Could I be a Trigger?

T

Trying2

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
4
#1
Hello all. New here and could use some help.

My good friend is in a psychotic state. It came upon her over a month ago. She had a couple of very stressful incidents happen to her in the span of a week and I think her already fragile mind couldn’t handle it. (She’s been fragile for over a year her and her wife have had a strained marriage for the last couple of years, her wife has done some shady things making my friend believe she was gearing up to leave her, before all of this happened).

We became really good friends a few years ago and she really started to depend on me. She needed someone and I was there. We are just friends but good friends. She talks, I listen and encourage her and try to advise her when she asks for it and tell her when she’s messed up and tell her when I think she’s justified in her feelings. I’m just a good listener I guess.

We have no feelings for each other. I’m married to someone; she’s married to someone else. I am (or at least was) a supporter of her marriage. And tried to help her navigate what she thought was her wife beginning to want to leave and show interest in other women. We developed a strong bond because we both could relate to that. No feelings have ever been discussed, I’d like to think I would know if she had feelings for me in a romantic way. I never got that feeling from her.

I say this because, one day she was herself, the next day she “accused” me of having feelings for her and exhibited definite signs of agitation. I imeediately informed her wife as I knew right away this turn of events was serious. Everything from there quickly spiraled out of control.

For the next couple of days she text me uncontrollably. I tried to encourage her to sleep. The texts were hertelling me we are destined to be together and that we loved each other. I knew this wasn’t true and that this was psychosis. I know deep down she knows she isn’t in love with me. I wanted her family to take her to the hospital they didn’t at first but finally I believe they realized the magnitude of this.

She became fixated on me and would tell anyone who would listen that we were
Going to be together and we were running off with each other. I’m secure enough to know that none of this is true beliefs. Her wife questioned me about her feelings towards me. She said she knew I didn’t have feelings but believed her wife (my friend) had deep feelings for me. She doesn’t. She just doesn’t. I’d like to think I would know. Almost all of what we have talked about is how can she save her marriage.

Her family advised me that the crisis nurse told them that I am “toxic” because she was fixated on loving me and that I should stay away from her. I was crushed but understood. In talking to a friend who is a social worker she advised me that no crisis nurse would ever say that to them not having met me and learning more about me. And that the family is just saying that. This of course turned out to be true. That word still haunts me. Toxic. I hate that word

Anyways, to make a looooong story short, I’ve been doing a ton of research and all research points to my friend having friends contact her to show they care. For the last few years I 100% have been her closest friend, her confidante. So when my friend called me from the PICU I did NOT answer her calls as I had her family telling me I’m toxic for her ringing in the back of my head . The guilt of not taking her calls was unbearable. My friend reached out to me and I didn’t answer. I couldn’t take it and called her. She was still psychotic but we talked. I babbled as I was so nervous. (I’m now learning how to communicate better and get her to talk more, I also think she’s being counselled as well on communicating through her psychosis).

So in over a months time , my friend has called me 2X. I’ve called her 5x, two of which she wouldn’t take my calls because the nurse said she was having a bad day.

Of the 5x I’ve talked to her, one time I knew she was on medication and heading towards mending. The other 4X sadly I knew she was not taking her meds. I asked her about it and encouraged her to take them.

The last time I called her, the PICU nurse told me she was having a bad day and probably wouldn’t come to the phone. To the nurse’s surprise she came to the phone and we talked for a bit. She kept asking me if she could ask me Questions. I think maybe this is a technique she has learned to decipher between what is real and what isn’t? I could be wrong, but she seemed to be reading off of a sheet of paper. And she was whispering to herself. I let her ask as many questions as she needed to. We had as good of a chat as we could have.

Immediately After our convo, I received some passive agressive texts from her wife asking me “how are you? and have you talked to my wife lately”. I told her yes and she blasted me saying that I ruined her visit with her wife because after I talked to my friend, she wouldn’t allow her wife to see her. She said her wife still thinks she’s in love with me and that I don’t understand how much of a “mess” she is. This hurt me very badly. Of course I understand That she isn’t herself. And I really believe that her fixation with me is a symptom... Not the problem. But I’m not a dr. Since her first week after being admitted to the hospital my friend has never again mentioned being “in love” with me.

I guess my question is, am I a trigger? Every piece of literature I read says staying in the PICU is very lonely and friends should be encouraged to call and try and communicate. The nurses have never given me a hard time about calling (although I suspect the family will no longer allow my calls). I don’t want to trigger my friend or cause grief for her family so I will not call anymore, but what if my friend calls me? I don’t want to leave her thinking I don’t care if I don’t answer. For those that have gone through psychosis I’m wondering if you feel my phone calls are doing more harm then good. I really am more worried about my friend then what her wife thinks of me. She’s her wife I respect that but given that she was planning on leaving and her wife knew it I don’t know if she can be trusted. This is such a tough situation. My prayers go out to all of you dealing with this.

Sorry for the long post . If you’ve read it all I thank you in advance.

Again, thank you.
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

Well-known member
Moderator
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Jan 4, 2013
Messages
8,375
Location
England
#2
Hi,
Welcome to the forum
Please don't blame yourself, your friend is very ill.
It is very kind of you to support her.
Hopefully with meds and therapy she will get thru this.
Her family shouldn't be blaming you.
Hope she gets better soon.
Take good care of yourself, as it must be draining for you.
Here to listen anytime.
Take care
 
T

Trying2

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
4
#3
Hi,
Welcome to the forum
Please don't blame yourself, your friend is very ill.
It is very kind of you to support her.
Hopefully with meds and therapy she will get thru this.
Her family shouldn't be blaming you.
Hope she gets better soon.
Take good care of yourself, as it must be draining for you.
Here to listen anytime.
Take care
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer. You have no idea the joy I felt in reading a response to my very long winded post. It’s so helpful to hear someone else’s take on the situation. Thank you so much
 
P

Paper Wings

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
10
#4
Hey there. I'm sorry to learn that you are going through this. You are definitely a great friend and it must be hard for you since all you want to do is support her.

As for the topic at hand, I don't think you are a trigger. You simply were there when she got ill, and that has nothing to do with anyone. I can somewhat safely tell you this because I have been psychotic myself.

Here's what happened. My psychosis didn't fully kick in one day. It was progressive, and I think this is the case for a lot of people. I don't know if that's your friends case, I'm not a professional. Regardless, despite my condition, like your friend, I developed similar feelings for someone I had just met. We began talking a lot, and on our second date I kissed her. I was 100% convinced she was the one for me, so I started to become more aggressive with my texts and would insist a lot on seeing her to kiss her again. One day I sent her pics of myself doing weird faces and I remember insulting her at some point and acting like I didn't. I tried to apologize by giving her a gift, which she rejected. I remember saying "oh, that was your last chance!" as I walked away from her. But it wasn't over, at least not for me. I started to harass her friends because I thought they had convinced her that I was a "bad" guy for her. I even confronted one of them at some point. They denied all my claims. I was going crazy, because I was thinking that it was everyone else's fault except my own. Then I started to harass my ex-girlfriend. Since I cheated on her I was certain she was telling everyone I was a "cheater" and she was to blame for my failed relationship with that other girl. I thought everyone was conspiring against me. They ended up blocking me and I was hospitalized some weeks after (keep in mind that I did a lot of other crazy shit but maybe it isn't relevant right now).

My point here is, from experience, there are no such specific triggers for psychosis itself. Maybe for some behaviors, but you are not the reason why your friend got ill. I did have several breakdowns where I thought I was going to lose it without my ex-girlfriend, but it's what was going on in my life at the time. I certainly don't see her as a trigger, specially because she didn't give me any atention. Though, I understand your situation is different.

I say give it time. You are not "toxic".Trust me, when she gets better, everything will be fine. When I got better I felt a lot of guilt and regret. I just wanted to apologize to everyone I could. Your friend is currently not herself. She is having delusional thoughts. Keep in mind that psychosis doesn't just go away in one day, even with medication. It's quite the process.

I'm sorry if this was a little too long. Just wanted to share my experiences to help you out a little bit.

Be patient and strong. Also, be confident that things will get back on track for everyone. It's hard for some people to understand mental illness.

All the best.
 
Last edited:
T

Trying2

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
4
#5
Hey there. I'm sorry to learn that you are going through this. You are definitely a great friend and it must be hard for you since all you want to do is support her.

As for the topic at hand, I don't think you are a trigger. You simply were there when she got ill, and that has nothing to do with anyone. I can somewhat safely tell you this because I have been psychotic myself.

Here's what happened. My psychosis didn't fully kick in one day. It was progressive, and I think this is the case for a lot of people. I don't know if that's your friends case, I'm not a professional. Regardless, despite my condition, like your friend, I developed similar feelings for someone I had just met. We began talking a lot, and on our second date I kissed her. I was 100% convinced she was the one for me, so I started to become more aggressive with my texts and would insist a lot on seeing her to kiss her again. One day I sent her pics of myself doing weird faces and I remember insulting her at some point and acting like I didn't. I tried to apologize by giving her a gift, which she rejected. I remember saying "oh, that was your last chance!" as I walked away from her. But it wasn't over, at least not for me. I started to harass her friends because I thought they had convinced her that I was a "bad" guy for her. I even confronted one of them at some point. They denied all my claims. I was going crazy, because I was thinking that it was everyone else's fault except my own. Then I started to harass my ex-girlfriend. Since I cheated on her I was certain she was telling everyone I was a "cheater" and she was to blame for my failed relationship with that other girl. I thought everyone was conspiring against me. They ended up blocking me and I was hospitalized some weeks after (keep in mind that I did a lot of other crazy shit but maybe it isn't relevant right now).

My point here is, from experience, there are no such specific triggers for psychosis itself. Maybe for some behaviors, but you are not the reason why your friend got ill. I did have several breakdowns where I thought I was going to lose it without my ex-girlfriend, but it's what was going on in my life at the time. I certainly don't see her as a trigger, specially because she didn't give me any atention. Though, I understand your situation is different.

I say give it time. You are not "toxic".Trust me, when she gets better, everything will be fine. When I got better I felt a lot of guilt and regret. I just wanted to apologize to everyone I could. Your friend is currently not herself. She is having delusional thoughts. Keep in mind that psychosis doesn't just go away in one day, even with medication. It's quite the process.

I'm sorry if this was a little too long. Just wanted to share my experiences to help you out a little bit.

Be patient and strong. Also, be confident that things will get back on track for everyone. It's hard for some people to understand mental illness.

All the best.
Thank you Paper Wings, you are very strong for posting your experiences and sharing them with a complete stranger (me!) I appreciate it as it helps me a lot. I’ve been told to Stay away, so I am. My friend is still in the hospital, and she is refusing to take medication. Was that how it was for you too? Did it take you awhile to get on board with the meds and the side affects the meds can give?

Thanks again for your insight. I can see definite similarities and I’m glad to know first hand that I’m not “toxic” or a trigger!
 
P

Paper Wings

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
10
#6
Thank you Paper Wings, you are very strong for posting your experiences and sharing them with a complete stranger (me!) I appreciate it as it helps me a lot. I’ve been told to Stay away, so I am. My friend is still in the hospital, and she is refusing to take medication. Was that how it was for you too? Did it take you awhile to get on board with the meds and the side affects the meds can give?

Thanks again for your insight. I can see definite similarities and I’m glad to know first hand that I’m not “toxic” or a trigger!
You are very welcome. Posting about my experiences is what motivated me to join this forum.

It's good that you are staying away. It's the best for both of you, in my opinion.

I didn't have a problem with medication. I was very confused at first, because I didn't know why I was there in the first place, but I would just take whatever they gave me, and continued to take it after I left.

I didn't experience a lot of side effects with antipsychotic medication or antidepressants. I was just little emotionless for a while. They have definitely helped me a lot (still on them, have been for over a year). The anxiolytics are what gave me some trouble, even though they helped when I needed them.

I hope she starts taking her medication, because it does help, and I hope she gets well soon.
 
C

coffeerox

Active member
Joined
May 7, 2018
Messages
27
#7
Understand that the delusions & voices together create a false reality for her & what she's doing and saying is influenced by it. The best way to help your friend is to help her stay grounded in reality. Be objective, focus on the facts and focus on what's real. What comes from inside the head is not. What's outside, the people, & so on, are.