I’ve had my fair share of crappy friendships, but only one that I’d really call truly toxic. I’m not going to share too much about what it was like, because last time I did I got a lengthy email from the girl trying to further gaslight, manipulate me, and make me feel bad, so I think that tells you enough.
It’s one of the absolute toughest things to recover from though, and not something that’s spoken about an awful lot, so I thought I’d take a post to discuss how I’ve gone about healing myself after having someone go out of their way to try to hurt me.
Find Better Friends
For me, I reconnected with a few people I’d lost touch with or grown apart from, and it was wonderful. They were people I already knew well, so I had no fear of another horrible situation, and they really helped to show me that I definitely wasn’t the issue. Having a support system is so important, and having a solid support system is especially important when your prior one was working to screw things up for you.
Reflect on it with honesty
We live in a world where people screw up, and you can be one of those people. I spent several months reflecting on both the actions of others involved, and my own, before even talking about it to anyone. Especially having my ‘friend’ saying I was the toxic one, I’d been gaslighting her etc., I needed to really think on it all and asses everything to ensure it wasn’t me.
Talk to others
After talking it through with others, not only was I much more sure that I had actually been the target of this girl rather than the other way round, I also just felt so much lighter. Talking about the things that have hurt you really does help relieve some of the pain, and also helped me to move past it, because eventually, it’s just tiring to talk about.
Even better, if you can without causing more harm to yourself, is talking to others who were involved in the friend group. Having others who had been there confirm that it hadn’t been my fault, that they knew she had lied about me, and that they were okay with me, was the biggest relief I’ve ever experienced. They even apologies to me, which definitely helped me in the long run.
Take time for you
Having a toxic friend really does a number on you, they’re someone you trust and confide in, only to have that used against you. I had to really take time not just for self care and looking after myself, but also to almost get to know myself again. What kind of friend am I when I’m not being manipulated and played around?
It’s tough, and its unfair that you should have to do it, but it helped me so much in the long term to just know myself and my boundaries that bit better. Plus, if I end up with a toxic friend again, I should be able to figure it out and give them the boot pretty quickly!
It’s taken me a while to get over everything and feel healed from the situation, definitely not helped by the girl being about two steps from stalking me online, but I did it!
It’s a frustrating and difficult process, compounded by the fact that it’s really them that needs to sort themselves out, but at least now I’m stronger, I know myself better, and I won’t be letting it happen to me again.