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Oct 03

Friends can break your heart, too: A story of betrayal

Finding a support system when dealing with any type of trauma or emotional battle can be very hard and, at times, exhausting. Especially after something as violating as sexual assault, it can be terrifying to open up about it to even one person, even if they are someone you are closest with. Fortunately, many of us are able to have at least one person that can work as an outlet and a crutch in this uphill battle. Personally, I am really lucky to have an incredible set of friends that have been so helpful on my path to healing and will never be able to repay them for the amount of support they have provided in all of the lowest times I have experienced.

However, a really heart-breaking experience to go through is having a friend who you thought was an essential link in your chain of support, after finding the heart to open up to them, not actually support you at all. Today I will be writing about an experience I went through recently that I’m still not really over, a story of betrayal from one of my closest friendships.

I have a friend that I met in high school but we became really close after graduation when we ended up working at the same retail store. The past couple years we became really close, especially after she started dating a mutual friend and moved across the state. We both loved makeup and had similar music and comedy tastes. We always had a great time when she came into town after having a few too many drinks. Earlier this year, I was able to open up and tell her about my first assault because she was also friends with him and I wanted her to understand why I had such a disdain for him now after all these years. She understood completely and even when he proceeded to text me a few months later, she was supportive and confused on why he would ever try to reach out to me. I felt so grateful to have her there because she really knew him and I felt in my heart of hearts she was on my team whenever I needed her.

So, fast forward to a few weeks ago. This store that we both had once worked at was closing and was also the place where I met the boy who assaulted me, let’s name him X for ease of writing. Due to the store closing, a party/bonfire was thrown and everyone who used to work there/worked there was invited to have one last get together for old times’ sake. At this time, I went back to the store to help close since I had worked there for so many years and thought it would be great to earn some extra money. Out of the three people in this story, I was the only one who actually still lived in this town. X had moved to Pittsburgh maybe a year ago and my friend had moved across the state a couple years ago. Him living in Pittsburgh was such a relief because living in the same town as the men who assaulted you is truly terrifying. Him living out of town helped because I never had to worry about running into him at any point.

My friend was coming into town with her boyfriend for this party and although I planned on seeing her, a busy work schedule and school work ended up making this impossible. I worked the day of the party until around 4 o’clock and headed home to work on my homework instead of going to the party because I really did have a decent amount of work that needed to be done and just didn’t really want to go, although not having a specific reason. I received some snapchats from my friend begging me to come to the party because she really wanted to see me and although I really wanted to see her too, I decided to stay home, as stated before. Maybe 20 minutes later, I was going through some snapchat stories and clicked on my friend’s story and the second I opened it, that familiar feeling of a mix of fear, anxiety, and despair started to fill my heart. Before me, I saw a picture my friend posted to simply show her having a good time. Normal, right? Well, the issue I was having was that this was a cheerful selfie of her sitting by the fire, sitting next to X, the boy who assaulted me, her close friend.

I was so utterly confused I couldn’t wrap my head around what was actually happening. First, I had absolutely no idea X was in town for this party. If I had run into him at any point, which actually almost happened I later found out, I have absolutely no idea what I would’ve done. My friend not only didn’t tell me he was in town so I could be prepared for this, she didn’t tell me he was at this party I was supposed to go to. Not only did she not tell me, she begged me to come while specifically not telling me he was there. What would have happened if I showed up? I can’t even imagine the emotional breakdown I would have had If put in this situation. On top of that, she was avidly hanging out and posting pictures with him. This girl was supposed to be one of my best friends and although she KNEW the trauma I was put through and the PTSD and other mental illnesses I battle now because of him, she proceeded to hang out with him without regard and then beg me to come to a location where he was without finding it important to tell me he was there. I can’t even imagine doing that to anyone, especially someone I considered a close friend.

I immediately wrote her on snapchat and said, “After seeing your snapchat, I’m glad I didn’t show up” where she proceeded to simply respond with “yeaaah”. I then continued with “I wish someone would have made me aware he was there, I’m really happy I didn’t end up coming. He’s a scumbag”. She opened that message but never bothered responding. The amount of heartbreak and betrayal I felt in my heart was overflowing and I couldn’t hold it in. This was a person I thought I could depend on through this and all of the sudden it was like she didn’t care about what he did to me. It was at this point I remembered what it felt like to be treated like an unfortunate situation that no one wanted to pick sides on. I was, and still am, so exhausted of these situations being treated like a petty fight between two friends. Where when someone learns about it, they pretend it didn’t happen and don’t want to get in the middle of it. I’m sure anyone reading this will be able to relate because it is one of the most exhausting and heartbreaking feelings, in my opinion.

It’s been a few weeks and after that, I haven’t reached out to her once. I stopped looking at her snapchats or her Instagram posts and I stopped writing her about the things we usually talked about. I never really made an effort to reach out and talk to her about it. If I need to explain why this isn’t okay, she was never really by my side and I refuse to fight for people to be in my life that are like this. I’m the type of person who puts my friendships at such a priority in life and hate saying things like this, but I can’t fight for people like this anymore. I have to fight for myself nowadays, especially when I’m at my lowest points that I’ve seen lately.

There isn’t much of a resolution or lesson from this story, I just feel it’s important to write about these situations to show that this really can happen to anyone. The heartbreak of being betrayed by a friend you thought was with you is something I don’t wish upon anyone. I plead with anyone who may read this to put your worth and battle above people who don’t care. I know people will make mistakes and I am an incredibly understanding person, but when you’re fighting this exhausting battle, you can’t waste your energy on people like this. The toxicity these types of people bring into your life can be so poisonous to your healing and I beg of you to put yourself first right now. You are worth so much more than what these people are making you feel. You are a survivor, a warrior, a fighter. Please don’t let toxic people stunt your growth during this fight, they will never be worth it and you are worth so much more than those broken feelings they may be making you feel. I love you all so much, keep fighting my little warriors.

 

 

–Katie

About the author

Katie

I am a survivor of two accounts of sexual assault that I only recently discovered were assaults, and coming to terms with this has been the rockiest road I’ve walked. I have let my assaults conquer me and take me down like a house of cards, unfortunately I refuse to be blown over anymore.
I joined this team to use my voice and experiences to help others start their journey to recovery and happiness. Neither of my assaults were easy to identify and are ones we are not always educated on, so I understand from personal experience how hard it can be to start the process to recovery, especially when you don’t see the beginning of the path. I want to be that path marker, let me help you start!
Never allow yourself to be silenced, your voice will always be yours and cannot be taken away from you. I love all of you. <3

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/friends-can-break-your-heart-too-a-story-of-betrayal/