Okay, here is my problem:

I am beginning to think I am either the most expendable person in the universe or just a doormat and I do not know how to fix the problem, but I am getting tired of it.

First, there is my Eagle and his new twit. Last weekend was all a flurry, he was in the hospital and I was needed. I put everything on hold (not that I had any major plans) and went to his side. I spent the better part of 4 days in the ICU with him and then ran all of the needed errands when he was released. We made plans that I would go over there today and spend some time. I called last evening to confirm those plans and was told perhaps next weekend would be more convenient for them. They had decided that Sunday would be "chore day". So, I was put off because it was a higher priority that they weed and feed the lawn.

Then, there is my friend Cat. There have been any number of times I could name where I have dropped everything to be there for her. She is going through some difficult times with her daughter and she and her partner of five years have split. I have even assisted her financially because of the mess her partner left her with. Well, I just tried to call her to see what she was up to. She was very cold on the phone and I was simply told "I'm busy". (She was fishing, btw)

Shall we go on... basically I am the friend that is there whenever my friends need me: they can call on me anytime of the day or night (and they have)and I am there, I am counselor, emotional support, physical support, whatever they need I provide. Yet, I am not a priority to any of my friends. This is not the first time I have experienced these brush offs and I am getting just a little sick and tired of it. I value my friends and want to be able to spend time with them, but I am tired of being put off or rescheduled. Yet, time and time again I find myself willing to change my plans and schedules for them because this is the only way I can see them or spend time with them.

Is it wrong of me to feel insulted because weed and feed is more important? Is it wrong that I feel slighted because I friend I have been there for through thick and thin cannot spend 5 minutes talking to me because she would rather be baiting a hook?

How do I make the people in my life realize that they are making me feel used and useless at the same time? Or am I wrong?
ext_76688: (Default)

From: [identity profile] septentrion1970.livejournal.com

This isn't wrong of you. You're worth the time of others. If they don't understand, it'd be good for them and you to make them understand. *hugs*

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I agree they need to understand, but how do I make them see what they are doing?

I went as far as flatly telling Eagle, "I know you have your priorities."

I do not want to hurt the people I care about, but I am coming to the conclusion that it make take me saying some very hurtful things to make them understand. It is not in my nature to be deliberately unkind and this bothers me.

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I would hope the answer to that question would be yes, but I honestly do not know. Not knowing the answer is my own fault as I have, in the past, always swallowed the hurt and disappointment.

Eagle has admitted to me that he knows he has treated me poorly when he was married to PB and promised never to do so again. Obviously a pie crust promise (easily made easily broken)

Cat too has said she knows she has been a poor friend.

If they know this why do they continue?
ext_76688: (Default)

From: [identity profile] septentrion1970.livejournal.com

Because you let them? Experience has--sadly--taught me than being too nice often ends biting you in the arse, but being slightly harder with people lead them to respect you more. Doesn't mean I don't get bitten in the arse anymore.
ext_225530: (free hugs)

From: [identity profile] savine-snape.livejournal.com


It isn't wrong to hope that thoses you are there for will be there for you when you need them.

*passes drink of choice*

*more hugs*

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Thank you for the hugs.

The funny thing is I do know were it life and death they would be there for me. Why should it have to come to that? What ever happened to spending time with people for the sake of sharing in their company? I think many people have forgotten the greatest gift we can give to one and other is the gift of our time.

I used to tell people that I was a bitch and I used to think I was a cold person. Over the years, at the risk of sounding immodest, I have come to discover I am probably one of the warmest people I know and I am far from a bitch.

Do I expect too much from the world and the people in my life that I wish to be treated as I treat them?

ext_225530: (free hugs)

From: [identity profile] savine-snape.livejournal.com

No, you don't expect too much.

I try to be there for my friends, I'm not perfect by a long stretch, but I do try to be there for them, like they are there for me when I need them.

*more hugs*


From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I think I really need to steal that icon from Lariope that says, "I love my computer because that is where my friends live." I am discovering more and more this to be the case.

Want to move to Wisconsin so we can do coffee?
ext_225530: (Default)

From: [identity profile] savine-snape.livejournal.com

That sounds like a lovely idea at this particular moment in time...alas running is not an option.

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Yeah? You have me concerned I saw a post from you went to comment and then it had disappeared. What is going on? Sounds like man problems. Dr Irish prescribes a bubble bath, chocolate and a chick flick.

ext_225530: (Default)

From: [identity profile] savine-snape.livejournal.com

Sorry, I'm in two minds at the moment. Snarky and I have had a full blown fall out and i'm hurting at the minute.

Hey ho, such is life sometimes.

I'm about to slope off to bed, with a mug of hot chocolate and some chick lit.


From: [identity profile] miamadwyn.livejournal.com

I know it's not this simple. I know this. But honestly, this is what I would want to do.

Next time somebody needs you, I'd be ready to respond with, "I'm sorry, but I have to weed-and-feed today," or with, "I'm busy."

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I know that is probably one of the better things I could do, but the problem is I have a habit of putting people first.

If you need a helping handing I am there, If you need 20 bucks to fill your gas tank I will give it to you, if you need a shoulder to cry on I have two and they are reusable.

I have never been able to turn from a person in need.

I guess that makes me the perfect doormat.


From: [identity profile] lulabelle72.livejournal.com

Habits can be broken, Irish. If you wish things to be different, make them so.

You said above that you "flatly told Eagle, 'I know you have your priorities,'" but honestly, you told him nothing. Flatly telling him something would be along the lines of, "I realize that yardwork/errands/etc is important to you, but after what happened last weekend, I thought we were closer than that, and I wanted to spend some personal time with you."

Say what you want, and say it clearly. If they refuse, then you need to move on.

But most importantly: You're being treated as a doormat because you allow yourself to be treated so. Eleanor Roosevelt said this, and I live by it. You teach others how to treat you. You have taught him that you will come at the drop of a hat, do whatever he asks, etc.

Perhaps it is time to walk away from him, take time out, so to speak. No phone calls, nothing. And give yourself time to find out who you are, not who you are in relation to him.

One last thing: You perceive that you are "needed." You are not -- his life will continue on, the hamster wheel will continue to spin, as the saying goes. You are wanted, and you go. This makes you feel good -- temporarily. But he is an adult; his life will go wherever he directs it. If you are not there, what happens is not your responsibility, just as what happens in your life when he is not around is not his responsibility.

You need to take time for yourself, and put yourself first. You can make excuses, or you can do this. It's neither cold-hearted nor extreme. It's simply loving and respecting yourself. If you don't love and respect yourself, how do you expect others to?

Stern Lula, who's Been There, Done That, and Ain't Goin' Back Again

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I can definitely see you speak from experience.

I appreciate the fact you called yourself "stern" rather than mean, hard or cold.

You are right. I did not say to him what I was feeling which was more along the lines of "nice to know putting weed and feed on your lawn is more important to you than our friendship." Rather blunt and to the point. The really funny thing in all of this is, this is the man who 18 years ago described me as "abrasive" because he felt I was too in your face honest. Apparently, being subversive is not going to get my point across so perhaps I need to dust off the "old Irish".


From: [identity profile] elise-wanderer.livejournal.com

You are not a doormat or even remotely expendable. It's just a really hard balance to maintain. I've been thinking about situations recently where I've been on one side or the other of these tricky human equations.

I have one friend who sometimes feels really needy--calling every day (hey, I don't talk to ANYBODY every day), but then goes for very long stretches where she's out of touch, and I am still having a bit of difficulty figuring out how much contact *I* want with her. Usually, I don't want/need to see her as often as she seems to need me, and that sometimes makes me feel guilty.

Yet there was a long stretch when we had only sporadic contact, and it turned out that she was staying away because a casual thing had made her mad at me--and I hadn't really minded that she was being distant! This minor thing bothered her for so long (I had promised to lend her a book but forgot, and she took that as my not wanting her to have it, which she then inflated into my being generally insincere--I think that was her beef, I'm still not quite sure!), and the whole thing now has made me wary of her.

For the most part, however, I've gotten better at balancing how much to give and how much to expect in return from most of my friends. I'm just this side of cynical about it, though I prefer to think of it as being realistic: for the most part, people are self-centered but not necessarily because they're evil or even because they don't love you. They just see the need to weed a garden or bait a hook as the thing they want to do right now and fail to see how that makes them look in your eyes.

I've got a couple of friends who really would give me a kidney if it came to that, but even they aren't always as available to my need for them every time I'd like them to be.

I'm not advocating doing the same thing back to them. Because you're more sensitive and open-eyed, that would just make YOU feel lousy. They wouldn't necessarily make the connection on their own. Subtle doesn't work most of the time.

But you could either have an honest talk with them (do it soon, though, don't let things fester like my friend did) and tell them how it made you feel, or you can refocus on your own life and try to see the things you choose to do to be a decent human being and a good friend as just the things you choose to do, expecting that they might get recognized but won't always.

And I would suggest that you find a few more times when *you've* planned to weed and go fishing (and hang out with your online friends, cuz we love ya, and we've never even met ya!) for yourself. Yes, drop everything when there's a true emergency (bless you for all that ICU time, you wonderful woman!), but it isn't always necessary to be endlessly available for the rest of the world. You'll be a better friend if you're living your own life while you're doing it.

*squishes you*

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

You speak with much wisdom.

I have thought about just not being available when they want to spend time, but at the same time this would make me feel bad if I am lying to them just out spite. I am not a spiteful or vindictive person. Nor do I honestly feel either of the people I refer to are either.

I think you hit is square on the head when you said "self-centered". They both are very ego-centric people and I, unfortunately, have helped to foster this characteristic in them by always being available to them. I know I carry part of the blame in what has transpired because of the type of person I am. I am a natural caregiver and nurturer. Thus, I am the opposite of a "needy" person. I am the one that is always giving. It has just been in the last few months I have noticed this trend. Plans will be made and then they will be canceled because "something else has come up". In fact, I had not seen Eagle since the end of February when I helped him move the twit from Iowa to Minnesota. Plans had been made on numerous occasions (5 successive weekends to be precise) only to be canceled when I CALLED the night before to confirm. Then, I basically said screw it. I had not even heard from them until I got the call that he was in ICU. Do you see the pattern here.

So yeah right now I am feeling rather used and put upon. I want to be appreciated for who I am and not what I can do for others and I am a little ticked off.

I think one reason why I love my LJ friends so much is you do care about ME FOR ME not what I can do for you.


From: [identity profile] elise-wanderer.livejournal.com

I prescribe chocolate (or the indulgence of your choice) and a nice big dose of fanfiction.

(Hell, I'll even write you something, as long as you'd be happy with SSHG and no more than a PG-13 rating.) But if your OTP is other and/or your inclination is racier, there's a lot of wonderful stuff out there to take your mind elsewhere and reward your wonderfulness appropriately and appreciate you for the incredible person that just shines through everything you write on LJ.


From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Is their another OTP other than SSHG?

I would be delighted to have a fic written for just little ole me! I have never had that experience, except for exchange, and I love your writing!


From: [identity profile] elise-wanderer.livejournal.com

For Irishredlass


“Oh,” Ron was saying, “there’s this pick-up game....”

He looked positively pitiful, and Hermione’s heart sank. She put on a brave face, however. “No problem, Ron,” she replied with a cheerfulness that he only chose to hear. “We’ll do it another time.”

“Next weekend,” he answered eagerly. “I promise!”

She pulled back from the Floo and sank into her chair with a pitiable sigh.

She looked across at the shaft of mid-morning sunlight twirling dust motes into the stuffy, silent staff room and resisted the impulse to cry. It wasn’t that he didn’t care. It couldn’t be that. But he always seemed to put her second (or even third–there was that time with Seamus and Declan that still rankled whenever she thought about it).

Hermione swallowed hard and chewed her lip. If she was being honest–and she did try–her pride was the biggest victim here. Ron could be fun, but he could also be very high maintenance, and she could still salvage the day. It just hurt that she didn’t seem to come first anymore. Hadn’t for a long time. It would be nice to come first with someone.

“Fuck him,” she muttered aloud and stood up to leave the room.

And froze in place.

Because the empty room was not quite empty.

Glittering black eyes met hers in cool appraisal. He had risen from his own seat, apparently about to make a silent exit, but now he stood in the opposite corner of the room watching her. His eyes were unreadable.

Hermione blushed, embarrassed, and started to turn away.

“Fuck him indeed,” came the voice from the corner, a soft challenge spoken with the raspy aftermath of Nagini’s attack.

Her head flew up. “I beg your pardon?” she asked sharply.

“He’s making quite a habit of this,” Severus replied, his words still quiet but containing an unmistakable sharpness.

“I have no idea what you mean,” she retorted, just as sharply, though of course she was lying.

“He’s an ass, you know,” Severus continued as though she had not spoken.

Hermione slumped against the armchair trying to control her emotions. “He’s just–“ she began, but Severus had taken three rapid steps toward her, grasped her by the arm, and effectively silenced her.

“Don’t apologize for him,” he spat. “He’s a selfish ass who doesn’t even remotely deserve–“ All at once, he stopped himself and blinked down at her. He seemed surprised to find her suddenly so close. He drew a ragged breath.

Startled, Hermione simply looked at him, feeling as though she might really be seeing him for the first time. Three years as colleagues had given her little opportunity to know him any better, though he had treated her with distant respect all this time. Recently, though, he had taken to ducking out of her way and had seemed to put as much distance as possible between them at obligatory weekly staff meetings.

This was the closest she could ever remember being to those piercing eyes, and she took advantage of the suspended moment to study his face, all sharp angles and unknowable mysteries. All at once she wanted to touch his cheek. Where had this impulse come from? Almost of its own accord, her hand raised, and the tips of her fingers brushed his flesh, and he shivered at the contact.

“Habit?” she managed to ask in a very tiny voice.

He flinched back but did not break her touch completely.

“Severus,” she breathed, and there was wonder and question and possibility in that breath. His eyes flickered, and his lips parted just barely.

But it was enough.

For a heartbeat, his eyes closed, then flew open, his suspicion clear and sudden, but the hand at his cheek gentled to a caress.

“How...” she began, and her voice faltered before she mastered it once more, “how long?” she finally managed to ask.

His midnight eyes shimmered. “Forever,” he replied at last. “Forever.”


From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Hugs back.

I hope you will post this elsewhere as well so others can enjoy the gift of your writing.

From: [identity profile] elise-wanderer.livejournal.com

If anyone stumbling onto this would care to beta-read it and point out any typos, I'll post it somewhere. I sucketh on linkages, but can do the posting thingee. But it will read "For Irishredlass69," because it's just a small token of affection for a lovely lady!

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I'm posting it to the front of my journal. I am sure someone will do the honors.

Hugs again!

From: [identity profile] averygoodun.livejournal.com

Honestly, if I were you, the Eagle and his Twit's change of plans would hurt me beyond belief. You had plans, but they changed them for reasons that really aren't that important. That's a capital offense in my books, especially if it happens on a regular basis. If their reasons weren't actually that, but more important (like he's feeling like crap again), they owe you the respect of an honest answer.

Be angry with him. He's treating you like shit and deserves your anger.

But that's me. I value honesty and loyalty so incredibly highly.

Did you make plans with Cat while you were on the phone? Or make plans to make plans? Because casual visits are a tricky thing nowadays. I understand that you might be willing to drop everything for a casual visit, but not everyone is. That's a difference in priorities. Your friends are your priorities because they give you pleasure, that is your form of relaxation or recreation. For some people, it's not. Friends are still important, but their special "me" time isn't necessarily reserved for friends.

However, she has hurt you, even if it wasn't intended. As long as she can take it, tell her that her response was hurtful and why. It's possible that she'll be mortified that that's how she came off. Probable, even. Then you can work out a way to communicate each of your needs more openly.

Just my opinion and advice. *hugs*

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Since I spoke to Eagle on the phone and HE is the one to have put me off I know that their change of plans was for "chore day," as he put it. And, you are right, I am pissed. This is a regular occurrence. It happened 5 consecutive weekends after I helped them move her stuff from Iowa. I had not seen them since late February when I got the call that he was in ICU. After the fifth weekend cancellation I basically said screw it. I would love to be able to confront him on the issue, but am afraid to all the same because he is very fragile health-wise and I do not want to cause him any added distress.

Cat, on the other hand, will be directly confronted on her actions. She has actually stated she is pissed at Eagle for his treatment of me and then she does this... Errr.

Thanks for your input. It is good to know my feelings are not unjustified.

From: [identity profile] m-mcgonagall-65.livejournal.com

I agree with a lot of what [profile] elise_wanderer said. You are a nurturer, and so it makes you happy to do things for your friends. Not everyone is so nurturing, so you can't always expect them to be.

On the other hand, it seems to me that there treatment of you has been insensitive at best. Telling them that their actions hurt you will at least help to bring things out into the open so that you can discuss them.

You know, I wonder if the twit feels threatened by you. Eagle wouldn't want to say that perhaps and so keeps putting you off with lame excuses.

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I know I need to bring it out in the open. I just hesitate to do so because I am worried about his health.

As for the twit feeling threatened... two things then why did she call me? and I seriously doubt it as we had many a problem because of the psycho b**** he was married to was threatened by me and he was not afraid to discuss it.

From: [identity profile] beffeysue.livejournal.com

Oh, honey! I'm sorry this has happened again. You deserve so much better treatment than that! Everyonehas had had good advice, so I don't know what else I could add except to say I love you, dear friend.


From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Love you too!

You know me for the most part it is my own fault. I really need to give him a piece of my mind like Lulu suggested, but I hold back because I am afraid of hurting him emotionally and physically.


From: [identity profile] ihkelele.livejournal.com

I'm sorry I'm late, and nearly anything I could think has already been said. I agree in particular with Elise_Wanderer (and what a gorgeous cheering-up gift BTW!) and Lula, in the sense that you probably should firstly try to sort things out with yourself. Why do you do what you do for these people, what are you expecting from them, how are your expectations likely to be met.
THEN you should confront them, keeping in mind that you are a wonderful person and don't deserve to be dismissed or treated poorly. I wouldn't tell them how "they make you feel" (it would only add to their feeling indebted and could even result in more hurt - I experience this with my son: when he feels guilty he becomes aggressive and says things he doesn't really think, just for defence) but rather, and very sternly, how "you expect to be treated" - speaking of the hurt might come later, once things have been settled somehow and you are safely into a rational exchange.

Besides the differences in character, nurturing aspects vs. need for "me-time," etc. there's another point I've learned with time, i.e. that any tangible 'give' (like favours done, time spent helping, and, worst of all, money lent) often generates the opposite effect in the receiver. They feel grateful, but they also feel indebted, and have no idea how to reciprocate, nor, which is worse, how the giver is expecting them to reciprocate.
It's like they are afraid the giver has a right to ask more than they are prepared to allow in return - and they usually take the coward way out. I'm not saying that people do that consciously, but at times it's easier to deal with fish and hook or with gardening than with people, in particular when there are layers of unspoken feelings involved.

*squishes you*

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

I understand what you are saying and believe they could be having the thoughts and feelings that you mention. The things is though for me until recently I have not "expected" anything in return. The only thing I ask is to be treated with kindness and respect. To be treated as if I am a person of value rather than a convenience. I do not want to be their foul weather friend I just want to be their friend.

From: [identity profile] dickgloucester.livejournal.com

Hmph. Does this sound familiar... I had a friend for whom I was there lots and lots. I listened to her whines and gripes and misinterpretations of the world, gave her a shoulder to cry on, and encouragement to move on. When I needed her, when I was going through post-natal depression, I was apparently "using" her by telephoning every week and wanting to talk about things other than how awful was feeling. I tried to fix the friendship a couple of years later, and I came away from that weekend wondering if there had ever been a friendship at all.

I can only pass on the wisest of wise words froma very wise man who was my supervisor at university:

If people take you for granted and use you and disregard your feelings and assume you won't mind, whatever they do, there is no point geetting all loud and aggressive about it - but what you MUST do is tell them, clearly and calmly that what they are doing is unacceptable, and why it is unacceptable.

So - Eagle, having received years of your care and support, and having been helped through a terrible crisis by you, turnns round and tells you he'd rather mow the lawn than spend some time with you. So tell him, with no sarcasm or anger - that's unkind and hurtful; I am unhappy that you rate me lower than a tidy garden; there's nothing I can do about your attitude, but you should know that I am deeply unhappy about this. Period. Same approach with the friend.

People find it hard to take this kind of calm assertiveness - and believe me it is hard to do. It also risks, for you, leaving behind some things that have been a part of your life (people, behaviours) for a long time - and that hurts. But it hurts more to let yourself be used and thrown away. You're worth more than that.

I know it's easy to say this sort of thing, especially at such distance, and when you and I don't even know what kind of friends we would be to each other if we had a closer relationship, but I don't like to see anyone with your kind of strength being so taken for granted.

From: [identity profile] irishredlass69.livejournal.com

Dear Dicky,

I believe should you and I ever have the pleasure of meeting in RL we would become fast friends.

You have so eloquently put into words what I need to be able to do if for no one else, but myself.

I do need to be able to tell Eagle without malice that his actions have hurt me and are unacceptable if he chooses to maintain a friendship with me. The problem is I do not know if I can do so without emotion. It is very difficult for me to stand up for myself.

I am the champion of the downtrodden and lost causes. I seek to right injustice in the world, but I have a very hard time setting the record straight for myself.

Thank you for your care and support.

From: [identity profile] dickgloucester.livejournal.com

*hugs back*

Doing it without emotion is the ost difficult thing - I sstill haven't got the hang of it very well, after 20 years, but it's coming... Doing it when the event confronts you isn't something that can easily be mastered. However, you can steel yourself - even if it takes days - and make that call or have that brief face to face conversation (and keep it brief, say what you have to say, then leave), and then deal with your personal emotional fallout when you're alone again.

People who give as much as you do allow other people to have a great deal of power over their own happiness - and it takes a certainamount of ruthlessness with yourself and bluntness with them to take it back into your own hands.

It would be good to meet sometime - one day, one day...