• Keeping Friends

Double Trouble: Losing Two Friends At Once

Published: February 16, 2009 | Last Updated: October 21, 2021 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading

Losing two friends is one of a series of unfortunate losses; a woman feels lonely, friendless and asks what to do.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

This is a strange tale and quite honestly if I knew what to make of it all, I wouldn’t be writing. I have two best friends: the first (BF1), a girl I grew up with and with whom I have a very deep and social relationship; the second (BF2), a girl with whom I went to University and have a close relationship, like a sister.

I moved in with BF2 last year after I moved away from my hometown where BF1 lived, but I was only a 20-minute drive away so I didn’t think this would pose a problem for our friendship. I used to spend every weekend and holiday with BF1; BF2 lived further away until we moved in together.

It is worth pointing out that BF1 has had an issue with BF2 in the past over something trivial.

BF1 kept canceling dates with me and many months went by and I only saw her twice. She told me she might not be coming to my birthday party as her office party was the night before and she might be hungover. Devastated, I wrote an email telling her I was sad she couldn’t come and asked if she wanted to talk to me about what had been going on over the last 8 months as I missed her. She responded with vitriol telling me that I thought I was too good for her and how dare I say she was a bad friend.

I responded with an immediate apology. I said I was deeply sorry for whatever hurt I had caused and I wanted to sort this out as our ten-year friendship was worth so much to me. I was met with silence. I have since pleaded with her on five occasions via text and email to speak to sort this out but I have never gotten a response.

BF2 knew how devastated I was about what had happened and even went so far as to say how angry she was with BF1. BF2 and I went on holiday last summer and one night she exploded at me telling me that I was an emotional drain and she couldn’t stand me sometimes. I cried and begged her not to be so cruel but she continued by saying that nobody tells me what they think of me so she was going to.

She was shouting that I take everything I have for granted (the back story of this was I was a model and she apparently had an “issue” with this). I responded trying to calm her down, saying that I understood she was under a lot of pressure at work and told her the situation with her ex (who had recently dumped her) had been dreadful and that I was always here for her. Maybe I should have just shouted back, I don’t know.

Anyway since then, I quit my job. I had the extremely distressing incident of being sexually assaulted at work then driven out of my job. The perpetrator was my boss. To make ends meet, I had taken a job that BF2 apparently didn’t agree with morally. This job does not affect her in any way; I kept it very separate from our friendship together.

However, she now won’t even spend time with me. She spends every weekend with someone else. She never wants to talk to me anymore, is moving out, and she is planning her birthday without me. She declined to come to my parents’ anniversary party that she comes to every year, my sister’s wedding, you name it. She makes me feel disgusting. All I want is for us to be friends again. Surely, our friendship is worth saving? I would do anything for her and love her so much.

I lost my childhood best friend to a violent crime when I was 19 years old so I don’t want to lose the only other friend I have ever loved. Do I have to? What can I do?

I am so lonely now and feel like my social life is non-existent. I don’t know what I have done. I would apologize for it if it would help. I now feel that I am a toxic person who nobody wants to love or to be close with because once they get to know me, they will discover they hate me. I know this sounds irrational but I am so low that I’m almost suicidal. Please help me.

Signed,
Feeling Like A Toxic Friend

ANSWER

Hi,

I’m so sorry that this has been such a difficult time for you. It is very stressful to move, experience a sexual assault, be forced out of your job, and loosing two friends over a relatively short period of time. The trauma of a sexual assault can be emotionally devastating, especially when the perpetrator is a boss whom you trusted. All of this has to be unnerving.

For whatever reason, it sounds like BF1 may have felt abandoned when you moved in with BF2. But you have given her multiple opportunities to patch up your friendship and she isn’t able to do so at this point in her life. It’s always hard to give up a friendship with so much shared history but I think you need to put that one aside for now; you don’t have any other choice. You may be able to reclaim it sometime in the future.

When BF2 ended her relationship with you, she did it in an unnecessarily cruel and uncaring way so I can understand how you might be reeling from it—particularly when it comes as one more n a series of losses. She was very judgmental about your job choice and I’m wondering if you are uncomfortable about that choice as well.

Given how lonely and depressed you feel, you should contact a mental health professional to help you work through these losses and move forward. If you have any thoughts of suicide, you should contact a suicide hotline immediately.

Although you have a track record of being able to make and keep friends, it sounds like you have lost confidence in yourself and your ability to be a good friend. An objective person, like a therapist, may be able to help you think through and resolve the impact of these traumatic events. At the same time, try not to isolate yourself and succumb to feeling like you are toxic. Look for opportunities to be with other people, including your family and other casual friends.

Best wishes,

Irene

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (2)

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  1. Irene says:

    If your colleague left the workplace about a year ago, hopefully she will soon be forgotten.

    My best advice is to try to ignore what has happened and move forward. Your workplace colleagues are more likely to respond based on their experience with you than on whatever she has said to them in the past.

    Go out of your way to NOT talk about her.

    Best,
    Irene

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi there.
    A year ago I broke up with my best friend. We were colleagues, though she left just days before the friendship ended. Whilst the decision to end the relationship was mutual (not, however, amicable), in the year that has passed I have found out that she has been saying terrible things about me behind my back – lying about me, and saying I’ve been backstabbing other colleagues when, in fact, she was the one who said all of the terrible things she’s accusing me of.
    I have no idea how to deal with this situation. People don’t believe that I am innocent, which is unfair as I’m not a gossip, so I don’t know what she’s saying to make them believe her over me.
    How do I deal with this before she destroys my career?

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