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Friend lied about stillbirth - possibly sensitive

(100 Posts)
CarolPeletier Tue 20-Oct-15 16:38:11

I have been friends with someone almost ten years. A couple of years into the friendship they told me they had become pregnant aged 12 and the baby was stillborn. She went into a great deal of detail about the whole thing. While I completely sympathised and cried along with her I wished she had told me another time as I was days away from giving birth myself. I felt awful for her dealing with that, especially at such a young age.
Since then we have had an on off friendship, she can blow hot and cold, make rude remarks, be very judgemental... If i am honest I think I would have ended the friendship long ago but I make allowances for how messed up she must be after what happened to her, and she often excuses her own behaviour as she suffers depression and mood swings as a result of the stillbirth.

The other day I was out for lunch and ran into her mother, who my friend does not see often now as they fell out. We don't really know each other, except to say hello in passing, but had a coffee after my friends had left. She started complaining about her daughter and how she makes bad decisions etc, and I mentioned how what happened as a child must effect her every day. The mother was gobsmacked, said it never happened and that it was a complete lie. She told me her daughter is a compulsive liar. This was verified by her friend who lived next door to them when my friend was a child, who would have surely noticed a pregnant 12 year old and known of what happened. I feel certain from their reactions, and from my friends past of lying and doing things for attention that my friend lied.

Part of me feels my friend must be mentally ill, and I should try and help. But mostly I just feel sick to my stomach that she could lie like this, distress a heavily pregnant friend with this lie, excuse every bad behaviour.... I just want to cut her out my life, even though I know she has no other friends.

Should I be more understanding of her apparent mental illness? Aibu to feel completely disgusted and manipulated. I just don't want to speak to her again, not even to tell her I know the truth. She has told others this lie too.

Orange1969 Tue 20-Oct-15 16:45:23

She sounds extremely odd - hystrionic personality disorder?

Frankly, I would cut her out of your life. That was a dreadful thing to lie about shock

Axekick Tue 20-Oct-15 16:45:47

It's a difficult situation. Because you have to be 100% sure. Since she doesn't get on with her mother, it could turn out the mother is a liar. The friend may not have noticed. Plenty of people hide pregnancies.

However I have been in your position. Well similar. A relatives partner told everyone she was pg and then she lost the baby at 19 weeks. Turned out to be complete lie. The whole family (we are very close with my cousins) rallied round her. I could never forgive her especially since she really leaned on bother cousin who had lost her baby at 28 weeks.

Honestly I would end the friendship.

icanteven Tue 20-Oct-15 16:46:08

Cut her out. I knew someone like this and it was EXHAUSTING.

YOU DON'T HAVE CERVICAL CANCER AND NO ONCOLOGIST TEXTS YOU AT MIDNIGHT ON A WEEKEND TO CONFIRM THE CANCER IS BACK.

FFS.

Sorry.

I don't think that compulsively lying like this (and about a stillbirth, to somebody DAYS away from giving birth herself?) is a mental illness worth having sympathy for. She fully intended to move the focus from you onto her "tragedy", and shake you up into the bargain.

susielovessocks Tue 20-Oct-15 16:47:25

I think she probably has some sort of mental illness to make something like that up, but given she told you when you were about to give birth yourself you should cut ties with her.
She must of known the effect telling you something like that would have on you, and that is unreasonable even if there is an explanation behind it.

WimpyArseWanks Tue 20-Oct-15 16:48:44

I would cut her out of my life too, I cannot abide liars.

WaitroseEssentialPancetta Tue 20-Oct-15 16:49:34

If she has told you at any other time id have sympathy for her, she obviously needs help, but that was really shit timing. Cut ties.

YouBastardSockBalls Tue 20-Oct-15 16:51:53

She told you this when you were days away from giving birth!?shock

She sounds like she has a very simple personality disorder, called Being A Cunt.

CarolPeletier Tue 20-Oct-15 16:56:00

Yes, I thought at the time that my pregnancy must have triggered something and she just couldn't hold it in any more. I spent the next few days crying and panicking, as you would when you are overdue a baby, a hormonal mess and just had a stillbirth/the funeral described. Looking back now I think she didn't like all the attention I was getting.

sparechange Tue 20-Oct-15 16:57:01

Is there a shred of truth, as in did she have an abortion and then convince herself it was a still birth to feel less guilty? Or did she have sex aged 12 and not totally understand how bodies work and think she was pregnant and had miscarried?
I still think I would cut contact, but in a 'back away and don't speak of it' way, rather than having it out, just in case there was a shred of truth.

I've had to do this is a former friend when the web of lies just got too tangled, and I found myself unable to believe anything she said any more. Even innocuous things like her having a good or bad day at work had me rolling my eyes

thelittleredhen Tue 20-Oct-15 16:57:54

Yep, I had a "friend" like this - told me her dad had raped her when she was 8...

There was more, but that was the worst, and the story that got her outed.

I still don't understand why she felt she had to tell such horrible lies sad

JugglingFromHereToThere Tue 20-Oct-15 16:58:19

You could gradually cut ties with her - just gradually see her less and less
I think that's what I'd do
I understand though that this revelation has changed your relationship with her. Was fairly unforgivable especially timing wise

CoffeeAndOranges Tue 20-Oct-15 16:58:43

I'm not usually one to advocate giving up on a friendship, especially if someone clearly needs help (and it sounds like this is some kind of attention seeking cry for help). But given your situation I think you are perfectly justified in cutting contact. You are going to need all the support and positivity that can come your way as you face the next few days and weeks and frankly you do not have the time or mental capacity to help this woman - or even to find out if she genuinely does need help or is just a liar.

If she has told this tale to other friends you could warn them of your conversation with her mother and leave the ball in their court.

It is time to take time for you. That sounds potentially cold and heartless but if she is a compulsive liar then she will get what she deserves- no friends and no sympathy.

Duckdeamon Tue 20-Oct-15 16:59:56

Assuming what her mother said is true it is very awful, horrible, and sad too. It sounds like you don't really want to be friends with her anyway, so probably best to phase her out!

I wouldn't confront her however.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 20-Oct-15 17:02:08

What a fucking bitch. I have had a stillbirth and words just fail me that someone would create an attention-seeking lie about such a thing. Honestly, people conceal pregnancies, yes, but not if there was a funeral. If there was a funeral the next door neighbour would have known, not to mention the mother of the 12 year-old!

I have read on here before that having depression/other form of mental illness does not make you do cunty things. You do cunty things because you are a cunt.

Cut ties. You won't be doing it because she's mentally ill, you'll be doing it because she's a horrible person.

standinginthedoorway Tue 20-Oct-15 17:02:43

I agree with sparechange - there's no need to try and have it out with her afaic as there may be a shred of truth or she's mentally ill. Still wouldn't want to be her friend though after that.

Trooperslane Tue 20-Oct-15 17:04:20

Jesus Fucking Christ.

What a twat, personality disorder or not.

Avoid, avoid avoid.

RabbitSaysWoof Tue 20-Oct-15 17:08:41

I think there are a lot of people like this, I don't even think they mean to be cruel, its like they want there to be more about them than just being an ordinary person.
I would just leave her tho, she was probably too self absorbed to see that she was scaring you at the time, I'm sure attention was her main motivation.
I had a friend like this, me and another friend knew to take anything she said with a pinch of salt, in her 15 year (at the time) life she had been pregnant by someone we had never met and miscarried twice, then he tragically died in an accident, then her friends dad (who she had a crush on) was calling her every night when he's wife was at work, then a workmate of this man raped her. We were all young, at first I used to pretend I believed her, to not embarrass her calling her out on it, but when she said the rape thing (just came out with it matter of fact at my bday meal) I just couldn't any more.

Branleuse Tue 20-Oct-15 17:09:45

whether she is mentally ill or not, doesnt mean that you are obliged to be friends with her out of pity. The lie she told was awful and distressing. I wouldnt forgive her

hiddenhome2 Tue 20-Oct-15 17:10:38

I sympathise.

I once made a new friend and she told me that her two children had died. I was shocked and imagined that there must have been some dreadful accident or perhaps a genetic illness or something. I felt so sorry for her.

Well, she talked and talked and talked me into oblivion and it came out one day that she was referring to having two miscarriages hmm I've had a miscarriage myself which I was devastated by so I'm not trying to downplay her experience, but ffs it's not like losing two children angry

I was so angry and dumped her immediately. Rotten cow.

(she also lied and exaggerated about other stuff as well)

F0xChat Tue 20-Oct-15 17:13:29

I know somebody with hystrionic personality disorder too. (awful name I know) and one of the things she has lied / exaggerated about is losing babies, to a woman who had genuinely lost a baby.

I have softened towards the woman lately though, for some reason. I couldn't be friends with her but she is a proper basket case and I feel sorry for her.

She must have a very low self-esteem and uses an EGO that needs to be inflated (always temporarily) at the expense of others, by generating drama, or sympathy, or upset.

fuzzpig Tue 20-Oct-15 17:17:32

Yikes that's an awful thing to lie about

dayslikethis Tue 20-Oct-15 17:17:50

So, so, so hard. I went to school with a girl who was a compulsive liar - it started off as small things, but they grew and grew until she had us all convinced that her mum had cancer! (along with a whole host of other stories.) Eventually no-one believed a word she said and we really questioned everything she had ever told us before. She left school halfway through A-levels and kept in touch with no-one. Very sad. I still wonder about her now nearly 20 years later.

My (much) younger sister is also a compulsive liar. I don't think she would ever say anything as awful as that but she has told some real porkers and they grow and grow. They are often about her health and are totally designed to make her life seems more interesting or dramatic. The trouble is that she tells different people different things and doesn't always live out her lies. I just don't believe a word she says anymore and we barely have any relationship. She is a total drama queen in every respect and I can't deal with it - especially when other people bend over backwards to accommodate her lies thinking they are true.

The only advice I can give is to back off slowly for your own sake - DO NOT make an issue of it otherwise you can guarantee she will make a drama of it and make herself out to be the big victim in the whole situation.

standinginthedoorway Tue 20-Oct-15 17:20:40

Actually, Rabbit hit the nail on the head there. I met quite a few people like this in school and uni, (memorably one girl put make up over her eye and told everyone her much older bf, who I think was fictional, had punched her). One was a boy (he told us his supercool professional drummer friend had died in an awful car crash. He then called numerous girls to talk about it. We then found out the guy in question was not a drummer, was not his friend and was alive and well). The rest were girls. The ones I've seen since have stopped doing it and seem quite normal now. Think it's an attention thing in very immature, spoiled people. I'm 100% not excusing it, it's a truly awful thing to lie about.

F0xChat Tue 20-Oct-15 17:21:22

ps, not defending this horrible behaviour but I knew a man with a low self-esteem and big ego who used to make himself feel important and powerful in the same way, by generating an emotion in other people, he would do this by being HORRIBLE but with a smile. He had zero permanent reserves (self-esteem) only ego, so his need to inflate his ego was constant and he was constantly upsetting people by inviting them to feel responsible for the things that they were already upset about, making them feel judged, provoking them with one really RUDE remark delivered with a confusing smile...... It took me a while to see it but I could him off stone dead when I figured it out.

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