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I think i'm losing it(28 Posts)
I've wanted to post about this for a while now but there is a chance that the 'woman' I am posting about is on here (paranoia kicking in - I have no other reason to believe she is). I posted briefly in legal but not to much avail (good advice buy my hands are tied). Anyway, around 13 months ago I had a minor disagreement with a friend (we were REALLY close, saw each other pretty much everyday) and she completely flew off the handle. I'm sure I played my part but she got really nasty. She called Social Services and made a horrific abuse claim about my son. She reported me to the Benefit Fraud team. She tried to attack me in my son's nursery. She sent horrendous text messages (I changed my number). She has a history of overreacting but not to this extent. I got to a really dark place after it all. I was cold, moody, shouty, my relationship with DS (now 5) was strained. I cried almost everyday and had a break down about four months later. I decided to kick myself up the arse and refuse to allow her the satisfaction. However, she has started it again! I have had no contact with her since 'the argument'. She lives very close to me, but have only seen her once (yesterday) in over a year.
She has reported me to the benefit fraud team again (all lies) and when I saw her yesterday, I ignored her, turned away and she walked right up to me, right past me well out her way. I lost my vision, I was shaking, heart was pounding. I was so angry, true blind anger. There is not a day goes by I don't think about her/what she has done. I am shaking writing this in case she sees it and gets the reaction she's been pushing for. Its taking back over my life, i really feel like I am going mad, I want to scream and cry and lose it! It's there ALL the time, no matter what I do. I tried so hard to put it behind me, life is really good but now it's right back in the front again. Sorry for long post, I just really needed to get it out, I need to deal with this and have no idea how
Do you still think of her as a friend in any way?
I know that sounds like a silly question, but please bear with me.
Not at all. I think I did, and went though a phase where I felt really let down and kind of grieved for our friendship. Now I'm just angry, beyond angry actually. Its so out of character for me
You are bound to feel upset.
And actually you tried ignoring her yesterday, so well done.
But you have overcome it before and you can do it again.
Do you have rl backup?
Thank you. Trust me it's not been easy. The amount of 'revenge' ideas that I've thought of is ridiculous. I'm not going to, it would just drag me to her level.
I've got lots of RL support but I think people are just sick of hearing it. No one seems to understand how hard it is to move on and I think it just got old news. My mum just says "You've got to stop dwelling on it. Stay positive, move on" which is right but easier said than done. I feel like I'm stood in a crowd screaming my head off and no one even notices.
Are you angry at other things in your life?
I have been, but never to this extent. Have struggled with depressive feelings (don't want to say depression as I've never been dg) in the past. Its been a rough year with a few things but this has taken precedent.
Oh BF how awful for you. I actually think that this ex friend has mental health problems herself. The way you describe her reaction to a disagreement is way way over the top and is totally irrational. You say she lives near you but you haven't seen her in a year, so seeing her again is obviously going to bring back all the feelings of anxiety. Incidentally anxiety is the medical name for fear. But you are also justifiably angry and yes I know all about "planned revenge attacks" (I have someone who was in my life who caused me a lot of distress) and I think of all sorts of awful things I could do but know that I won't do it.
I think you could well be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, as the initial event caused you far more emotional distress than your friends and relatives realise. It's understandable that they will think, "move on" etc but it has taken over your life by the sounds of it. Are you afraid of her, as anger often masks our real feelings.
The only thing I can think of is to see a therapist (you will probably need to pay for a private one) as NHS usually have a long waiting list, and try to unravel all of this. You are never going to forget it, but the aim has to be to make it more manageable so that it doesn't cause you such distress.
Can you write her a letter (and not post it) but sometimes it helps to write things down that we feel, to get it out of our head onto paper. I know this is good for me, but maybe not for you.
Maybe we could help more if you told us a bit more about your emotions, and whether seeing her yesterday has triggered you and taken you back to a dark place if you see what I mean.
I really do understand that this isn't something you can "forget" and "move on" without more support and talking to someone who can help. Therapy isn't a magic bullet but it may just help you to feel less angry and stressed about the whole thing.
How much do you know about her - quite a lot I imagine as she was a good friend. Do you know if she has ever had any mental health problems, or is given to irrational behaviour.
Thank you NN I'm so sorry you've been through something similar. Sometimes people just do not relent. She does have mental health issues, dg depression and has made some very bad calls over the past few years - reckless almost. I also believe (in fact KNOW) the majority of things she said to me were a projection of how she sees herself. The things she said were too close to situations she got herself in and too far from me and mine.
She does live so close to me, I can see her house from mine. She went through a stage of not leaving the house after it all and now she does she looks ill. She never makes an effort; looks unclean, unkempt, old holey clothes, hair not brushed. This was never the woman...the friend I knew. I think she is struggling with things again and for a while I really felt for her, even after everything. She was my friend, I loved her, but now I can't. My son had to go for a medical at the hospital after her SS referral. Her mother works for SS and she knew what would happen and did it anyway.
Yesterday, I was angry. Literally raging and shaking. Couldn't get it out of my head (again, planned revenge attacks). I am not a violent person, I wouldn't dream of causing harm to someone else, yesterday I was murderous. Today I'm sad, sad for her that she is still holding on to what happened enough to carry on trying to hurt me now. And sad because she used anything I ever said (not much, I don't think I ever fully trusted her) against me and belittled my life.
I wrote a letter, forgiving her for what she has done (never posted) and for a while it worked but its always in the back of my mind so I know it just calmed it for a while rather than dealt with it. I have thought of therapy but saw it as a 'win' for her. Like I should be able to shrug it off.
She is definitely irrational, the argument was...(can't believe I'm actually going to tell you, its SO ridiculous! Ha) We were at a kids dance class with our children (me, her and my friend) she asked if she could buy all kids a bun as her dd was getting one, I said thanks but no thanks rest of the kids are having tea when we get home. She said ok, I'll keep my dd in here and catch up with you outside when she's finished. No problems. Me, my friend and our dc left and started a slow walk out of the carpark. The woman then opened the door and said "Go on. Show them" her dd (3) ran out shouting "Look, I've got a bun! Look!" our kids then got upset
all ended up with a bun, epic parenting fail haha and she smiled! We all went home. She text me the next morning asking if I was alright with her (she knew I was a tad pissed off). I spent 45 typing out a rational, to the point but NICE text back basically saying I thought what she had done was a little thoughtless with the kids but I wasn't angry. "everythings fine here. How about you guys?" she lost it. Horrendous messages back about me and my parenting skills and how disgusting I am and it escalated from there
Should say when she held her dd back to sit and enjoy her bun, it was her who offered and said "so that the other dc don't see and get upset" it felt so planned when she walked out and I could have been horrid and made such a big deal out of it but didn't because shit happens, there are bigger things in the world than falling out over a bun at my age....or so I thought
It sounds like she cant or couldnt take anything minor said against her.
And has lost it somewhat.
I think the problem for you both is that you live so close to each other that you can see each others' houses.
Not sure what the answer to that bit is.
I think it must be so difficult to have this woman so near your house. My family has had similar experiences, (my aunt) but it was done by her ex-husband. He reported her parents to the social services for being paedophiles, told the benefits office that she was commiting fraud. All horrible things. My point is he was a bully, an emotional bully who went to extreme lengths to keep control over my aunt, almost like a child torturing insects with a magnifying glass. Your friend sounds like a bully. And I can see why you would feel so angry about the impact she has had on your life. But that anger is causing a lot of anguish for you. And so she is continuing to have an effect on your life. You are at her mercy, and imagine you feel completely out of control.
Is there anyone you can talk to about this, I mean some sort of therapist? Anger that is not 'processed' can be quite destructive. I read somewhere that depression is anger at yourself. It is no wonder you have been feeling so awful. I really feel for you. And also, this may sound a bit dramatic but can you speak to the police about her behaviour? It sounds a bit like she is harassing you.
A bun? Your torturing yourself over a bun?
The reason I ask is because all your anger, sorrow, hatred, rage, sleepless nights etc - is down to a bun.
It seems disproportionate.
I don't think it would be letting her win if you had counselling.
Wharf she did to you is absolutely horrific. There should be a law against it, it's almost like stalking in a way. She should be prosecuted.
Please get help for yourself. Nananina may be right about post traumatic stress disorder. It's easy for your Mum to say you should move on, but this friend has betrayed you so deeply, tried to get your KIDS taken away from you for gods sake (that makes my blood boil ) and is still living within sight of your house.
I think you need to talk it all through with a trained counsellor. Although I think really, the most cathartic thing to do would be up march round there, knock on her door and tell her EXACTLY what you think of her behavior. A lot of your depression is probably due to not being able express your anger towards her. However, doing that could set her off again, so the best initial course of action would be talking it through with a therapist. Writing the letters and keeping them is also a good outlet for you.
I do suspect this woman has some form of mental illness, though by saying this I do not wish to demonise others who do, or offer an excuse for her behavior.
I am so sorry this has happened to you OP. Is moving house an option?
OP, this is harassment and bullying - report her to the police.
This woman physically attacked you and is intimidating you and making malicious calls to the benefits office and you haven't reported her??
Ninja I know what you're saying and that is exactly the way I have tried to look at it (and sometimes have) but it's not is it? Its the sick, horrific things she said and done.
Thank you for all the comments, will do my best to reply to everything
Lucky That is awful I'm so sorry for your aunt. It really is an awful thing to have to go through, especially when they're so close to you! I think in a sense she is a bully, she has an over inflated view of herself. Portrays herself how she wishes she could be, I reckon. MumofMissy If I went round there, I would at stop at telling her. I am fast running out of restraint. You've both got it right about the anger and depression. I'm irritionally angry with myself for not dealing with it sooner/stopping it and having my DS go through it. I'm down about it all because short of going round there and knocking seven bells out of her (not gonna solve anything) my ties are well and truly tied. She can pretty much do what she wants and she hasn't had ANY comeback from it. No justice.
She does have a history of mental illness but I didn't want to put that in the OP because I know people in MUCH worse positions than she is with MUCH more to cope with who wouldn't even dream of doing something like this.
I reported her to the police when it first started (after the SS and benefits had been out). I was told in interview "What I find is the people who come to us first are the instigators" sooooo....that would be me then?! He then called her on the phone (?!) to issue a harrassment warning but as she did "No shes's lying, she's harrassing me"
whiny voice he called me back and said they weren't going to take it further as it seemed a petty dispute. I took it further and complained, nothing was done, the PO was backed up and I got tired of fighting. Tried legal advice and was told the best option I have is suing her for slander and/or deformation of character.
My mum is a star, she really is. I do sometimes wonder if she knows me though. She is saying what she believes to be right but last time we talked about it (when I saw the woman) I could hear in her voice she was tired of it, she just said you need to deal with this, its getting ridiculous. You're dragging it on now. She does all this and I'm made to feel unreasonable. I don't want to get into pity mode so will stop now!
I never thought of PTSD. It just seems so extreme I guess. I really don't know why I have this feeling of awkwardness about my own mental health, but I do. Its almost a "No, no. I just have to get on with it." attitude. I know I have to do something, I will not allow it to eat at me. My life is really good at the minute, ignoring all this of course. I know if I let it carry on I will be back at square one. I'm going to look into therapy. Think it's clear I can't manage this on my own.
PTSD may be a bit dramatic but there are of course degrees of this problem and you may have a very mild case. I think what made me wonder is the strength of your feeling, and the duration, and your obsession with thinking about what happened. I too get angry at times when thinking back to someone who caused me emotional harm, but I can sort of "flick the switch" but it does still trouble me from time to time.
I really think therapy is the way to go. Your ex friend sounds like she is in a sorry state and is probably suffering from quite a severe mental illness, though I don't expect you to feel for her at all. That is her problem, not yours, but what is your problem of the continuing emotions of anger and frustration which show no signs of being diluted, and as you say it is clear that you can't manage this on your own. Your mom will probably be quite relieved too.
You mention "awkwardness" about your mental health and so try to tell yourself you just have to get on with it, but that isn't working. I think you are suffering emotional distress and need help. Do you feel a stigma about seeing a therapist or being "labelled" as having a mental illness. When all is said and done, what matters is that you can get some relief from your distress.
There is a therapy that you might get on the NHS which is CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) it's quite a basic theory really. It deals with the "here and now" and doesn't delve into your childhood, and attempts to stop the ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) that pop up in our heads. As you will know the ANTS spiral downwards and make you feel much worse and you feel you can't control them. CBT aims to help you replace the ANTS with more balanced thoughts, which of course is more helpful. I know a lot of MNs who speak very highly of CBT and I'm just wondering if this could be helpful to you. You could ask your GP, as it is available on the NHS but there is usually a waiting list. You would just have to say that you are suffering from emotional distress that you are finding it hard to handle and is it possible for a referral to CBT. You won't need to mention the bun though!
That's it, I don't have 'the switch' to turn the feelings off and it is becoming (already is) an obsession. I think I do have an issue about seeing a therapist but couldn't tell you why! I think it is a positive way forward when people are stuck. If I was someone else I would be encouraging therapy/counselling. I have no problems or delusions about MH problems. I have very close family members who struggle with their MH to varying degrees. I know I can 'switch' very easily when having a good day, the slightest thing can bring me back down and I know therapy will help me to fix things. I really don't know where these feelings are coming from as I've never seen things this way. I feel "well it wouldn't happen to me"
never would admit that in rl, I sound like an idiot but I don't believe that, its going against my open and accepting personality.
Haha trust me, I will NEVER mention the bun except on this faceless MN post. It's just ridiculous! I know about CBT and think it will help. Going to make some calls today and find someone who can help.
When you say you know you can "switch" very easily when having a good day, but the slightest thing can bring you back down again, I'm not sure what you mean - do you have good and bad days and are the bad days when the obsession is really hurting you. Do you mean you can "switch" very easily on a good day - as in switching the obsessional light on again IFYSWIM.
This is the trouble with MN it isn't always easy to describe what we mean on here, but on the other hand it is an excelent way of interacting but with a stranger!
So you perceive your personality as open and accepting, so I can see why this obsession is so wierd for you, because as you say it doesn't "fit" with who you are. I am an open, honest extrovert but get intermittent depression and then I am an emotional wreck and am the complete opposite of my "normal" personality.
I can see why you are wondering where the feelings are coming from - the same place probably as where all our emotional distress comes from - our childhood. We become the adults we are on the basis of the kind of childhood that we have. Well that's my firm belief anyway. You may think that this is strange and won't be able to remember anything that made you obsessive in childhood, but because these are unconscious emotions it is often the case we can't link the "here and now" and the "then and there" but these emotions that we have in adult life don't crawl out of the woodwork, they are a re-enactment of something in childhood that you may or may not be able to recall. Do you know "how old" you feel when you are obsessing - that is often a clue - as we tend to think in ways we did as children and become the age we were when something happened that has followed us into adulthood.
I can absolutely understand why you don't want to see a therapist - it's a difficult thing to do. Incidentally I have been looking at hypnotists this morning and they list the conditions in which they have expertise and obsessions are always on the list! Just a thought.
So glad you are going to do something about this as it is clearly ruining your life.
Good. All good.
Umm, I didnt actuallu understand the last 2 lines of your first paragraph of your last post iyswim. perhaps that is just me.
My question was to the op.
Sorry Nina I'll try again I mean I can be having a normal day (neither good nor bad) and something can happen or be said which triggers the thoughts, feelings, memories of what she did. It creeps up on me, that's what I mean by switch. It is then very difficult to shrug it off and go back to my 'normal' day. Like this morning, because I had been posting on here about it all it was in my head. I woke up in a really crappy mood, stressed out and worrying we were going to be late for school (we really weren't) I got quite manic, rushing around but managed to rein it in by thinking "What are you doing? It's a lovely day, everything's fine, we're going to be on time for school. Be happy" and it worked, first time for everything!
There are a few issues I haven't faced over the years as its always been easier to bottle them up. I think it's likely this is a culmination of them but this is 'the worst' in my mind so I'm blaming everything on her I suppose. No idea about the age I feel when I'm feeling like this, but it'll stick it my mind now so I might have an answer later
I've always been a bit wary about hypnotists -not that I've ever researched it! Seems a little scary
I'm self referred through an NHS service for counselling today, hopefully will have an initial appointment next week. Also think I need to look at moving house its not really possible at the minute but in the next few months I should be able to start seriously looking at it. Moving away will help put it out of mind