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So upset about losing friendship.

Y

yellowbear

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
10
Hello everyone ,I'm new here so I'll try to keep this as short as possible.

I'm seeking advice about what I can do to try to regain contact with my former best friend.

I'm not sure whether the events which took place were due to my friend's mental health difficulties or whether she just wanted to end the friendship and was using those difficulties as a reason.We used to be very close friends,in contact daily.

Some time into the friendship my friend was diagnosed with depression/mood disorder.I did my best to be supportive about this,going to appointments with her,discussing things with her and helping out with lots of practical issues.I did this willingly as I wanted to help as much as I could.She told me how much she "loved and cared for" me as a friend.

One of the features of her illness was risk taking behaviours and an obsession with sex.I expressed worry/concern about these things but said they were her decision in the end.As time went on,she gradually began to make excuses for not wishing to see/speak to me.She told me lies,was manipulative and selfish.She was becoming involved in a relationship with someone very young (just legal) and was obsessed with it.In the end,she broke off all contact with me in what she knew to be a very cruel and hurtful way.This was some time ago.

The more I look back on it,the more I really wonder if her behaviour towards me was actually caused by illness or whether she really is just not a very nice person and was using illness as an excuse for behaving cruelly.The reason I say this is because throughout it all,she was always capable of doing things if the end goal was to get her needs met. This meant that although she may claim not to be able to do certain things with me (through illness)..if it meant that there was something or someone she really wanted,she could do those same things to achieve her goal.This is what makes me think that she was using illness as an excuse-surely no-one can pick and choose when they are ill like that?It also makes me wonder whether she really meant all the things she said about caring etc or whether I was just someone who was "useful" at the time and so she was doing what was necessary to keep me on board?I know these things sound harsh and I don't want to believe that's the case but I feel I need to try to understand what went on.

The thing is that what she did really really upset me-I don't think anyone has behaved so heartlessly towards me before.At the time,believing her behaviour to be through illness,I didn't say much.Now though,I really feel that I ought to write to her setting out what I think of her behaviour and my feelings on the subject.I do still care about her though and,if possible would like to try to re-establish some contact.So,although,I feel,for my own sake,that I need to get my feelings across ,I'd like to try to be positive also for the future.I know that she is currently still obsessed with this relationship although for lots of reasons,it's not destined to last.Maybe ,whilst she's so obsessed,now is not a good time?

I have sent her a card just saying I was thinking of her but no response.

Please could anyone help me understand what happened and advise what I could do to get back in touch?

Thank you.
 
Lozzi_1004

Lozzi_1004

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Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
1,850
Location
Yorkshire, UK
hiya :)

hi yellowbear :)

i dont know if im going too be of much help really but ill write what i need too.
some people are just heartless and manipulative unfortunately without a mental illness, but thats not too say your friend is one of them. its hard too say whether shes being like this because of the illness or if thats just her only she will know that and if she "gets better" remorse may get the better of her and she might just get back in touch.

personally i wouldnt want a friend who caused me that much heartache! i have a select group of friends who i know i can trust and anyone else i can take or leave if im honest and i have done in the past BUT thats ME not my illness, although i have lost a few friends because of the way ive acted through mania and when they cant cope because i needed someone too lean on when im suicidal.
you can be there for your friend when she needs you but if you have too draw the line somewhere... you cant just be there too pick up the pieces and she needs too realise that as well ul have too draw the line somewhere im afraid
 
Y

yellowbear

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
10
Thank you for your reply,Lozzi.I know what you mean.I guess I remember when the friendship was good,and that's why I want so badly to understand where things went wrong and see if there's any chance to put things right.:(
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
Hi yellowbear I think lozzi's given you quite a fair accont of the way things can be, Honestly do you really want any more heartache, Some one once told me friends are for life, my experience has told me differantly friends come into your life and friends go out of your life, I had a best m8 for 20 years n i thought we would be m8's forever, but we are not even in touch now, I do have a hand full of good friends, but I dont have unrealistic expectations for the future of who will be around when I'm a pensioner. /COLOR]
 
chesya

chesya

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Sep 9, 2008
Messages
86
Location
Cornwall
I'm just speaking as someone who wasted 15 months in despair because of the loss of someone who I thought was a good friend. It took me that amount of time before I relized that I was being a slave to their narcissism.

They hadn't at all seemed like that when I knew them, but I slowy found out over a period of time of observing (NB not spying LOL) and considering their behaviour.

Again, I'm not saying that your friend is like this or even that this is all there is to my former friend, it was just the reality as far as our freindship was concerned. It took a long time to let go, but letting go opens up new opportunities as well as pain at first.

I also remember years and years ago developing a deep relationship with a friend that looked like turning imminently into something romantic, and then one day after two months of getting closer and closer, she almost blanked me and treated me like a casual acquaintance. I couldn't understand. I didn't even care about the romantic bit, I just wanted my friend back. In the end I accepted that I was a sad deluded idiot. As time went passed I got to know other people who also knew her better. It transpired that she had indeed felt similarly towards me and was constantly on about how wonderful I was and how she hoped that something romantic would happen. She then had gone for her third bout of ECT and this seemed to wipe more than usual. It seemed it wiped out the development of our relationship.

She was bipolar (I'm BP but didn't think of myself as such then) and this could also have been caused by a major mood shift caused by the ECT or not. She may have simply become more confident and within two months of our rift she pregnant by a guy who seemed to me an adonis. She may simply have uprated or reassessed her expectations. He dumped her of course, but I would still have been there as a friend for her, but I had definitely gone completely off her radar. I guess she would have been looking for a cshoulder to cry on but I didn't even figure for that (not consideration of my feelings either)

Sorry, I'm rambling. What's relevant to you, I guess, is that someone can genuinely have a mood shift which freezes you out. There's nothing you can do about it except, having made it clear that you're there for them if they change their mind let go. That's the only way they'll ever come back, by their own accord.
 
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Y

yellowbear

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
10
Thank you for your replies.I suppose,if someone had behaved the way this person had,and didn't have mental health problems,then I wouldn't even consider wanting to restart the friendship.

Is it possible though (from what you say?),that my friend couldn't help her behaviour? I suppose though,even if that were so at the time,if she did mean any of the things about truly caring for me as a friend,she could by now (some months on),have got back in touch?

I wonder if anyone thinks it's right to write to her setting out my feelings very clearly,obviously that would include some very direct observations about her behaviour.:( ?
 
chesya

chesya

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Sep 9, 2008
Messages
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Location
Cornwall
Are you sure that you haven't stated your feelings already?

I was in a situation once where I kept promising myself it would be the last communication I would make, but by making it I kept myself open to the painfully misguided hope that there would be just one more thing I could say and if she knew the whole story she would relent. But no letter can contain the whole story and there was always one more to write three months later, six months later.

I can't help feeling that all there is to be said has been said while the relationship was flourishing.

I make no apologies for quoting (roughly) Dollit on this

'Let her go and if she is a true friend she'll come back of her own accord'

In this sort of situation you need to focus on yourself. Yearning after lost friendship robs us of so much of capacity to enjoy the present. It robs us of life. I hear so much pain and longing in your words, I think it's yourself you should focus on now. Think of all the sadness and longing you feel and know that as your capacity for love and friendship. Save this beauty for yourself and ultimately for someone who can return it. If she comes back something in her could see and appreciate that. If she doesn't then she was not equal to appreciating you. She had her chance and lost it.

I know in the case of the friend who had ECT, whether it was her fault or not, the person that I came to know afterwards was no longer the friend I had loved. There was no choice but to let go. She had gone.
 
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Y

yellowbear

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
10
Chesya,you're dead right about the "sadness and longing" as I really believed that we had a special friendship and that she "loved and cared" for me as she said,but no,I didn't say everything about how I felt because at the time I believed what she said about her behaviour being due to mental illness,so I held back.

How about I really put myself out there and send her a loving ,caring message saying how much I care,how much I was truly shocked/hurt by her behaviour (as I'd believed her words about caring),how I believe her behaviour was due to illness and about how I'm willing to meet/talk things through etc etc?I realise that this is really,probably going to make her think how pathetic I am and realise she has another chance to hurt me fair and square (which she'll no doubt take,if she is just a user),but on the other hand,if there is any glimmer of genuiness there,won't that bring it out and mean she'll respond positively,unless my worst fears are confirmed and she is totally heartless? :confused::((I don't honestly know at this point if I even have the courage to send such a message).
 
chesya

chesya

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Location
Cornwall
If it's really going to be a last ditch reaching out that's going to get off your chest everything you need to. Then I'd say go ahead. If you're really stuck with blocked unexpressed stuff, then I guess it needs expression.

I would try to make it the last definitive statement and should she not respond, leave it. Beware of the feeling afterwards that you just missed one last thing out. Please do this as means of letting go. Letting go is ultimately the only way she'll ever come back, and if she doesn't it's the only way of sparing yourself terrible heartache and misery.
 
Ashami

Ashami

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Hi there Yellowbear, sorry you are having friend problems.

Like Chesya, I once fell victim to a narcissistic friend and was totally taken in for 13 years until one day she froze me out of her life. Soon after, I spent days writing a six page letter laying out my feelings, concerns, worries and love for my friend. She replied with a scribbled note accusing me of everything from being a child abuser to a junkie.

So, bearing in mind that my opinion is of course prejudice by this above experience, don't waste the ink.....

Mental illness is no excuse for bad behaviour and whilst there are times people behave unreasonably due to a mental disorder, being drunk, ill or a host of other reasons, I still believe there are certain codes of behaviour that are unacceptable regardless of situation.

I don't think writing to your former friend is right or wrong, it's about what you need to do to feel better yourself.

It seems that you expressing your concerns to your friend is what triggered her gradual withdrawal and if this is the case then she seems an odd sort of friend who cannot accept genuine concern for what it is. Is it once again the case that your friendship was based on you saying only what she wanted to hear? Ive been caught in friendships like that and they are very wearing as it's like dealing with a child.

Just my thoughts.....
 
Y

yellowbear

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Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
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Thank you for all your replies,I really am grateful.:)

I'm thinking very hard about this because whilst a big part of me cares for this friend still,I'm also very wary of suffering more hurt.

The word "narcissistic" has been mentioned a couple of times in the replies and I looked that up in the context of personality disorder.Not all of the characteristics fiitted what I observed but these did:

interpersonally exploitative.. uses others to his advantage
lacks empathy

I'm really struggling with this.Part of me also wonders if I handled things as well as I should have as there were times when I was worried out of my mind about some of the stuff my friend got up to.She just didn't seem to appreciate my concerns or why I felt like that though and was quite cold in her response.I thought if I wrote to her,I would say I was sorry for not handling things better but all I did was out of genuine concern for her.:(Before being ill,she was very caring and we were very close.

I feel it's all such a mess.It sounds from what people are saying though,that the likelihood is that I'll just set myself up for more hurt.Surely my friend must have a heart still ,is what I keep thinking.:confused::confused::(
 
chesya

chesya

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Sep 9, 2008
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Location
Cornwall
Who know's if she has a heart, and if she does she may not have a place in it right now for you.

If you feel deep down that it's worth spelling out your feelings one more time do so as eloquently and concisely as you can. Avoid making judgemental comments about her behaviour. Emphasize the openess of your position.

But then, I really feel you need to let go, not just of her but the pain and mess there seems to have been.

It is possible to project your own feelings of vulnerability onto another and want to protect them and even help them heal. If this was the case with you and her, maybe she didn't want to be protected or rescued by you.

It sounds with the emotional turmoil you yourself are in right now that the last thing you need is having to deal with someone else's as well.

You sound to me like you really need to concentrate on yourself right now and allow yourself to heal.

Take care.
 
M

Missfit

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Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
26
Just wanted to say I understand, i'd been close friends with a guy online for 4yrs & thought of him like a brother, he was all take take take, never give, never there for me & selfish as hell, a user. Maybe narcissistic also (sp). Anyway I wanted to get out, felt like I was in an abusive relationship, loved him so much I couldn't leave. People said take him as he is & be miserable (He was making my borderline pd flare up) or leave. So I left & it was one of the most difficult & painful things for me. I'm much happier now. Sometimes we have to let go, wish you the best whatever your decision
 
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