(emetophobia/agoraphobia/OCD/panic disorder in this case)
The first thing to know is that these friends KNOW how I am and the conditions I deal with.
My two best friends of my adult life married each other and have a toddler and a week-old baby. They haven't worked for years since hes been in college, and are managing to live well, off of various welfare and GI programs. They do use a credit card when they have to. I'm not judging, just giving backstory. Another thing to know is the wife had a hard childhood, and feels the world is against her. She considers me her only friend in the world, even though they have been living elswhere for like 2.5 years.
So, the husband has an interview scheduled a few hours from where I live. (they live 14+ hours away by car). A day before they want to start the trip, they call and get my Mom on the phone. They gave her the impression that if I wanted to see them they would have to stay in our house because they can't afford a hotel. (If we said no, they would go straight to the interview site, Do Not Pass Go) My Mom and I quickly conferred and concluded there was no other choice if I wanted to see my friends (its been one year). They can stay for about 5 days. I only talked to the husband, as the wife is weird about the phone and has a few depression issues of her own, is very dependent on him. I live with my Mom right now in a large house. The fact that it is large doesnt mean there is room for more people, if you know what I mean.
So that night/next day I have a meltdown. I was so overwhelmed. I am probably somewhere along the autism spectrum and I don't take kindly to people coming in my house and creating chaos. I was panicking so bad all I could do was sit and crochet and try not to barf. I call their home but they have already left, and I am too ashamed to call them on his cell directly. The idea of hosting 4 people, including a newborn sounds so awful to me I want to run away from home. I go into my moms room and tell her I have made a mistake in agreeing and I cannot stand having them here. I realize how angry I am feeling for my friends expecting too much of me and putting me in this position. But I feel so terrible, thinking of their little newborn and toddler, wondering if the kids will even hate me for cancelling the plans! So it goes...
Around 4 AM, I realize they are sleeping in a hotel probably halfway to my house. I leave a message on his cell phone saying I am SO so sorry but I have been very sick and its best they stay with someone else, at least for part of the time. I eventually went to sleep and had nightmares.
The next day my mom calls the husband's cell to help them arrange another place to stay. My Dad has a large home in which I grew up about 15 minutes from here. He is very casual about having company and offered to let them use his house like a hotel. (We also have other friends who would do the same if asked) The husband answers and has not even heard my phone message! He asks the wife and she said she HAD heard it. That is so odd that she didnt tell him! So, the husband is nice about it, agrees to stay at my Dad's instead. But, then, the wife said she wouldnt be "comfortable" anywhere but our house so they wont be staying with Dad. The husband said "we'll work something out". So, at that point I feel like its out of our hands, and they will have to get a hotel or stay with their other relatives who I guess they dont like as much as they like me. The husband is usually neutral about everything, the wife is an extremely bitter person and I suspect she will hold a grudge or let this end the friendship.
Now, I have not heard a word from them.
My mom called them to check if they still wanted us to cook them a meal or visit with us.
No answer. I don't think I will hear from them at all.
In the past an incident like this would have added to my self-hatred and shame about my "challenges". But I am not letting that happen. This is how I am. Yes, I am working on improving, as always, but anyone who is close to me knows about these limitations. These people know I can barely deal with one extra person in my physical space, let alone 4 and a screaming infant. It makes me want to put my head in the oven. I am NOT a neurotypical person and I never will be. I am done being ashamed of it. These people LIKE ME because I am unique and unlike anyone else they have met. If they cant accept all of me, then screw em. There are other friends and relatives in town right now that I have to go visit tonight and tomorrow.
Obviously, it was wrong of me to agree to something I wasnt comfortable with. And I should have tried to stop them, but I thought I could somehow pull it together, take a sedative and just struggle through their visit. On the other hand, they really left me no choice and they expect to stay in my house. They don't seem to care how the situation affects me. I don't know but I just have to let it go. If they never speak to me again over this, then I guess theres not much I can do. I feel that they should be sitting in our house right now, since we have such limited days together, enjoying dinner, but instead they are probably in a hotel, and the wife is probably hateful and bitter over this.
Update: they are staying with his relative. Husband sounds neutral as usual, but he said wife might not be willing to see me whatsoever. If she punishes me over this, I think that is pretty messed up. We will see what she does.