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Featured Help Me! Maid of Honor for Friend on the Spectrum

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by GingerRayl, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. GingerRayl

    GingerRayl Active Member

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    Hi there,

    I would love some advice, I'm in a bit of a sticky situation with one of my friends (I'll call her BB). I'm the maid of honor for her wedding, and so (understandably!) she has been asking me to help out with quite a lot. There have been a couple issues:

    1. My mother has a terminal illness and has been in and out of the hospital for the past couple months. I'm suffering extremely with this, and BB doesn't seem to understand its impact on me. She keeps expecting me to focus on her.
    2. I am getting married myself, the timing of which has to do with my mother's illness. I want the (very small) day to be about my and my partner's immediate family, and BB doesn't seem to understand this. She cried when I didn't take her wedding dress shopping (only my mum went with me, it was an incredibly special experience for me), and she keeps inserting herself into the day. She wants to get ready with me, her hair and makeup done, etc etc.
    3. She doesn't seem to ever recognize that I'm also a bride. Everything is about her. I called one of her vendors (her father recommended them to me), and she yelled at me for contacting them and said it was embarrassing for her. I feel like if she's doing something then I can't do the same thing, but if I do something differently than her then she thinks I'm doing it wrong. For example, after showing her my ring (bought in a shop), she talked for 10 minutes about how happy she is that her ring wasn't bought in a shop but was designed, which makes it unique.

    I have a hard time talking with BB about even very small things as she tends to get irritated with me rather quickly. The rest of my support system wants me to talk with BB about my issues, but I'm having trouble seeing that go well.

    Any insight or advice?

    Thanks a bunch!!
     
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  2. MrSpock

    MrSpock fascinating

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    Seems strange that you're asking about this here. I guess you might get as helpful a response from a wedding forum. You might get a more helpful response from people she knows. I don't see that what you have described is caused by her being on the spectrum. I don't have any knowledge of this person aside from what you yourself have posted here, and that's not a lot. 'If you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person.' We're not all the same.

    Have you ever had a guy ask you about a girl, assuming you know what she must be thinking because you're a girl too? That's kinda what you're doing here. It makes sense, sort of.

    Having said that, it's nice that you're making an attempt to understand her and to get along with her better. I wish you luck in that, and with both weddings. You seem to have a lot on your plate, wish I could help you more than I can... not much I'm afraid.
     
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  3. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    Sounds more like she's a just a bit of a bridezilla if you ask me...
     
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  4. Gritches

    Gritches Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think this is more of a self-centered person issue than an Aspie issue. I'll give you every dollar stuffed into my mattress if you can honestly tell me that what you described is not in keeping with her character. There is no way this is new.
     
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  5. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would talk to her, if you can, and be quite explicit about your reasons for not being as involved as you should be.

    In fact, it may work if both of you are one another's maid's of honor.

    She helps you, you help her. Without her help and in consideration of your Mother's illness and your own wedding, you might otherwise decline to be maid of honour under these difficult conditions.
     
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  6. janie

    janie Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Way to bring it back around, Gritches.

    Our diagnoses provide medically relevant information about how our person operates in body and mind.

    Our character gives information about how our person operates in community and relationship.
     
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  7. GingerRayl

    GingerRayl Active Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply! Sorry I wasn't more descriptive with the main issue - I know most of these problems have more to do with her personality than anything, but my instinct is to communicate my problems to her and that is where I'm hitting a wall.

    I don't know how to effectively and respectfully tell her that how she is acting is negatively impacting me. Any attempts at this in the past have been met with a tantrum and (most importantly) no change whatsoever on her part. I feel as though I've been approaching it all wrong - expecting her to understand feelings like I do.

    Do you have any advice for when I talk to her about what is going on?

    Thanks again!!
     
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  8. GingerRayl

    GingerRayl Active Member

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    You're absolutely right - and again, sorry for not being more clear in my post. 3am rants are not my specialty.

    I'm more looking for advice on how to effectively communicate with her about how her actions are affecting me. Any ideas on that?

    Thanks for your reply!
     
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  9. GingerRayl

    GingerRayl Active Member

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    Thanks for this! Any ideas on how to talk to her about it? All my other attempts at this have been unsuccessful, and I feel like I'm approaching it without taking into account that she sees things differently than me.
     
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  10. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Tell her you need her help and support as a friend. Explain exactly what's involved in doing this. For example, be quite clear: I can't shop with you for your wedding dress, I need you to do this with another of the bridemaids, choose someone. For the cake, for the flowers, decorations, invitations, reception. Assign each person something to do, parents as well, and indicate to the bride who will be doing what. With this kind of organization, there should be little in the way of problems if it's well-organized it will run itself.

    Delegate responsibility for some tasks to others, and indicate who. Make a list of things that need doing. And assign who will do them. Make sure she reads the list and is clear about who does what. Ask her for help with your plans, keep it short, make it explicit. This is what I can do, this is what you do.
     
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  11. GingerRayl

    GingerRayl Active Member

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    Thank you SO much - this is brilliant! I will absolutely do this.

    Really appreciate all your help!
     
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  12. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    Personally, I'd tell her she's being a douche. That would be my bluntness though, because she sounds terrible.
     
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  13. NeoPhile

    NeoPhile Can I get a "Bright not Broken"?

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    I think she just wants this to be her day. Yes, you will be a bride soon, but she wants her day and to be the girl of the hour. Just indulge her.
     
  14. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're quite welcome. Make sure that you give her time (a week if you have it) to digest all of this. Don't push her to do what you've outlined. Suggest to her that in order for this to all work, she'll need to think about things. And decide what's workable. She'll need time to think about all the plans. Get her to write up an alternate list of suggestions, then compromise on some things. So that you both get things that you want.
     
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  15. Grenade

    Grenade Member

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    The Asperger's in me says, "Run!"

    If it were me, I'd have to decide how important this friendship is and if it would be worth continuing. Do I want to bail? Could it be a clean break or would it involve/disturb other people I care about?

    I would follow the great suggestions of some of the others who have replied. But for me personally, I wouldn't dilly dally in giving her a chance to understand your concerns and alter her behavior. If she really does have Asperger's, having kind words with very specific direction will work best, and putting it in writing rather than delivering a speech will be best. It will be easy to hurt her, especially if she feels foolish about her mistakes.
     
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  16. Diagnosed2015

    Diagnosed2015 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My first reaction, based on my own experiences (I planned my own wedding and have been in others) is that EVERYONE with Asperger's is different, and trying "to communicate" to someone who does not have the "capacity" to offer you a more emotional or sympathetic response is where you have to consider yourself (yes, you) first, but not autonomously.

    Since my diagnosis, I've met several wonderful people with a WHOLE RANGE of personalities. Some (including me) wouldn't even raise someone's "radar" based on how we act/interact 98% of the time.

    There are some that see themselves as (for lack of a better word after being awake for 24+ hours) "the center of their universe" and don't have the capacity (hence, the spectrum diagnosis) to attach "internal" or "empathetic/sympathetic" attention to the needs of others.

    Just because the two of you get along ok without stress, what you are seeing is a very typical "Aspie/Spectrum" red flag (the other 2% of the time) -- where you actually NOTICE the differences between the two of you. Stress can make me act in ways that baffle others -- in fact, a lot of people think I'm extremely impulsive because I just "do something," when in fact, I've been planning an action in my head for days, weeks, months, etc.

    Your friend may be reaching a stress level you, as someone not on the spectrum, will never understand. In addition, she may not KNOW she is stressed -- she's just acting on "autopilot," which many of us do.

    I've met a few who don't manage (or understand) boundaries well, and others who just don't "recognize" that others around them are questioning their actions. For instance, if you say, "Mom and I are going shopping...." she probably assumes you are going shopping WITH her.

    She may also feel "owed" the privilege (correctly or incorrectly) because her view of "friendship" (or especially Maid of Honor) is different than yours. Don't ask her to explain -- it won't help, because you have a different "personal reality" than hers. (You can look up personal reality)

    To make this a more personal example, I was asked to be a Maid of Honor in a relative's wedding. Since I'm a very literal person (I always have been), I asked her if she wanted a Bridal Shower (which I would have arranged, had she said "yes"), but she said, "No."

    Since I've spent what seems like a lifetime explaining that when I say "Yes" or "No" I should be taken at face value, I heard her "No," when she said it, and didn't pursue the issue.

    A few weeks later, I was informed that I "wasn't excited enough" for the bride, was stripped of my "Maid of Honor" designation, and the first thing the "new" MOH did was organize and hold a Shower, which I wasn't invited to (although I was still in the Bridal Party).

    //

    Back to you, she's not being a bad friend -- she's being who she is; a lovely person with obstacles. You have to make a decision, I won't attempt to sway you either way.

    I will say, that how you behave during this time of both weddings, will reflect on YOU (good or bad). A former employer used to give me similar information and continue with, ".... I'll trust you to use your discretion....."

    And Karma (good or bad) is something that can take decades to swing around to you. Your friend needs an angel. Check out the book and/or website www.wearehumanangels.com (it's not religious).
     

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  17. aquariuskevin

    aquariuskevin Member

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    hello dear friend i just lost my girlfriend today after 3.5 years we were so happy together but she blamed me partly for my autism and wouldnt give a real reason .In Your situation i would take a few mintes out have a breather and think about yourself and your situation any decent friend would understand this when you have family relative very ill if they dont then they are not a very genuine friend your prioty is your mother and your wedding and your health and well being hope this helps keep smiling and have a lovely day from kevin
     
  18. Aspiegirl75

    Aspiegirl75 Active Member

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    Is that seriously the Asperger's in me that's flashing this big sign that says 'RUN!!!'
    That was my first instinct, and what I have done my whole life!
    Is this an Aspie trait?!
    Anyway OP, you're a much better person than me, trying to seek advice to keep the relationship going. If it were me, I would have slowly started to pull myself out of her life and her out of mine until we were no longer in touch. I've always done this without realizing, it never really occurred to me until much later in life when I started examining my past friendships and why they ended.

    Best of luck to you though in mending fences with BB
     
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  19. fuzz

    fuzz Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I wonder do you know why she picked you for maid of honour? Was it that she saw you as fulfilling the role well and could be relied upon?

    It may be she doesn't easily see how that has changed. She may have in her head assigned a role to you and expect you to fulfill it.

    This likely didn't allow for things like your mum having a terminal illness, or your need for the space to have your wedding the way you wish to have it.

    It seems clear to me you cannot fulfill the role she expects you to fulfill any longer.

    You must be clear and tell her that. Have clear in your head what role you can play in her wedding (be it as Maid of Honour or a lesser part). Explain you are sorry you can't be what she was after, but it just cannot be. Say you are keen to help and explain what role you can realistically play. Do your very best to be as realistic as possible -- maybe talk with friends about what would be realistic beforehand.

    Say you are sorry she isn't able to play a bigger part in your own wedding. Tell her how she is a good friend to you. Ask if she can help out with your wedding, but be clear what would actually be of help to you, so she can understand her role. Let her know how much you would value her help in those ways.

    I hope these suggestions help!
     
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  20. aquariuskevin

    aquariuskevin Member

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    I would say prioritise whats important your mum will be first your wedding second and if your friend is as lovely as she seems see wil listen and understand about you problems and committments .