Feb 6, 2020 09:51PM ShetlandPony wrote:
Never mind how do you forgive her —how do you STOP her?
Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.
Posted on: Feb 6, 2020 09:44PM
. A work colleague who is also a close friend juts decided to take it upon herself to tell a client we share that I had gone through cancer treatment last year. I had not shared my diagnosis with clients unless they absolutely needed to know (I had to travel for them and couldn't due to radiation for example). I also did not tell all of my friends. The client commented that I seemed sad/didn't look as good as normal. The truth was I was having stomach issues and very tired.
I had specifically told this person that she was not to share with anyone. This is the second time she has done this and I am SO SO ANGRY. How do I forgive her?
Posts 1 - 30 (75 total)
Feb 6, 2020 09:51PM ShetlandPony wrote:
Never mind how do you forgive her —how do you STOP her?
Feb 6, 2020 10:04PM nopink2019 wrote:
She has sabotaged both your relationship and your career. Tell her so and back off that friendship.
Feb 6, 2020 10:05PM mitziandbubba wrote:
@ShetlandPony - I do not know. I told her this time that I am extremely angry and that this is my news to share with people, not hers. She was actually wonderfully supportive during my cancer treatment too. Now I don't know if I have to explain to this client (we are not working together ATM but they will be a client in the future) or just let it go.
I worried very much that I would lose clients b/c people might think I could not do my job. The very first client I told actually said "what does this mean for me" - they are no longer my client as I kicked them to the curb after they said that. The others I told were fine and totally understanding. I worked basically every day during treatment and I had very few issues. I actually even grew my business a huge amount! Of course not everyone would understand this.
Feb 6, 2020 10:08PM mitziandbubba wrote:
@nopink - I'm seriously thinking she is NOT a friend. I also send her tons of business (she sends me work also to be fair but not as much).
I almost felt like she was being spiteful over something but I am not sure what? She has really been struggling with getting clients while I, even with cancer, have been thriving and killing it!
Feb 6, 2020 10:10PM mitziandbubba wrote:
What hurts a lot also is some comments she made about my looks - how I don't look well. Based on my diagnosis, I didn't go through what many cancer patients go through. I didn't work out very much during cancer so I'm not quite as fit, but I think I basically look the same? I don't FEEL 100% the same, but I don't feel like I look bad or anything?
Feb 6, 2020 10:14PM mitziandbubba wrote:
@KID1919 - I work for myself and so does she. We partner on projects sometimes. So there is no HR dept. I am my own HR dept LOL.
I wonder if my clients think what she did is unprofessional? I mean, cancer is not gossip?
Feb 6, 2020 10:17PM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:
That is not a true friend. One thing I cannot stand is someone who is not trustworthy. Especially during a situation like this. That was unprofessional and not her place to do so.
Feb 6, 2020 10:17PM mitziandbubba wrote:
I should mention that I am by no means ashamed that I had breast cancer - quite the opposite. I just didn't want my clients to worry. I also didn't want to tell certain friends who are not super close. Most people seemed to respect this.
Feb 6, 2020 10:19PM mitziandbubba wrote:
LiveLoveLaugh - It feels so horrible b/c she is an old, old friend. She has stood by me for years and been a good friend - BUT there have been a few issues in business. I know she is struggling financially and my business has taken off so I wonder if that is it. I mean I had cancer and business was still super good?
Feb 6, 2020 10:26PM mitziandbubba wrote:
Thanks for the input everyone. I feel much better b/c my husband said I need to let it go and I've just been sitting her super pissed off!
Feb 6, 2020 10:50PM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:
Hmm I don't know. Regardless of how you/she feels about things that still wasn't her place to tell someone your business. Once someone shows me they aren't trustworthy I'm pretty much done. Don't worry! It's not worth it :)
Feb 7, 2020 07:38AM SummerAngel wrote:
Honestly, in my opinion some people just can't seem to shut up. I wouldn't go so far as to say she's not a "real friend", unless you feel that she's let you down in a number of ways. I would handle it by sitting her down in person and being very clear about how disappointed you are and how this has made you feel like you can't tell her anything in the future that you would like kept a secret. See how she reacts. That type of discussion would reveal the strength - or weakness - of your friendship, I think.
Feb 7, 2020 11:18PM MinusTwo wrote:
Sorry - I couldn't get past that breech of trust - particularly in work relationships. That's TONIC. And especially since you said she's done it before. I'd cut her out of my life just as fast as I could.
Feb 8, 2020 04:08PM mitziandbubba wrote:
When I confronted her she just said something along with the lines of how brave I am and that it is time to share things. I told her that it is NOT for her to decide how I handle cancer and not for her to decide who I do or do not share with. I really don't feel too great about her response and I won't be trusting her with anything personal in future.
Then another friend sent a group text and said "oh guess what Mitzi? I had a clear mammogram! Thought you'd want to know." I am glad she had a clear mammogram but really, is it necessary to report that to me and only me on a group text with 5 other people? I kind of HATE her now!
I am hating people today and I am sick to death of being CANCER GIRL.
Feb 8, 2020 04:15PM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:
I'm with you on this one Minus! And mitzi I get what you're saying as well. I really can't take people anymore lol I don't think people realize the ignorance sometimes, it's sad.
Feb 8, 2020 04:38PM AliceBastable wrote:
I'm sorry you still have to work with her. She was beyond all limits of inappropriateness.
Feb 8, 2020 09:44PM MinusTwo wrote:
Oh Right - Cancer Girl. Throw that image into the fire along with the people who are treating you that way!!!
Feb 8, 2020 09:56PM KIDI919 wrote:
Mitziandbub-- oh mitzi I'm glad you told her how you felt about her actions. I guess that's all you can do other than bitch slap her. I work in a small office with 5 other ladies and one male. I held off telling them b/c 2 of them are terrible gossips. I see about 90 clients a month and have only let 2 of them know. And don't be calling yourself cancer girl!
Feb 9, 2020 01:57PM SummerAngel wrote:
Mitzi, from that reaction I'd definitely keep my distance in the future. Her reaction told you that she isn't taking your wishes seriously at all and has no intention of changing her ways.
Feb 9, 2020 10:45PM mitziandbubba wrote:
Thank you all for your responses. I had a long talk with my husband about why this is bothering me so much. The first part is that I feel betrayed by this person who I trusted. The second part is that I don't like feeling like I "lied" to people by just not telling them that I had cancer - but since cancer did not affect my ability to do my work in most ways, I decided to only tell clients/colleagues who needed to know - ie people that had expected me to travel during my radiation period.
But there is another feeling that has come up and that is the feeling that people are judging me. That people think that CANCER is just so horrible and that the treatments are still impacting me physically. This woman who betrayed my trust told me that she "knows about cancer" and that I am definitely still sick and feeling the effects of treatments. The thing is, I am not! I have a tiny bit of pain in my breast if I move in a strange way but that is it. I just did an hour of intense cardio the other day and I felt amazing. I feel like when people hear "cancer" they picture me lying on my deathbed. My treatment was so much easier than so many others. It didn't impact work, I didn't workout much but a lot of that was a time thing. I feel like I should be in worse shape physically or that is what people expect.
Feb 9, 2020 10:56PM MinusTwo wrote:
Mitzi - you DID NOT LIE. It is none of their business unless it impacts your work relationships. And it appears it did not until your pseudo friend told everyone she "knew everything".
Is there someone else you work with that you can trust to get the word passed around that you are FINE and that this other friend was just trying to cause problems? And if anyone want to know specifics, they should ask you directly.
Feb 9, 2020 11:06PM exbrnxgrl wrote:
I agree that you didn’t lie. We have no obligation to tell anyone about something as intimate as our health!
Feb 9, 2020 11:35PM AliceBastable wrote:
It's none of ANYONE's damn business unless YOU choose to make it so. And that information stops with THEM unless you give them express consent to share it with others. And now she's trying to tell YOU how you should feel about YOUR cancer? Oh hell no. I could not stay friends with that person, and I would do everything humanly possible to extricate myself from having to work with her.
Feb 10, 2020 05:54AM mitziandbubba wrote:
It is hard to escape the feeling that I somehow lied. My husband was the one who guided me in the beginning when I was upset and afraid. He said we only really to tell people that are impacted by my diagnosis and outside of that I can decide to tell anyone I want - or not. It seemed strange to me not to tell basically everyone. I guess I feel like I need guidance on how I am supposed to behave about cancer - but there is no script. It is very individual just as the diagnosis for each person and treatment is very individual.
I work for myself and this person is someone I work with on projects. We are partnered on several things ATM so I will need to continue working with her, but I definitely see her in a new light. I don't feel like I want to tell the clients she told anything unless they approach me. I happen not to be working with them presently but I did have a nice relationship with them so it is a little weird.
Feb 10, 2020 08:40AM Yogatyme wrote:
Mitzi, wow!! What a betrayal and a huge boundary overstep!! You absolutely did not lie and her response to your confrontation speaks volumes about her character. You can believe that your clients also question why she would share information that was yours to share or not. She’s not only untrustworthy, but also disrespectful and dismissive. Those she has told will also not trust her with private information in the future. So, while others are undoubtedly sorry about your diagnosis, the person they have negative feelings about is her. While you still have to work with her, you could take the Joe Friday stance of “Just the facts ma’am”. I don’t think I would even share what I ate for breakfast with her. She is unlikely to accept she did anything wrong, so move forward with a shield against her. Sending good thoughts your way.
Feb 10, 2020 08:42AM Beesie wrote:
Let me be another voice to very strongly say, No, you did not lie.
If someone had directly asked, "do you have breast cancer?" and you said, "No", that would have been a lie (although, frankly, a reasonable and forgivable one). But not telling people about something personal and private is not a lie - it's discretion and it's your right. If you have something personal that is bothering you - a fight with your husband or child or parent, a sore back or an upset stomach - do you always share it with everyone you encounter who are working with that day? Probably not. It's not a lie. You are simply not telling them something personal that is irrelevant to them and completely and totally none of their business.
Your husband's advice, "we only really to tell people that are impacted by my diagnosis and outside of that I can decide to tell anyone I want - or not", is absolutely right. No one has an obligation to tell anyone about anything in their personal lives including their health, unless it directly affects another individual. You were able to continue working without clients knowing that there was anything going on, so clearly there was no reason why any of them needed to know about your diagnosis.
Some people choose to tell the world about their diagnoses while other people choose to tell only a handful of people who they are closest to. I fall into the second category and find it odd when I see others shouting it out to the world - but I understand that this is what works for them, so that's what they should do. It sounds as though your natural inclination was to tell more people, but you made a business decision (clearly the right one, based on how it worked out and the reactions now) to only tell people on a 'need to know' basis. Nothing wrong with that.
Your colleague, well, that's another story. Has she gone through any difficult and private situations during the time you've been working with her? Perhaps that might be a way to get her to understand how inappropriate she's been, if you ask her how she'd feel if you'd shared XYZ about her with her clients. Not suggesting that you actually tell her clients anything, but if you can find an example that affects her deeply and personally that would be somewhat comparable, that might turn the light bulb on in her head. Or maybe it's not worth it, and you just ease out of the working relationship over time as your current joint projects end.
Feb 10, 2020 09:37AM mitziandbubba wrote:
Thank you Yogtyme and Beesie. Your posts make me feel a lot better.
I did try to explain to her how I don't share her secrets - like the fact that she goes overseas to visit her family for a month and doesn't tell her clients that she is not in the US. I always thought that was odd but I certainly didn't tell anyone. So I don't see why she thought it ok to share mine - which is a heck of a lot more serious than a trip to Europe?
She also told me yesterday something new - that she said to the client that I finished treatment a month ago, but I'm doing great! On my way back to healthy! Insert cancer cliché here!
That's not even the case - I finished in August. I actually saw these clients a week after treatment ended and no one said anything about how I looked - I felt pretty horrible then too. I was so tired.
When I asked her why she said this she said "How am I supposed to remember when you finished?" I mean if you don't know, why are you telling people?
I'm still mad. I don't think this person is my friend. I have no idea why her only response to my being upset wasn't I am sorry, I messed up, period. I think I'd still be mad but all these excuses are making me so much more mad!
Feb 10, 2020 09:38AM mitziandbubba wrote:
Also this woman is working with 4 clients that I brought her. That is most of her business. It's not a very good idea to piss off someone that brings you so much work!! I may be reconsidering sending so much her way in future.
Feb 10, 2020 11:17AM Beesie wrote:
What's to reconsider about sending so much work her way? If it were me, there would be nothing to reconsider - the decision would be made.
The fact that she refuses to look at it from your perspective and makes excuses for her inappropriate behavior makes it pretty clear that she is neither a friend nor a trustworthy colleague. So why continue to send her work? Find others to recommend if someone needs the services she provides, or just say that you don't know anyone trustworthy so you have no one to suggest.