Finally stood up to my "best" friend and now I'm scared about repercussions.

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mimzy

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Hello everyone,
My "best" friend and I have known each other for about 17 years - since college. Our relationship continued throughout our twenties where we would drink and do drugs together. In our early thirties, we got sober but continued to have a very co-dependent relationship. Since getting sober and practicing a lot of self-care, I started to notice that she rarely, if ever, takes responsibility for her side of the street, ex: My husband and I visited her and her husband several years ago. She and I got into a disagreement. I apologized for my part (snapping at her and being passive aggressive) but she never did (texting her husband about me snapping at her which got both of our husbands involved and not being honest with me about her hurt feelings when I apologized, acting as if everything was ok but then complaining to her husband and my husband about my behavior.) This unhealthy pattern has continued throughout our friendship. A year ago I began intense therapy to unravel and cope with the unhealthy patterns that have developed over the years between me and my UBPD mother. Since then, I have become stronger and now recognize that my friend's behavior - very similar to me and my mother's where I would take a lot of the blame in order to keep my mother "happy" - is unhealthy for me. I finally had the courage to call my friend (after a lot of guidance in therapy) and expressed to her over the phone that her not being mindful about her side of the street is having a negative impact on me. She proceeded to make excuses and the conversation ended abruptly since her toddler needed attention. The next day, she sent me an email thanking me for my honesty and that she is prepared to take the time to review any amends she might owe me (I didn't ask her to do this) and that we can set up a time for her to do this. If she's left anything out, I can feel free to let her know. I thanked her for this and forwarded the email to my therapist. When I met my therapist, she gave me her take on the email prefacing that her take (my therapist's take) could be completely wrong since she doesn't know my friend. My therapist basically thinks that my friend's response had a lot of sarcasm to it. Though I think my friend is trying to do the next right thing, I do believe there is a lot of unresolved anger in her regarding her past with her mother. I told my therapist this and my therapist warned me that, because this friend is such a trigger for me, my expectations should be kept very low insofar as whether or not my friend will be able to mind her side of the street in the future and that I might want to consider letting go of the relationship. My therapist asked me why I am still friends with this person. Honestly, after making a due diligent evaluation on my part, I see that her liabilities outweigh her assets at this point so I would be relieved if the friendship dies naturally. My concern, however,  is that one of two things will happen. 1) My friend will make amends and I'll feel obligated to accept and continue the friendship. 2) She will make amends and leave out some important things which I will then take the opportunity to gently bring to light and she'll get angry which will make me get angry and I'll say some things I'll regret. I think ultimately, the friendship is doomed because I can't be true to myself and the recovery I've made with regard to my relationship with my mother and keep it going at the same time. What I'm getting at is this: I think it's ending and I'm sad. But it's not over yet and I'm scared. I think the closure is coming and I'm scared of both of our hurt feelings. If anyone can relate and share their experience in coming out the other side, I would be most grateful. thank you.

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Malini

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hi Mimzy, it's tough when long term friendships come to an end, I found it almost as difficult as going NC with my parents, and there was the same hesitation, last minute hoping things would get better if I told them what I needed, until I finally cut the cord.

I ended 2 40 yr friendships this year. I did both by email. One friend lives nearby, the other across the ocean. One friend tried to re engage, and I just had to keep repeating the same message until I stopped responding. She sent me a birthday card this year - to my dearest friend  :blink: - to which I didn't respond. The one who lives across the ocean hasn't even acknowledged my mail - basically giving me the ST, which is what I wanted, so I can't be too upset, but it does remind me of my NMs behaviour towards me and validates the fact that I made the right choice.

I didn't want to hurt anyone unneccesarily, although they have hurt me time and time over, so my mail basically stated that I had changed and didn't feel I could maintain relationships that now felt inauthentic to me. I also underlined that nobody was the bad guy in the story but that the way we related to each other was no longer healthy for me. I also said that I would never forget the good memories, but that these weren't enough to sustain the friendship.

I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and only now realise how difficult these relationships were. These were the only two people who could affect me in such a manner, whenever I saw their phone number or email address pop up, I became anxious and had a knot in my stomach. Meeting with them was always accompanied with feelings of stress. I thought that was normal, but have now realised that the norm is to feel joy and happy anticipation before seeing friends.

I made a list of all the shitty stuff they did to me and what I had to put up with as a reminder of why I was taking the plunge and cutting myself free from people who really did not have my best interests at heart - ever.

I hope this helps you. Life is too short to waste our precious time on people who don't truly care for us and just use us to make themselves feel better about themselves or their lives in general. Good luck.
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mimzy

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Hi Malini,
Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of that. It really does sound familiar. I am always walking around on egg shells with this person - like I did with my mother. It's not healthy for me. I like how you underscored the fact with your friendship that no one was the bad person. I think that's very wise. I might use that. Part of me feels so dishonest for giving my friend the opportunity to make amends - like you said, life is too short!! And it's been my experience that the people who trigger me the most don't necessarily change. Rather, it becomes my responsibility to limit my contact with them or do NC, as you did with your folks. I wish I could just jump to the end of this chapter and see how it ends. Like I said, I'm afraid of being triggered again in a way that is toxic. She has hurt me so many times. I am doubting that the leopard can change its spots. Ugh. Anyways, I appreciate you taking the time to share. I am putting this out there now to be held accountable. I will let folks know what happens - when/if she makes the amends and how things play out.

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Frazzled

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My concern, however,  is that one of two things will happen. 1) My friend will make amends and I'll feel obligated to accept and continue the friendship. 2) She will make amends and leave out some important things which I will then take the opportunity to gently bring to light and she'll get angry which will make me get angry and I'll say some things I'll regret. I think ultimately, the friendship is doomed because I can't be true to myself and the recovery I've made with regard to my relationship with my mother and keep it going at the same time. What I'm getting at is this: I think it's ending and I'm sad. But it's not over yet and I'm scared. I think the closure is coming and I'm scared of both of our hurt feelings. If anyone can relate and share their experience in coming out the other side, I would be most grateful. thank you.

I was in a similar situation and I knew, after several successful hoovering attempts in the past, that a 9-year "friendship" with an uBPD person wasn't meant to be. His desire to "make amends" was just another attempt at hoovering me back in while he continued to fail to seek help. When I emailed him a little criticism, he called me a "B****" 5 times and lobbed many other insults my way. At that point completely cutting of contact was the only thing for me to do. He tried hoovering me again several months later, but I saw through his "bullshit" (actually calling it bullshit is complimenting it) and maintained NC. A year later, after my last contact with him, he still hasn't learned, and possibly (we can't verify if it really is him) is still sending nasty texts to my husband.

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clara

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Malini puts her finger on one of the problems with these types of friendships--they then to cause more problems than warrant continuation of the relationship.  Yet when you're in the relationship, it's often hard to see how dysfunctional it is because you get used to the PDs behavior.  Often they will try to blame you for their  behavior, as if they're not like that with other people and it's just YOU causing them to act like they do.  Or they'll promise to do better,   but say it only to placate you because they don't want to lose the friendship (until they're good and ready).  When I, too, realized that my long-time friend was a source of anxiety and tension since I never knew what to expect when being around him, I realized as well that there was no longer any point in remaining friends with him.  Why put up with the lies, arguments, accusations etc.?  When I took a careful look at what I was giving as opposed to what I was receiving and saw how out of balance things were, it was easy to let go. The thing is, when I did, he didn't seem to care and has made no attempt to contact me.  If he did, I think the response of the friendship seeming inauthentic is a very good one as it's very much the truth!

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meringue

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Hi Mimzy!

Sorry to hear about the trouble with your BF. Especially since you've been through so much together.

As I read your post and others' comments here, so many things sounded familiar. Taking the blame for things to keep the peace; walking on eggshells; pouring our best selves into people who just don't really care if we stay or go (as evidenced by their actions when the friendship is hanging by a thread); being made to feel like YOU'RE the one bringing all the drama to the party. 

She might make amends, but I almost feel like you'll be done a favor if she doesn't. There's a chance she could get help and get better, but I worry you're in for more heartache sooner or later. :(  That's where I am. I took things on as "my fault" to keep the peace; apologized when I really didn't have anything to apologize for; and let her say hurtful things to me without retaliating or even showing anger back. The problem with that is you're not being honest with each other (and I get why you're holding back) and then somewhere down the line she'll say something and the words you've been stifling come out and she'll think it's *especially* undeserved in that moment.

After one of my ruptures with my uBPD friend (we're in the NC phase now) I realized that I was bringing some of my own baggage to the table. The PDs often need drama and that coaxes out the broken parts of non-PDs. I found a book that helped me and something you said in your post made me think of it. The book is "When the Past is Present" by David Richo. It's essentially how we pick people in our present because they are familiar to us as unfinished business from the past. In other words, it's completely natural that with a M with uBPD you would chose a best friend that way too. She probably always felt comfortable and familiar even if you didn't know why. But the traps are familiar too.

What I learned from the book is that there were some unresolved emotional elements from my past with my mother that were present in my uBPD friend. And trying to resolve them through her, as I realized I was hoping to do, was a recipe for disaster.  :doh: So, now I realize I have more work to do on myself. Not everyone is worthy of your purest affection, even if you WANT more than anything to give it.

Malini nailed it. Life is too short to put yourself into someone who's just a black hole. Pour your love into yourself instead. You deserve it. :)
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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mimzy

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Hello everyone,
Thank you for all of your wonderful replies and support. Well, a few days ago, my friend sent me an email saying she did a thorough review with her sponsor and, despite this, couldn't come up with anything specific that she needed to make amends for. She ended her email saying she'd felt like I had manipulated her. I was disappointed, to be sure. I also felt super foolish because, like I said, she'd sent me an email a few weeks ago indicating she'd clean up her side of the street. I respectfully wrote back that this was unacceptable and told her that, given these circumstances, I think it was in my best interest to terminate the friendship. She wrote back: "I am relieved to say good-bye. Take care." I replied with a thumbs up emoji. The first 24 hours I was on a complete high. OMG ... I stood up to her!! And I did it in a sober way - no swearing, no inflammatory language - just boiler plate stuff. Now, I'm feeling like an orphan. Even though I know I'm not. But this relationship, next to my husband and a part from my relatives, has been the longest one I've had. My sponsor congratulated me and said that I would be in a mourning period so I guess this is it. I know it's none of my business what they think...she and her husband (who has unfriended both me and my husband on FB) nevertheless, there is a desperate desire for both of them to understand my truth!! I'm scared to death that they will be blabbing about me to their AA meetings (which I don't know anyone in since they live across the country so it's a pretty senseless fear)... I feel so misunderstood. How can someone (my friend) hear me tell her she hurt me and then turn around and say I'm manipulating her?? I feel like she gaslighted me one last time. The crazy thing is that I feel like I'm being pulled back in... not that I'll call her up or anything... but that desire to is there. This friendship was literally like a drug to me.  Anyways, your comments really helped me sober up and remember how important it is for me to stay the course and stay away from toxic people, like her and her husband!!

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meringue

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Good for you for making the decision to end it. It's not easy but in the long run it will be much healthier for you.

One of the truest, most frustrating things I've found about life is this: You can't reason with unreasonable people.

She will never accept her role in the deterioration of the friendship.  EVER. It doesn't sound like she was ever sorry for miscommunications or hurt feelings that happened during the course of your friendship, so she sure as hell isn't going to think the end of the friendship has anything to do with her.

As for the unfriendings all around on FB, again, that is a favor. You would probably vacillate before doing so because it seems 'unkind' to do that. But then she would still be in your life. You need her gone. You need to mourn the friendship, and while there were a lot of good times, there were many more not-good times that were unnecessary drama/conflict and leaving you questioning your own instincts and sanity.

Whatever she says about you in her meetings isn't your reality.  You aren't a bad person because she tells her meeting you are.

Grieve the loss, and when you're in a safe place to do so, let yourself be with the pain for a while - not to dwell, but to process. And know many of us here are doing the exact same thing. :)
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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mimzy

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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS Meringue!!   :applause:  :applause: I needed that. By the way, I have been reading and re-reading the email I sent her and I'm not sure why. It might be because it's exactly how I've been feeling for years and when I read it I feel like I'm playing her and I'm finally being heard. OR ... I'm obsessing over my words in the email...thinking that had I written things differently she could have been persuaded to own her part. But, like Meringue says, you can't reason with unreasonable people. Obsessing over this email is starting to have a negative impact on me... because then I start doubting my POV.... and I imagine her and her husband tearing my email to bits. If anyone else has had a similar experience, please feel free to share. I would like to get to the root of this desire so that I can focus on stopping it.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 06:39:55 PM by mimzy »

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meringue

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 :) :) :) I'm glad that helped!

Doubting your POV is normal. After all, you've probably spent a lot of the relationship doing it. Otherwise you'd have been gone a long time ago. You've thought to yourself for so long, "If only I <this>;" "If only I <that>." "Maybe I <did/n't> do something that caused this." You tried everything you could, it still wasn't enough; and you *still* weren't getting what you needed out of the friendship. What other alternative is there besides walking away? Unless you want to be caught in this exhausting cycle for the rest of your life. You know?

What I am asking myself is, Why does it matter?  Why am I so hellbent on trying to earn affection from someone who is so thoroughly undeserving?  For you, You've already conceded she isn't a reasonable person, haha. So why do you care what she thinks?

To empaths, walking away from a friendship -especially a long one- is a very foreign and unsettling concept.  To a PD, it's Tuesday.

But luckily, we're all here to help each other heal; and heal ourselves. :) 
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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mimzy

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Meringue, yes, yes. That all resonates with me. I need to keep talking about this... it's unbelievably hard... how much I am doubting my POV. Her husband has also been part of this unhealthy dynamic and, quite frankly, i am afraid of him. He once called my husband up (this was 7 years ago) after she and I had had a disagreement while my husband and I were visiting their home across the country .. I mentioned this story above ... anyways, while there I felt backed into a corner by both them .. I felt pressure to make amends for snapping at my friend. I said sorry but it wasn't sincere and, because I didn't change the atmosphere in the house to their liking, I felt all of my shame from childhood well up... to make a long story I became an emotional wreck the last 48 hours of staying with them. So a few days after my husband and I came home, her husband calls up my husband and told him that he thinks I might have BPD. He'd been "doing research" and came to that conclusion. Mind you, this man is a screenwriter, not a doctor. At the time I had never heard of such a thing.. I was a little over two years sober at the time and was horrified at the possibility of having another disease. When I spoke to someone in the rooms about this (a psychologist) and my sponsor, both of them were outraged that this man had said such a thing because it just wasn't his place. It was so emotionally draining and horrible. I eventually made an amends to him, about six months later, for my inappropriate behavior, which, after some hemming and hawing, he accepted. I guess what I'm getting at is... I'm afraid of him coming at me - via email, via the telephone... I'm afraid of his shame ... his anger... it sounds so ridiculous. At the same time, I have a feeling (which is ultimately none of my business) that he is co-signing my former friend's sob story about how I "did her wrong". Once again, I am the guilty one. It all feels so familiar and ugly. I know... why does it matter? It doesn't.... I doesn't!! It's just that it's bringing back so many unpleasant memories... of being misunderstood by my parents. And the inmates running the asylum. I'm not saying I'm perfect. I've been in counseling for my relationship with my UBPD mother for over a year now so I have been working through my stuff!!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 07:39:01 PM by mimzy »

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meringue

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Wow Mimzy!

Those two sound like real pieces of work!!

My guess is the husband "was doing research" because he realized there was something going on with his wife. But it's a lot easier to make you out as the PD than his wife. As long as those two stay married he'll never side against her.

If you're afraid of repercussions in terms of what he'll say, I think he's probably already tried to hurt you as much as he thinks is possible. If you and your husband can agree to a NC plan with either then that should help.

If however you're afraid for your safety, that's a different story and you may need to involve the authorities.

It's frustrating to have good intentions that simply are not understood by someone else. It makes you second guess everything. I still am second guessing mine and my actions. But sometimes all we can do is let go and move on.  And work on attracting healthier friendships.

Hugs!
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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mimzy

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Hi meringue,
Yep - they definitely have their unresolved issues. I don't fear for my safety.. Thank goodness. I just think her husband is a bit of a brute and a little primitive in terms of dealing with his feelings. This means that I've often heard him speak mercilessly about people who have spoken "ill" of him or his friends.. Or his wife. Your typical character assassination with no restraint. So the itty bitty shitty committee in my head has been playing possible tapes of what he might be saying about me and, you're right, they are probably not nice. Oh, well. Just cause he says them doesn't make them true. Anyways, I wanted to let you know I purchased the book you recommended. I've started reading it and it's helping me a great deal.. Helping me neutralize my thoughts towards these silly billes.  :smug: Also, I checked my self esteem bank account balance today and it has gone way up since ending that relationship with my "friend". I am writing this so I can go back and refer to it when/if I begin to doubt myself... It's amazing how I can allow people inside my head! Anyways, I just have to say that what I did ... Ending the relationship cold turkey full stop was BAD ASS. Like James Bond bad ass. Rather than cry about the fact that she totally made a 180, I just... Ended it. I think I shall give myself a pat on the back... Or a round of applause.  :applause: anyways, thanks for everything.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 09:50:51 PM by mimzy »

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meringue

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Hey Mimzy!!

That's great news! :)  :applause: :applause: :applause: Congratulations!

Something that helped me is the Working On Us board.  You might wanna head on over and check it out. Now that you're rid of her you can pay attention to more important things. Like yourself!

See ya 'round the boards. :)
m
There's no reasoning with unreasonable people.

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mimzy

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Sounds great! I will do that now!  :)

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FinallyPeace

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Mimzy, be grateful that you are done with this toxic relationship NOW and not anymore days in the future.

I've shed a lot of lengthy relationships when they pretty much ran their courses and were unhealthy.  Just because it's been a long friendship, doesn't mean it's healthy.  There are cetain seasons for everything.  Sometimes they are long seasons.  Sometimes short seasons.  I'm glad to determined that this wasn't in your or your husband's best interest any longer.

This may make you smile...read the post I put out there about a friend...   :upsidedown: :tongue2:
http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=51833.msg472620#msg472620
"Behind the smile, a hidden knife!"
― Ancient Chinese saying describing passive-aggressive behavior
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bopper

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Some friends are only mean to be for a season....and that season has past for you.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.