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I Severely Hurt My Best Friend and it Ended the Friendship

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My best friend is the only person aside from my family that I’ve loved, she was the person I’ve felt closest to in my entire life, we were extremely close, hung out a lot, talked about everything and loved each other for the 5 years I knew her. she knew I had severe depression. one night we were drunk and slept next to each other, we had been goofing around, cuddling the whole night, including her grabbing my butt and chest a few times, at some point during the night I had grabbed her breasts thinking we were just messing around, but I hadn’t realized she had fallen asleep. she’s a light sleeper and woke up but pretended to be asleep. I stopped quickly realizing she was asleep and went to bed. the next months she was more distant and eventually told me she knew this happened and felt uncomfortable. I told her how sorry I was and that I just thought we were messing around and I hadn’t realized she fell asleep. she said try not to do it again and realize it made her uncomfortable and accepted my apology, she was still distant the next couple months and eventually when I was at my worst with depression and already feeling suicidal she let me know that we couldn’t keep having this limbo friendship so we would hang out one last time and resolve everything or say goodbye. when we did, she let me know that she wanted to end the friendship. she told me she didn’t want everything to end this way. after she got out of the car, I attempted to shoot myself, as I was driving, I messaged her lots because I felt alone and had no friends and ended up in the hospital. after I got out the police arrived at my home and told me never to talk to her otherwise, they would arrest me for sexual assault. present-day (months later) I feel like I’ve had no closure to losing the most important person in my life, now I feel alone, regretful. never meant to hurt her. just want to mend everything and go back to how it was but can’t without being arrested. I’m trying to move on, but I’ve never felt as close to someone as she and I will never have closure without a proper goodbye or attempt to fix the friendship. I don’t know what to do or how to cope. (From Canada)

I Severely Hurt My Best Friend and it Ended the Friendship

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A.

While I am happy to offer a technique, I would encourage you to get yourself a therapist first. While the technique I will explain to you can offer some relief, it is best employed with the help of a therapist who can help prepare and follow-up. The fact that this breakup was so dramatically intense and difficult for you is worthy of investigation in therapy. There are several elements here that should be discussed so that you can cope and move through this incident, and then be sure you can deal with future relationship concerns.

To deal with the current loss you’ll want to experiment with psychodrama. Again, the best way is with an individual therapist guiding you, but the technique is one that can be used for endings that lack closure.

Begin with two chairs across from one another. Sit in one and imagine your friend sitting in the other. Take a moment to realize this scene.

Then make an amends to your friend. Say what you’d want to say to the empty chair. Then reverse roles and become her. From that role answer back what you think she would say. When this is done return to your chair and say the last thing you’d like to say. Be sure to begin and end in your chair, and you can do the role-play until it feels right.

This should help. If using empty chairs isn’t your thing then write a letter to her THAT YOU DO NOT SEND. It is important to respect the law. But you writing the letter allows you to express your thoughts and feelings. Your psyche won’t know that it wasn’t mailed, in fact you could shred or burn it once you are done. If you like you could then reverse roles (with a different paper, pen, or computer screen) and write back to you as her. When you are done send her one last line from you to end the encounter. Again, always begin and end in your role.

Hope this technique advice helps and please remember that working with a therapist as you do this is the best way to go. To locate one near you you can use the find help tab at the top of the page. And there are our forums if you’d like to connect with others online.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Severely Hurt My Best Friend and it Ended the Friendship

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). I Severely Hurt My Best Friend and it Ended the Friendship. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 7, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/12/19/i-severely-hurt-my-best-friend-and-it-ended-the-friendship/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 16 Dec 2019 (Originally: 19 Dec 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 16 Dec 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.