Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Anyone care to comment on this letter: I'm trying to ditch a toxic 'friend'

(57 Posts)
mamadoc Tue 20-Nov-12 23:59:31

A brief background:
I met this lady 5 years ago at a toddler group. Her DD is 2 yrs older than mine and we've nothing in common so I never tried to encourage the friendship but she is very persistent. I also felt sorry for her as she's had a hard life.

I noticed along the way that her friendships never last long (usually 6mo max) and she will often fall out spectacularly with people and be very rude to them and then seem to wonder why they no longer want to see her. She has no contact with her family or ex-partner for the same reasons.

2yrs ago her DD was taken into care due to allegations of emotional abuse against her. At first I didn't believe it as I had never seen anything to suggest it (little girl always well dressed and fed and lots of toys etc) but gradually as I've supported her through long legal proceedings I've begun to feel that I was not told the whole truth.

She has really sucked me dry in terms of time and energy expended on her not to mention constant borrowing of small amounts of money, lifts, use of my internet, phone, printer etc. DH and my DC were sick of her always being around their home. It also was not reciprocated by any care for me during hard times in my life. I decided finally that enough is enough and told her that I'm not giving that level of support anymore. I said that I was not going to do anything related to the court case and limit to social chat once a week or so max.

This resulted in her sending me many abusive text messages and e-mails accusing me of stealing a toy that I thought had been freely given to my DC (I sent it back recorded delivery) and various other things. Also calling and hanging up late at night just to disturb me. I actually feel physically sick when I see there are messages from her. I worry what else she might do as she is so unhinged. Make malicious reports against me? Vandalise my house? Make trouble for my kids at school?

I am planning to send this letter and then block her from everything and never respond again but I am frightened of provoking her further. What do you think I should do?

^I find the tone of your e-mails and text messages aggressive and intimidating and feel quite distressed when I receive them (I don?t know if this is your intention but its how it comes across). I cannot now think of any legitimate reason you could have to contact us since I returned the toy. For these reasons I am from now on going to delete any messages from you without reading them. Neither DH nor I will be making any further response to any communications from you via whatever medium.

In your e-mail to DH you actually said that you were sorry to have upset me, that it was not your intention and that you did appreciate all we have done for you in the past. If you meant that then I hope that you will respect our decision not to have any more contact at least for past times sake.

If however you do continue to contact us despite being clearly told not to I will regard this as harassment and reluctantly I will be forced to seek advice as to what action I can take to prevent it.^

shinyblackgrape Wed 21-Nov-12 00:03:05

I wouldn't write to her. Instead, I would just stop responding to her. Call the police if needs be

ravenAK Wed 21-Nov-12 00:03:50

I wouldn't send it actually - you can't deal reasonably with someone who is harassing you.

Totally ignore, keep a record of any contact from her end, & if/when you feel her messages are aggressive or intimidating, contact the police who'll go round & Have A Word?

With any luck she'll lose interest if you don't engage...people like this feed on attention.

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 00:05:01

Tbh I wouldn't send anything. I would continue to not answer calls or messages. I would have a word with local police about aggressive behaviours and calls.
It sounds like a nightmare and so sorry your dealing with this person sad

vintageviolets Wed 21-Nov-12 00:07:12

I wouldn't send it, just ignore her. This is probably normall for her.
Don't waste any more time thinking about her x

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 00:07:21

Agree with previous posters, do not bother sending it,n keep a diary and call the police.

Please don't send a letter, contact her in any way or respond when she contacts you. Sending a letter will result in her feeling she HAS to reply, and then you will be on the receiving end of yet more abuse.

Please cut all contact with her. End of story.

She is emotionally abusing you and your family - SS have taken steps to protect her child, please do the same for yourself and your children.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Wed 21-Nov-12 00:10:55

you cannot reason with the unreasonable, just block here everywhere you can.

mamadoc Wed 21-Nov-12 00:11:15

I guess I just thought it was fair to give her a final warning since I haven't up to now said no contact at all. Before the abusive stuff started I would genuinely have been happy to have some limited contact.
I have mostly been not responding unless it was demanding a factual response ie I posted x item recorded delivery on x date and I have the receipt.
I also feel so scared that if she has no outlet she will do something malicious.
She does have form on this. She gleefully told me in the past she'd reported her ex for benefit fraud and drunk driving both of which were untrue.
She has made sort of veiled threats relating to my job eg saying I'm unprofessional (obviously I was not helping her in my prof capacity) and I'm afraid she'll make trouble there.

oreocrumbs Wed 21-Nov-12 00:12:05

I agree with the others too. If you need to reoprt her to the police in the future you will need to have kept her emails/texts so perhaps don't delete tham just yet (can you move them to a file without reading them?)

hildebrandisgettinghappier Wed 21-Nov-12 00:14:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 21-Nov-12 00:17:56

Don't write to the crank just get the police on her if it continues xxxx

shinyblackgrape Wed 21-Nov-12 00:19:58

Why would you give her a warning?! She sounds like a nutcase.

You cannot approach this as though you are dealing with a rationale person. You're not.

Your first priority is to protect your DH and DC. Not worry about being " fair" to her.

Lease don't ignore the basically unanimous advice on this thread.

oreocrumbs Wed 21-Nov-12 00:20:14

Could you speak to your manager or whoever it is she could make accusations to, and let them know about the situation, so that if she does decide to be malicious then they already have the heads up from you?

I appreciate this may not be possible depending on what you do, but it might be an option.

If you think she is likely to try to cause damage in/to your life I think I would speak to the police about it, tell them a bit about her and what she has done and may do to you. They will be able to advise you as what best to do. And then if she does report you/threaten you, it is already logged and can be acted upon.

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 00:20:49

Could you give your boss a heads up?

mamadoc Wed 21-Nov-12 00:21:46

I really rue the day I ever got involved.
I have made a lot of excuses for her and not really had my eyes open that she will never change.
It gradually dawned on me that I was only told what she wanted me to hear and that in all probability she did abuse her DD. Certainly that was what the judge decided.
I have seen her behave like this to other people but I guess I was useful so its not happened to me before.
It is really unpleasant and I just want it to stop.
She will leave it a few weeks at a time then there will be a flurry of stuff for a few days for no apparent reason so you never feel safe.
I have learnt a hard lesson.

BookieMonster Wed 21-Nov-12 00:25:42

Save all the texts, emails and messages you get from her as proof she is harassing you if you do need to involve the police.

MrsjREwing Wed 21-Nov-12 00:25:46

Don't send that letter. I think you taking control of how the friendship will be from now on, considering how close you were, how isolated she is and how vulnerable she is with SS involvement, it is no surprise to me she turned on you. No excuse to abuse you. Next time let a vulnerable and unstable friend know that you are changing the "rules of your friendship" and that you no longer want to rescue them, let them down more gently.

TheMouseDancing Wed 21-Nov-12 00:28:07

I agree with other posters not to send the letter and just don't have any further communication with her.

Keep a record of everything she sends you emails, texts etc and if she continues contact the police. They will pay her a visit and give her a warning re harassment.

mamadoc Wed 21-Nov-12 00:29:22

OK. Point taken I won't send it. I will just ignore.
I have considered police but didn't know if they would be interested.
I have kept the emails and texts over the last 3 months so maybe that's enough. They accuse me of being a thief and a liar, use abusive language and sort of suggest I should watch out but not any really clear threat. One said wasn't I worried what people would say about me at DDs school when they know how horrible I am and another about my unprofessional behaviour and she'd expect better of someone in my job. Not exactly a direct threat maybe I read too much in.
Good point that having my complaint on record first might help if she does pull something.
I would be sooo embarrassed to tell my manager or anything. I'm sure they would just think I'm such an idiot for getting involved.

mamadoc Wed 21-Nov-12 00:36:56

MrsjR I honestly did think I was letting her down gently.
I had misgivings for a long while but I stuck in there through the final court case and final contact and it just seemed there would never be a good time.
We had an argument about her wanting me to lie for her which I will never, ever do and that was sort of the catalyst.
The letter I wrote I thought was very carefully worded and I deleted a lot of versions of it. Tried to make it about me not her etc, did offer ongoing contact just not to the level it had been. Maybe it was cowardly but I didn't think I could say what I wanted to say in a conversation.
I think my major mistake was to take on too much in the first place, fail to put boundaries earlier and let her get so dependent on me. I was always going to fail.

MrsjREwing Wed 21-Nov-12 00:36:58

Have you heard of the drama triangle? The previous triangle had friend as victim at bottom, you as rescuer at middle and SS as persecutor at top. SS left, you had no rescuing to do so wanted to leave the triangle, your friend wanted drama to continue, fed up being the victim she moved to persucutor and thought she would give you a taste of being a victim.

Now a person can stay out of the drama, suck up the harrassment until she gets bored, or you can move to persecutor get the police to rescue you and put your friend back in her place as a victim.

Victim, rescuer and persecutor are all getting needs met in a drama triangle.

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 00:38:42

that's really interesting mrsewing I might have to google that

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 00:42:09

Any chance you can change your number and email address? We also got caller ID on the phone when we were getting horrible calls.
I would suggest you talk to your manager and maybe school, explain the whole thing. If your as friendly as you come across, they wouldn't be surprised you wanted to help, so don't feel blush about it.

mamadoc Wed 21-Nov-12 00:46:25

Wow that's a very interesting perspective.
I am aware that I do have a 'rescuing' tendency or whatever you'd say but I had not really got that clarity on my own motivation in this situation.
So right now the best way to exit is ignore?
And way back should I have refused to play rescuer?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now