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Am I being a terrible "friend"? (Long Read)

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thejourneyto

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Wisconsin
Not sure if this is allowed, as it is not about my mental state specifically but the way someone else’s mental illness is having an impact on me. Everyone I have to talk to about this is too close to the situation and I need to know if I am just completely in the wrong on this.

I have a friend whose behavior has been extremely erratic lately – Very high highs, anger episodes, swinging into very deep depression. Our friend group has been doing our best to support him through whatever he is going through and encouraging him to seek professional help.

However, about two weeks ago he did something to two people in our friend group that defiantly crossed a line and made them feel violated and uncomfortable. These people did not want to advertise what he did, but instead felt that they needed to have a discussion with him about his actions and how it made them feel. They asked me to be a part of this discussion in a moderator role to help prevent the issue from just turning into a screaming match.

Long story short, he refused to show up and discuss it with them in person, instead choosing to send out vague messages to our entire friend group saying he is “done” and none of us will ever see him again, sending private messages to one of the people effected by the incident saying that he believed the meeting was a “trap” and “no one would understand why he did it, and generally making everyone who knows him concerned. He finally arrived nearly 4 hours after we originally wanted to meet up with him without warning.

By this point, he was enraged and the two people who wanted to talk to him were both very upset as they wanted to handle the situation discreetly and he had brought in multiple people who were not originally involved. Unfortunately, the conversation turned into the yelling match that everyone had hoped to avoid.

He completely disregarded their feelings, insisted that he had not taken any actions maliciously, and essentially claimed that it was their own fault that they were upset because they should know that he is a good person and if they really believed that he was a good person they wouldn’t be upset about his actions.

That is the background that leads to the thing I am really struggling with. Over the following two weeks I have heard through friends that he had attended a meeting with a therapist, been diagnosed with bipolor, and was hypomanic that night. Everyone else in my friend group has accepted this and taken the position that we all need to basically forget about what he did and how he handled that night.

But what I saw that night scared me.

I have to realize that many of my feelings are tied to my experiences with my grandmother. She was very mentally ill and I grew up watching her tear into my mother, disregard the feelings of others, and essentially destroying everything around her. My friend’s behavior that night took me right back to that place of watching my grandma scream at my mom, his behavior and the things he was saying were nearly identical.

She is gone now and I never want to allow that behavior into my life again.

I completely blocked him on social media and blocked his phone number. I do not want to be around him again, and I do not think I can just magically accept it and forget what I saw and continue to hang out with him.

I have told the rest of our friend group that they are free to continue to be friends with him, it is their choice, but I want nothing to do with him. If he is present at events, I will quietly choose not to attend or excuse myself if he shows up.

All of my other friends keep telling me that my reaction is too harsh and I need to be understanding and stick with him while he deals with what is going on with him. A few of them have told me I am being cruel and blaming him for his mental illness.

Am I in the wrong for wanting to remove him from my life?
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
10,264
Location
Tigger and Willow's house UK
No you are not in the wrong, mental illness or no mental illness he is responsible for his behaviour and if he acknowledged the harms he caused you all then yes give him another chance but if he's not taking responsibility for his behaviour it is not unreasonable of you to remove him from your life for your own mental health, which is how I'm understanding your post, that its for your own mental health that you are kicking him out of your life :hug:
 
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Trekster33

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
134
Location
South West UK
I think this incident shows that you haven't processed what's happened in your life with your grandmother and that's why you're emotions are on high alert.

Also it looks like the incident was a major turning point for the person involved. It's a shame you and your friends had to get caught in the crossfire.

I have been on both sides of the fence, I've been temporarily psychotic because I've had the wrong medication but I've also been subjected to other people's mental health crises.

A friend of mine was on one antidepressant that caused him to go on a rampage with a knife. He had a breakdown ended up being beaten daily in prison, because the mental health hospital had no room for him. When relatives were being abusive towards me, he was there for me. I helped him get the level of disability benefits he's on. I was not witness to this incident.

I have cptsd, autism (currently being revoked and fighting it) and two chronic pain disabilities which all impact my mental health regarding my anger.

Can you get any support for yourself regarding the way your gran was with your mum? Counselling or a support group? I appreciate this is very upsetting to be around and potentially triggering but clearly you need some support in helping you deal with these kinds of incidents for next time.

I've a few friends that are bipolar and one of them cares for her bipolar mum whose medication resistant. I'm also struggling to understand some of my snappy bipolar affected friends.
 
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