It's not easy - playing an agony aunt. You have to be prepared almost any time of the day and have the answers ready. Saying, "I am not sure about what to say" doesn't go down very well with those who depend on you for the 'solution'.
I've played this role - for a long time too. I don't remember at which point it started but soon I was bearing secrets that were getting simply too much to handle. Maybe that is why I'm simply incapable of shedding all the extra weight; I mean where are all the secrets going to go?
A couple friend (at least they used to be friends) are going through a rather rough time. In fact, one of them is so rough that I'm surprised the other hasn't sued her for abuse. While I was privy to what was going on initially, circumstances found me an escape route and now I just sit back at nod gravely whenever I hear something from that department. Trust me, for once I am actually happy that I have NOTHING to do with them. An occasional hello at parties that are few and far between are fine by me.
Being friends is a difficult job - you cannot be separated from their problems because you are a part of their lives (if you're close friends that is) and whatever you/they do affects all those involved. Such is the troubles of having close friends.
For many years, I shied away from letting anyone too close. Recently, a young thing who is probably gearing up to make friends with me told me that I must have gone through too much pain as a child, facing betrayals and blah..blah..blah..
Well who hasn't had a few troubles in life? Mine are no exceptions but that hasn't made me Albert Camus' Outsider. I just don't feel like going through the whole circle of having to put up with different pains and then looking for ways to solve them because my 'friends' are simply too lazy or stupid.
I am glad I did that - because now, I have a few friends ( I can't count them on my fingers) whom I've very grateful for. I am glad I have them in my life and don't want to trade them for anything. They do come to me with their problems at time, but I don't feel burdened by them. We often laugh about it, talk about it and look for ways out together - which is absolutely the way I like it.
Sometimes, when I look back and think of all those people I'd truly cared for and how they chose to walk away from my life, I am glad they aren't there any more anyway. It used to be quite a bother - and in the fear of being totally 'friendless' I clung on to them when I would've given my soul to push them over the edge of a really tall building because all they did for the friendship was use my intelligence and pass it off as their own and in the process get on my nerves.
This of course, has passed! Amen.