How Can I Overcome What My Friend Did to Me?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Well its hard to know where to start. Its been well over a year and a half when a special friendship to me ended. We’d met at school and she was amazing, i looked up to her and we just gelled instantly with our humour and we just understood one another. Id been through a difficult time and she made everything seem better. She was ultra confident and had an attitude to life i liked! She came on family holidays with me two years running and when my mum and dad decided to move house to somewhere over an hours drive away, my mum decided that i could stay in an apartment with my friend to finish my last year of sixth form. My mum and dad paid for everything, the bills, food everything cos she was almost family.

The thing was she began to change, i think something changed in her head when a longterm boyfriend very cruelly cheated on her for months prior to finding out. The girl lived far away and my friend had even paid for his train tickets not knowing what it was really for. When she moved everything was great but then she just started doing little things to upset me, so small that on their own you just thought well its not worth bringing up so id let them go. But as she increasingly took advantage and began bitching to friends about me saying really hurtful things i just couldnt understand. When confronting her she’d just find a way of shrugging it off! One time when it really did blow up, she went out for our friends birthday, (which i decided not to go to because i didnt want it to ruin his birthday)she got absoulutely wasted. Her friend rang me at 3am to help her get her out of the taxi and upstairs. I was so mad anyway and then she got herself in such a state and i had to drag her in by her legs and stay up with her for hours proping her head up over the toilet. I was just so mad and upset and i never got a sorry or thankyou ever for what i did. She just had a way of not acknowledging things and just laughed it off.

It got to a stage where i felt so betrayed by her i just broke and i asked her to leave. But ever since ive not spoken one word to her. She left me that night with pathetic things written on the wall like “poor cow” and txt my dad cos she knew how important family was to me saying i just cant live with her anymore expecting a reaction she didnt get thankfully. The only time ive seen her since was at a bar and i left all my friends without a word cos i couldn’t handle it, got in a taxi and left. I never felt i got the chance to say exactly what i thought and i do miss her but know i cant have any relationship with her because the thought of what she did to me hurts so much! She took my confidence, i find it so hard to trust new people and constantly just checking myself not letting the real me out because im afraid. I just keep breaking down ever so often and cant help but think about everything that happened! I want to know she feels hurt deep down like i am, i want revenge but i know i wouldn’t and couldn’t! I want to know she feels the loss as much because our friendship must have meant something to her! Because now im getting over the anger more i think of the great times i want that back but know i cant and id never contact her because i don’t want her to know i still feel something for what she did. I want her to think im over it! What steps can i make to get over this more?? Do i confront her or leave well alone and get to grips with it myself?

A. Of course, revenge is not the answer. I am glad you recognize this. There may be little that you could gain from confronting her. It would depend on what your motivation is for confronting her. What could you gain from such a confrontation? Do you want to tell her off? Do you want an apology from her? Do you want to see if she is still interested in being friends?

If you feel that there is something to gain from confronting her then you might consider it. If you feel that you are now getting over this matter and you cannot think of a reason to confront her then it may be best not to. It all depends on what you want or expect from talking to her. Try to think through this.

Now that you are starting to get over your anger, there is a possibility the two of you could be friends again if you wanted this. From your letter, it seems like you miss the friendship. Things will probably never be the same because of her actions that damaged your relationship but the potential for a relationship does exist. But this time around, it is imperative that you have rules and boundaries in the new relationship. Rules and boundaries are important in every relationship and this is no exception.

For instance, you two can go out to eat but she pays her half of the bill and you pay your half. No more of your parents paying for everything. Take it slow and do not consider living with her again. Realize that she has the ability to take advantage of you and limit when and where you see her.

She clearly took advantage of you. Maybe this was due in part to her personality, the way she was raised, or the fact that her boyfriend cheated on her and she was upset. These factors all may have played a part in why she took advantage of you but she could not have done this without your help. Don’t let her take advantage of you this time and if you want to have relationship, change the dynamic of the friendship by setting up rules and boundaries.

My best advice is to recognize that you chose the wrong person to be in a relationship with. I would also hope that you have learned better how to choose and what to look for. In fact, I am sure that you have learned. Everything that you have written says to me that you have reacted correctly to her inappropriate behavior. The only problem I see is that you are now in a way rewriting history or at the very least too focused on the past and not directing your attention to your next relationship. All of your behavior is normal, even your past mistake in choosing her. Thinking about the past relationship is also normal as long as you are not to any degree obsessing and are coming to the correct conclusions in your analysis of your relationship.

I could go into this to a much greater degree but allow me to put it most simply. It’s over. You really don’t want her. You felt it and showed it in your action when you asked her to leave. You felt it when you held her head over the toilet. It’s time to simply forget her and move on to a better candidate for your love. Good luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Feb 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Overcome What My Friend Did to Me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/02/22/how-can-i-overcome-what-my-friend-did-to-me/