TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Image result for inspirational quotesHi guys! First off, I want to mention that this post is in no way meant to slander anyone. At the end of the day, things happened the way they happened, and I am so much happier with things the way they are. I obviously have a lot of feelings based on this experience that I'm not going to touch on as this isn't a way for me to recount the past, it is more of a reflection post of me looking back on the past year of my life and describing what it has taught me. I am not a religious person, however I believe everything happens for a reason - what that reason is I have no clue-, and I have learned so much about myself as a result of going through this. I am much stronger than I ever thought, and I am really proud of myself for being able to talk about my experiences so openly as I am not an open person. It takes me months and months to open up to people, but I feel so much more confident about myself on my little corner of the internet. I hope you guys are able to get more of an insight into the past year of my life and why I had to take a break from blogging in April!



So, in order for you to have a full understanding of this toxic friendship you need to understand that everything was fine until this person learned of my relationship (I didn't feel it was necessary to state that I was in a relationship and I thought it was quite obvious) and then it started. I started doubting my relationship, this person started placing seeds of doubt in my head and making me worry a lot more than I usually worry. This should have been a sign that I shouldn't be friends with this person, all of my friends support my relationship and love me for no matter what I do, but this person couldn't do that. A few of my other friends started to fear for my mental health and warned me off being friends with this person, but I never listened as I didn't want to give up. I also felt like I couldn't give up, I was in a position where I was made to feel bad for even suggesting that I didn't want to be friends with the person. The problem with me is that I don't put myself first. I want to help everyone, but sometimes it's okay to put yourself first. Looking back on it, I can see the emotional abuse definitely started then. 

Another massive thing which seems glaringly obvious to me as something I shouldn't have put up with is there was one thing in particular which this person would say that I didn't like as it made me feel belittled and seemed a bit controlling. Time and time again, I told this person I didn't like this (and I don't like anything which could lead to possible confrontation so it has to be really, really bad for me to mention that I don't like something), and the person continued to say the thing I didn't like. I feel like someone who wanted to be friends with me would respect my wishes, but I felt undervalued and underappreciated. 

For the record, emotional abuse comes in many forms. Relate.org says "Intimidation and threats. This could be things like shouting, acting aggressive or just generally making you feel scared. This is often done as a way of making a person feel small and stopping them from standing up for themselves. Criticism. This could be things like namecalling or making lots of unpleasant or sarcastic comments. This can really lower a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Undermining. This might include things like dismissing your opinion. It can also involve making you doubt your own opinion by acting as if you're being oversensitive if you do complain, disputing your version of events or by suddenly being really nice to you after being cruel. Being made to feel guilty. This can range from outright emotional blackmail (threats to kill oneself or lots of emotional outbursts) to sulking all the time or giving you the silent treatment as a way of manipulating you. Economic abuse, such as withholding money, not involving you in finances or even preventing you from getting a job. This could be done as a way of stopping you from feeling independent and that you’re able to make your own choices. Telling you what you can and can’t do. As the examples above make clear, emotional abuse is generally about control. Sometimes this is explicit. Does your partner tell you when and where you can go out, or even stop you from seeing certain people? Do they try to control how you dress or how you style your hair?" can all constitute as emotional abuse. Abuse also has a lot to do with how you feel. No one else can tell you what you feel isn't warranted/valid, so who has the right to tell you that what you're going through isn't abuse? If you feel scared and undervalued then it is subjective to you and you alone. 

I read this sheet, and I was blown away by how many of this persons behaviourisms I would chalk down to their personality, when it was actually emotional abuse. There would be times when this person would make me feel scared to say anything they didn't agree with because it'd result in an argument, there were times where I would feel like a terrible person as a result of things this person had said to me, times where I felt really anxious and sad because I felt like I couldn't do anything right. I cried myself to sleep for a few months constantly as I did't feel like a good person and I would just be belittled. I was emotionally manipulated and I was even told on a few occasions that "I went out with my friends too much". 

In all honesty, I wasn't put off until one day we were having a seemingly pleasant conversation. I wasn't getting angry or raising my voice, I was at the park with my sister when this person went off at me and decided to block me off every social media. It wasn't until then that I looked more into emotional abuse and manipulation and realised that what I went through wasn't normal. It's only now that I've realised what a happier person I have become, I have a good set of friends around me, I have a very loving and supportive boyfriend, I have blogger friends, I have now told my family everything and have their support 110%. 

On reflection, I wish that I had the confidence within myself to leave that toxic friendship behind ASAP, but as I said I am ten times happier and better off for having to deal with this. During the time I was friends with this person, I found it difficult to feel like myself. I found myself feeling like I was a horrible, horrible person who couldn't do anything right. I blamed myself for the fact we were constantly arguing - I often would think that everything was my fault and I didn't deserve any friendship until one day when I looked at all my other friendships and realised none ever made me feel this way. 

I'm not going to say that I was completely blameless, there have been things I have done which may have upset the other party - but I can only talk about my personal experience and how this made me feel. 

If you've been affected by anything I've written about I would encourage you to speak to a trained professional who can help you. 

Thank you so much for reading. 

Love and hugs,

Ashleigh♡xoxo 

Join the conversation!

  1. I'm sorry this happened to you, I understand and have experienced very similar. You're not alone princess! Brave of you to write this cuz it may help someone else on your situation who hasn't realised that what they're experiencing isn't normal. Xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot to hear so thank you for your kind words šŸ˜Š it took me so long to realise it wasn't normal xoxo

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  2. So insanely proud of you for writing this up in a post! You have no idea how much this could help someone else! You are incrediblely brave and so inspiring to others, you've got through it and come out stronger at the other end. I am so proud of you it's unreal!! Congrats on an absolute belter of a post!šŸ’—šŸ’—šŸ’—šŸ’—

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    1. Thank you so so much - it's so lovely to hear this! Xxx

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  3. I’m proud of you for speaking about how you feel x

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  4. I'm so sorry that you experienced a friendship like this - I've had some toxic friendships but none like this! I love how well explained and factual this post is too x

    Kayleigh Zara šŸŒæwww.kayleighzaraa.com

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    1. Ah thank you so much!! No one should have to go through what I did so hopefully I can be of some help xoxo

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  5. Oh, I'm sorry you had to go through this. You're so brave to talk about this and I'm so happy your so much stronger now šŸ’• Sending so much love to you!

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

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  6. It sounds like you've been through a really rough time with this so-called friendship, Ashleigh! Nobody deserves to be put down or made to doubt their relationship by someone that they call their friend! I am glad that you have walked away now and learned from the situation, I am sure that you have many more friends who treat you so much better!

    Abbey šŸ‰ www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  7. Its so brave of you to write this post and I'm so sorry its something you've experienced, but I'm so glad you realised that it wasn't healthy and that you feel like yourself again. I think there is so much focus on a toxic relationships that we forget that toxic friendships also happen. I'm so glad you're out of it!

    Gail // www.sherbet-aurora.co.uk

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