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Toxic Friendship or Friend in Need?

J

Jps123

New member
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Alabama
I don’t know if this is the right place to post. I’m officially at a loss with trying to help this friend and began to question the friendship as a whole. But let me try to sum everything up and start by giving some background info.

I have a long-time friend who is a bit of a narcissist. Not a complete narcissist by definition, but fits some of the traits. The friendship is very one sided and completely exhausting. I’m a chronic people pleaser. This friend gets completely hostile (with words) over the silliest things. I don’t discredit her for feeling the way she does even though to me it’s extremely silly, but if that’s the way she feels then that’s the way she feels. I try to explain it to her how it really is. She’s constantly putting me down as a friend and I’m the one who’s the most patient with her and tries to understand the hardest. No matter what I do, it’s never enough. Actually, it seems to make things worse. Recently, as I was boarding the plane to come back from our honeymoon, she texts me saying her and our mutual friend are no longer friends. This went on the entire plane ride then on to the ENTIRE next day (my first night/day in my new home). Our friend made a mistake and felt horrible for it was extremely embarrassed, but it wasn’t entirely her fault. Regardless, she put her down for everything she was worth. To the point of tears and panic attacks. I got drug into it & told her she was wrong for that, that our friend needed a friend and instead she told her how horrible of a person she was and was going nowhere in life and a lot of horrible stuff. When I disagreed with her reaction, she started attacking me. Saying how I’m so toxic and we’re all terrible friends to her. This is the summed up version of EVERYTHING but the constant walking on egg shells with her is really weighing me down and sends me into major panic attacks to the point I have high blood pressure now. When I see her name across my phone I instantly am filled with anxiety and get the body shakes. Like I said I’m a chronic people pleaser. Her and our mutual friends are no longer friends, she was really terrible to both of us but it wasn’t my battle I was simply disagreeing with her when she asked my opinion. It was hard swallowing my pride and being the one to reach out to her just a day after that. The reason being, & the reason I posted here, is that in December-April she had episodes after nights of drinking of wanting to kill herself and go to heaven. I don’t want to leave her high and dry with no friends even though she is constantly causing me issues and very one sided. I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to her. She isn’t a terrible person she does have a good heart, but it’s like she cares about her other friends more. These friends she sees a handful of times a year and haven’t been there for her like we have. It’s not jealousy from me saying that, it’s just she’s constantly talking about how great these friends are and how terrible we are. I understand mental illness and I know she has just extreme emotions but where do you draw the line? It’s causing me to develop issues and the whole friendship is just exhausting. I want to be there for her but how do you help someone who’s constantly putting you down? Don’t get me wrong, there are a few times she’s fun and sweet, if it’s just her and I. Which is my predicament I guess. & regardless, even if she was nothing but a terrible person, I still wouldn’t want to leave her alone. This is just the summed up version. I am not insensitive to the situation by any means. But I guess at this point I’m struggling to keep being a friend to her. There’s so many other situations but I’ve already typed way too much that no one will probably read. I want to love her at a distance, for now, but am I causing more harm that way? Now there’s more anxiety and stress, the fact that her and our mutual friend can’t be around each other. I don’t want to exclude anyone but the mutual friend has done nothing wrong. Of course she feels bad for the things she said when she was angry, but she didn’t really have any reason to be angry over this situation it didn’t really involve her it was more of a “you lost my respect” kinda thing. This mutual friend has been there every time for each of the friend I’m talking about lowest of lows. So now that is going to cause me more anxiety and stress. I don’t want to make other plans to see her, I’ve got a lot of things to do right now so I can’t now anyways, but I mean in general. This situation has really been the icing on the cake and I just need advice on how to quit feeling the way I do about her I guess. Or do I just back off? But what if something happens bc she feels like she’s lost all of her friends, and even though she knows she hasn’t lost me, I’m not making plans to see her? I don’t want to lose a friendship, but is it even a friendship? My other friendships are easy and don’t require the exhaustion & constant attention. I can’t give that constant attention right now as I just got married and even just texting her stresses me out because then I’ll have to tell her I can’t see her right now when she asks and it will be a panic attack for me. Wanting to make everyone happy while also trying to move between houses, adjust, and be a good wife. Is that me being selfish? When I talk to her, it ends up consuming my whole day. Like it did that first day. The first day in my new home with my new husband I spent trying to explain myself to her, ignoring him. Well not ignoring him, but felt like I had to focus all of my time on her. Because it consumes me. Maybe these are issues within myself, but that’s me as a person. I want to make everyone happy even when she was telling me how terrible of a friend I was. This is a jumbled mess, but any advice is appreciated
 
Confusedandanxious

Confusedandanxious

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
494
Location
Uk
I think the line needs to be drawn when it starts affecting you. Panic attacks and anxiety are not a part of a healthy friendship.
It seems like guilt gets the better of you, and acting on that guilt gives you temporary relief but its damaging you in the long run.
You cant keep hold because you're concerned that something will happen if she has no one. Shes an adult and not your responsibility.

What I would suggest is having a heart to heart with her. No doubt she will fire back on the defensive, but stick to your guns and stay on the topic you've set out with. Leave the ball in her court in regards to the friendship.
 
H

Helena1

Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
10,047
Location
UK
It doesn't sound like a friendship to me, more like she like having someone around to abuse.
 
Someoldguy

Someoldguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
363
Location
fly over country, USA
It sounds to me like your friend is still having emotional/ mental problems and that is where her behavior is coming from. She is going to need more help than you alone can provide, but she must also realize that there is a problem and seek out that help. You can only make suggestions. You can not 'fix' anyone or compel anyone to do anything.
 
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