Monday, 19 October 2015

Toxic/Emotionally abusive friendships

Ok so I am coming back with quite an intense post.

This is something that has been weighing on my mind lately so I thought I would do a post about it.
Unfortunately we know that relationships can be toxic and abusive but nothing is ever said about friendships.

This could be a lengthy post so please do go make yourself a drink before you sit down to read this.

Due to confidentiality I will be calling the former friend-Jess
And her boyfriend- Steve

Unfortunately this is something I have dealt with in the past and it's only come back around lately because if I talk about this former friend I tend to say we just grew apart which in ways is true, but it is also a lot deeper than that as well.

I won't lie and say she was a horrible friend because the truth is- she wasn't, she did help me through a lot of hard times, but stupidly I also let myself get into some stupid situations with her- I won't place all the blame on her, we encouraged each other really.

Our friendship started out in High school and it did carry on until the first year of 6th form which would be year 12, it ended because of my ex to be honest- I would forget to reply to texts and myspace messages (because that was cool back then) and eventually we drifted apart.

Somehow a few years later we ended up back in contact- I'm not even sure how to be honest but we arranged to meet up and we had an amazing day catching up like nothing had happened, don't get me wrong we did talk about why we stopped talking so it wasn't like that never got resolved.
In the end we "vowed" to never let partners come between us again.

Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to move in with her as flat mates and it was a lot of fun at first, she wasn't on her own all the time, I had some freedom away from my family, (and I wasn't having to pay for train fare every week) it was like a sleepover every night.

Over time we started going out a lot more often, like nearly every night, which seemed fine, we were just living that party lifestyle that some people go through, we always made sure to stick together and go home together, be it walking, getting a taxi or someone we know dropping us off.
That worked well for quite some time until she started dating Steve, now at first we thought he was a little- kooky for lack of a better term, but he seemed friendly so we got talking to him and over the span of a month or so my former friend began dating him.

This is where the friendship started to turn sour, it got to the point where I would be left to walk home on my own after a night out- yet the one time I did that to Jess I was chastised for it- despite her telling me it was ok and she would get Steve to walk back with her.
Anyway I digress, as I was saying on multiple occasions I would be left to walk home by myself after a night out (honestly I do thank myself very lucky nothing happened to me) while Jess friend would go back to Steve's for the night- and then eventually come home the next evening for a change of clothes only to hop back in his car after 10 minutes.

Stupidly I let this carry on for sometime until one day her mum phoned the house phone as she hadn't been able to contact her on her mobile, after talking to her mum on the phone and meeting her for coffee to talk in person she said she would have a word with Jess, and for a while things were ok, we would have a few "girlie nights" after a night out she would either walk me back with her Steve and then go with him or actually stay at home and we would sit up and discuss the nights events.

Until things started to slip back to how they were, we would end up arguing over silly things, and many times I would ask her if she wanted me to move back home as it would be better than what was going on, but then she would get emotional and tell me she didn't want me to go- honestly it felt like a break up whenever we had these arguments. Quite often she would use the lines "but you're my friend, you should be happy for me" "are you jealous that I have someone and you don't?" "Steve said you're jealous and you need to grow up" "you're my friend you can't leave me" "what will I do if you leave? I can't lose you" so I stayed, I put up with her bailing on me because once in a while she would make time for us to have a friend day without Steve around.

Eventually it was the smallest thing that sealed the end of our living arrangement, she had stayed at Steves overnight and hadn't taken her key with her (only I wasn't aware of that fact). During the day I had found out that my mum was visiting the area so I decided to go meet her for a catch up, not knowing that Jess had returned home expecting me to be in only to find herself locked out, originally she thought I was ignoring her and that I was in the house, eventually we arranged on a location to meet but she was held up in traffic so I had started walking down to meet her, only to see the car she was in drive past, so I had to phone her to tell her what had happened.
I will cut that day short and say she told me it was best I move back home, I can't say I was surprised, I knew it was coming eventually, but I was annoyed that I could have moved back sooner had she not guilted me into staying.
We had said that we would like to remain friends and that maybe we were better friends when it was "long distance" so that was fine, I had my mum come back to pick me up with all my belongings.

The long distance friend ship didn't last long, I found out that she had been telling mutual friends that I had said I would try to turn them against her if she did anything to anger me, she hacked into my facebook and started deleting friends, changed my "interested in" from men to women (which is quite juvenile really) and changed my password, luckily I was online at the time of this happening so I managed to get everything sorted within minutes. A while later I started getting "prank" phone calls from someone saying they would make my life hell and other nonsense, unluckily for her I recognised the voice of the person on the other end of the line- it was someone who used to be a mutual friend back in high school who she had started hanging out with again. It wasn't too hard to put the pieces together.

Since that phone call in 2011 I believe it was I haven't heard from either of them, recently Jess did come up on my "people you may know" section on facebook and a suggestion to add her, out of sheer curiosity I did take a quick look at her profile only to find out she is no longer with Steve. But I have moved on, I have some fantastic friends in my life now,
I just want to say though, I shared this because I don't think people are aware that toxic friendships can happen and if you find yourself in one then please get out of it, nothing is worth losing yourself for, remember abuse doesn't have to be physical, emotional abuse is just as bad. Friendship goes two ways, don't put up with them treating you like shit because you're their friend.
And while I do believe that to some extent she was manipulated, I wouldn't be able to form a new friendship with her if it were to present itself, we were good friends for a time but now we are two completely different people (or at least I know I am)
What would I do if I saw her in town? I have no idea, I wouldn't go out of my way to talk to her but if she spoke to me I would remain civil and then go about my life as normal as I would assume she would do the same,

If you have any questions then please do leave them in the comments below.


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