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dobokdude Offline
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Has anyone ever lost a friend trying to help them?+ my story - June 28th 2017, 06:41 PM

Hey guys, so this is my first post here, and I decided to make it about a topic that hits close to home.

Has anyone else ever been in a situation where you tried to help a friend and the friendship ended as a result, or maybe you were never friends at all? This was a situation I found myself in last year.

So before I begin, I just want to say that I acknowledge the mistakes made on my part, but in the end I was trying to do the right thing.

So let's start this Star Wars style: Over a year ago in a high school far far away...

This was back towards I believe March of last year. I was 15 and in 10th grade. There was a girl(no I didn't like her romantically) who I had geometry and english with. We started talking in English, since we both liked to contribute to group discussions and had some common interests. Thoguh towards the end of 10th grade and the start of summer, she didn't really talk to me much, and she even seemed a bit depressed at times. I talked to our English teacher about it since she's one of those teachers people like to go to for advice. She talked to my friend and then told me that my friend was upset over some bad things she has been experiencing at school.

So before I get onto this next part, let me just say that I regret this and had no bad intentions but i didn't handle it well. So as I mentioned in the past I have Asperger's Syndrome which means I may do some things which are socially inappropriate not out of intent but I don't quite grasp social norms well compared to others. So In the last week of school I gave her my phone# and email so she could contact me. But i didn't hear from her for the first few days of summer, so I got a little paranoid. I ended up finding her dad's # off the internet and texted him asking her to contact me(yes he was a bit weirded out), emailing our geometry teacher asking her to pass on my contact info to her. I know that was much and I wasn't trying to be a stalker. She did email me telling me that that was alot and was abit pissed. I apologized and we moved past that. This was during the summer and things were fine for a bit, until August...

I got an email from her with her phone number(we had just been emailing) and she asked if I could do something for her. I texted her and this is basically what she told me she was planning:

-She was going to go from City A(where she lives now, she moved during the summer) to City B by the train/bus alone(by that route the travel time is over an hour and thus she'll be miles away from home), by herself. Her parents don't know and neither does anyone else aside from me, her therapist, and (maybe) a small other amount of people I'm not sure. But her parents she definitely didn't want aware.

-She's going there to meet some person she specified as a male. I asked her if this was a boyfriend or an ex and she said no. She also said this wasn't anything illegal.

-What she had wanted me to do was to be a backup contact in case something happened to her(basically a safety net). I had agreed at first. I asked her if she could text me periodically so i know she's alright, but she then said that she doesn't want to make this guy suspicious, then she said ''anymore'' suspicious. She also said she isn't 100% sure if this was a good idea.

-This was on a Saturday, the next day on Sunday she texted me saying she doesn't want me in her plan anymore because this seemed too much for me and that it was her business and not to tell anyone else.

Now this was where I began to feel this was actually a bad idea. My friend is a young, small-framed petite, 16 year old who's traveling from City A a notoriously high-risk city in California to City B which is a bit shady itself to meet some guy who seems not really safe, and she's doing this alone without her own parents knowledge. Knowing that this could result in the typical missing girl scenario you see on the news all the time, I decide to tell someone.

I emailed our old English teacher telling her I urgently needed to talk to her at lunch, saying it involved a life or death situation. The reason for telling my English teacher instead of my mom was because my mom isn't one of those parents that i real strict with me and knows everything I'm doing and i felt she would overreact. I knew I had to tell someone, and my teacher like I said gives decent advice and considering how my friend had talked to her she could shed some light on this. I showed her the texts and explained to her , and while she couldn't tell me what my friend had talked about with her, she did say that this was related to what my friend told her and that she might have an idea of where she was going.

She ended up asking a school counselor and all she could end up doing was filing a report to CPS(she had to do it before after my friend had talked to her. She said my friend isn't experiencing physical or sexual abuse, but something is going on. Her parents aren;t causing it but they re not preventing it either. My teacher said it was hard to explain what it was especially since my friend didn;t even give her much detail.

I hadn't heard from my friend two days since that sunday, so i had called, left voicemails, emailed, and texted saying i was really worried. She finally got back at me on the wednesday of that week, saying that she doesn't need my help, she's ''fine'' and to talk about something else.

We later argued over texts and here's what she told me since she lives in City A she's always at risk anyway and she has her phone, charger, pepper spray, an app that alerts whether or not she made it to her location. She also has a nail polish that changes color if a drink has been tampered with, and that City B isn't as bad as City A, and thus can take care of herself.

I then told her how i had showed our old teacher our texts and she texted back asking why I did that and tried to call me but I panicked and turned off my phone. She left a voice mail saying that if I was really being ''noble and considerate'' that I would have looked at things from her perspective and not told someone when she asked me not to.

So then after I gave us a few days to cool off, we talked on the phone and she said that she does have common sense and that between what i did during summer, I do too much and told me her parents are strict and don't go anywhere by herself and they don't know because they would try to stop her. I told her I don't want her to think I'm a bad person and she says we'll get better and that was that. She also mentioned that her parents being strict their judgement can't always be trusted. About to hours later, I texted her with some things I forgot to say and that while I did have questions, she could answer them when she felt ready. I also mentioned that

I myself get frustrated with parents thinking they know everything(which I do). Big f****** mistake. She sent me a series of texts saying not to talk about this anymore and stop trying to relate to her because I don't get it. She even straight up ADMITS that she never said the guy WASN'T dangerous, but to just stop and stay out of it.

Now at this point, I hope you can see where my concerns are. Al those things that my friend has to prevent something bad from happening are not foolproof. If this person she's trying to meet or someone else is commited to taking her money, phone, her virignity or at worst her life they can and will get around those things. Pepper spray doesn't do squat against someone who's drunk, on PCP, or has really high adrenaline. Even if the police department is close to where she's going, who's gonna call them if something happens to her? So I then sent an email where I basically threw down the gauntlet:

Hi (her name). I know we haven't talked in over a week. I know you're probably busy with school and such, and that's fine. But I did feel the need to get this off my chest:

(Her name) i know you told me that you were fine but I honestly don't believe that. I don't know much about what's going on in your life but one thing i do know is that if you were ''fine'', you wouldn't feel that you had to do this so badly, I mean did you hear yourself? Yeah I know rebellion is an expected part of adolescence but there are things you just shouldn't do.

And as for your parents not letting you go places by yourself, well if they knew what you had planned to do(and may still plan on doing) you're not really helping your case!

And yes, I get that no matter where one goes there is always a risk of things happening, but you know what that's all the more reason not to do something stupid like this! Even me, I'm a 6'2 black male, but i know i could still be mugged, robbed, beatup etc. So guess what, I have my phone and charger with me, I plan on taking martial arts again, I keep only one earbud in my ear when in public, aware of my surroundings that kind of stuff. But you wanna know what's better than having all those precautionary measures? NOT PUTTING MYSELF IN SITUATIONS WHERE BAD THINGS ARE MOST LIKELY GOING TO HAPPEN!

Basically, the most important part of common sense when it comes to self preservation is avoiding people/places/situations where things are more likely to go bad this includes:

-walking down dark alleys at night

-Going off alone to meet some shady guy when very few people know where you are

-Associating with people belonging to gangs/drugs/illegal activity. Yes I know living in (City A) you may have some people like that as neighbors/classmates and while you can't control that, you sure as hell don't have to be close friends with them! Just say hi and be polite but that's about it.

I could go on but hopefully you get the idea. And another thing, the reason why I avoid bad situations in the first place is because i understand that all my precautionary measures are NOT foolproof.If a person is committed to taking your wallet, purse, innocence or your life they CAN, WILL, and DO get around those things if they are hellbent enough. This isn't to say they are useless, but again not foolproof. All the more reason to avoid situations where you are likely to need them.

Pepper Spray-Not completely useless, but won't mean squat if the guys on something like PCP(they do have drugs in City B), the guy's drunk, or his adrenaline is through the roof(if that's the case don't rely on a classic groin kick either)

Tampered drink nail polish- Very good if you go to a club or restraunt or something of alike, but won't mean crap if the guy decides to bash you over the head and throw you in a van and drive off.

Alert app- Sounds good, but again very few people know where you're going and what if you're phone falls in a puddle, or if someone breaks it, GPS tracking goes out the window.

Police Station closeby- Who's going to call them if shit hits the fan? The guy could knock you out from the get-go(or someone else). SEVERAL guys could throw you in a van and the next thing you know you wake up in an isolated location with God-knows-who. You lived there before- You may know the area, but you don't know who couldv'e moved into the area since you lived there. A rapist? Serial killer? Terrorist?

So yeah (her name), these precautions are not useless but again it would be best if you tried your best to not have to use any of them. You may think I'm being the bad guy because ''I don't get it''? Well no duh, you didn't tell me anything other than what was obvious! Yes I know you're parents would stop you but again, considering what you're doing, they would have good reason to! Yes I know there's always a risk, but if you(still) don't understand what I'm trying to tell you, here's an analogy: ''If the flames are already hot, why keep fueling the fire? It's warm enough, any hotter and you'll just get burned''.

And guess what. even when I'm legally an adult and I get older that is still how I will go about things. Having my phone/self defense training, and awareness in case s*** hits the fan but staying away from postions where that is more likely to happen. 10 years from now I'm not walking down dark alleys, I'm looking at what's happening around me, and in college I'll be hanging out with fellow nerds and geeks, not gangbangers and crackheads.

And you know what, you may be mad at me but I'm saying this because I care. Yes me trying to contact you the way I did over the summer was out of line and I'm sorry. But that wasn't the case this time. This was because I'm genuinely concerned about you as a friend. Just because someone says they are fine, that doesn't mean they are fine. Just look at battered housewives. I know I can't force you to talk to me, and I don't want to. I want you to trust me to be a FRIEND (her name), Not a yesman.

And I know you think that I wouldn't get it, but here's the thing: Feeling the need to do something risky because it's supposedly important? So did I before I came to (Our school). Having to go see and talk to a therapist? In the same boat. Feeling like people won't remember you postitively? Been there done that.

Being someone's friend doesn't mean going along with whatever they do or backing them up on everything, but about knowing when to have their backs by making sure they're ok. To help them before they do something they'll most likely regret. I won't force you to talk, and at this point I've said what I can say and I can't do anything else. It's been almost two weeks since we talked, maybe some things have gotten better hopefully. But if not, if you are still planning on going through with this at some point in time, at least take some time to think about everything I'm saying. I don't think you're stupid and I'm not mad at you, I just want you to be okay. So yeah. You don't have to respond right away, I'm not asking you to. But here's something you must know about me (her name), because this mistake I made in the past:

I can be your friend, or I can be your yesman. I cannot be both.

And that's my email, now here's hers:

''Wow, (my name)...

This is really rude, and very unnecessary. You are clearly convinced you know best, and understand my situation better than I do, so I will stop trying to convince you otherwise. You don't know me very well, and-at the time- that was an advantage, but you are so hell bent on acting like a parent or a savior of some sorts....it's really messed up. You're over thinking this... and not considering me at all if this is really what you think and how you view me and my circumstances (which you know nearly nothing of). I'm not an idiot (my name)! And I know you're smart, but I'm honestly questioning your sensibility and how much of a "friend" you actually are. You have never been a "yes man", or a friend for that matter.

Yes men would simply agree, and maybe recognize their place as such and simply appreciate the fact that they can help me stay safe and that I came to them-at least someone else knows-. Friends would say you're crazy, but you haven't ever been this hell bent on something (that I've see), so, yes, I'll help because I want to make sure your safe and that this will help you get better (if they felt something was wrong with me). They both would be very trust worthy with this stuff. Girls and some sensible guys would understand I'm not as helpless as people make me out to be, and that making me out to be would be very discouraging and only cause more harm than good. They would also recognize that I will have to start going out ON MY OWN anyway. I'm almost out of high school, and there are risk of everything and with/for everyone. But you don't see it that way, right? Fine, but for your sake I really would appreciate it if you stopped. Don't make me say or do something really mean, (my name)...

Yeah, we're not AT ALL in the same boat, (my name). You have no idea why I see her, and doubts about your place in other peoples eyes is a relativly common HUMAN thing.''

So after that I gave up for a bit to reflect on everything, with us sending a few one sentence emails trying to have some sembleance of casual conversation. Eventually I sent an email saying I wasn't implying all those things about her and how I felt this whole thing had strained our friendship. I didn't hear from her for almost two months and I did end up informing her dad of what she was planning.Here is an email I sent using a different address two weeks after I told her dad since I thought she blocked my others.

''Hi (her name). So I know right now you're most likely very pissed at me, since I told your dad what you were planning. I want you to know that I didn't do all this to hurt you, or because I think you're an idiot. It was because I was scared for you.

Yeah we don't know each other too well, but that's just the thing. I had one of two choices to make, either stay out of it like you wanted and we could've talked and bonded over other things like I wanted, or I could try talking you out of it or get someone else to.

Obviously I made the 2nd choice. You know why? Because the fact is what you were trying to do was dangerous, and its not because you're a girl. What you were planning to do is a bad idea for me just as much as it is for you. If I had just stayed out of it, that would've been selfish since I would be letting you make a life threatening decision just to appease you.

And look, I don't claim to know more about your situation than you do. But I knew what you were trying to do wasn't a good idea. I knew it could cost our friendship probably, which I didn't want. But I had to do the right thing.

I'm sorry if you really feel I think you're stupid or weak. I don't, and this is coming from someone who's suffered from self doubt and low self esteem. I'm not trying to upset you, and I can't force you to not hate me if you do now. I just hope that you'll be ok.''

Now here's what she said...

Okay,so look: We were never friends, I've tried to be nice and get us to become friends,I know I messed up in asking anything of you,and giving you any attention and my number and my email, but I acknowledge this. I don't care about your feelings or what you felt you had to do. I know you're not an idiot and you THINK you can handle things that I fee you can't and want to further involve yourself in things so here goes.

You're crazy! You stalked me,and I tried to give you a chance because my dad who also through you were being a weird stalker worried you would kill yourself. I did plan on doing that stuff,but I didn't and had no plans on doing it because I DECIDED NOT TO. So you told my dad? Well I told my therapist and knew she would tell him ANYWAY! Thing is, while you were feeing it was your "duty" to do what you felt was the right thing,but I'll have you know my dad and I don't talk,I don't live with him,and he was already trying to "put me on a leash", or calling me "crazy as your mom" and "stupid", so I don't really care what he has to say or what you told him. Stay the hell out of it,stop getting involved because I stopped involving you months ago and a few days or weeks after I first involved you. Anymore of this and like my dad said "I will call the police" because the only guy that seems to be a threat to me right now is you.

So after reading that, I told her that I would stay out of it, that I was sorry and could we move on from this. Here's what she said:

Okay, you don't get it. I'm tired of trying, and I don't want to talk to you anymore. I don't want former teachers contacting me,don't contact my dad, and don't keep emailing me. I have your number from the one hindered and fifty two times people (and you) have sent it to me (I am over exaggerating on purpose). I'm not comfortable communicating with you (so stop trying) and I will block your number, and I would block your emails but you seem to create a lot of different addresses, so I'll just delete them on sight. Leave me alone, or I will call or email or text someone that will make sure you do. Maybe it will be your school so I can call your parents and tell them the same thing I told you. I don't think you want that,but I will do it. I suggest you choose to stop or expect to hear from some authority figure. We are not friends. You have started to become even more like a stalker. I don't want to hear from you again. There is no "moving on from this". We were never friends, or at least I never considered us to be because friends don't do go to the lengths you did to contact me. I understand you may not have been able to get that,but it's not socially acceptable. You may say you don't care about that or can't care to much, but you should. Someone else might've just called the police or the principal of the school and insisted something be done about you. Please don't make me do that. Don't contact my dad anymore or I will instruct him to act similarly (and believe me he has no problems doing so).

So yeah that's how it ended. I understand that how I handled things that summer wasn't the best course of action. I had apologized and offered to leave her alone, but at that time she said it wasn't the end of the world. After that I told her I hoped I didn't sound suicidal and she said no. So basically she wasn't honest with me. She could've have told me to fuck off from the getgo but she didn't and then went so far as to let me in on her secret plan. There wasn't the best communication overall. Until those last 2 emails I thought she was just ignoring me because I was disagreeing with her plans, but it was unclear since as I said she wasn't honest with her opinion on me.

Also yes she did say she told her therapist, BUT, also had said when she was first telling me what she was planning that she was gonna try to get her not to tell anyone or was gonna go through with it before she could tell anyone. I didn't mean for things to turn out this way, but she wasn't honest from the beginning and if something happened to her the police could probably look at her emails or track down her phone (she herself said it has GPS), and see that she told me and thus would probably bring me in for questioning to get any clues on why this underage girl has gone missing and I would have to deal with being asked "Why didn't you tell anyone?" What would I have told the cops? "Sorry Officer, I knew something like this could happen but I didn't tell because... reasons?"

Anyway I'm still doing my best to move forward. What advice can you offer and what's your guys' story if something similar has happened to you.
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cynefin Offline

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Re: Has anyone ever lost a friend trying to help them?+ my story - July 1st 2017, 02:29 PM

Perhaps she was honest with you in the beginning, but later changed her mind about things due to how she was feeling at the time.

Trying to move forward after this will probably help you a lot. Maybe, in moving forward, you can talk to someone you trust about how you've been feeling about all of this. If you can't talk to someone, consider journaling or blogging about your feelings so you have a place to get them out of your head. It is nice to help other people but you have to remember to take care of yourself, too. It might help to practice some self-care while you're working on yourself.

Do you think you could try to make new friends? New friends can't replace this person but they can keep you engaged and occupied with other things. If you can't or don't want to make new friends at school, you could volunteer or join different community events.

I don't think I have entirely lost a friend due to trying to help them. I have gotten annoyed occasionally when friends have gotten other people involved with my own stuff, especially because I knew my limits and I knew how I wanted to handle things. I've always tried to look at it from their perspective, though. And having friends get other people involved isn't something I have to worry about anymore.

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