Need to vent about my psychotic friend experience... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 01-23-2010, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I had lunch with a friend yesterday and it was really psychotic. She not only decided I shouldn’t look at my son, but I shouldn’t be around when they are together either.

I posted something about this friend when I was pregnant and felt she was becoming possessive. I had been staying away from her since the day she came to see DS after he was born. She held him for nearly an hour at the hospital while continuing to unswaddle him to check his fingers and toes. And when she saw me looking at him she put her hand up so I couldn’t see. DH remarked that it was strange how she was acting. Now, 6 ½ months later, I decided to go to lunch with her after she sent an e-mail saying she missed me, had been feeling depressed, and didn’t want to loose my friendship because I was her best friend.

Here's what happened: I picked her up from work and never mind the “hellos’” she wanted to sit in back with DS. She played with him as we drove and I stole glances in the rear view mirror enjoying his expressions, and seeing him smile and laugh: we have a mirror system so we can see him. My friend noticed this, stopped what she was doing and looked annoyed, “Oh. I see what’s going on, Mommies looking at you. She’s not supposed to be looking at you.” And she put her hand up in front of the mirror so I couldn’t see him. I laughed it off, but the next time I glanced up she had moved the hanging elephant toy on DS’s car seat to the center of the handle blocking my view! (She also did it on the way back from the restaurant). When DS was laughing and smiling at her, I heard her remark, “I’m so glad you like me, I thought for sure you were going to hate me.” I have to go back… when I was pregnant I wouldn’t let her touch my belly because she would reach out and rub my tummy all over and keep her hand there while talking. I felt violated! So when I told her not to she got upset and said, “He’s going to hate me when he’s born.”

While at the restaurant we barely had a conversation. I tried talking to her and asking about her kids (6 & 14), but it was apparent all she wanted was my son. So I let her hold him and sit in her lap. She wanted to give him a French fry. I assume most people would ask if it’s okay to give a baby a French fry, but she just told me, “I’ll give him a French fry to hold.” I told her no. I didn’t bring his pacifier so he would put it in his mouth. She scoffed at me, “Fine, Mommy doesn’t want me to give you a French fry. He’s not going to eat it.” How the heck would she know? Yes, he would eat it, or else put it in his mouth, he just started solids and a greasy French fry is not something I want to give him.

DS started to get a bit fussy in her lap and I said I’d take him back. She told me, “I can calm him.” She tried but lately DS has been a bit clingy. Finally I got her to pass him back. He hugged me tightly, and I tickled and kissed him until he was smiling again. I looked over at my friend and she looked dejected and remarked, “I don’t know why you need Mommy, I can do that.” So we ate a little, and I tried again to talk to her but the conversation was dead in the water; I felt like all she wanted was my son back! So I passed him back and she cheered up and started playing with him again, a little too much in his face I thought, because he started to get more fussy. So she said, “Let’s go see the kids,” (it’s a Chic-fil-a, so they have a playzone). I took in a breath feeling uncomfortable, and tried to stay calm thinking that she wouldn't do anything to him, just get through the lunch, and she hasn't seen him... you know, trying to rationalize her bizarre behavior. I could see she walked over to the window of the playzone and stood there looking in.

She returned after a minute or two and DS seemed calm, so she sat back down and immediately DS was fussy again. I really wanted him back but she wasn't giving him up. I told her DS loves movement and that she could walk around with him. I kicked myself right after I said that. It's something I would say to anyone of my friends. I also thought she’d just pace with him right there and return as quickly as the first time. But no, suddenly he’s gone and I sit there feeling really uncomfortable. It takes a moment before I find her inside the playzone with him, but from where I'm sitting I can’t watch them. I continue to eat thinking she’ll be right back but she doesn’t return. Suddenly I realize I’m stuck; she hasn’t finished her food, she’s left her purse, and I can’t just get up and walk away. If I take her purse and leave the food the workers might clear her lunch. There are no other seats available in the restaurant. So I decide to get a to-go-bag and pack up her meal, which is mostly done anyway, and head over to the playzone because I don't have a good feeling with her and my son.

I go inside the playzone and find her crouched down way in the corner with my son on her knee showing him some talking toy, which is fine, but then she turns and sees me standing there and I get the LOOK… the pissed-off-what-are-you-doing-here-I-can’t-believe-you’re-standing-there-leave-us-the-hell-alone look.

Oh. My. Goodness. Suddenly I felt like this was her custody visit and I was intruding on her time with my son.

She proceeded to show my son more things by saying, “Look, look at the mirror” and slamming her hand into it to try and get his attention. But I sensed she felt uncomfortable with me “hovering,” and I was glad. She said, “I think he really likes all the colors.” I said, “He doesn’t seem that interested,” in a very direct way that I think sent the message that I wasn’t happy.

The whole experience lasted 40 minutes, but it was the most uncomfortable psychotic 40 minutes of my life!

I have decided to end my friendship with her, after twelve years, I know people told me to do that before, but I really had hoped things had changed. I seriously do not know this person anymore! And now that it involves my son there's no way I can put up with this behavior.

The previous Friday I had lunch with another friend who held my son in her lap the entire time. The difference is my other friend respects me as a parent and would never dream of taking my son from me and walking away out of sight, at least not with asking, and certainly wouldn’t care if I was looking at him or "hovering."

I’m so angry and hurt, too, I want to write a letter or call and say WTH! But I really feel like I’m dealing with someone whose gone over the deep end and might kidnap my son.

Like I said, I just needed to vent. I am still shaken about this. I don't understand how someone can act like this and not see that it's inappropriate.
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#2 of 44 Old 01-23-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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wow. I totally agree with cutting off contact.
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#3 of 44 Old 01-23-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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wow. definitely psychotic.

i got similar red flags about a friend of mine who i had met right when i found out i was pregnant. she was married and reeeeeaaaaallllly wanted to have children but her husband adamantly did not want any and they ended up getting a divorce over it shortly thereafter. she really didn't have a very good sense of social boundaries. for example, when i met her and her dh, they didn't have access to a washer/dryer at their apartment so i offered that they could bring their laundry the next time we hung out. well she proceeded to come over twice a week for the next two weeks to do laundry until i told her to back off a little.

i guess i just figured normal people would know when enough was enough, but she really didn't seem to intuit where those lines were. she would say really inappropriate things about her ex around people she had just met and she did the same kind of weird prolonged belly-rubbing and just seemed to live a little too vicariously through my pregnancy. she showed up at the hospital the morning after i had given birth after dh had sent out a group text to all our friends explicity asking for no visitors. then she showed up at our house when we got home and while she was holding tiny tiny newborn dd, the babe started to get fussy. a normal person would say "oh time to go back to mama" or something like that, but no, this person stuck her finger in dd's mouth to suck on. !!!!! you just don't do that!!!!!

i got dd back as soon as i could and mumbled something about fragile immune systems and then never received or returned her calls again. but that didn't stop her from calling. she called and called and called and called for like 3 months until finally i answered the phone and was like "please stop calling me, i don't want to hang out with you anymore because i think you are kind of crazy and please give us our key back because we don't trust you to have access to our home/child"

i think sometimes that maybe i was just reacting from pg/pp hormones or something, but other friends of mine who know her totally got that "off" vibe from her and confirmed that they thought her behavior wasn't normal, either.

but what your "friend" did was even weirder/more psychotic. totally inappropriate and i wouldn't want to be around her ever again.

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#4 of 44 Old 01-23-2010, 11:38 PM
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So inappropriate, I'm so glad you are going to cut off contact.
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#5 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Trust your gut. Really. It sounds like strange behavior over an internet post. It must have felt TOTALLY bizzare and terrible in the moment.
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#6 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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ummm yeah your post was making me uncomfortable I couldnt imagine what you felt like in real life. I think you made a good decision cutting off contact. It seems like there are "issues" with her and really her behavior seems strange and bizarre.
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#7 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Wow that is very creepy and bizarre. You are def. doing the right thing in ending your friendship with her. I can't imagine acting like that with someone elses child.

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#8 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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Wow. Can I just tell you... I had tremendous anxiety just reading that post. Like my shoulders still ache from the tension. I can only imagine how horrible and stressful that encounter must have been for you.

I'm so sorry you've had to say goodbye to this friendship. Even with all the right reasons, it's still hard to end a long-term relationships. But I think you absolutely made the right choice. Please do everything in your power to keep her away from your son.

Be prepared for her to contact you. That's my only advice. If she does contact you and misses you (and maybe you miss her), come back here and re-read the post and remember all the reasons why she cannot be in your life. She shouldn't be around your son, and you know that in your gut.

I'm sorry you've had to deal with this. What a bizarre and scary situation.

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#9 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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How strange! What is the background on this? Why does she want your child?

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#10 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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that was disturbing to read, I can't imagine living it in real life
I would cut off contact too.

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#11 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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That's just weird. I think distance is a good thing.
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#12 of 44 Old 01-24-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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DUDE.

Just wanted to add my vote to the "that's creepy and disturbing, cut off all contact immediately" column.

Sorry this happened. It's hard when friends change and the friendship can't continue. Good luck, I hope the break-up goes smoothly.

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#13 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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I think the "say nothing" route is best... wouldn't want to get shot, as you say.

Her behavior is particularly odd given that she has her own children. I could kinda understand it more if she were infertile and desperately wanted a baby, but... she's had two! Why is yours so important to her? Very odd...

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#14 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 02:38 AM
 
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set a filter on your email from her email address so any mail from her is immediately deleted. Then you won't be tempted or bothered by her.

She sounds dangerous. Very dangerous. Keep far far away.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#15 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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Oh WOW.

That is creepy. Really really creepy. Yeah I'd keep my distance for sure, don't say anything, screen your calls, filter your email account. She does not sound like someone I'd want my kid around.
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#16 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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RED FLAGS! RED FLAGS! RED FLAGS!

I'm not one to start trouble, and I'm not trying to scare you, but SHE WANTS YOUR BABY! Maybe she's just a lonely woman who sees her own kids growing up and misses having a baby of her own, but still, this it YOUR baby. I would be scared as Hell that she might disappear with your baby. I'm not one to go to the cops over anything, and maybe I'd be overreacting, but if it were me, I'd consider a restraining order. That is YOUR baby and she obviously is missing something, not completely rational, not completely there, mentally, acting the way she did, being so possesive of YOUR baby. Please keep him safe from her. Don't worry about stepping on her toes, just keep him away from her.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#17 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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set a filter on your email from her email address so any mail from her is immediately deleted. Then you won't be tempted or bothered by her.

She sounds dangerous. Very dangerous. Keep far far away.
Not deleted, moved. She may need them in future.
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#18 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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Not deleted, moved. She may need them in future.
Strongly second this. Save every email, document every contact.

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#19 of 44 Old 01-25-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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Totally agree with cutting off contact, sorry a friendship is over because of it but your friend sounds sincerely crazy.

Also want to say this though: I know you didn't want to believe your friend was really that nuts, and in some ways while all this was going on (the longest 40 minutes of your life!) you were somewhat in shock that she was acting that way.

But there were MANY points in your story when you would have been MORE than justified in just saying "Friend, I need you to hand me the baby. Now." and not listened or said anything else, just got up and taken the baby from her. It is REALLY important with potentially psycho people (or confirmed psycho people) to establish boundaries AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so they understand (as best they can) that you are not the one they should mess with about something important.

The reason I got so tense reading what you wrote is I kept thinking "Oh no, her friend is thinking she's winning this situation!" because you kept trying to find ways of gently, diplomatically re-directing her. It is absolutely ok to just say "You know, I need you to give me the baby back and I just remembered I need to be somewhere in 20 minutes, so we need to go. And you're sitting in the front seat with me on the way back, thanks."

An example of what I mean is, whenever I'm walking late at night alone, I used to feel bad if I turned around, saw a man behind me, and either walked faster or crossed the street. I felt bad cuz what if he's just a nice guy, minding his own business, and I just made him feel like a criminal? But you know what? If I'm truly alone on the street, or it's that creepy guy that gets in the elevator with you at your building and makes you want to jump right out to the lobby and wait for the next one - DO IT! It's much much better to risk offending a stranger and keep yourself and loved ones safe, than it is to try to avoid making a friend/family member/stranger feel bad by following your gut instincts and just saying "Ok, done with this, give me my son back. Now." I've read several rape cases where that was exactly what the victim thought - instinct said "Er, I should get out of the elevator" but they didn'tw ant to offend the guy or make him feel bad and thought "Oh, I'm overreacting". I say "Risk overreacting/offending if it cuts out the chance someone will hurt you/someone you love".

You are so right to cut off contact - seriously, this sounds like someone who really is dilusional and really would try to kidnap your son. Please be very careful - even though you've cut off contact, don't let her do ANYTHING to guilt you into one more mtg or any info that might help her locate your son.
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#20 of 44 Old 01-26-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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LROM you are right, there were a lot of moments when I was justified to take my son back. When I wrote my post I could see it, and I felt like I hadn’t stepped up enough to protect him from what might have happened; but that’s why it’s different now, and I have no reservations about “cutting her off.” Thanks for your honesty.

I’m glad she gave me that look because it told me everything without question. I know she felt I was upset because she seemed to back off after that, not nearly as much as I expected a normal person to, but when she saw that I had brought her things into the playzone she seemed surprised / (insulted?). She picked up the to-go-bag next to her purse and asked with astonishment, “What is this, my lunch?”

I didn’t realize, until you guys started saying it, but she does seem to only want MY son. She has so many friends who have been pregnant, have children, nieces and nephews, and I’ve never felt like she was as involved with them as she’s been with my son and me. When we spoke on the phone before this lunch she told me she just found out her sister is expecting another baby. Right away I thought, “Great, then she’ll leave me alone.” But in retrospect she wasn’t excited telling me about it, not in the way she was when she found out I was pregnant. But then again, her sisters might not let her push them around the way I did.

I think I’m not going to say nothing, but I will return here with another post if I can’t shake her. I was actually thinking I would write her a letter but not send it, just so I can get it off my chest. I’ve been trying really hard to get to where she is in her mind to at least understand, but I can’t. I imagine it’s difficult to empathize with someone whose actions don’t make sense. I have kept all of her e-mails, and I let my husband know I posted my experiences here with her, just in case
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#21 of 44 Old 01-27-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Wow - I think saying nothing - hmmm - just be careful. I think this person sounds dangerous - at least in your description. If you had enough doubts to write such an involved long post on a public forum - i'm definitely think twice before spending any time at all with this person and your child. If she was a real friend - I doubt you'd resort to such lengths.
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#22 of 44 Old 01-27-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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This is creeping me out in a Hand That Rocks the Cradle kind of way. Let us know what ends up happening, OP.
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#23 of 44 Old 01-27-2010, 02:04 AM
 
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This is creeping me out in a Hand That Rocks the Cradle kind of way. Let us know what ends up happening, OP.
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#24 of 44 Old 01-27-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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Sooo weird.

Did she maybe lose a baby recently? miscarriage or stillborn.
Regardless I'd keep my distance, just wondering...

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#25 of 44 Old 01-27-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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She sounds mentally ill, possibly suffering from internal delusions. Contrary to popular belief, people who are completely delusional and psychotic can appear totally normal until they unearth their strange beliefs or behavior. My ex was like this. He seemed normal when I first met him, albeit a very anxious and shy, but I figured it was because we didn't know each other well yet. Boy was I wrong. Turns out he was actually diagnosed as Bipolar 1 and suffered from delusional, grandiose, and unrealistic thinking as a result of it being untreated. By the time I realized this I was already pregnant. The stress of my pregnancy triggered a manic episode in which he came to believe that the government had agents that would be after him for a business idea he had, and that I had poisoned myself with drugs, Afrin nose spray, and acetone nail polish remover to abort the pregnancy. He told my neighbor that I would be lucky if he didn't kill me in my sleep and at 3am proceeded to barricade me and the kids in the house, and called the cops claiming the I had killed his baby. Of course, that ended our relationship immediately and he was arrested for false imprisonment. I am currently pursuing a restraining order against him and trying to get the court to order him into treatment.

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#26 of 44 Old 01-28-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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angelpie545 my issue seems trivial compared to yours. At least I don't have an attachment (kids) with my friend. Sorry to hear about your situation.

neveryoumindthere... I don't think she's recently lost a baby because I'm sure I would have heard about it. I think she just really wants another one.
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#27 of 44 Old 01-28-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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It's great that you're so open to feedback about it, and again I think you're totally on the mark with cutting her off.

I say go ahead and write her that letter that you don't send, just to articulate all the things you feel about this. Even if you never give her the letter, verbalizing some of it may help you if - heaven forbid - you ever have to actually deal with ehr again.

A little more advice though - if she shows up at your door, or somewhere and "just wants to say hello/see your son", you need to start with the firmness immediately. "That's nice of you to want to see him, but it's absolutely not ok for you to show up unannounced, so this is not a good time." And if she says she feels like you're avoiding her, tell her outright "I'm actually very uncomfortable with how you behaved with him last time and I think it's best that we don't hang out for awhile." That is ALL you need to say, you don't have to argue or explain or placate or anything.

Well there is one more thing you might need to say, if she really gets upset or doesn't stop hassling you "I'm sorry that your behavior has made this situation into what it is now, but I am his mother and if you can't respect a decision I've made as his parent, there's really nothing else to say. I am officially telling you that you need to not be around my son, at all, anywhere. No "accidental" run ins or anything. I will call the police if you do go near him."

That may sound super harsh, but I'm only suggesting this if you try to just cut off contact and she "doesn't accept it". Then you truly are dealing with someone who may be very close to becoming dangerous (if she isn't already) and you need to just lay down the law. And if she shows up and you're the only adult around - seriously, don't even let her into your foyer. Keep her outside. She sounds delusional and no matter how much you think she wouldn't snap you really never know and it's not worth it to give her a chance.

Good luck!
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#28 of 44 Old 01-28-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I think the "say nothing" route is best... wouldn't want to get shot, as you say.

Her behavior is particularly odd given that she has her own children. I could kinda understand it more if she were infertile and desperately wanted a baby, but... she's had two! Why is yours so important to her? Very odd...
Yes! Do not say anything--just screen your calls and don't answer the door. Eventually she'll go away.
BTW--there was a story on the news a few years back about a woman who cut a baby out of another woman--and she had her owns kids already! So, having kids means nothing.
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#29 of 44 Old 01-30-2010, 05:17 AM
 
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I have decided to end my friendship with her, after twelve years....
Good for you! That can't be easy. Be safe, mama!
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#30 of 44 Old 01-30-2010, 06:09 AM
 
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Gack! That is super creepy. Glad to hear you're going with your gut and are going to stay away from this woman. She does sound potentially dangerous.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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