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about this former toxic friend endangering my new friend?

(43 Posts)
BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 22:30:16

I had a very toxic ex-friend, she is a gossip, a liar and frankly emotionally manipulative. I removed her from my life after a lot of therapy, as did several other people. I will call her Claire.

We have a mutual friends who are a couple.
Let’s call the couple Sally and Victoria. Claire has known them longer and knows Sally better than she knows Victoria.

Sally and Victoria got married last year but before they got married they broke up for a little while. I didn’t know why and didn’t ask because I didn’t know them well enough. Claire had Sally over to crash on her couch and naturally the story came out.
Victoria had been violent toward Sally for several years but it had escalated. Claire tried to help Sally by demanding she leave and made things very difficult for her socially. All the while shouting about how she was very supportive and why it all hurt her the most.

Anyway, I didn’t ask her why they had broken up but knew Sally was very upset and just wished them the best. It wasn’t my place to know as we aren’t that close. Immediately I said that, Claire was telling me about Victoria being an abuser and she has treated Sally terribly for years.

Anyway, they get married (I didn’t go, because I don’t know them well enough or for long enough) and are doing ok. Victoria talks a lot about getting therapy and how it is helping their marriage. She doesn’t mention what the therapy is for but she says she is going 3x a week. They both agree it is life changing.

Anyway Claire in the meantime out of nowhere, after we had been for drinks with them, tells me - without me asking - about a particularly gruesome incident and injury that occurred because of this domestic violence - the reason they broke up.
It is shocking and harrowing. I believe this particular story to be true, as it is consistent with medical treatment Sally told me she received at around the same time.

They have no idea I know. Victoria doesn’t know that Claire knows.

Since then I have moved on from the friendship with Claire but it turns out she has relayed this awful tale to a number of people in our circle and the story is spreading within the industry that Victoria works.

WIBU to contact Sally to make her aware that her safety has been compromised?

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BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 22:37:37

Omg how many “anyways”? I don’t even speak like that in real life, I blame being back on Facebook for a week.

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LolaSkoda Sun 12-Jul-20 22:38:16

So Claire has made people aware that one of them is a domestic abuser and tried to get the victim to leave?

Sounds like she went about it in the wrong way, but her instinct was that her friend was/is in danger?

Correct me if I’ve gotten that wrong.

Dozer Sun 12-Jul-20 22:41:25

How do you think Victoria’s safety has been compromised? Are you concerned that word could get back to her abusive partner?

BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 22:45:10


I could go into the ways that Claire tried to make Sally leave but they were all manipulative and concerned herrrrrrrrrrrrrr (Claire) and her wellbeing. She was fine with her going back to the relationship as long as she got to be bridesmaid.

I’m concerned that Victoria might not act very well once her reputation has been dragged across an industry and she finds out that Sally told Claire and Claire has told - well everyone she knows including all of her clients.

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DoloresOnTheDottedLine Sun 12-Jul-20 22:45:26

I would stay well out of it. It’s a toxic mess and you’ll end up getting burned somewhere along the line. Your intentions are good but I’d just back away quietly. Victoria’s actions have consequences and she may well have to deal with those. Clare is a dick and people will figure that out eventually without you sticking your neck out.

BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 22:47:08

I would stay well out of it.
This is what a good chunk of me says.
The daughter of a violent father is screaming at me to warn Sally how far her confiding in Claire has gone wrong.

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Onceuponatimethen Sun 12-Jul-20 22:50:41

Will people believe Claire if she is a known liar?

ketchupandmayo Sun 12-Jul-20 22:55:38

Tbh I think it's a good thing sally told someone. Why should this be a secret and covered up?! That's the scariest part of this whole story. Hush it all up.

Crunchymum Sun 12-Jul-20 23:00:42

I do not understand any of this?

BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 23:01:17

Will people believe Claire if she is a known liar?

Claire is v err complex. She has a lot of friends but very few of them know her well. Everyone thinks she is straight up and we all believe what she says. 2 years into a close friendship it will always fall apart as it turns out she is a liar and a nasty one at that.

I do agree that it is good that Sally told someone - anyone who she felt comfortable with. I’m glad it hasn’t been hidden away. I don’t want it hushed up. But equally Sally told Claire she didn’t want it to go any further. She spilled harrowing details of her abuse thinking they were for one person and now Claire is telling 4-5 clients a day and every person in our wider circle.

Being scared that Sally’s personal wounds are being spread around and that her abuser might be none to happy is not my hushing it up, not one bit. I actually resent that implication.

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BlackBucketOfCheese Sun 12-Jul-20 23:06:42


Sally and Victoria are a couple.

Claire is someone I am no longer friends with. She is closer to them, especially Sally.

Victoria abused Sally. Sally told Claire. Victoria doesn’t know anyone knows.
Sally and Victoria got married. Victoria is getting therapy.
Claire is now sharing horrifying personal details of the previous abuse to huge volumes of people - hundreds.

I am worried that Victoria might act out to Sally if she finds out that Claire has been blabbing really horrifying stuff.

I am IN NO WAY excusing Victoria, I cannot look at her the same way. I actually haven’t seen any of them since but I do talk to Sally.
I just know that when my father found out that my mother shared (and of course she should share) her abuse, her life was in danger.

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Saladmakesmesad Sun 12-Jul-20 23:37:49

No I think you need to keep right out of it. I can see your intentions are good but none of it is anything to do with you.

monkeymonkey2010 Sun 12-Jul-20 23:45:41

The daughter of a violent father is screaming at me to warn Sally how far her confiding in Claire has gone wrong

She's gone the wrong way about it - but i don't think she's wrong for speaking up about it.
Your friend is married to a violent, abusive spouse and has needed hospital treatment....i would advise that person to leave immediately and get somewhere safe.
Your friend wouldn't be the first person to be controlled/manipulated/coerced into remaining in an abusive relationship.
"Going to therapy 3x a week" says fuck all to me - and i too grew up surrounded by domestic violence.
Your friend is probably still experiencing abuse.
you don't know though, she didn't trust/feel close enough to tell it's unlikely she'd confide in you now if she is still being abused.

My advice would be to leave Victoria to her 'ways'....

user1473878824 Mon 13-Jul-20 00:22:58

Is Victoria actually Victoria or a man? What exactly are you worried about, her finding out and taking it out on Sally? Or people knowing Victoria is a horrible abuser? Because the latter I’m feeling rather ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about

user1473878824 Mon 13-Jul-20 00:23:43

Sorry I should have said, I’m wondering about Victoria because you’re maybe wondering about how different the responses would be.

BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 13-Jul-20 00:29:31

Nope they are both women.

I’m not excusing Victoria any of this. Just laying out what I’ve been told. I really, really like Sally, but she will only socialise as part of a couple (to me that’s worrying), so I have to pretend I don’t know in order to see my friend.

Sally has done nothing wrong here, I want to make that totally clear. She can tell who she wants.
The person she has told however, has put her in danger.

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BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 13-Jul-20 00:29:59

I’m scared that Victoria will take it out on Sally.

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monkeymonkey2010 Mon 13-Jul-20 00:31:27

maybe ONE person out of the 100's who hear might actually be arsed to do something to help sally?.......

BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 13-Jul-20 00:32:16

she didn't trust/feel close enough to tell you

Sally had met me three times when she told Claire about the most awful of incidents. Of course she wasn’t going to tell me.
I had met Sally her about 30 times when Claire told me.

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BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 13-Jul-20 00:33:53

monkey I want to help her.
How would you broach it? “My friend told me you were bitten in the face and dragged through the streets and now she has told approx 750 people - now can I help you?”

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BilboBercow Mon 13-Jul-20 00:35:20

User why does Victoria have to be a man? I'm not sure the replies would be different.
OP Sarah... Sarah? I've lost track slightly, has to make her own decisions about both the relationship and Claire. If it makes you feel better you could tell her that Claire has revealed that it's a violent relationship and see if she needs help, maybe mention that Claire isn't necessarily good at keeping secrets.
Telling her that Claire is spreading it everywhere isn't going to help as it can't be put back in the box and she'll only make herself worried about some she can't do anything about. You may also come out of it as the bad guy

BilboBercow Mon 13-Jul-20 00:36:45

Sorry - Sally

Bunnymumy Mon 13-Jul-20 00:38:47

Sally already knows she told claire (and potentially others) so why wouldn't she have told Victoria that she has told others the full extent of things? Chances are she told Victoria about ppl knowing before they even got married. If not, she has had plenty of time to prepare for the story to spread and decide what to do when it did.

Stay well out of it.

BlackBucketOfCheese Mon 13-Jul-20 00:41:55

I think I’ll come out of it the bad guy either way, right? I’m not too bothered about that.

I’m bothered that Sally will end up getting hurt.
Claire uses the “gossip” from the lives of others to trade as chit chat tidbits with her clients. My life has been dragged through this too, she has talked about some very serious hospital admissions of mine which no one knew apart from her, outside of my immediate family and could cause me many issues.
Thankfully none of them mean that I could be beaten up by a violent partner, but Sally could.

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