Hurtful Friends


#1

(DH and I are expecting our third on or about April 30th!~)

A “friend” of mine allowed her daughter, my daughter’s playmate to come over the other day for a visit. The child comes here quite often and usually spends at least one night a weekend! What my “friend” FAILED to tell me is that there is Chickenpox in the home! I could not believe it when the child told me. I just happened to ask how my friend’s grandchild, who lives in the home, was doing! It was casual conversation! Luckily this was early on in the visit!

I am trying to accept that a “friend” would allow her child to come into my home (maybe on more than one occasion!) without informing me of the exposure. Heck, I reconsider letting my child visit other’s homes if she has the SNIFFLES! Fortunately, my children ARE vaccinated, DH and I had it as children, (she had no idea) but even that is not 100%! Her child is vaccinated too as I have learned but that does not mean 100% protection. How could she take a chance with MY family?

Did I mention that my visitor was pale, had dark circles under her eyes, was coughing, and complained of a RASH? I called my insurance 24-hour hotline while the child was here and at one point the nurse asked me to describe her condition. When I did, I was told it was NOT a good idea for my family to be exposed to this child. (Chickenpox or NOT!)

When I called my “friend” to gently explain (I was somewhat shocked at this point but not really angry. I thought she was uninformed!) why I had to bring the child to her daddy’s home early, the friend became belligerent and hung up on me! Then she called me AGAIN, told me her child was NOT a carrier as she was vaccinated, didn’t appreciate what I was ACCUSING her of, said I was a liar in that I did **not **call a health care professional, told me not to call her again then hung up on me AGAIN!

I have not responded in any way, nor do I intend to. I am cutting and running from this person. I have been praying for her and her family however, and will continue to do so. For the record, I asked the child’s father if HE was aware that there was chickenpox in the mother’s home and how exposure could affect others. He said he was aware. At first he laughed and brushed it off. (?) He truly seemed unaware of the ramifications. He even said at one point that he hopes HE does not become infected.

I have observed that my “friend” has exhibited jealousy of my family and me. I won’t get into details. I only mention the jealousy because I believe she deliberately exposed my family to something that was potentially harmful. I am not kidding. I think she WANTED to hurt us. I didn’t think it at first, but after her reaction, I can’t help but think anything else! Am I off the mark here?

My “friend’s” little girl has been like a part of our family. We will all miss this child dearly. I don’t see any way that relationship can continue, unfortunately.

Am I being hormonal? Paranoid? I really don’t think so but I ask your opinions. I am so hurt. I have been praying on this and have been having a hard time letting it go, as I know I should. Maybe by venting here, I will be able to finally get over this. It was a recent event. It’s a raw wound.

Thanks

Anon


#2

Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to be a lifetime friend. Some people are in our lives for a short time, and then they move on. That appears to be the case in this situation. You have no way of knowing how you may have positively influenced this person or her child, but now it’s time to wish them all well and move on. Your baby will be fine. You have undoubtedly been exposed to similar or worse without even knowing it. You are strong and you have God’s protection. Believe it. :slight_smile:


#3

I think things were a teeny bit mutual.

Chicken pox is not a life-threatening situation 99% of the time, so I wouldn’t have gone and called a nurse line about someone else’s kid. If you thought she was too sick to stay over, you should have just said so and left it at that. Doesn’t really matter what she may or may not have. It’s not your job to give a medical evaluation of someone else’s kid. (That would have really annoyed me.)


**Also, just because you keep your dc home for every sniffle and cough, does not mean others should have to do so. Sniffles and coughs don’t even mean a kid is sick or even contagious. Many have “perpetual colds” - a.k.a allergies. Usually by the time the kid is showing symptoms of a cold, they’ve already spread it anywhere from 3 - 14 BEFORE the sniffles/coughs/fevers even start. I would be more concerned with bad hygene than the actual symptoms. (coughing/sneezing into the shoulder & hand washing does more for prevention than seclusion, imho.) **


Your “friend” is a bit uninformed and inconsiderate. Being vaccinated with that particuliar vaccine does NOT mean her dd is not a carrier or even that her dd won’t get pox. Either way, (again it doesn’t really matter why she was sick or how sick she is) I can’t imagine being ticked off because someone said they didn’t want to watch my sick kid?! If you’d called me and said my dc was showing signs of being sick - I would’ve just said fine bring them home or we’ll come get them and that would have been the end of it.


Also, when it comes to chicken pox - many people just assume it’s no big deal. Most adults have had it and will be fine. Most children either won’t get it or will be fine if they do get it. Heck, many parents WANT their kids to catch it, me included! However of life endangering cases, it is almost always someone past puberty who has not had it before or infants under 6 months of age. For THAT reason, I would have called and just asked if you were okay with it. At the least, I would have asked if all the adults in your house had already had it. Keep in mind pox is viral. If you’ve been around her the week before this started in her home - chances are you were already exposed anyhow.

Just my perspective.


#4

Ahhh… the great mystery of my fellow human beings. People who act like that totally puzzle me, because my personality and approach to life is very different.

Even if this had never happened, I have learned to allow jealousy to send up a huge bright red flag, when it comes to new friendships. True, to be a friend to someone requires that we accept their quirks and flaws, as they travel the path of life, but not every friendship is meant to last, and not every friend is capable of change or able to overcome vices such as being hurtful because they have a problem with jealousy. If this person were a family member you would have a reason to continue to work on a rocky relationship, with established boundaries for your protection…However there is no obligation to try to mend this “friendship.”

Pray about this for your own peace, and try to understand that this woman has problems that only God can repair. Ask God to help you see her through His eyes and this will lead to forgiveness in your heart. Also pray for your own patience and understanding. That way if the woman ever tries to talk to you again, you can approach her with a kind but firm heart. You can forgive someone that doesn’t mean you have to allow them to hurt you again.
If she talks with you try to be calm and honest. Let her know that her behavior is unacceptable, and exactly what the problem is, Aim to stay calm and collected even if she becomes angry. Explain to her that the next time she should warn parents if there is a virus, or other contageous health problem in with her family, to give other parents a choice in the matter. It is common courtesy.

If she admitted her mistake / intent and asked for forgiveness from you, with a willingness to change, then you could have a reason to reconsider continuing the “friendship” but even then you should feel no obligation.

If you start to have feelings of guilt or regret, listen to your heart and pray for an answer of how you could have approached the situation differently, etc. You can ask yourself if you over reacted. Perhaps she felt insulted and honestly didn’t think Chicken pox was that big of a deal, especially since her daugher and yours are vaccinated. In most cases, chicken pox is not overly serious. Maybe there are parts of your personality that she has trouble understanding. People are unique and we can’t know what another person is thinking. There may be things that are a big deal to her that you would be relaxed about.

Sometimes the people in our lives who do something hurtful are there as a catylist to mature us spiritually if we are open to it, and we are in turn a catylist to them when they realize that they have lost a friendship because of their actions. Ignoring and accepting hurtful behavior is bad for all involved because it leads to stunted spiritual growth, especially for the person doing the hurting. Pray that this will help you grow spiritually, and that it will be a catylist to help her realize that she needs to change her behavior and overcome jealousy or whatever else she struggles with.

In my early 20’s I had a friend who continually very hurtful to me for nearly 5 years, so I understand the frustration, soul searching and feeling of obligation to perpetuate a “toxic” friendship. Sadly for me I put up with hurtful behavior for far too long. Live and learn, I guess! At least you already realize that it is acceptable to allow a toxic friendship to drift away.


#5

Sounds like my mother-in-law :mad: If I had a penny for every time they came over sick or wanted/tried to come over sick… :twocents::twocents::twocents::twocents::twocents:

Just a few days ago she sent us an e-mail saying something to the effect of “There was some flu bug going around, and we all got it–I mean all 8 of us got it. I would like to see all of you again real soon.” Really, it was one sentence after another. And elsewhere in the e-mail she mentioned that she was still feeling sick, and my sister-in-law (who still lives at home) is still really under the weather. I don’t know if these people are being selfish and not caring if they make anyone else sick, or if their brains just don’t make the connection. Since my mother-in-law has a PhD and really should know better, I’m thinking it’s that she just doesn’t give a hoot if she gives her germs to us (and our 13-month-old), as long as *she * gets to do what *she * wants to.

I would have to disagree with Rob’s Wife on this one. You know your children, and you would most likely know if they just have chronic allergies or if they do have a little virus or bug, even if it’s minor. I believe it is common courtesy to keep your kids away from others, espeically very little ones, if you know they’re not well. In the very least, I warn the parents of the children we’re going to be around and let them make the decision of whether or not they want to take the risk. Even though one person may thing a little cold here (or the chicken pox there) is no big deal and boost the immune system, they are not the ones who will have to deal with sick children if they do catch it. I also believe this is good for friendships, because if someone is sick and comes up and carries my baby around or brings sniffly kids to hug my baby, and he gets sick… guess who I’m blaming it on? I’ll probably feel some degree of resentment. Sorry for writing so much (I could go on and on!), but this is one of those things that really gets me fired up, if you couldn’t tell already!


#6

If your daughters friend came to play and she did not have poxs and was vaccinated, I’d be OK with that. If she was as sick looking as you say, she should have been home in bed for her own sake. Calling the nurse was a bit over the top IMHO. Sounds like there are some issues between you and the other mother–kids aside. I hope it can be worked out for the girls sake as they sound like good little friends. Good Luck.


#7

Just to clarify here…


I didn’t say I’d purposely leave a known sick child with someone else without saying something. (And certainly not chicken pox.) I guess what I’m trying to say is many people don’t consider the stray caugh and sniffle or being tired as “sick”. (How many people miss work based on THAT??) The kid may have those and feel perfectly fine and want to be about playing. However, I would think you would be aware if she was of that attitude way before this particuliar incident. That mother was a little loony to get so angry if all you did was say you thought her dd might be too sick to continue the visit. I agree it sounds like something else is going on here in the friendship??


As for geting resentfull and blaming people if your kid gets sick, no offense, but that’s foolish. Kids get sick and I don’t care who you “think” they caught it from - the reality is they could have gotten it anywhere. Colds are viral. Viruses happen. Kids get sick. Yeah, it’s a less than thrilling parental duty to deal with it, but such is life. Keeping them cooped up, just makes it MORE likely that they will get sick. Fresh air does more to keep and get a kid healthy than all the colds meds sold.


#8

[quote=pammie]If your daughters friend came to play and she did not have poxs and was vaccinated, I’d be OK with that. If she was as sick looking as you say, she should have been home in bed for her own sake. Calling the nurse was a bit over the top IMHO. Sounds like there are some issues between you and the other mother–kids aside. I hope it can be worked out for the girls sake as they sound like good little friends. Good Luck.
[/quote]

I have to agree with Pammie. When I first started reading your post, I thought you were upset because of the fear that chicken pox had been brought into your come and could endanger your pregnancy. I don’t believe I’ve heard of chicken pox being dangerous, but measles is.

I’m not familiar with chicken pox vaccine since they didn’t have it when I was a kid and I don’t have any children. Does this vaccine protect for life?

In my own experience, I purposefully exposed myself to chicken pox when I was 9 so I could stay out of school. It turned out to be a good move. If I had gotten chicken pox in my teens or later in life, I would have been much sicker, very sick. I’m 50 years old now, and caring for my elderly mother. She developed shingles a couple months ago and neither of us knew what it was. If I had not had chicken pox as a child or since then, I would have been exposed to it now and could be much sicker than when I had it at 9. Although there is a vaccine and chicken pox is not as common as in the past, it’s still a relatively harmless childhood disease. Better now than later.

INMO, you’re over-reacting, but you know your children best.


#9

I am so sorry that you had to have this encounter with a “friend”. Regardless of the issue I find it difficult to lose a friendship or have someone do something to you that ends up feeling like a hit and run.

If I were you I too would be concerned, as you are pregant, and quite frankly it sounds like this woman just has bad manners.

It sounds like you are a good mommy watching out for your family and unfortunately this woman will not have the benefit of learning from you.

God bless you,
LynnieLew


#10

For the record – if the OP has not had chicken pox and is pregnant, this could be horrible for her to contract – I know this b/c I have never had chicken pox…once this baby is born I will most definitely look into my options, but for now I just pray we stay away from pox-kids, and yes, I’d be pissed if someone sent a sick kid to play at my house – if I’m sending a kid with sniffles or a snot-nose I will say “he’s been sniffling and snotty, but nothing more and I just wanted you to know that up front – I’ll keep him home if it makes you feel better, but I’m not concerned with him spreading anything nasty” =-- and then I accept her decision as final, and harbor no ill-will as I’d appreciate the same courtesy…

I’m supposed to watch a friend’s kids tomorrow while she has a cap put on her tooth – my 5yo is now puking (this bug has now hit us all this week) and so I called her to say “I’m so sorry, but even tho he’ll probably be over it by tomorrow, it seems to be just a 24hr thing, I wanted to make sure you knew” – and she said “yeah, we’ll be keeping our distance!” – and we both laughed, and then said “seeya when we seeya!” and it was over…simple and done…if she has to reschedule, she knows it’s b/c she chose her kids health, and I don’t have to worry about sending the flu to an immuno-suppressed household (her oldest is downs)


#11

[quote=Rob’s Wife]I think things were a teeny bit mutual.

Just my perspective.
[/quote]

A friend of mine was **hospitalized **during pregnancy with SERIOUS complications from contracting chickenpox while pregnant. I think you may be slightly misinformed. It can be VERY dangerous, especially adult onset during pregnancy.

And the reason I called the nurse was to see if **my **family was in any danger due to the child’s exposure, period. I wanted to be sure I had my facts straight.

And that’s my perspective.


#12

[quote=wacky&wonderful]Not everyone who comes into your life is meant to be a lifetime friend. …:slight_smile:
[/quote]

Beautiful words, all. Thanks. That was a very kind way of putting things into perspective.


#13

[quote=Peace-bwu]Ahhh… the great mystery of my fellow human beings. People who act like that totally puzzle me, because my personality and approach to life is very different.
[/quote]

Thank you for that thoughtful reply. You make a lot of sense and I am going to seriously consider your advice.

I have forgiven this “friend” in the past for what I consider “toxic” behavior. We had a Halloween party at our church this year. (Let’s please not debate that here though. I was a wonderful child centered party. Father attended. Parents attended. It was GREAT!) We invited “Jane’s” daughter to accompany us. We were told the child had another party to attend.

Coincidentally we discovered that the daughter did not attend any Halloween party. In fact, the child volunteered at a later date that she could not go to our church party because her mother said there were “mean people” there. (Jane does not attend church.)I did not even consider confronting the parent about this behavior, which I saw as very hurtful. I simply forgave her (for something she never asked forgiveness for) and moved on. Oh, and I told the child that her mother was right. There are mean people EVERYWHERE! I went on to tell her that it is our call to seek the good in the people we meet. I left it at that.

Thanks again for the very wise advice and the time it took to reply.


#14

I could NOT agree more! And I am glad you wrote “so much”. I certainly felt better after venting and hope that you do too!


#15

[quote=pammie] Calling the nurse was a bit over the top IMHO. Good Luck.
[/quote]

Why can you not understand me calling the nurse? I am 25 weeks pregnant! When I was exposed to fifth’s I called a health care professional as well. That is what they are THERE for! To help answer our health related questions!

I called to explain the situation so I could determine if my family and I were safe being near this child. I wanted her to stay! I was calling to be sure I was NOT over reacting. What is so hard to understand about that?

What am I missing here?


#16

[quote=Rob’s Wife]I agree it sounds like something else is going on here in the friendship??
[/quote]

I agree. But note that our “friendship” was really based on our children and the time they spent together. That’s really about the extent of it.

When I called, I really expected an “Oh, I didn’t know you were so concerned about it…yadda yadda yadda” or an “Oh I really did not know the vaccine was not 100% effective…” What I got was an overreaction and some hurtful words.

There are serious issues and problems in Jane’s home which should remain confidential. I believe “Jane” may be projecting her anger on a person, me, who is very non-confrontational. I mean, I plan to move on and let it go. She can project her anger on other more willing targets.


#17

[quote=Anonymous]I could NOT agree more! And I am glad you wrote “so much”. I certainly felt better after venting and hope that you do too!
[/quote]

Yep, sure do :smiley:

And to be honest, I was very surprised by the number of people who thought you were overreacting. Maybe they didn’t understand the full degree of your concern :confused:


#18

Are you overreacting? Heck no! I am shocked by the lack of understanding so far in many posts.

Chicken pox can be extremely hazardous to a pregnant woman. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve already had it; my sister had it twice and has had shingles since then as well. Granted, this is unlikely to happen but my sister is proof that it DOES happen. The second time it was internal and you could see pox from the inside sticking out of her externally. She was hospitalized for it.

I would constantly run into this when I was doing home programs as a behavioral consultant. People were so anxious to keep their appointment (yes it was hard to get in, but if someone called me and said they were sick and could we reschedule, I was more than happy to come in on a weekend or work late during another evening, rather then deal with a snot-nosed child or something worse) that they would pretend to be oblivious to the fact the child was obviously feverish or very sick. I tend to get a significant amount of the colds, cough or flu that I come in contact with. Every winter I was constantly sick, until I wised up and started canceling appts if I noticed a child to be ill upon arriving. I would leave and ask them to call me or the office and reschedule as I wasn’t going to work with a sick child. I really resented parents who were unwilling to simply inform me of the situation and pretend well “he’s just been coughing but his mucuous isn’t too green so I don’t think he’s REALLy sick…” ummmmmmmmm okay then, at least inform me and give me my option to refrain and reschedule!

But the audacity of someone doing that when you are pregnant…that is just unmatched. I am so sorry. You have every right to be highly concerned.


#19

My friend was hospitalized when she caught chicken pox during pregnancy. She thought she’d had chicken pox as a child and was immune. She had serious complications and delivered early. Her baby was only 600g when born but Thank God, is a lovely normal 5 year-old-girl now.

Gearoidin


#20

[quote=Anonymous]A friend of mine was **hospitalized **during pregnancy with SERIOUS complications from contracting chickenpox while pregnant. I think you may be slightly misinformed. It can be VERY dangerous, especially adult onset during pregnancy.

And the reason I called the nurse was to see if **my **family was in any danger due to the child’s exposure, period. I wanted to be sure I had my facts straight.

And that’s my perspective.
[/quote]

Did you read all my post? I’m not misinformed on this. I even mentioned in my previous posts that it is dangerous to adults. Pox is rarely dangerous during pregnancy unless the adult mother has never had it before.

My impression from your post was that you called the nurse line to get information about this girl’s condition and then confronted the mother with your medical “findings”. My opinion is if the girl appeared sickly, you didn’t appreciate having a sick child brought over, then it doesn’t matter what she was sick with - you should have just said she was seemed sick and taken her home. I also said I would not have acted the way that woman did about you doing so either.

I understand you’re pregnant and want to be sure you stay healthy and that might be making you a bit more over worried than usual. Fine. No reason to get touchy just because someone didn’t agree with you 100% though. You asked for opinions and you got some.


ETA: For those interested, the first round of pregnancy bloodwork includes a rubella immunity check. You can request one for chicken pox as well, which may be especially good if you are uncertain of having recieved childhood immunity. You can’t get the vaccine while pregnant, but you will know to avoid the situation, if possible, should it arise.


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