A former friend called me toxic. What does that mean, exactly?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, May 28, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I have spoken before about my former best friend of 25 years, and my kids' godmother, deleting me and blocking me out of her life last year. Before she facebook blocked me, she said some pretty mean and nasty things. She predicted difficult child will be wind up a pregnant teen and easy child will be a homeless drug addict because they are so "screwed up in the head." What really hurt me most is when she told me she is ending the friendship because she no longer wants "toxic people" in her life.

    So my question for anybody who would like to chime in is, what does toxic mean to you all exactly? I will tell you what it means to me. To me, somebody who is toxic is a person who does/says mean and nasty things and makes other people feel like crap about themselves. By that defininition, I am the least toxic person you will ever meet. I am super shy and quiet, and I never have a mean thing to say about anybody. I treat all my friends like gold, and get walked on time and time again because I don't like conflict and I'm afraid to stand up for myself. How on earth does that make me toxic? I am not sure of her definition, but perhaps a few of you can clue me in as to what I did wrong.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Depends on your frame of reference.
    If you define a "good friend" as someone who does whatever YOU want, and is always there to make YOU feel good, then a toxic person would be someone with normal boundaries.

    I define toxic as anyone whose attitude and behaviors leave me depleted on a consistent basis. For me, sometimes it has been friends who have been all about themselves - all one-sided in the relationship, and I wasn't getting anything back.
     
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  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To me 'toxic people' (I do hate the phrase, I find it dehumanizing) are people with you have a relationship that is not good for you. Those people may be abusive or they make drag out the side of you that is abusive. Or you may end up doing things that are harmful to you or others when you are with them.

    I personally have cut most contact with someone, who was so darn helpless and infuriatingly naive that I had to bite my tongue all the time not to become sarcastic or mean. She was 'toxic' to me, because with her, my behaviour was in danger to deteriorate. And I want to add that someone else would likely not find her that helpless or naive, something in her just stroke a very bad cord in me. Luckily we were never close so I didn't actually need to explain her why I started avoiding her (if I would had to, I would had lied and blamed being busy or something like that. No reason to upset her just because I react to her badly.)
     
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  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You did not do anything wrong.

    You have been targeted by a predator. I believe that, as you have become healthier yourself, she was less and less able to have whatever it was that serviced her in her relationship with you.

    I am very sorry this happened to you. In the end, you will know that the best thing that could have happened has happened. She is out of your life.

    You would have booted her yourself, the stronger and more centered and healthier you became.

    That is why she picked now. Or whenever she picked to do what she intended to do all along.

    She ended the relationship because you were, and are, getting healthier. You are developing boundaries and maybe, even an independent viewpoint. You may even have had the chutzpa to hold an opinion that varied from hers. (And mark the public humiliation, the global condemnation, the horrified withdrawal and the supposed need to self protect from your so damaging and, apparently, previously unsuspected "toxicity".)

    These are classic symptoms of both gaslighting and abusive relationship.

    Is this a pattern for her in other areas of her life, too? If you look for those patterns, I think you will find them.

    The suddenness of the attack, and that is what she said to you was ~ an attempt solely to hurt you, to weaken you, to make you destroyed, to make you question yourself about what you did, about how you betrayed her or lost her friendship ~ the suddenness of the attack, the fact that you are clueless about how it came about, that all you know is someone you trusted said it was true, said these horrible things were true of yourself, and of your parenting, and of your children, that is what predators do.

    Abusers abuse because they are abusers.

    You did nothing wrong.

    You were targeted. If you sift through your relationship with this person through your own eyes instead of those of the abuser, you will find other instances too, where something hit you wrong. And you laughed it off or let it go or forgave it. In each of those instances, she was grooming you for what she then did to you.

    You are getting stronger California, or it would not have happened.

    As you heal from it, not from the loss of the friendship, but from the shock and pain and confusion of the abuse, you will see her for who she is. It will always hurt a little, I think. Your feelings for her were sincere. That's okay, California. You have done harder things than this, and done them well.

    I will say it again: that is why your friend picked the time she picked to hurt you as she has. Because you were getting stronger. It might even be that people who do this kind of thing are afraid you will see through them once you are stronger. I don't know about that. I do know you are not the only one this happens to. There are predators everywhere. They target everyone. But they recognize us. They recognize those of us afraid of our anger (like me), or committed to understanding ourselves and our people we love instead of becoming angry or abusive, or however we could name ourselves, however we could describe the way we have decided to interact in the world ~ they recognize us, when they see us.

    And they fasten on. And they see us in such an ugly way it would break our hearts, if we knew.

    And then, one day, they spring it on us, that thing they were going to do, all along.

    And it hurts, and it causes us to question ourselves because we just cannot make sense of it; we just cannot find the beginning or the end of how it all went so wrong.

    That is what abusive people do.

    Abusers abuse because they are abusers.

    You did nothing wrong.

    There is nothing you need to do except to continue caring for yourself and your children and creating your life.

    I am glad you posted to us about this.

    No one should have to go through something like this alone.

    You are doing well; you are going to be just fine and dandy.

    :hugs:

    Cedar
     
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  5. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    Toxic has become such a generic term. It means different things to different people. For me, if a person that exhausts me every time I'm around them, I'll run the other way. Constant negativity? See ya......

    You should be a doormat to no one.

    Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for you - doesn't sound like a mutually beneficial friendship.
     
  6. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    YES! And when they can no longer abuse, you get the boot! Wonderful. Your writing is so amazing.
     
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  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    You know what's so ironic is the fact that she called me negative for posting stuff about my kids' illnesses on facebook and asking for prayer,and yet she was truly the most negative person I have ever met! For years, since high school actually,she has gossiped and said some pretty mean and nasty things about pretty much everybody in her life, including family members. I disagreed with a lot of what she had to say, and on the rare occasion that I objected, she would accuse me of being against her. So I stopped objecting and just listened and said nothing.

    She also called me a major hypocrite for posting Christian messages on Facebook. IN my much younger years I was a meth addict and had lots of casual flings, but I have reformed and haven't done any of that stuff in over 14 years. She actually called my whole church a bunch of hypocrites, even though she does not attend my church and knows nothing about it. The more I think about it, it's about time I got her and her negativity out of our lives. It's just so ironic that she can call me toxic for harmless facebook posts when she is actually the toxic one.
     
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  8. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    California, I get it, again I understand about being stepped on or looked down at, blamed for everything, ( even when it not) we are there for others but when we need someone they are gone or accuse us of whatever. Or, even if Im having issues, ( many times I come here for example and cant reply but vent of my own issues) and its not that I dont care, I just cant think straight to help someone at that time. I agree with the others on every point what it can mean, so I wont repeat it all. Im sorry your going through this and through this, you become even stronger.
     
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With what is going on with my ex-sibs and reading all the boards about "narcicistis" I have come to loathe these labels and the advice that is to get rid of them. This is advice that will change. It's just the flavor of the day.

    CG, you are not toxic. Your "friend" is thinking up some reason to dump you that probably has more to do with her than you. If she is in therapy, her therapist is likely singing to the band and talking about how anyone who EVER gives her a bit of a hard time should be gone from her life. With this advice (and I hear it from my own therapist too), nobody will have ANY friends or family...lol. It is rare for anyone you associate with to never annoy you, bug you, even argue with you.

    Toxic to me is an abusive term I've come to dislike.

    Look, if somebody wants you not to be in their life, just do it. It's probably to YOUR advantage too. Don't take it personally. It is what we are preached at when we are in therapy. I find therapy very helpful, but I also take what I find helpful and leave the rest too. I told my therapist how much I am starting to loathe those new words that DO dehumanize people I once loved. They are STILL people.

    You are sweet and good and your friend has issues.
     
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  10. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Hugs
     
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  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I rest my case.

    :O)

    Cedar
     
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  12. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    CaliforniaBlond,
    To me someone toxic in my life is someone who keeps me from being who I need to be. They drain me, use me, stress me and are untrustworthy, rob me of my joy. I'm sorry your friend of so long has said these terrible things to you. It hurts more when it has been such a long and close friendship. I think maybe she didnot want to be there for you as a true friend anymore. My own family I feel has left me out of their lives because it's easier to turn there backs than to be a support system. It hurts and I'm so sorry. I have to believe after all you've been through that you will handle this like a champ. I don't think it has anything to do with you really, but it's her issue. I know it doesn't make it hurt any less but I do believe everytime a door has been shut in my life and I get down the road a little later, I look back and see where it was a blessing in disguise. Sending hugs, friendship and love your way from Florida!!!
     
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  13. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    Cedar, Short and to the point!
     
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    CB, I think she did you a favor. While the term "toxic people" does serve a purpose I also think it can be over used and miss used.
    A true toxic person is someone who does not have your best interest at heart and who tries to hurt / sabotage you, they lie and deceive.

    Her reasoning is pretty superficial.

    You should be very proud of how far you have come in your life. You deserve a true friend, someone who will not pass judgment on you.

    :group-hug:
     
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  15. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    If she called you toxic and said terrible things about your children. What does that mean? It means she no longer has the privilege of being part of your life.
     
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  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This could not be more true.

    It seems to me that, as we change, those we allow to, or those we believe enough in and respect enough to, reflect ourselves back to us change. We are curious about one another, and different categories happen, about what we believe friendship is. We realize there is something like sacred ground in the core of us, and as we begin to heal, as we begin to recognize and to resonate from that sacred place within us, we don't want that sullied.

    Cedar
     
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