranoid. Perhaps people can pick up on my vulnerability and honesty and think that I'm an " easy target" making them feel powerful. Yes aside from the team politics I love the work that I do and have decided not to give that up. Sharing my foul weatherness with you made me feel lighter in itself. So I decided to make the bavk of my nite book a metaphorical bun in which to throw any uneanted stuuf that caimes my way. Both calmed me enormously and if anything I was probably overly cheery! But I got through it thanks guys. TF my line manager sounds like a combo of your teo. Hope that you end up with the micro one!. Shame about the neighbours and if you like them deep down they possibly could come to a reasonsble compromise perhaps. So glad your mum is ok. Will similarly prepare for the two meetings where the relative will be. Have a place to bin my anger maybe. I also have been reminding myself that to feel angry towards her and the line manager is to engage with them. To have a relationship, albeit very unhealthy ones with them. If I dont want them to intrude and if I dont want them in my life the best I csn do is not engage with them emotionally. Thank you for your support today my fair( as in beautiful) friends LP xxxo

LillyPet Thu, Jun 16th 2016 @ 12:08am

Lol! Typos " back of my notebook a metaphorical bin" :)

Lou Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 7:36am

"We have hankies and hugs. You are not alone."
What a lovely thought and a great blog.
Thanks Mary.
Lou

Eva Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 7:39am

Hi Mary a great blog, makes me think of my foul weather friends who for the most part are also my fair weather ones, again I feel privileged to have them.

LP I am guessing that you love /need the job too much to move on? If so have you considered counselling to try and gain acceptance of this? I speak of someone with a 'massive' amount of experience 7 weeks and counting ;) But it is helping me to come to terms with some aspects of my dad's death and our life going forward particularly dealing with my mum with whom things had become very strained due to our different ways of coping with bereavement and shock.

I love all of my friends cyber and otherwise thanks for being there for me.

Hopeful One Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 8:31am

Hi Mary- thanks for that timely reminder that one sometimes does need someone who is just willing to listen in a non judgemental non directive way and who doesn't say to someone who is depressed'pull up your socks' or'snap out of it'

Thank you RATG, and Tuttifrutti for the well wishes and TF for stepping in to keep the humour department ticking. V funny.

The exam went well yesterday. The Squadron had done a few mock runs with past papers and tightened up areas of weakness. It had planned its strategy and tactics. The flight was ready,the kit tested the planes fuelled up.( One likes to sound like the Dam busters- bring in the music)) It dropped its cargo and saw it bouncing towards the target. The Squadron banked right got its bearings and headed home satisfied with its effort. Results on August 17th.

To continue with the Stella Awards.

6th Place: 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbour ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice the neighbour was at the wheel of the car as he was trying to steal the hubcaps.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 8:44am

This one also takes the biscuit.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 8:45am

PS glad to hear you seem relatively happy about the exam.

the room above the garage Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 12:24pm

Time to pack your bikini HO!

Hopeful One Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 5:37pm

Hi RATG and TF- thank you for your kind sentiments . Yes the Squadron is going to chill out.....here we come Skopelos.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 10:57am

It's rarely the work itself that is the problem, only the interpersonal relationships at work.... Thinking comforting and strong thoughts for you LP. HO: so pleased the Dambusters mission went well (one of my favourite tunes - dah dah di dah di-di dah dah - yup, that's my ear worm for today and very nice too - thank you!). And sorry about the neighbours, TF....

Hopeful One Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 5:38pm

Hi Mary - Yes that tune is one of my favourites too.

Alice Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 11:01am

Dear Mary, your words resonate with me!

I have a bunch of fair weather friends who repeatedly prove themselves just that! However I think I am now ready to recognise that they are really only acquaintances! And - I want to tell them that, but I won't! Those foul weather friends in contrast come, as you say - from nowhere, and will never be forgotten, even though they may not be as close to me as those acquaintances now or in the future.

I too have been a foul weather friend and can only say that it is indeed a far better thing to be and that my fair weather friends are actually the losers, in that they have missed the opportunity to feel the unexpected side benefit of helping someone that this gives! I'm not suggesting that you give to get, but nothing ever sits in total isolation! The friend I helped is now helping me and the pleasure I get from knowing her has increased tenfold.

Thank you for your blog today,

Alice xx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 6:49pm

Indeed. My darling friend cannot understand how I can frequently tell them how privileged I feel to be there for them. They are not selfish when they lean on me - they are hurting. I leant on people in the past (and no doubt will do in the future), I am so pleased to be able to repay some of that debt.

g Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 11:26am

Hi all you lovely people. Thank you for comments to my post about lost post yesterday. Much appreciated. I was in such a hurry that I had no time to burst out crying. Actually I got more replies to my no post than to any previous ones. And this one that disappeared was very very long dealing with lots of subjects . My thoughts on coming out etc. as the blog opened up floodgates for my feelings about it all . Some personal history and experiences . Lots about members here and my fear of asking re. HO and thanks to a person who mentioned HO's reason for absence . Why did I assume it was an operation of some sort mind boggles .
I love your today's description of the exam and it is better than many many jokes around - all your's stand high above HO.
I have just sussed out the reason for my loss ( still not saving what I am writing now lol ) .
I did put it all in a reply to some comment but then pressed "add comment" button as if I was writing a new one . Anyway , I think that there are some lessons here for me but for the technical team at headquarters too ( do you hear me Caroline ? )
Busy day ahead.
Thanks to all of you for combined efford ( please correct this mistake as I am not arsed at the moment which is such a great feeling for a fussy , pernickety perfectionist ) in lowering my stress levels ( blood pressure ) and raising my mojo.
To a person agonizing about today even though it is too late now but may help for the future a reminder of one of the thoughts for the day from moodscope emails : ( goes approximately like this - It is not what happens to us but how we react to it that determines who we are same as the captain of your boat and so on and on and on ... keep on keeping on .....g.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 1:32pm

G Thanks for letting me know why you think your comment got lost because I hadn't sussed it at all but almost certainly did the same as you. I also agree that it would be great if moodscope could sort this technological glitch out for us as I am sure there will be days when we are trying to post when we are not at are sharpest about which button is which and also days when we wouldn't cope too well with a set back like a post disappearing. Sounds like you have thought through a lot of difficult stuff. Suspect you may therefore be feeling a bit fragile so try and be gentle with yourself. Take care. Love TF x

Hopeful One Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 5:40pm

Hi g- thank you for your kind thoughts.

g Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 11:29am

and probably it was better for me that my stream of consciousness ramble got lost. It may come back one day better formed ( something good from something bad ? )

g Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 11:29am

and probably it was better for me that my stream of consciousness ramble got lost. It may come back one day better formed ( something good from something bad ? )

the room above the garage Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 12:25pm

Thank you Mary, hugs and hankies are the answer to almost everything! Love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 6:49pm

Indeed.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 6:50pm

And a nice cup of tea!

The Gardener Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 2:54pm

Need a foul weather friend - and hugs and hankies. At a desperately low ebb. Second son for four days - did everything he possibly could for me and with me - spent hours sitting with his dad - coping with the everlasting grumbles. He's in a pretty important position where the people he deals with need handling with kid gloves. He's always been against confrontation - but non with his Dad. At last, like the psychiatric nurse, he confronted Mr G on his refusal to do anything for himself, particularly not take any exercise at all. Mr G says had enough exercise and fresh air in his life - got perfectly good wife to attend to his every need - even allowing for the awful illness there is some responsible, whenever someone suggest he does anything for himself, like find his jacket or stick, he goes boot-faced and brings out this repertoire of excuses. Son and nurse told him that if he continues in this manner he will be in a home, and I will probably be in hospital, a different one. He now thinks a home is like a hotel with no nagging wife attached. A nurse who made him walk downstairs yesterday was referred to loudly as 'the gestapo'. Again, even making allowances, it's an awful thing to say - she's Breton, and they some of the worst sufferers at the hands of the Gestapo. It is, of course, all round the hospital. I feel particularly bad because we're English - had a fantastic welcome from our chosen town, and marvellous treatment in illness - This morning's nurse said they have to put up with all sorts of rudenesses - but it's still tough all round. I am so sad, the difference between a great visit and the particular awfulness of Mr G is a gap I'm finding it hard to cope with. Weather stopping me beating up the garden - I'm trying to think of all the things I can do which are positive and pleasing. Not even going to phone or e-mail any of my 'regulars', know I will launch into a miserable diatribe (like here). What really needs doing is filing, having eventually got the office moved - much admired - but I can't 'attack' filing physically - drawer will fall out, papers in wrong place, get caught up with paper clips - pierced with staples - get tempted to chuck a load out ('yellow' bag day tomorrow, for paper and plastic) but I've got to look up the government notice on how long papers need keeping. I've got white bryony and convulvulus making record growth - and 'cleavers' (goose grass) with those tiny seeds like pepper seeds which cling to all your clothes. And it's raining again. Looked at news on line, even more of a decline - France in grip of ruinous strikes, Britain in grip of crazy pre-referendum, and another bad shooting in the US - there must be a ray of sunshine somewhere.

Leah Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 10:23pm

Gardner, thinking of you sending hugs and hankies take care Leahx

Anonymous Wed, Jun 15th 2016 @ 3:05pm

Hi Mary. How are you? You have asked us to outpour and I have been doing this all day, on my bike, walking, driving the car. I wouldn't know where to begin if I wrote it all down here but I have been able to think about life etc during the day thanks to you. I have outpoured about things I thought I had put behind me but they have appeared randomly in my thoughts, some triggered by words here on this page, some obviously still needing to be remembered. I have outpoured about stuff happening in my life today and all in all, it's been an interesting and happy day. Jul xxx

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