Dear New Friend,
Well, we are a year or more into our fledgling new friendship and I have laughed uproariously, smiled until my face cracked, hung out and did nothing, but hang out, dined, swam, gardened, shopped and chatted about everything under the sun. I also felt confident enough in our newly found connection to let down my guard and confide in you a little. You have confided in me too. We shared secrets and we shared ambitions and we just shared.
It all sounds idyllic, and in many ways, for me it has been. Making new friends used to come so easily to me. I was open and trusting to a fault, but not anymore. Oh! I definitely seek out new friends, it’s just that nowadays I am more cautious and particular about who I spend my time with. You see, I’ve had some absolutely rotten friendships in the past. People might think this is an exaggeration, but I can tell you stories that will make you dream of monsters.
I am careful not to make my new friends pay for the monster’s mistakes, and that’s pretty important for those of us in recovery from abusive relationships with others.
You can not allow the monster’s dysfunction to become your dysfunction.
How do you keep this from happening? I’m no expert, but I can tell you how I got through this and that was to finally understand and appreciate what a real friend looked like and felt like. When you’re wading through the destruction and havoc left behind from any connection with a malignant personality disordered person, finding out who your real friends are can be quite a task. My best advice is to continue to work on yourself and the genuine folks will slowly start to become apparent. Like they say, the cream always rises to the top!
I am a champion of letting a friend know what I’ve experienced with toxic people. Not only does it give them a heads-up, it also protects me from witnessing one of my friends suffer the same fate that I did. Many things I will keep to myself. This is not one of them. If the person wanted me to say nice things about them, they should have behaved better.
The most important task ahead will be making, setting and abiding by your own personal boundaries. You have to draw a line in the sand sometimes and this is going to be one of them. It’s the best survival tip I can offer. If you check out the Explore Other Posts section here on my blog, you’ll find one entitled Personal Boundaries Primer. I’d suggest having a gander at some of those posts and follow my journey to freedom, as you seek yours.
Good luck out there and remember; just because you know a lot of assholes, it doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them.