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I finally left that toxic community

I was struggling with this decision for weeks. I was a member in this discord/twitch community since I discovered twitch for me in april this year. In the beginning it was a great place, wonderful helpful supportive people, which I soon considered close friends and family.

Over time the realtionship with the different people got worse. Center of this was another user, to whom I also was close. As soon he became mod though, everything started to change. The dynamics to the group to which I was close changed. Another guy got mod, and I felt soon separated, as they and the channel owners seemed to hang out more alone, and the newly mod changed his behavior towards me, he made clear that he is something better now, and the way he adressed me changed drastically.

This led to some conflicts, in the first he also made clear, that he knows how he triggered me and made clear he will do that again.

And so he did. He knew exactly what is giving me a hard time, and continued to do those small things, that isn’t recognized much by others, but sometimes triggered me into a suicidal mood.

The owners (people I also considered friends) made clear that they unconditionally support his actions, as they said it was a privat conflict between me and him, even forbid me to contact them about that issue again.

I tried to get along with that situation, just to learn to ignore him as good as possible. But the situation with the others got worse from week to week, until they seemed to ignore me too. The friendly contact slowly vanished over time, and it supported my general feelings of being disturbive, unwanted.

I was just another member of a growing community, not a friend to anyone anymore, just someone who posted food and pet pictures now and then, but there was no support on any level any more.

I tried to talk to other users about it, and they said to me that everything was fine, but they didn’t wanted to be pulled into the situation (which was never my intention, I just wanted to understand what was going wrong, and just some emotional support)

I became afraid to participate anywhere. The VC meetings became horrible, after I was mostly just ignored, the “mod” even put me locally on mute, which led to the situation that he always talked when I was trying to talk.

The mod is everywhere, there is no community interaction which is not under his surveillance, and no chat in the discord, which he doesn’t pull to gain attention away from me, when I was trying to participate.

I tried to talk to him to solve the situation, but he ignored me, until an owner even forbid me to contact him, calling it “an unfortunate but privat situation”.

I have talked with others, many people from HS about the situation, and they all eventually gave me the same advice, to leave the community for my own best, as there is no way to resolve this.

I struggled for weeks with this decision, hoping it would get better over time, but it got worse.

Last night there was another situation where I felt ignored, pushed aside, feeling disturbing, without a chance to talk to anyone about that. So I left a message in the main channel, saying good bye and thank you for all, and eventually clicked that “Leave channel” button.

I instally fell into a deep depression, having massive suicidal thoughts, feeling I have failed. I have given up what I considered family, and I hoped one or the other would just have DM’d me saying good bye, or how are u. But that of course didn’t happen.

I have a feeling that everybody is reliefed that I left, as I was the one not fitting in, not accepting the “authority” of the mod and his over-the-edge actions. I tried to, but it made clear to me, that I am just a nothing there, not worthy of that friendship.

I had a crying breakdown after that. I know by logic that it was the right thing to do, after I was suffering there more, as it would have given me support, like it was in the beginning. I know that nobody there was caring about me, caring if I was there or not (in the community and in general)

I have survived the night, even if I think I was never that close to suicide as before. I managed to sleep, having many weird dreams about the peope I left behind, always waking up, sweating.

I got up, got a coffee, still with the wish that only one of that group would reach out for me, just acknowledging that I am real, existing, but knowing better, that this will not happen. I ended to exist for them with the moment I clicked that “leave” button.

It would be similar the moment I finally end it all. I just have to give up that wish that I would count, that I am important for someone, that really someone wants to make sure, I am ok, or is at least worrying a bit about me. I always have to remind others of my existance, and I do not have that energy any more. I just have to accept the facts. And the conclusion that fighting makes no sense for me.

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I’m very sorry. I hope you find peace and feel better.

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Ezra, this is brutal man. It is a desperately lonely place to feel your worst fears are confirmed — that no one notices you or misses you at all. To feel that something that meant so much to you could so easily dispose of you. It is brutal to the soul.

It feels like what’s the point in moving on? This was the closest you have ever been to “family” and if you were to mean nothing to them it feels hopeless to ever matter to anyone else.

It felt like such a final statement on your worth and the potential of ever being important. But I have to say that it is not true!! I know that friendships come in waves. Even with my best friends I can feel like I am invisible. I have personally struggled with that concept of being unimportant and unworthy, especially in community. I hadn’t heard from either of my best friends unless I reached out to them in a long time. It felt like if I didn’t talk to them, I would be as good as nothing. Forgotten. But what I am learning is not to focus on how they treat me but rather how I choose to show up in my friendships. If I feel alone it is because I have the opportunity to learn how to be a better friend to them — I can reach out to them, I can start a conversation, I can find a way to be involved in their life. When I take a passive approach I feel powerless and hopeless, but when I take an active approach, I feel like I can improve my friendship, I feel capable, AND I end up feeling more loved. I know that might feel backwards if the concept is “if they love me they would do that for me,” but as I am getting older I am actually seeing it is the opposite. If I love THEM, I will do that for THEM. And I focus on how I am being a friend to them. And as I become a better friend, I feel more connected and loved.

It puts the burden on you but it actually empowers you.

As you disengage from that toxic community, it frees up your relational energy to grow in places where it is healthier for you. Focus on, in this time, BEING the person to cultivate friendship. You will get the love and connection you desire, and you won’t feel as hopeless or powerless in the process.

To start this, I had to surrender a lot of bitterness and fear that I was experiencing, but it was so worth it. My friendships are better now than they would be, and I am happier for it.

You can do this; you deserve these relationships and this love. Fight for it!!

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It sounds as if the community you started in changed all together in the last several months, but that doesn’t change how important you are now and will be to some people in the future. Endings are hard, and leaving a community you felt close to for so long is really really tough. There are no words to accurately describe how hard it is. But I’m proud of you for taking the step to bettering your life. Getting out of that toxic situation was the first step to take in finding the community that belongs in your future. I know it hurts now and I’m sorry for the pain you’re feeling, but I hope someday soon you will be proud of yourself.

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Thank you all for your replys. I wanted to give you an update on my situation.

I went through an extreamly suicidal night, which I survived with the support and help of a member of heart support (thank you so much for being there for me) and enventually decided to call my therapist. He couldn’t provide me an instant session and suggested that I’d go to a hospital for a few days, which I denied. He suggested I increase my antidepressant dose, which I did from yesterday morning on.

With the help of others I was able to understand my feelings better - I am going through a typical break up process, as you would have with someone you left because your spouse was toxic, but you still love them. I think this is the best way to compare it, and seeing that this is a “normal” process I was going through gave me quite a lot hope and support, also as there are many resources how to deal with break up situations.

It does not change much of the feeling being useless or that I failed, but I am better in differing that the situation and leaving it was the trigger for those feelings which have another cause, and I have to work out differently, and has nothing to do with the situation.

I talked with a bunch of people about it, and they all agree - like you did - that it took strength and courage to leave the community. I kinda feel I should have left way earlier, My view of the people I left slowly changes, and support my decision. Yesterday night was one of the first nights for a long time I went to bed without suicidal thoughts and doubts about my decision. .

Yes I miss the people like hell, and I do have the urge to contact them, which is a normal thing I guess during that process. If I manage to resist this urge, I think I will overcome this.within a reasonable time.

I even was able to work a few hours yesterday from home, which I hadn’t for quite a while. I have some plans on how to change my daily schedule, to break out from the thinking circle, like finally starting to read some books, and getting started with another art project.

I am not over it, but I know I did the right step.

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It has been now over a week since I left the community and I feel much better in general than I did the last weeks. I eventually had an appointment at my therapist, and we went though what happend. We came to the conclusion that I developed an axiety about that one mod, and I actually was scared and afraid of his actions all the time I was there (on a subconsious level) but my dependence on that community let me go back there again and again, and every time I got deeper in depression. However my therapist told me that I made the only right decision, and that my comparision of breaking up is absolutely right. So I have that going for me at least

I really miss those people. One of the owners made a comment in her stream that people could always come back, but I see no chance to go back without a clearing talk or a drastic change, which I cannot expect or even hope for on the communities side. I doubt that I will develop the ability to look over all that soon, so it might take long to even consider going back, and when I am all over the dependency and affection there is also no reason to go back. So I need to just deal with the perspective, that I have lost forever what I thought to be friends.

I found a new community with great people, but of course the friendships there need to develop. So I often have times, where I feel lonely and were the urge is there just to go back to my old community. But that is no option if I take my mental health in consideration.

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