Your ‘friend’ doesn’t understand friendship

Dear Annie: My friend “Lucy” was like a sister to me.

Dear Annie: My friend “Lucy” was like a sister to me. She doesn’t drive, so I took her to all her hair appointments, doctor’s visits, shopping, etc. She hated bad weather, so when it rained, I would sit with her. After her surgeries, I was the one who stayed overnight, helped her bathe and did her housework.

I let it pass when she complained about the way I hung the toilet paper and said I didn’t know how to properly fold a blanket.

I have a chronic pain illness, which Lucy has never acknowledged. Recently, she was angry when I went out with friends from my support group and accused me of not caring about her.

She yelled that I never took her anyplace. Later that day, my husband was admitted to the hospital, and Lucy never once called to see how he was. My grandson moved in last week, and when Lucy didn’t recognize his car, she started rumours that we must be taking in boarders.

She did e-mail to say her door is always open, but there was no apology. I no longer feel welcome around her. Still, I miss the friendship I thought we had, even though it was apparently one-sided. How do I get over this? — Hurt and in Pain

Dear Hurt: Lucy is one of those people who thinks the world revolves around her. This makes her a selfish friend, but it doesn’t mean you can’t periodically enjoy her company. If you want the friendship, you have to understand its limitations. Don’t put yourself out so much, and don’t expect anything in return. We think, however, that you ought to make an effort to find new friends who know how to reciprocate.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.

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