Torn between loving someone or walking away
Hi there, I'm a seventeen year old girl and I've recently realised that I've fallen in love with my toxic ex best friend? Things are so complicated right now. We used to be extremely close but after a few years of her bullying me, a few years of her gaslighting me and blaming me for everything (with good moments in between), a few misunderstandings, a phone call where she tells me how I mean nothing to her, and a term's worth of ignoring each other, things have just fallen apart. I know that she isn't exactly good for my mental health but I often find myself missing her company and wishing that things could go back to the way they used to be. I guess I liked who I was when I was with her, I could listen to her talk all day, I felt seen and understood when I was with her, I really loved her and I just wanted to be there for her. I was the one who ended our friendship (because at some point I couldn't deal with the way she treated me anymore) but I still feel very guilty over it as she deals with various mental health problems (trich, anxiety, OCD and likely borderline) and for a while I was her only friend and the only one she could open up with about these things. I'm so torn between fixing things with her or staying away. As of right now we are civil and slowly becoming friends, the problem with that is I tend to get extremely attached to people and can get hurt by their words and actions extremely easily (she is quite a mean and insecure person who attacks the flaws of those around her to make herself feel better) and I'm scared of what will happen to my mental state if we become close again. Most of my friends tell me to just get over my feelings and move on (they don't know that I'm in love with her, they just think that we were really good friends) which isn't helping me much. I'm torn between trying to be there for someone who probably needs it and protecting myself from the possible hurt which could come from loving this person. She's the first girl I've fallen in love with and it's just been really hard and I've never felt more alone before. Most of my friends are homophobic, as are my family who would disown me if they found out. Part of me is also dealing with internalised shame about being LGBT+ as I am religious. I'm just really struggling and I would appreciate any advice. Should I try to help and love someone who's broken my heart and trust before or should I let things go and try my best to get over it as everyone tells me to?
Welcome here to the support Forum, it has taken a while for you to get an answer to your ;post, which would have been most discouraging, however I'm afraid our system does not always work as well as we would like. Please be certain it is nothing to do wiht you personally or your topic.
I guess there are several thngs all mixed up here and it is no wonder you feel uncertain as to what's the best thing to do.
Let's put it as the most basic level. You are thinking of resuming a relationship with someone you love, not somebody who is a stranger, but somebody it sounds like you know very well.
Relationships -as opposed to casual flings - really do need to have some sort of balance. Both persons need not only to love the other person, want to care for them, ease their path though life in their difficult times, and trust them.
Taking on the position of carer for someone who needs psychological help is a very different proposition, without the care coming back it is a sterile and exhausting thing. Expecting to be treated badly is bad for anyone.
You have not painted a good picture of your friend who appears to have been cruel and thoughtless, not loving and caring. You are already talking about how to protect yourself! That is no way to start out.
For this post I've let to one side the very real problems relating to how some misguided people regard LBTQI+ and also religion.
I think I've said enough for one day -other than to say there is no shame for you, if you feel any it is the unfeeling attitudes of others affecting you.
Would you like to come back and tell me that you think
Like Croix I would like to welcome you to the forums..
I agree with everything Croix has said, so I’ll not repeat any of that..
Im really very curious..you said you ended your friendship once..because of the way you were treated by her...You also felt guilty because of your friends mental health....Please don’t feel any guilt at all....You need to protect and care for yourself...and if she really cared for you she would treat you with respect....Like you deserve....
Do you think that starting a relationship with this person again...Will be any different from before?...will she treat you right, with the care and respect you deserve or will she be still the same and hurt you with her words?
Sorry for so many questions...but I think it’s important to ask yourself these questions, maybe talk to her about them..then decide what you feel like you should do, keeping your mental health in your thoughts as well...
My kindest wishes for you Carolyn.
Thank you for your response,
The more that I think about it, the more I realise that this relationship is pretty toxic for me. Thank you for providing an objective perspective. I think that deep inside I know that this relationship won't go anywhere and things wont change and I'll just end up being hurt again but it's just really hard to let go of it. I feel as though I've walked away and given up on someone who needed me. I know that I probably shouldn't blame myself but I seem to be carrying the guilt around. I've seen her around at school lately and things have been pretty hot and cold. One second she's civil and we're holding conversations the way we used to and the next second she's giving me the cold shoulder and purposefully excluding me from conversations. We're in the same friend group which makes it especially hard and uncomfortable for me. I've felt myself isolating myself from the group and wanting to just get away from them. I'm very lucky to have 2 friends who I can still talk and sit with at school but it's a far cry from the number of friends I used to have. I'm not completely sure if its because of this toxic relationship but I've been feeling more alone than ever before. I'm pretty unsure as to whether I should talk to her about things. A few months ago I tried to talk things out with her and when I told her how we needed to fix our cycle of fighting and making up and fighting, she told (more like yelled) me that there was no problem and that she couldn't see how there was a problem in our relationship. She said that if I thought there was a problem, it was a problem/issue with me, in her words it was a "you problem". Is this gaslighting? When I try to talk to some of our mutual friends about our issues they mostly tell me how I'm paranoid and overthinking things and how because she has mental issues I should forgive her and just get over things. I guess they don't know about my romantic feelings towards her but I'm feeling really unheard and as though I'm bothered by things that don't mean anything. Thanks again for your response, I really didn't think anyone would respond.
Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.
Your words have really made me realise that if she loved and respected me I would know it. There's a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that keeps running through my mind that goes, "we accept the love we think we deserve". I'm starting to think that maybe a part of me doesn't think I deserve anything better? I've definitely dealt with self hating thoughts in the past and I'm beginning to think that maybe that has something to do with this? While on this train of thought, I'm also slightly worried that I'll only ever fall in love with people who treat me horribly? I remember hearing about a theory that says we are attracted to people who remind us of our parents, and if our parents were abusive/narcissistic, we're more likely to be attracted to people who treat us like they did because it's familiar and that's the kind of "love" that you've been exposed to. Maybe my friends are right when they say that I'm paranoid and over-think things, I just really don't want to only love people who cause me pain and heartache. As of right now, I do not believe that things will be different if I try to fix things. I know that it will be best for me to move on and cut my losses, I'm holding onto the belief that after I graduate in a year I will never have to see her again, but it's still hard to fight the urge to try again because somehow a part of me holds onto the hope that this time things will be different. I almost feel torn between the logical part of me that knows she will never provide me with the comfort, love and support I need and the part of me that hopes for the best, can see the goodness inside her, and is still in love with her.
Thanks again for your kind words and advice.
I think by now you realise any future relationship will be the same - or worse, mainly as your return proves your need despite ill treatment.
People looking for those like their parents is simply not true, I was formally disinherited from mine around 20, and found someone who could not have been more the opposite -as I tried to be myself too. It worked out fine.
We get what we deserve? No not always I guess, however you are loving caring soul with a conscience. Hopefully that will be seen by somebody else with the same traits.
Plus we learn from experience, familiar can be a warning sign, not an attractant.
I truly believe that who ever treats you badly no matter how many times they say sorry or thing will change, do not deserve your love or friendship. We must learn to love ourselves enough to let go of toxic people in our lives....i know this from experience. Please be kind to yourself and live in the moment and have peace in your life together with people around you that respect you.