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AnonymousWoman's avatar

I have an ex-friend who has placed a huge responsibility on me and has blamed me for her suicide attempts. What should I do?

Asked by AnonymousWoman (6528points) December 20th, 2009

In the beginning, there was just something about this girl that I didn’t like. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It took her awhile to get me to be her friend. She’d call me and send me messages trying to make plans. She knew who I was because she went to school with one of my sisters. Anyway, eventually I met her one day at her place of work and she immediately recognized me as someone she “knows from somewhere”. My impression of her in person changed. I started hanging out with her after that. She’d hang out with me to dump what I thought were her problems on me. I tried to be the great friend I thought she never had. In turn, she tried to turn me against people who did nothing wrong. Things got more complicated when I discovered that the problems she had didn’t even exist. Once I discovered this and lost trust in her and told her so, she went to one of her friends to complain about me and blamed me for making her cry and all that. He sent me a message asking me to stop making her cry and told me he was just trying to keep her alive. I’ve been in this situation, too. I have been one of the people who tried to keep her alive. It’s not out of character for her to blame the most convenient person for her suicide attempts. I’ve suggested to her that she may have a mental illness and she kept throwing it into my face that she’s getting psychiatric help as though that’s supposed to make me forgive her and completely trust her all over again. I just feel like it’s all an emotional blackmail and guilt-trip. What should I do? What mistakes have I made? What would you suggest I do differently from what I have done? If you’re unclear about something, what are you unclear about? Thank you in advance.

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24 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

There’s nothing for you to do, save to try to remain charitable. She is a troubled person, and none of it is your fault.

Blondesjon's avatar

You haven’t done anything wrong except for allowing yourself to get used. If you are smart enough to see what she is doing you are smart enough to wash your hands of the whole mess and walk away.

All she wants is attention. I suggest you tell her to find somebody else to give it to her.

jamielynn2328's avatar

It sounds like this girl needs some emotional help. You are right to call it emotional blackmail. Do not blame yourself, and I don’t think there is anything for you to do at this point. I wouldn’t associate with someone like this. All you can do is hope that someday she gets some help.

Judi's avatar

I agree. Don’t get sucked in. Her choices are hers alone and you are not responsible for them. (This coming from someone who was married to someone who successfully committed suicide.)
You are not responsible for anything she may do. It sounds like she has an accountability problem and will stop at nothing (even suicide threats) to not take responsibility for her own actions. I say, stay as far away as possible. It’s between her and her therapist now.

chyna's avatar

I had a friend like this back in my early 20’s. After years of her trying to commit suicide and blaming everyone but herself, I just couldn’t handle the stress she was putting on me, so I broke all ties with her. It’s very hard to do, but for my own sanity, I did it. From what I have heard, to this day, she is still “attempting suicide” at every chance she gets and putting the blame/guilt on those few people that have stayed by her all these years.

Cotton101's avatar

Hey, would walk away and forget it. You did nothing wrong and do not feel guilt from this situation. Hopefully, she can get her life straightened out.

john65pennington's avatar

You have just met the queen of “i’m not at fault” people. this type person always trys to place the blame of her faults, on someone else. i know of a person just like this. i kept pounding this into her head, “you are playing mind games with me and i am wise to your reverse psychology”. i bet i have made this statement at least 50 times to her. finally, one day, it finally hit home to her. maybe, you should try this. i hate people that try to use other people, for whatever gain they hope to receive. stand your ground. sooner or later, this person will let your words sink into her twisted mind.

mrentropy's avatar

Step away. I’ve noticed this type of behavior in addicts, too.

Polly_Math's avatar

I hate to go clinical on you, but it sounds like she may have borderline personality disorder (or some variation). Many people with this tend to suck the energy out of you and attempt to cause chaos around them. They also have difficulties maintaining meaningful relationships, will often blame others for their problems, and see things as “black or white.” It sounds like your initial impressions were trying to tell you something. You can either cut all ties, which I know is a difficult to do sometimes, or be subject to what sounds like manipulative, and even malicious, behavior.

UScitizen's avatar

If you allow others to take advantage of you, they will.

talljasperman's avatar

I was in that situation… but on the other side…I wasn’t taking care of myself .. and I wasn’t being honest about my struggles to those who could help me… I now realise That it was my resposibiltiy to help my self and I should have put less pressure on my family friends and my self… I was realy mixed up and All I wanted was my old friends back…. I stayed in university while I was failing so that my ex-friends would be around to take me back…they ended up fasley accusing me of harrassing them and I should have dropped out of university and taken a year off then come back when they were gone… one or two friends are writing me on facebook once a year wishing me a happy birthday… and I feel uncomfortable writing to them…I’ve moved on with them but The university and the last friend still give me regrets…

PandoraBoxx's avatar

She is blaming you to avoid personal responsibility, and avoidance of personal responsibility is at the core of her problems. You have to own your own life. Good or bad, it comes down to being responsible for yourself and the outcome of your life.

Tell her that you cannot fix her, only she can fix her. And move on. You are not responsible for making her well; she needs professional help. If she feels for some reason that she cannot do that, there’s nothing you can add to the situation.

CMaz's avatar

@Polly_Math – Yep sounds like it to me too.

I was in the same situation with my ex GF. Though I could help her, went to hell and back for her.
Only to find out over time that what she said was just twisted truth. Total Sociopath.

One sign of borderline personality disorder is that the relationship is about them.

It is not your fault. You tried to be a good person.

In my case it was the her father and mother that did most of the damage to her.

Shemarq's avatar

Don’t blame yourself. There are people out there that thrive on being the “victim” and she sounds like one of those people. If anyone confronts you about how you “hurt” her, just tell them that she is full of shit and to watch their own backs.

filmfann's avatar

I had a friend like this, and she straightened out when she started taking B-12 suppliments.
You haven’t done anything wrong, but if you consider this person a friend, you should try to support her.
Good luck with it. You’re probably screwed.

TominLasVegas's avatar

shes the one responsible for her own actions.Blaming you is both unfair and uncalled for. You do not deserve this and I’d tell her that.

lonelydragon's avatar

The only thing you could’ve done differently was to listen to your intuition the first time, but now you will be wise enough to listen to it in the future. Otherwise, you did nothing wrong. There is no reason for you to accept responsibility for her suicide attempts. It sounds like you tried to help her, and, after all, you have no control over her actions. Some people are self-destructive, yet they blame others for their problems. This girl sounds like a toxic influence on your life, and you’ll be better off without her particular brand of friendship.

SirGoofy's avatar

Keep being an ex-friend.

JLeslie's avatar

She is mentally ill and very manipulative. You have to distance yourself. Nothing is your fault.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

That is not a friend. Some people can’t be rescued.

SABOTEUR's avatar

(Answered without reading the accompanying explanation…)

…you might learn to recognize that people are responsible for their own actions and refuse to be the scapegoat for anyone else’s lack of personal accountability.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

There is clearly an emerging consensus. Both the common sense replies and the suggested diagnosis of her possible borderline personality disorder provide the same advice.

If you know for sure you have no reason to feel responsible for her problems, then quietly withdraw from any and all contact with her and get on with your life.

If you owe her an apology, then apologize sincerely for whatever you did that may have hurt her and then quietly withdraw from any and all further contact with her and get on with your life.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Great answer! (Welcome to Fluther!)

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