Ending toxic friendship and issues of being replaced

Postby Leemac10 » Fri Aug 06, 2021 6:56 pm

Just need some help in understanding these thought patterns and how to deal with rumination. I recently ended a toxic friendship with a girl I met at work. She came into my life while i was dealing with the fallout of a massive heartbreak, my long term bf and I had purchased a house and 3 weeks later he told me he wasnt "feeling it" and decided to pull out. Needless to say I found out there was someone else (I had no idea and was blind sided), he ended up moving in with her right away and they are now married with two kids. It took me a LONG time to get over it, especially because I went through all of the thoughts of "why wasnt I enough?" "why didnt he talk to me about how he was feeling?" "how the hell did that work out for him and not me?"

This friend (same sex) came into my life when I needed it most. I was drawn to her and we got along really well. I noticed that she seemed to get jealous etc when I was dating or even of my other friends. I also got the impression that she may have liked me a bit more then a friend. Over time, a I was flattered and enjoyed the attention, I started to behave the same way. I realised that this behaviour was toxic, but I didnt know how to stop it. Things progressively got worse as one night we crossed a friend boundary and made out twice. Feelings were admitted to one another but this was both new territory etc. There was a long buildup to this happening and she was very full on at first (which now i may think was love bombing because in hindsight I think she has ALOT of narcissistic tendencies). Needless to say the fall out was a disaster, I didnt know how to handle it, and to be honest she has always been non confrontational and avoidant so she just ran away. We tried to move past it but I couldnt. I would continually try to have conversations about it but would get so many mixed messages I just never knew where I stood. One minute she would be saying she felt the same and the next she would be chasing a guy. But then get jealous of me or be very affectionate and I always felt a vibe between us. She told me it was not in my head and she felt the same but then would never do anything about it or have an adult conversation.

Now I admit I was no angel and my first instinct was to be with a man as well...I am sure I did some things to hurt her and sent mixed messages. Eventually it reached a head for me. I finally imploded and said I couldnt do it anymore....the jealousy, hot and cold behaviour etc was super toxic for my mental health. I told her all this and she wanted to wait a month and follow up when we had time to think. In this months time she got a boyfriend and has since been with him and it was very hard for me..because AGAIN...I made it about me "not being good enough". I eventually told her I had to cut her out as I couldnt move past it all and had so much anger about how she chose to deal with it (aka avoiding me etc). She admitted she was emotionally immature about it all and she was very upset and cried when I told her I needed to move on. Luckily I moved cities so wont run into her, but I ended up having to delete her on social media as seeing her happy bf posts was not fun.

This is the rub. I have noticed this pattern where I am attracted to emotionally unavailable people or when I have ANY kind of relationship end I instantly make it about me. With the ending of that friendship all the ruminating thoughts run in my head of "if i was good enough she would have taken a chance" or "her feelings for me werent real and why the hell can i not get over this..it happened forever ago, am I not worth it?". This also extends past romantic feelings. I keep wishing she had just told me that she wasnt interested...but she said so many contradictory things i didnt ever know where i stood. I also understand that deep down I probably didnt fully want it either, because it scared the hell out of me and I have never been in this situation and have always identified as straight.

If you have stuck with me this long I appreciate it so much. Since this has happened I have fallen into a depression similar to when me and my ex broke up and all the cyclical ruminating thoughts have come back. All revolving around her not "picking me" and me not being "good enough". I dont know how to stop this. In past friendships, when they ended and didnt have even a romantic connotation, I went through a similar thought pattern. As one particular friendship ended up with me being replaced by another girl....and then the next by her boyfriend...then the next longterm relationship i was in i was left for someone else..and then my last long term i was ALSO replaced. I have this major issue of being "replaced" and i dont know HOW TO GET OVER IT. Plz someone tell me they have been through something similar and how to let it go and not make it about you. I want to enjoy my new city and life and this has totally left a black cloud in my head. I want to move on and be happy but all I can do is think about how she instantly got with someone in order to avoid dealing with the situation. Deep down I know it would not even work out and she has alot of terrible qualities in a partner for me and red flags, so I dont even know why I want or care about her. Thanks if you took the time. I have set up some counseling here and I really want to get to root of this issue.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Aug 07, 2021 6:54 pm

Leemac10 wrote: I dont know how to stop this. I have this major issue of being "replaced" and i dont know HOW TO GET OVER IT. I have set up some counseling here and I really want to get to root of this issue.

Being rejected hurts. The pain, however, serves a purpose.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve been rejected and I’ve been the one to do the rejecting. Personally, I prefer to be the one rejected. It hurts less.

I disagree with how you frame it as being “replaced”. To replace suggests they want a copy, that they want to replace something old, defective, or worn out with a new version of the same thing. That has not been my experience. It’s that they want something different. They want something they think is better for them. That’s not replacing me. That’s wanting something that is not me.

When I’ve been rejected, generally speaking, they wanted a man that had different ambitions or values than my own. The pain would resolve itself in one of two ways. One, I would realize they were on a different path and that it was good they rejected me. Two, I would realize that I needed to grow.

It’s the second pain that is the hardest to accept.

I think counseling is a good idea. You need to figure out where you can grow. It might be that you are not good at picking up red flags early enough. It might be you seek approval so you are too accepting. And as you’ve stated, you’re not always an angel. You…like each of us…have a toxic side. Most certainly past relationships have opinions that point to potential areas for growth.
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Postby Alpha90 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:07 am

Pain is part of life. I agree, it is part of a process that you can't miss.
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