Last night, my friend and I were talking about different things, mainly bad things he had done to me. He has been extremely toxic towards me in the past and present. It was honestly about time I break it off with him, as we've been friends for 3 years and he's always been weird and toxic towards me. He refused to see me as just a friend and only saw me as a romantic interest. He would constantly talk about his own problems and expected me to fix them, and often he would talk about problems he knew would trigger me, such as self harm, without warning me or asking if he could talk about it first. I hardly ever got to talk about my problems. If I did want to, I was always expected to ask if I could talk about my problems before I did and when I would vent about my problems, he'd always use them as a way to circle back to himself and his problems. He basically saw me as his "manic pixie dream girl," whether he knew it or not. Anyways, after we had talked and I told him I wanted to go to sleep, he told me, without warning, that he had cut himself just then. I told him I didn't need or want to hear that and told him how he'd always do things like that. He apologized, but I knew he didn't mean it. So, I got the courage to tell him I didn't want to be friends with him anymore. After that, he wouldn't answer me. I begged him to, but he wouldn't. I was afraid he was dead. I feel asleep out of pure exhaustion and woke up around 4 AM. He had texted me just a few minutes before I had woke up and told me he was in the hospital and would have to stay in a facility for a while. I'm glad he's not dead, but I still feel bad. But despite not feeling bad, I don't really feel guilty. I feel like I should think it's my fault, but I don't? Was it my fault he tried to kill himself? Am I a bad person for not feeling guilty?
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Thank you for coming to Asking Jude for advice. I’m very sorry to hear about your ex-friend’s suicide attempt. I know that that must have been awful to experience, so I am glad he is receiving treatment at the hospital. You are correct when you say that what happened to him was not your fault. Last night, you made the right choice of reinforcing your boundaries with him. Him mentioning self-harm without warning or permission was a violation of those boundaries, and you had every right to be upset about that. You also had every right to cut off your friendship with him, especially if it was toxic. Thus, it is okay to feel bad about what happened because what happened was terrible. However, you can remind yourself that you did nothing wrong by prioritizing your own mental health.
A friendship breakup can be extremely painful, even if you were the one ending it. So, if you start to miss him or feel sad about ending it, know that this is completely common. It may even take you some time to truly cope with what happened. Here are two links to coping with a friendship breakup: https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/friendship-breakup/ and https://psychcentral.com/blog/5-ways-to-let-go-of-a-friendship/
Lastly, take care of yourself during these times. Self-harm and suicide are very sensitive subjects, and having them mentioned to you can be triggering. If this is the case, please refer to the following link, http://lucillezimmerman.com/2012/01/20/how-to-self-soothe-after-being-triggered/, as it offers advice as to how you can calm down after a trigger.
Sending love and support,
Sylvia Hendricks, I am a member here at Asking Jude, not a peer counselor. If you ever get around to it, you might want to speak to a psychologist or psychiatrist, because they will give you insight into aspects of your personality which can be manipulated to get you to behave a certain way. You say that the relationshp is 3years old...so that is a good 2 years before the current pandemic situation. I assume that means you did things together, as opposed to communicating on-line. From how you express yourself, this guy has some severe psychological problems and you'll learn that your instincts were right. It was not your fault that he tried to kill himself and you are not a bad person for not feeling guilty... A peer counselor will get back to you...