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TW: Sexual ab*se. I'm really tired of this situation with a toxic friend.

Has anyone cut off toxic friends before? I'm 18, never had a toxic friend until I met this friend- let's call her W.
 
The whole argument started because I blocked her on social media, which I later explained to her that I blocked her because I needed space to work out my own issues. When she found out that I blocked her on social media, she called me 3 times on my phone and also called our mutual friends to get them to try to contact me. She texted me demanding an answer to why I blocked her. She didn't even ask how I was or what was going on in my life.
 
I explained to her via text that I needed space because I got triggered after she told me that she was sexually ab*sed online. She texted me back saying that she won't tell me about it the "next time someone sexually ab*ses me, so you won't get triggered". It sounded very passive-aggressive to me and made me feel like I was supposed to be okay all the time, and when I'm not, I'm being blamed for it.
 
W made a new Instagram account and posted a piece of writing called "molestation, deceit and broke trust". In the post, she wrote that the douchiest thing a friend could do is to "ditch" them after they have been molested. She compared me breaking her trust to the same thing that the guy that did something to her, "only without the crime". She then proceeded to dm me this post on Instagram. I confronted her and she apologised for the dm, but she asked me to point out what was wrong about the post and said that what she wrote wasn't rude and that everything she wrote was true. I did not understand how anyone could write something like that, make an infographic on canva with illustrations representing her writing, save it on their phone, upload it and then send it to the person they wrote about.
 
W still insists to talk to me in person when I honestly don't think there is any way to save the friendship. I texted her saying that I don't think we can be friends anymore. She has overstepped all of my boundaries and has called me "toxic", "manipulative", "rude" and "a hypocrite" at this point. However, I am in Youth Council with her and still have to see her. I said that I'd still be happy to work with her in Youth Council. She said that she would not prefer to talk to people that are not their friends and that "most people don't ruin friendships over one argument". So the only way I could work with her in Youth Council again, is to be her friend. Smiley Sad
 
Sorry for the long post, hope it makes sense as this has been going on for 4 weeks and is very complex. Does anyone have experience/advice with cutting off toxic friends even though they still have to see them semi-regularly?
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Re: TW: Sexual ab*se. I'm really tired of this situation with a toxic friend.

@justkeepswimming That sounds like such an extremely difficult and exhausting situation, and I can totally understand why you would be feeling stressed and anxious about how to go about ending a friendship. 

I can kind of understand what you're going through, because I've also had to end friendships in the past, and it can be really painful to end a friendship - especially when the other person is refusing to listen to where you're coming from. From what you've explained, it sounds like W consistently and cruelly overstepped very clear boundaries that you have. Though I can totally understand why she might be feeling hurt and confused, particularly after she had gone through such a traumatic incident. However, it's really important that even when our friends are going through a difficult period, that they still respect our own boundaries and wishes. 

 

It's also really disappointing that your friend lashed out in a way that she knew would hurt you. Again, sometimes this can happen because she is processing some of the trauma that she experience, however, this does not give her excuse to hurt you. I think that what you have said about taking time away from W is a very good idea. Sometimes when people are hurting, they can't help but hurt others around them - all we can do is give them space and time to process what had happened. 

It may help to write a letter or message, that outline how you feel, how you were hurt by the situation, and why you think it would be best for both of you to take a step away. It might also be helpful to include some resources to professional supports like 1800 Respect, or eHeadspace. It can also really help to try and avoid any sort of extended conversation or dialogue. It might even help to block her messages after sending the message, just so you both have time to process how you feel without saying anything you don't mean. 

In terms of the youth council, is there anyone you can talk to about the situation? would you still be able to contribute without working directly with W? 

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Re: TW: Sexual ab*se. I'm really tired of this situation with a toxic friend.

Hi justkeepswimming

This sounds so exhausting. I can imagine a conflict with a friend like this can feel really stressful and anxiety-inducing. It does sound like W was not understanding they had breached your boundaries, or considerate of your experience, which would be really hurtful. I think it's really strong of you to recognise within yourself it's in your best interest to move on from the friendship.

I have needed to end relationships with friends. I had a relationship with a friend who would consistently message and try to hang out with me, even though I was presenting clear signs I was not interested in pursuing the friendship. It was really difficult and, to be fully honest, I handled the situation a bit clumsily. I think what Andrea-RO has said sounds like a really good strategy, especially because you need to keep seeing them in some contexts.