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boundaries

Posted by catsinspace , 28 December 2011 · 12 views

This year I've learned a great deal about standing up for myself in a constructive way. My MO has always been to pretend nothing bothered me and then explode at the slightest thing. Obviously this led to many toxic relationships and ruined friendships, having healthy boundaries is so important.

Last year I "dumped" a friend who changed a lot through the course of our friendship over many years, she eventually turned into an emotional vampire. The stress in her life spilled out onto me and I couldn't handle it with everything I had going on. Everyday she would call me angry, ranting about something...she stopped asking how I was and never wanted to do something positive about her problems. This went on for months before my boyfriend pointed out how miserable I looked whenever I got off the phone with her. I'd stop everything I was doing to let her vent yell scream to me about her life. She didn't want to accept that I didn't want to go out and party my problems away with her anymore, I was over that period in my life. It killed me to detach from her at first because I didn't want her to think I was abandoning her. I tried asking her for space but she wouldn't let me have any and began guilt tripping me when I spaced out how often we spoke. When it got too much I cut her out. She began to harass me through the internet and through mutual friends. Just recently she e-mailed me asking me to talk to her, insulting me in the process...I told her I would get a restraining order on her if she didn't cease and desist. Thankfully I haven't heard from her since.

This was truly the first time I rationally handled something like this. I learned a lot of things about myself in that situation and at the same time I'm left confused about a few things. When is it right to leave a situation or relationship? Obviously my friend needed help but refused to accept any. Should I have found help for her, against her will? (A rehab type situation) The good that came out of this was hopefully she'll understand that she can't treat people that way anymore. I learned that I NEED to set boundaries for myself. I've been slow to make new friends because I'm testing out how I handle things, it gets lonely but being ok with solitude has improved my quality of life. I think survivors tend to accept unhealthy relationships because it's what we're used to. I slowly let go of a lot of people I knew were no good to have around.

I really want to work on my self esteem before I let others too close. If I don't feel good about myself then I will just be repeating history. Even though there was a lot of pain in these decisions I feel like new friendships will be better with deeper understanding and respect.



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shelliebelle
Dec 28 2011 04:27 PM
i'm sorry that your friendship ended up the way that it did but it sounds like you did what was best to keep you emotionally safe and your sanity intact! it's hard to let others in but take it slow and friendships will form. i'm glad that you're putting yourself first...i've found out through personal experiences that you can't ever really change someone unless they WANT to and it doesn't sound like this friend wanted significant change...just to vent and stay miserable. you don't need people like that in your life when you're trying to heal, ya know. good luck hun :hug:
I had the same experience not too long ago. I realized that my best friend was a crazy maker, and had way too much drama all the time, but no desire to change things. I am so glad that you know enough to set boundaries for yourself. It took me a really long time to learn that. And at times I forget again. Over the Christmas break I ran into her again. This time she couldn't suck me in, because I had detached. I realize now it was the best thing I could have done for me. You will find better, healthier friendships. It takes time, and an understanding of how to take care of yourself. You did the right thing though.
good for you. as you get older, you realize that you may have few friends, but you do not need blood sucking friends who really do not respect your boundaries.

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