Friendship is a 2 way street. In my opinion, if one party does most of the "work", it becomes very much a 1 way street. It appears to me that as long as I am AVAILABLE to help others, I am VERY POPULAR and a GREAT FRIEND. When I am not available, I have been the recipient of the attitude that I have somehow let them down. I grew tired of always being the "go to person" with what feels like very little to show for my efforts. I've never asked for payment or reimbursement or much of anything for that matter. The very few times I needed something I felt as though I was imposing on them and that they were unhappy with me asking. When I called in a marker for some BIG help, and you know I REALLY needed it because I nearly NEVER ask for help, I was told: NO PROBLEM, whatever we can do, we owe you... What I got? An afternoon interrupted by many things and subdivided by their other commitments. Long story short? It was more trouble and less got done than if they had come when they could actually help and be truly there. Immediately following that one day, there were any number of reasons why they were unable to help and they always said they felt bad. That is all well and good, but I never really got the help I needed and subsequently things were VERY tough for me, but my family and I prevailed in the long run. (I am by no means saying that I do not appreciate what help I got, just that the help made more work not less, which defeated the purpose.)
I am a very understanding person and I put up with a lot. I am also very short on patience once I reach my limit for being used/taken advantage of/taken for granted. So, when I start to be unavailable or say no... there is a damned good reason for it.
I am also not prone to tell someone else how to deal with their kids, unless asked OR I see a true danger that should be addressed. Some family members once did that to me and I had a very strong reaction to it, because it was 100% unfounded, the approach was sideways via another relative and that relative was EXTREMELY hostile to boot. So, because I got pissed off about being verbally assaulted/wrongly attacked and got my hackles up during which I pointed out that these same people were not without their own flaws and furthermore had no kids of their own to base their judgments upon, these family members now choose not to have me, my husband and my children in their life. No apology for a false accusation or how it was made for that matter and I am to blame -- at least that is how I understand things. BECAUSE OF THIS VERY THING, I do not take lightly the act of making a true concern known and my "friends" know it. So, when I did such a thing in a non-confrontational manner and, in fact tried to use some humor to lighten it up, I was first told they knew it was wrong but easier than arguing with the kid and that they thought I was just kidding, later I was told they thought it was just one of those thing you hear about but don't have to bother heeding the warning about it and still later that I did not know what I was talking about. So I took the unusual approach of sending visible proof that my concerns were valid, and while they claim that those things made them see what I really meant and how they were never going to do that particular thing again, by this point they had called my integrity into question. That does not sit well with me.
I am not the smartest person in the world. There is much I do not know and much I should know more about. I try not to misrepresent myself to people as anything more than someone who does their level best to get through every day -- easy or tough -- and hopefully learn something new along the way. When someone tells me they value my input or opinion on something, I take that as a complement. When that same statement is made with a qualifier, it loses its appeal. When that qualifier is made several times in the same circumstances, it becomes suspect. One wonders if there really is any value placed on the input/opinions requested. Not to mention the feeling that you are being toyed with, which is altogether annoying.
If anyone thinks for one minute that these feeling came out of the blue, I am surprised. I attempted several times/ways to address these and some other things too, but I always felt I was getting the blow-off, not being heard -- quite likely intentionally -- or felt like I was somehow out of line. That just stopped being something that I could ignore as the instances grew in number over the course of friendship.
Being supportive and available because of friendship is a good thing. Being used for and abusing ones generosity is wrong and it really sucks to be the recipient of it. It calls into question the very basis of a friendship and really makes the balance totally out of whack. This behavior? phenomenon? whatever you want to call it has happened to me a multitude of times by people here in this new place we call home. I did not really have any issues with this stuff in my old home and life.
A mention was made about attempts to contact me -- which were in spring. In all honesty, I was already disgruntled then, but had not the time nor the energy to give to the situation and when I finally did, there had been such a long lapse in communication that I gathered that my point was made and that I had my answer to the question of friendship and its value, hence my decision to cleanse FB.