July 5, 2020 at 7:25 am #360582StephanieParticipant
Im having a particularly difficult night tonight with my anxiety, for no reason in particular.
Im struggling with constantly feeling as if I am unworthy of happiness. All my friendships growing up have been verbally/mentally abusive, manipulative, controlling and just…horrible. I didn’t realise just how bad they were until I grew older. I am now 20 years old, my last experience was around 1 or 2 years ago. To put it simply, I was taken advantage of to embarrassing lengths. From being told to eat crumbs off the floor if I wanted more food and to continue our ‘friendship’ (ridiculous i know…im embarrassed myself, this was with my first best friend when i was young), to rolling in the mud for 10 minutes resulting in ant bites all over my back. To be honest i cant write everything down. Throughout all my friendships it has been the same but has gotten worse with each friend. The last one was quite horrible and a big reason as to why i resented school so much, and was quite depressed and my anxiety was at its worst. I was verbally abused everyday, she swore and yelled at me for no reason, for even just asking a question. I would be told I was useless, a b*tch, to shut the f*ck up, c*nt, idiot and so many things everyday. They may not sound all that bad but being told all these things and much worse every day takes its toll. I was terrified of her but stayed close to her throughout my highschool years anyway because she had a ‘nice’ side and I was lonely. She is the reason I immensely hated myself, had no self confidence and developed a complex about my small chest size because it was made fun of and joked about constantly (to me and to others). I was terrified of her knowing I had done homework, studied for exams, if I had done well in anything, achievements, items I had bought, anything.
Mind you, i was going through very difficult times family wise (divorce) and a lot of other things, but all this was making things a thousand times worse. I have also never been very close to my dad. He would also say things such as me being lazy, an idiot, stupid, useless and would (very openly) only love and care for my younger brother. (the one sided love and complete lack of attention/love/care for me is one of the reasons my mum divorced). My friendships made me feel like I had no right to be upset or struggle over the difficult family life I was going through.
I cant help but feel as if i am unworthy of love, friendships and happiness. This was a repeated pattern throughout all my friendships but was significantly worse with the last one. My mum would constantly have to step in because these ‘friends’ were literal bullies who were saying the most hurtful things to me everyday. Because of this pattern, im convinced I first of all have very bad luck and second of all, am subconsciously seeking these kinds of abusive friendships??? Maybe?? Why is this? There is clearly something very wrong with me 🙁 I never stood up for myself in these friendships because they terrified me so much and I tend to avoid conflict at all costs. Also from experience, every time I do try to stand up for myself I make things much worse. I cant help but feel deep down that I wish for someone to say all these horrible things to me again. This is what Im struggling with the most right now. The fact that I am somewhat hoping someone says abusive things to me!!! ?!?! whats wrong with me??? I feel as if i deserve it!! Of course if someone says these things I will be hurt and very upset, but i feel deep down i deserve it right now.
Why??? Please help. I dont know whats wrong with me and if my past has contributed to these feelings but im scared because i know how wrong they are. I dont know what to doJuly 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm #360720NoorParticipant
I will be away from my computer for a bit but I do want to respond to you. I first just want to start by saying that you are not unworthy of love, friendships, and happiness. No, you deserve all the good things out there. Again, I will further elaborate when I return. In the meantime, I wish you kindness and comforting thoughts to mitigate your anxiety.July 6, 2020 at 1:11 am #360757StephanieParticipant
Thank you so much for you response!!! Its greatly appreciated!!! Just seeing someone say that brings me some relief. I look forward to your return!!!July 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm #360793RynParticipant
First of all, I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this and so much more. I totally understand what you’re feeling in terms of your toxic friendships because I too have struggled with toxic friends for what seemed like a never ending amount of time. Up until very recently, I thought that I’d never find a healthy friendship with anyone and thought that there was something wrong with me because all of my past friendships were toxic and ended badly. I started thinking that I wasn’t deserving of true friendship because of all my past experiences.
But now that I have grown and found truly fulfilling friendships and relationships, I can look back and reflect on what was really going on with my toxic friendships, and maybe I can help you out a little bit with what I’ve gone through?
1. There’s NOTHING wrong with you. From what you said, it sounds like you really value your relationships with others, but others have not returned that unconditional support and love to you. This shows that there may be something “wrong” with them. Not that I’m insinuating I know anything about them, but I do know that people who bully or abuse others do this out of their own sense of insecurity and experiences they’ve had. Let me emphasize that this does NOT justify their actions towards you, but just know that the bullying and abuse is likely coming from deep emotional conflicts within them.
2. You deserve love, respect and support from your closest relationships. All relationships are a two-way street: both parties receive and offer their love and support to each other because that is the core of relationships. One thing that all humans have in common is they are capable of giving love, kindness, support, etc. and we all do this to varying degrees. Because we give love, we deserve love.
3. I know what you mean when you say “I cant help but feel deep down that I wish for someone to say all these horrible things to me again.” And again, there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU for feeling this way. You’ve been repeatedly exposed to toxic relationships, and sounds like you may have never had a really healthy friendship. I’m also almost the exact same age as you, and I’ve also experienced the same feelings up until about a year ago because of my history with toxic friendships. When you repeatedly have toxic and abusive relationships and haven’t quite yet experienced healthy ones, you think it’s normal to be treated the way you have been. Or even if you know it’s not healthy, you think this is what you deserve because this is what you’ve always experienced. This is what you’ve been surrounded with for practically your whole life.
The fact that you are aware of how your past relationships have made you feel now is great. Learning from and reflecting on our relationships can teach us more about ourselves and what we want. So now that you know that your previous friendships were toxic, you can keep that knowledge in the back of your mind when you make new friendships.
In my opinion, half of the friend-making process is luck, because you’ll either click with someone or not. The other half is knowing what you want and don’t want in a relationship.
I understand you may feel hopeless in your search for a loving, supportive friendship, but I promise you will find it one day. It takes a lot of time, reflection and communication to develop a healthy relationship, but it WILL happen for you.
And always listen to your gut!
I wish you the best <3