Hello everybody! Hope you are well! I’m glad to announce you that… I’m back with a new post! (Yaaaayyy!)
I wanted to talk about something more personal than my previous posts, about a topic very important to me and that I’ve been hiding for too long, too afraid to speak up about it and face judgement about the way I faced that. But today, I decided to raise my chin up and fight one of my demons.
Everybody had (or still has!) a toxic friend. It could be a woman, a man, it could be older or younger than you. Sometimes it’s a coworker, sometimes even your employer, or your neighbour, your classmate, your brother-in-law.
They exist, they make everything different, sometimes they drive you mad and pull out the worst of you. They make you different, and your friends – your real friends – can see it. But why do people often treat the topic like a taboo, hiding the truth?
The answer came out after I briefly talked about it with a girl that I admire a lot (you should also give her a follow on Instagram, @falkyou), after she posted a story about someone who was being a poisonous thorn in her life. She faced it with a positive and constructive attitude, and then she mentioned what was probably keeping her (and a lot of other people out there, including me) from raising their head against toxic people: empathy.
Now, I don’t know the details about her personal toxic story, but oh boy, I know about mine. I had a couple of friendships really ruining me inside and outside, and I never had the bravery to speak out and tell the truth. I was afraid of feeling “mean and superficial”.
The first one started when I was fifteen, and to be honest I don’t feel like explaining it because both me and my friend were teenagers, and we both made our mistakes. We then recognized what we did, we both said how sorry we were – not only with words, but with actions – and we both changed and grew up in a positive way.
But my latest toxic friendship didn’t start (and end) long ago, sadly. What I am talking about is a toxic relationship between two adults. Two female adults that instead of supporting each other and cooperate (in a world that it’s already too hard and full of injustice) wasted their energy, time and lost their peace to deceive each other, play games at each other’s back, saying and thinking horrible things.
I met this girl few years ago, and it was clear from the beginning that a friendship between us wouldn’t be easy. First of all, she was “part of the pack” already, and I was the new girl coming from another city, which for some reason focused a lot of attentions on me. I think that was the moment in which she started to hate me. She has always been feeling like the Queen Bee, and I inadvertently stole her crown.
We were learning the same foreign language, and despite I started a year after her, I was better than her at it. People were amazed by that, they were asking me to say things in this language and native speakers were laughing and finding it cute. But what I remember is also me spending nights and nights on my exercise books, watching movies with subtitles until they gave me nausea, doing researches online and also finding online penpals that could help me. What she did was just learning love and sexual phrases without practicing, not even the alphabet. Was that my fault? I don’t think so… But her insecurities started to come out.
In the end, she tried everything because despite I knew she hated me, she desperately tried to copy me in everything. And I mean, everything. From Instagram selfies and captions (word by word!) to the films I like, the songs I like, my hobbies, and much more. She used also to give me compliments about my clothes and take selfies with me, then tell the others how slutty I was dressed and more. But this is not even the worst.
The worst thing is that she always denied everything, pretended to be my friend and then wrote almost daily anonymous rants on her social networks against me. She was lurking on my best friend’s instagram profile, watching all her stories but without following her. She became creepy, at the point that I began to think her problem was not only social – but also clinical.
I tried to talk about it with her boyfriend, who always said that he knew she had problems and she was insecure, without self esteem and much more. But he also always said that it was her parents’ fault, and silently let her guide his thoughts and actions, going against everyone – including his family to protect this manipulative sociopath.
If he would ever face some problem with her, putting her in front of her attitude and mistakes, they would end up fighting and she would threat to self harm or break up.
I never wanted to compete against her (and never did actually), but she always felt like our relationship was not a friendship but a competition. When her boyfriend dumped her despite forgiving her cheating (and forgiving her attitude as well), she insisted with “being friends” and kept him on a leash, never giving him the time and opportunity to heal his wounds, then she made him make it up to her for what he did… How crazy is that? Twisting someone’s mind to make them BELIEVE that THEY made the mistake YOU MADE? Making someone feel guilty of actions YOU COMMITTED? She cut down contacts with us all, and made a theatrical come back saying the usual stuff: “I’m different now, I changed.”
This is what you should never ever believe, unless they prove it. Long term.
Without disclosing too many details about her, her life and her toxic attitude towards me (and now towards a person that she follows online, and that she uses to make her own bio on social networks more interesting), I’m gonna tell you how this made me feel and how it affected my daily life.
First of all, I felt hunted. Literally. My brain, my creativity? They were not mine. Not anymore. The compliments she was receiveing, the details that were making her stand out, everything about her was fake! That was me! She would just criticize me, tell me that I was wrong, she would suggest me and my boyfriend to break up (so I would leave that group of friends), she would copy my Instagram to get more likes (what for?) but all of that was mine! Those were not random quotes I found online, those were my words! My thoughts! Everything about her made me paranoid and made me feel like I was beginning to become the guilty one. I started to have doubts. “Maybe it’s me, maybe I am not that original, maybe I am the one hating on her so much that everything she does gets me on my nerves.”
No. Don’t question your instinct. Ask to someone else, speak out, tell about it to our friends. All my friends agreed with me: she was not only a copycat, but also a passive-aggressive creep pretending to like me face to face and then spitting venom at my back, especially online – where she was feeling safer, trying to kick me out in any possible way, throwing shadows on me while I wasn’t there to stand up for myself. No one should ever be allowed to make you feel like that.
Toxic friendships make you question yourself, they make you sink in doubts, insecurities, stress and much more. They can end up making you do and/or say crazy things you didn’t think you were capable of, like isolating you from your closest one and act extreme in order to stay original. They can ruin your relationship, they can make you cut out your family members from your life. Toxic people can get closer than you think. They can become your girlfriend or boyfriend. They fill you with negative feelings, and this is unhealthy mentally and physically.
If you are involved in a toxic relationship, friendship or whatever and start to feel overwhelmed and mentally exhausted by it, don’t hide in silence. Remind yourself that THEIR EMOTIONS ARE NOT YOUR RESPONSABILITY.
When you try to help but realise you can’t, reckon with the fact they need professional help by someone that is qualified and not personally involved. Remember that whatever their insecurity is, it doesn’t give them the right to stress you, emotionally abuse you and put their insecurities in you to make themselves feel better!
And you? Did you have a toxic friendship that you cut off from your life to live healthier?
See you next time with a new post!