Update on a severe anxiety episode involving a friend a few weeks ago

Hello everyone at HeartSupport, I just wanted to express my love and thanks for all the positive messages I received for a anxiety attack I experienced 3 weeks ago. Your words helped so much during that time and I can’t thank you enough.

The original post can be seen here: Feeling immense guilt and anxiety over a mistake I made tonight - Support - heartsupport

Unfortunately, the peace I received during this period was short lived, and things have taken a significant turn for the worse and I’m looking for some kind words and help in navigating my feelings.

So a few weeks ago I messaged in here saying I’d fallen out with a friend after I was being racked with anxiety for feeling like I was responsible for her mental state. I accidentally made a comment in our discord call during a difficult conversation, believing I wasn’t audible. I apologised profusely, and didn’t talk to her after that (both to give her space and assumed she didn’t want to talk to me at all). It’s my graduation tomorrow and her dad (arsehole) decided not to come to it. She was super upset and it felt wrong to just ignore her, so I sent her a message just expressing I was thinking about her and hopes she’s ok.

The message I got in response has broken me, if I’m honest. She’s taken me not talking to her and giving her space as me not caring about her even more, continues to say I understand nothing about her, that I’m an arsehole, and that her perception of me has completely changed. I even discussed with my therapist if I was doing the right thing in regards to my friend, we spoke for 2 sessions about it, and I feel like a professional such as herself would’ve said if I was doing the wrong thing. I thought she understood that I wasn’t talking to her because I didn’t she wanted to hear from me, to give her space until I felt comfortable trying to build bridges again.

But no I’ve just been completely shot down and she’s all but confirmed I’ve lost her as a friend, I’m not good enough and cause her constant disappointment.

I want to believe this isn’t real, I’ve spoken to the right people, I’ve listened to others, I thought I was doing the right thing all along but now I just don’t know what to do. I just feel like I can’t ever get it right, even if people are telling me it’s not my fault. It feels like our relationship is truly over and I can’t help feeling like it’s all my fault. She says ‘she deserves better than me’, that she’s disappointed in me, that I have the audacity to message her at all.

I just want to believe this isn’t me. It’s the only friend this has happened with and I’ve even discussed it with my therapist, friends, online groups, etc. I know the assessment should be that I should just move on and try not to let it get to me, but it still feels like all the things she’s said about it are real and cut very deep. Just looking for some reassurance.

Thank you HS

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After reading through this post and your original post, I just want to say that I’m sorry this happened to you, especially since it seems like you invested so much into this friendship. I also want to remind you that it is ok to feel hurt about the things she said about you, and even about losing her as a friend. You will eventually move let go of this, but don’t feel like you have to push away your feelings even if you are told that you should

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From: ᏒᎧᏕᎥᏋ

Hi Friend, I’m sorry your friend has in a sense cut you off. That’s what people with BPD like me do. We see people as either all good or all evil and we fail to see the grey for context. If someone we trust and care about upsets or disappoints us we tend to devalue them and in some cases do what is called Splitting. When you made your comment, her fear of abandonment was activated and in her head she believed you didn’t want hand out with her (you just wanted to go to bed) and that can spiral into her thinking you’re gonna leave her. So, we leave first and put you out of our life so we don’t have to feel the extreme pain you leaving would cause us. Sometimes, after thinking about it we see that what we thought wasn’t true and will come make things right. Sometimes, we don’t tho. I would say writing her a quick email or something just explaining what really happened might make her think. Just let her know you care. Also, NONE of this is your fault. She is unable to regulate her emotions right now and needs treatment for that. Take care! ~Mystrose

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Friend, thank you for posting again, I do remember your post from last time and I am so very sorry that this didn’t work out as you expected or hoped. It must be very upsetting to be in this position with such a good friend. The first thing I would like to say to you is that I would really like you to try to not feel so racked with anxiety, I know that is easier said than done and I am not taking anything away from your friends feelings but neither you nor she are responsible for her bpd but she is the only one who can learn to regulate her emotions, you cannot do that for her. You really did not do anything wrong in the moment. Now saying that in your situation now and I do have a wonderful friend with bpd and if this was our friendship I was talking about I would sit and write an email, I would acknowledge her feelings but explain with kindness but firmly that I was doing things that I thought were for the best and we both have the abilility to decide what those things are. I would the let my friend know that they were loved still and that i was always there for them. then leave it with them. I dont think there is much more you can do at this point. but please be rest assured you have done all you can. You are a good friend. Much Love Lisalovesfeathers. x

From: susieqzz

Oh wow, I am so sorry you are going through this. What a huge thing to carry around about possibly ruining a long, good friendship. I know that isn’t easy.

I read your other post for some background and noticed you mentioned she had BPD. I also have BPD and can maybe offer some insight from her perspective.

Things are very black and white with us; we either like people or we don’t, we are best friends or worst enemies, we feel in extremes, as well. It sounds like a simple miscommunication and maybe misstep in not speaking to her for a bit after the miscommunication had a domino effect into this big thing now where your friendship is jepordized. Over these couple weeks where you weren’t talking, she has slowly been building up this perception of you in her mind about how careless you are for not speaking to her, and as the days went on it got stronger and stronger until she recategorized you in her mind as someone she no longer wants to associate with.

Now saying all that, I totally 100% understand where you are coming from with wanting to give her the space she needs. I don’t think there was any right or wrong way to do that, the thing is that only she is responsible for how she responds to things. It’s not your responsiblity. You thought you were doing the right thing and you can explain your viewpoint and try to let her know where you were coming from but ultimately the decision to accept you back into her life is up to her.

Until she gets to a point in her life where she can be open minded about miscommunications like this, you may have to accept that things are over for now, as hard as that is to do. I honestly don’t think you did anything wrong in giving her space, but to someone with BPD it feels like being abandoned, and instead of dealing with the emotions that come with it it’s easier to shut them out completely.

I’m so sorry this happened to you, BPD is a tricky thing to deal with. I would say your piece one last time and throw the ball in her court. Maybe don’t close the door completely though, there is hope that things will turn around in the future!

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From: Dr Hogarth

Hi ZanzibarFox,

I’m so sorry that the peace you had was so short-lived; peace is often fleeting like that. This is a hard situation, so I am not surprised that it is causing you so much stress, not least because it involves someone you care about deeply.

How you approached this situation was absolutely not wrong and was motivated by your desire to respect your friend. After speaking with some friends here at HS who have bpd to understand this better, I think you have to see this from her perspective as someone who interprets your withdrawal as abandonment. That doesn’t mean you did abandon her or that you are a bad person.

If I were you, I would try and explain, as you did here, what happened to try and see if she can re-frame the situation. However, I think you may have to accept that this may take time and may possibly not work. I’m just so sorry that this happened. The most important thing for you though is to know that you are not a disappointment and this situation could have happened to anyone in your position. No one is at fault. You are clearly a deeply caring person who tried their very best to respect and care for the feelings of your friend. Don’t let this situation tell you otherwise. Hold fast x

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