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    • ArticRoll
    • By ArticRoll 12th Feb 18, 7:53 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 3Thanks
    Toxic Friendship?
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 18, 7:53 PM
    Toxic Friendship? 12th Feb 18 at 7:53 PM
    Apologies this is long...

    This year I will have known my best friend for 19 years, she's 23 years older than me and we met in work.

    For the last few years I've struggled with the friendship after making some discoveries about my friend that I didn't know.

    We have been close, close enough that I'll say she has been like a mum to me and me a daughter to her. She has a daughter my age who lives some distance away.

    In the last year I've discovered she has a problem with alcohol and also prescription drugs. I suspect I knew about the prescription drugs but since she was secret about it... I never really talked about it.

    3 years ago she 'accidentally' took an overdose of a prescription medication which resulted in her niece having to do CPR on her and she was in ICU for a time, I didn't learn the truth about her ICU stay until 12 months later.

    Last year her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I loved him like a dad and he died last month at home, my friend did her best to care for him along with visiting carers.

    Whilst her husband was at home ill, she abused his and her medication on three occasions, twice I called an ambulance and she was admitted once to A&E, after the second time I walked away for three weeks from our friendship, because I needed space and because I couldn't believe what she had done whilst her husband was ill at home. On both occasions I came to her rescue after distressed calls from her daughter.

    The third incident last year was during my break from her, forcing her daughter to come back home to 'rescue' her... I only learnt about this in the last 10 days.

    In December she acquired a puppy when it was 8 weeks old, she is a dog lover having lost her last dog early last year around the same time her husband was diagnosed with cancer, she was desperately wanting a new one.

    I was against her getting a puppy as where others but once he arrived it was hoped 'he' would help her cope when her husband died. She struggled to train the pup and clean up after it, to be honest she could not be bothered.

    When the pup was 4 weeks old her husband died. One week after the funeral she abused alcohol and prescription medication again. I'd only seen her earlier that day and whilst the grief was beginning to hit her, the new puppy was supposed to keep her from harm.

    Later that day myself and her daughter had grave concerns she was not answering the phone. I dialled 101 and asked the police to do a welfare visit. Being worried, I eventually drove over but couldn't gain entry with my key and was concerned she had done something stupid.

    It took several calls to the police who were busy, including calls to 999 before I finally heard her cries from inside along with the puppy yapping and crying. I eventually got in with the help of a neighbour some two hours later after trying to kick the door in.

    She had once again drank and overdosed on prescription medication but also fallen. The damage she caused to herself was immense, she broke her left hand and broke her right upper arm and dislocated her right shoulder, the latter being so severe she underwent a shoulder replacement last week and still remains in hospital. She was initially put into a coma in ICU and treated for a Paracetamol overdose along with other medication.

    I think she fell down the stairs the damage was so severe, bit she denies this and says she fell over in the hallway and crawled to the dining room. The dining room had been completed trashed so much so when she police eventually showed up CID suspected she had been attacked and burgled.

    I initially took the puppy home and now he's with her daughter at the other side of the country.

    My friend is in complete denial she has a problem and seems to have the hospital staff thinking this is an accident because she grieving.

    I raised concerns last year with her GP and neurological consultant, but neither seemed to be too interested.

    She's very much against mental health help especially psychiatrists, but I know she desperately need proper help and all she is going on about is getting home and getting her puppy back. Along with her daughter both of us have been trying to get her to accept she has a problem, but she won't listen and accuses us of blackmailing her. I've told her she can't have her puppy back right away as she'll have limited use of her hands for some time. Of course she then chooses to have a row with me about this and when I question her she gets defensive and hangs up.

    I have done so much for her and her husband over the last year, even her own family say she would be lost without my help.

    I've begun to realise this last week that she's pushed everyone away who loves and cares for her from friends we worked with, to her sisters who are desperate for a relationship with her but for some reason she won't have it. More recently she's been having a go at her husband family and he'd not been dead for two weeks.

    I've had issues for a while and everyone around me who knows me tells me to walk away and I do feel this relationship is toxic and has been for sometime.

    I am seeing a side I don't like. I want her to get proper help but she refuses to engage with anyone. I've even offered to support her if she moves into social housing something more suitable for her own needs, she is registered blind. Last year knowing she would struggle to cope I tired to get her to accept help from Social Services, she refused making out I was all the help she needed.

    The problem is this is affecting my mental health, reason I walked away last year was because I was struggling so much with things happening in my life, I couldn't take anymore. I tried to end my life but survived and so my family and friends are concerned that this will affect me again.

    I am against her getting her puppy back because I don't think she will be able to cope with it. I also think she'll do the same thing again once she's home alone again.

    Whilst ending this friendship might be for the best, I know that it will make my depression worst and I don't really have help in place to get through this on my own.

    Any ideas?
Page 1
    • dawyldthing
    • By dawyldthing 12th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • 2,841 Posts
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    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    Sadly there's a saying in life 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink'. If she doesn't want to help herself there's not much you can do unfortunately
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    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • 7,957 Posts
    • 28,035 Thanks
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    I think you have to separate out the possible from the impossible here and recognise that there are some things you would like to achieve which are simply beyond your powers to enforce.

    The first thing is to realise and accept, however, hard it is, that this is friend is now almost certainly beyond your help. She is mentally ill, grieving and addicted to drugs. You are not a professional. You have done every single thing you can to help, and at the end of the day, what have you achieved in terms of success? Nothing !

    I'm not belittling your efforts. After 20 years of battling with a family alcoholic member, we were forced, in the end, to accept that the effect on our own health was so great that it would bring us down unless we walked away. That was what we did.

    I think if you have been pushed to the limit and tried to take your own life, you must accept that you have now reached a similar boundary with this friend, however great her need.

    I suggest you write her a kind letter telling her this, and ask her to accept that until she is able, with whatever medical and psychiatric help she is prepared to accept, to get herself in a better state, you are going to step back from any further involvement with her.

    I suggest you tell the same to her daughter, who must surely be in a similar mental state to you about the impossibility of getting her mother to change her ways.

    It's hard to walk away sometimes but who is going to come to YOUR rescue when you have a mental breakdown because of this woman. Do you think your own family deserve to be put through exactly the same anguish that this woman has inflicted on you? That will simply just be perpetuating the problem to a whole new level.

    Get out now, while you can AND DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT! You've already done all you possibly can.

    You say you don't have help to get you through your depression but I suspect if you have the courage to walk away from this particular situation you may well find that your level of depression decreases. How can an alcoholic drug addictive woman help you.? She can't even help herself! She'll just drag you further down into the mire.

    Try and make some more time for yourself, with a little gentle exercise or walking in the fresh air to improve your mood, healthy eating, and lots of extra sleep. Your "friend" is probably beyond redemption. You are not! Concentrate on yourself and your needs. Block her phone number and however hard it is, cherish your own life
    Last edited by Primrose; 12-02-2018 at 8:25 PM.
    • ArticRoll
    • By ArticRoll 12th Feb 18, 8:40 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:40 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:40 PM
    Thank you both very much for your replies and the sense you both make. It is much appreciated.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 12th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 2,049 Thanks
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 11:06 PM
    Clearly, your friend has gone through a lot plus she has addiction issues. You can only hope that she tackles her addiction issues sooner rather than later.

    I suggest you don't immediately give up on her. If you can sit her down and try and persuade her that a life clean from drugs/alchohol will eventually lead to a happier life.
    People can turn their life around when they have addictions. She has to make the change. (She is grieving and drugs/alcohol are her escape perhaps.)
    However, OP you can not fix her. That is down to her.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 13th Feb 18, 12:40 AM
    • 5,516 Posts
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    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:40 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 18, 12:40 AM
    Look after yourself as #1 priority.
    Only when you are 100% in yourself can you then spare the time and emotional effort to help other people.
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 13th Feb 18, 9:56 AM
    • 2,051 Posts
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    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:56 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 9:56 AM
    Look after yourself first, and don't give the dog back, she could end up abusing it as well as abusing herself. If the dog can't stay where it is, look for a better home for it.

    I love skip diving
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 13th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • 599 Posts
    • 993 Thanks
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    You have been more than a friend as it look like you have been an unwitting guardian/ carer aswell. It sounds like this ladies issues are greater than us mere ' laymen' can help with and she needs professional help.

    My advice is walk away no matter how hard that is, Unless this lady accepts she has problems the situation will never change and so distance yourself before you become even more sucked in jeopardising your own health and wellbeing. I would say the same for her daughter aswell.

    Do not give the puppy back to her as she cannot care for herself never mind a dependant animal and the puppy deserves better.
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    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 13th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • 1,474 Posts
    • 3,089 Thanks
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    I don't think you sound like much of a friend at all, you spend more time judging her than supporting.

    You need to step away, the toxic element is on both sides and it's not healthy.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 13th Feb 18, 11:34 AM
    • 15,967 Posts
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    I don't think you sound like much of a friend at all, you spend more time judging her than supporting.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    No she is stating facts...
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • andygb
    • By andygb 13th Feb 18, 4:05 PM
    • 12,285 Posts
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    I don't think you sound like much of a friend at all, you spend more time judging her than supporting.

    You need to step away, the toxic element is on both sides and it's not healthy.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson

    That was totally uncalled for given the information from the OP.
    The OP has gone way beyond what any decent person would do for this "friend" and has not sought any reward.
    OP, I think you have done enough, and for the sake of your own health and sanity you need to step away.
    • AylesburyDuck
    • By AylesburyDuck 13th Feb 18, 4:18 PM
    • 752 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    I don't think you sound like much of a friend at all, you spend more time judging her than supporting.

    You need to step away, the toxic element is on both sides and it's not healthy.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    I'm in total agreement with you, apart from the step away part. Very very judgmental, and even a little bit controlling. Her life might be an utter mess, with good cause i'd not doubt even before the death, but untill she realises she can only help herself once clean, then all you can do is be a friend.JUST A FRIEND.
    And the friend part is the MAIN part, dont organise, dont judge, dont control, dont pick up after her, she has to hit rock bottom first, just be a friend.
    Fully paid up member of the ignore button club.
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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 13th Feb 18, 4:31 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 1,767 Thanks
    I think you need to call it a day. You can't make her change / admit she has a problem/ seek help. Only she can do that and it clearly doesn't sound like she is ready.
    You have been a supportive friend and shown yourself to be very caring but reality is its not going to improve things, its just making you unwell.
    Consider writing your friend a letter. Tell her how much she means but that you are taking a step back because seeing her this way is upsetting.
    Be prepared to follow through though. Don't jump to answer her calls etc.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Feb 18, 5:17 PM
    • 2,699 Posts
    • 6,585 Thanks
    ska lover
    Trying to support someone with so many issues and mental health issues of her own, is bound to drag you down eventually too, especially as she won't get help

    It is time you looked after yourself OP - and gently as you can, walked away
    The opposite of what you also true
    • Kksingh
    • By Kksingh 14th Feb 18, 10:57 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    My god some people
    Are you honestly saying because she doesnt want her to abuse achohol and pills something that has landed her friend in hospital numerous times hat she is judgemental and controlling.

    I totally disagree and for the OP who has already been struggling with moving away from this friendship this is possibly one of the worst things you could say.

    To the OP you have your own concerns in life and agree with posters above you need to be 100% happy in your life before you can help your friend. I do believe you need real time away ...not just call me in a crisis...but remove this person from your life for a while. Like the saying goes birds of a feather flock together - you do not need someone like this in your life. The friend isnt treating you with respect and also your friendship is not that close if she cant even let you know the truth about what has happened in the past. Some people are just blind to what they are doing to themselves and inadvertently drag people around them down

    For your own sake please move away from this person physically and emotionally
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