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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
DirectorTassja Offline
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Question My best friend is psychotic...and maybe abusive? - April 15th 2012, 02:03 AM

I'm new here...so if I'm doing this wrong please let me know.
I really don't know what to do anymore though.

Okay...my best friend and I have been friends for about a year now. We've been through a lot together and I really do love her. My problem is though, is that I don't know whether staying friends with her is a good idea, for the following reasons:
1) She's extremely jealous and possessive- She has admitted to me several times that she is a jealous person, and that it bothers her that I a) have a part time job that takes up time I could be spending with her b) have a crush on a guy because it could lead to a relationship which could lead to her losing even more of my time, and c) I have my own social niche within our school, and have developed that without her. She doesn't like that I have a life that doesn't directly involve her.
2) She's extremely emotional and melodramatic and overreacts to everything. Everything everyone does and says is scrutinize and taken as an attack. She's uber-paranoid and always thinks that everyone is attacking her- especially me. She subconsciously doesn't trust me and thinks I'm lying to her when I tell her I love her and that she's my best friend- even though I'm being completely honest. She likes to manipulate and guilt-trip me a lot, as well.
3) She recently forced me to stop talking to another one of my very close friends because he told her that their romantic relationship wasn't working out. She didn't like the fact that I could still bear to communicate with someone who 'hurt her so much'. (I have seen both sides of this story and can testify that although she was hurt, he was definitely as kind as possible to her and is in no way responsible- he was driven away by points 1 and 2.) Essentially, I had to choose between them, which was very painful for me.
4) She gets angry easily and has a violent temper. She's hit me and tackled me quite often, and says things like 'I just tapped you!' or 'You deserved that one.' Also, on more than one occasion I've witnessed her do this to others, and once she had to be restrained from beating up a random stranger who simply flipped her off after an immature misunderstanding.

I'm sorry this is a large vent of information...please bear with me here.

All of these things drive me crazy, and hurt me a lot (mentally and physically- I've battled with self-harm because of it) but I don't know whether I can let her go because:
1) She tells me I'm her only true friend. I know she has peers at school she deems 'friends' but she claims I'm the only one she hangs out with or feels cares about her. I don't want to let her down and crush her, especially since she's had a lot of people do that to her in her life and more frighteningly, she just recently stopped cutting and used to be extremely suicidal. The last thing I want is to hurt her and leave her with no one to turn to for help.
2) I really do love her. When she's not acting crazy and doing all the things above that bother me, she is really sweet and funny and makes me happy. However, in the past few months the ratio of happy to unhappy has gone to more than 75% unhappy.

So, in conclusion, I really need advice on what to do. Every one of my friends and family I've talked to has told me to leave her, and that she's mentally ill and is just dragging me down, but I can't do it. I know that I just keep complaining about her and then going back to her and that's contradictory and probably very annoying, but I don't know what else to do. People say I'm a pushover and need to stand on my own feet for once, but I feel trapped. If anyone can give me advice, I would be immensely grateful.
Thank you.
   
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Re: My best friend is psychotic...and maybe abusive? - April 15th 2012, 04:37 AM

Look, I know she might be mentally ill, but that really gives her no excuse to treat you like dirt. And you shouldn't have to make excuses for her either. If you are concerned she might hurt herself, then you should tell someone who can get into contact with the necessary professionals who can get her the help she needs, including medication for her depressive feelings. It is possible she is depressed or is bipolar or schizophrenic or something. Although, depression is the only one that commonly shows up in the teenaged years, the other 2 tend to show up late teens to early 20's (most commonly). And if that is the case, she can get help and you won't have to deal with a controlling manipulative friend. She probably knows you are afraid to stop talking to her too BECAUSE of her mental health issues. And that is NOT fair. You need to do something about that. So hence contacting the necessary people. And it says your Canadian, so the provincial health plan should cover most of it, and meds can happen if absolutely necessary (ex. if she might kill herself otherwise)
I used to have a friend like that who used to cut A LOT and used to tell me all the time he was going to kill himself, so it got to the point where I basically lost it, was so damnn sick of worrying about him, and told him that if he wasn't gong to be rationale and NOT do it then I would have to call the cops and have them go to his house and that any time in the future he threatened to do so I would be calling the cops to get him. Suddenly, no more threats of suicide, while we're no longer friends (haven't been for a while but we were still friends for a year or 2 after my telling him this) but I know he's still around so yeah...
But yeah, you should be able to stop being friends with someone if they're treating you poorly. If she got the help she needs she would be more stable and people would be able to deal with her better, She probably just needs some meds and therapy and stuff so yeah.
Worst comes to worst you tell her how your feeling, tell who you need to tell, and tell her that if she can't deal with her problems and stop being less manipulative and controlling and possessive etc, then you will no longer be able to be her friend and that you're being pushed to far to the edge be able to be understanding any longer. Tell her you want her to be supported in getting the help she needs and that it isn't up for discussion if she wants you as a friend. That way at least she understands that is is either "deal with problems" OR "no more friend"
   
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Re: My best friend is psychotic...and maybe abusive? - April 15th 2012, 12:34 PM

OP, I will try to address all of your concerns but I will need to change your numbering system to do so. Your second pair of "1 and 2" will be changed to "5 and 6" and you final paragraph will now be addressed as point number "7" in order to accomodate my list below:

1) Your friend may have a controlling personality by nature. She has a need to "control" these elements in your life not because she is jealous but because she wants you to remain dependent on her. There is no difference between the actions you listed and an abusive sexual partner. By limiting your ability to find emotional connection elsewhere, she forces you to rely on her, and not only that but also to accomodate her needs so that you never feel inclined to "get out of line" because she wants you to feel nobody else cares about you.

2) This plays into my earlier point. However, I would suggest that she does trust you very much. She trusts that you will bend over backward to accomodate her every need, because as I said earlier she wants to make sure you have no other place to turn but her. If she cuts you off from everything else, there is little chance of you doing anything against her. She wants you to need her in the same manner she needs you. She belittles you to better her self-worth, because human beings are insecure and like to envision those around them as being just like they are. Without you present, she would become insignificant. That is a fact she has to live with.

3) This partly plays into my earlier two points. However, it is important to point out that your friend is also creating this fantasy drama in her life as a way of making you feel something toward her. Although you can tell her you love her, for her type of personality this is never enough. She has to constantly be comforted because she lacks the ability to make a real emotional connection with anyone. Her emotions are out of her personal control because she cannot relate to another person.

4) As I said in Point 3, your friend lacks personal control of her emotions. The emotions she does feel are the ones you would experience only after feeling something significant in life. She has no middle ground in this area. Physical abuse, as in this instance, is a result of that. If she had any semblance of self-control, this would not be an issue for her.

5) Friend is not a word you should be using with this person. I only use it because you have chosen to use it. A more suitable term for this individuals' friendswould be her victims. I recently gave another person on these forums advice related to how we cannot control the destinies of others when we remove ourselves from a situation. Worry is an irrational fear of things out of our control. Life, in all its forms, has the ability to adapt to external stimuli. If you choose to end your friendship (again, a term I use in the most loose manner imaginable), then that would be such an external action to stimulate change in her. Your friend would adapt and more than likely seek out another victim, but this is not your problem to fix. One reason why she wants you to believe she has no other real friends is likely due to her inability to manipulate those others in her life in the same manner she has done with you. If it is any consolation, you are likely her favorite victim because she appears to have more control over you and your emotions (evidenced by the fact this burdens you despite obvious evidence to what you should be doing).

6) You will have to forgive me, but a person's need to profess love for an individual who brings them more harm than good is beyond my capabilities to understand. Love, by itself, is a direct result of an inconsistent, irrational need for attachment. Although most people do not have this impulse to the point your friend certainly does, it is present in most individuals alive. Your love for this person is, by clear evidence of your admission to being 75 percent miserable around her, an irrational feeling. Whether you can come to see that or not depends on your ability to seperate yourself from your personal circumstances. That is something you will have to learn to do on your own.

7) It is apparent by your having posted this and having detailed the list you gave that you already know what you need to do. You are right now delaying this action and I will not pretend to know why. I want you to re-read what you wrote. Never once in that entire post did you mention anything truly positive about your friend. Why is that? If this were a decision you were actually struggling on finding the answer for, you would have given a lot more balanced an opinion on that person's strengths and weaknesses. Instead, you chose to point out her most horrendous details to those of us who have no means of knowing about anything other than what you've chosen to share. You say that you cannot break off your friendship, and yet we both know that that is not true. It requires you to take action, yes, and that is something many people are afraid to do. Fear is irrational and it can be overcome. It is not always easy for some people, but it can be overcome and, therefore, your problem does have a means to a solution. You can choose to achieve this or you can choose to continue being with your friend. This is completely and totally up to you. You have control over your own destiny, but not hers.

Let me repeat that.

You have control over your own destiny, but not hers.

I only offer you this advice because you asked.

I do wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.
   
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