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Dear G,
In the last five years I have ended one friendship and inadvertently ended another. In both friendships there was anger directed at me because of knowledge of my DID yet lack of the persons comprehension that I really am many people. Also both people had their own issues.

The first friendship was with a woman. When she told me she was bisexual and she and her husband where swingers I was triggered. Immediately different children began to come close to the surface around her. Different conversations that she pursued or behavior brought near a terrified child. She could handle a trusting loving child. But a frightened child who also masked (pretended to be me) made her furious. She felt insulted as she took it to be about herself. She hurt us many times with her anger.

We were not able to end the friendship until we realized that my friend and her husband were hurting another person not of our system.

With my other "friend"... She took her rage out on us and reacted to things said by us and children as insults with an obsession. Everytime she reacted to one of us with her anger a child would be triggered. That took away any ability to explain what had been meant. Her rage was directed as verbal abuse and yet I could not end the friendship. I kept dissociating.

I gave her compliments but she choose to ignore or put out of her mind all of those times. She hurt the children, and others. She also knew that I had DID. But she could not see the different people because they pretend to be me. And she did not want to, I suspect. She also had fights with her boyfriend many times and called me crying and in a rage. I could not deal with her. She would call about her boyfriend, etc., but end up angry at me.

But I did not end the friendship. I forgot who she was. She no longer was in my mind. Forgetting who she was ended the friendship. My therapist told me that in DID that type of forgetting is a sign of trauma. I guess I should say those are the reasons people in my system ended both friendships.



Dear G.

I have had two relationships that I needed to end this last year. The first was a friend I had for a long time. After years of being friends she continued to do inconsiderate things that she had done before. I would forgive and move on. I mean we all make mistakes --I know I do-- and want to be forgiven and move on. But these same things continued. She never learned from any of it. For example, I let her borrow my car to get her kids. It was supposed to take two hours up, two hours back. She kept my car for five days while I was on vacation in Boston.

This persom seems very competent on the outside-- funny, smart etc. But she knew I was angry and I needed time to process a proper response to what she had done. Instead she hounded me until I would talk, after I asked her to give me time to think. So we had a big blow up. She said it was all my fault beacause I don't trust her with my anger. Something broke and I knew our relationship was over.

But how to end it without drama? Our kids' friends all interacted. What a mess! I just wanted out of this messy friendship.

She knew about my D.I.D and did not believe me...that's the worst. To have someone close who thinks you make it up because she never noticed anything different. So I stopped calling her, got different groups to hang with and was lonely sometimes but it was better than putting up with all the drama.

Think of your mental health. Is this person good for you? Do these people care? Do they show it? Do they add or take away from your life?

Hope that helps.(;




Hi G,
I had a very close friend and had to decide if I should continue on with the friendship or let it go. We were very close and she was supportive etc. and it was reciprocal. Then she decided to re-establish a relationship with her family of origin. She had changed and they had not they picked up right where they left off emotionally abusing her. To deal with it she slipped back into her old family role and started treating me very badly.

I got my courage up and confronted her with how I was feeling and asked her to please stop hurting me. She could not own what was hers and decided that she would rather end the relationship. Although I knew it would leave a big void in my life as she was the only real friend I had and I could talk to her about almost everything, I accepted the loss because I knew it was unhealthy for me to remain in the relationship. She tried to start the friendship up again but she still did not accept what she had been doing so I did not reciprocate.

Am I lonely? yes. Do I wish I had a friend? yes. But I have healed enough to know that remaining in less than healthy, genuine relationships is just adding more abuse. I refuse to do that. I decided that I would rather be alone than settle for less than I deserve just for the sake of saying I have a friend. I handled it by being open and honest, used "I" statements and did not accuse. I owned my feelings and what caused them. When all was said and done I not only felt better but had more respect for myself and a lot less for her.

As for the second part of your question I cannot answer that because I do not have a best friend but I do know what I would like this friend to be like:, open honest, genuine, understanding, be able to accept my foibles and me hers/his, be there when she /he can be when I need them and when she can't be it would still feel like she was in my heart, that I could act like a jerk and she would just laugh at me and tell me I am acting like one, that we would like the same things and go along with each other even when we didn't once in awhile, be able to laugh and cry together, and she would never ever betray me, deliberately hurt me or belittle me either alone or in front of others.the whole relationship would be reciricol...that's some of what I look for I could go on forever..I hope this helps ....never settle!


Hi G,

I guess for your first question about ending a friendship, how and why, I do not have an answer for. But a similar situation may apply. How about ending a relationship with your mother??? Will this work?

I have recently decided to end my relationship with my mother for many reasons. I have recently come forward with her about my abuse. I wish you could have heard her response. Like she didn't even care. Therefore I knew I would never get any support from her. Since one of my abusers was my brother (her son) she still talks glowingly about him. This upsets me and makes me very angry. How can she do this to me??? I have no answer. I very rarely speak to my mother and when I happen to, I instantly end the conversation just to keep myself together. If I don't, I fall apart and enter a deep depression. Once, I called my therapist crying my eyes out after talking to her. I was the scared and hurt little girl and can barely remember my conversation with him. Of course my next session was about that situation.

I know I cannot go forward if I continue my relationship with my mother. She pulls me backward in my healing. Does this answer the "Why" and "How".......?

As for your second question, I don't have a best friend. I have a few friends but not a BEST. The persons I am most close to are Mary and David. What makes these relationships special and honest, is they are both honest people. No, they are not related in any way and barely know each other. Both of them tell me things, whether or not I like what they say. They are truthful and speak their minds. I consider them honest and trustworthy. They are both special because I know they always have a shoulder I can cry on if I need to. They listen to me, even though I don't think they totally understand DID and the problems associated with child abuse (incest). But more important, they have NEVER lied to me. I sure hope I was of some help. If you are in a situation where you are trying to decide to end a friendship, you probably need to consider if it is worth keeping in the first place. If it is of no benefit to you in anyway, but only creates more problems, then I would consider ending the relationshop. It is NOT worth it.

Take Care, Brenda


Hi G.,

i have ended friendships. once when a young man wanted to marry me. i did not want to marry him. i did not know how he felt until too late. i thought we were just dating. he began to act like a man in love. it was awful to break it off. i did not want to end seeing him because i enjoyed his company. however, things never stay the same, they either get better or worse out of your control unless you take control. so i did it the hard way for both of us. i told him i didn't love him, and while i liked him very much, there was no future "us". he cried and i cried (strange i know, but i really liked him). years later, i heard he married happily. we would not have worked at all. so i'm glad i did it. but it was so hard, one of the hardest things i've ever had to do. i couldn't sleep for a week thinking what i would say. finally i decided to just say it. he was coming over for a date, nothing special. when he came, i told him to sit down, and i had bad news for us. it was a very serious thing, i said. i told him i knew he felt in love with me, but i did not feel in love with him. i told him i couldn't ever love him, and i thought we should stop seeing each other. i told him he was a wonderful person, but not for me. i told him it was not about him, but about us together. it was not the right thing for me to be more serious. he cried, begged and pleaded, but i cut him off. i did not want him to feel foolish more than he would, so i didn't allow him to stay and try to tell me why we should continue. i did not let him talk anymore but led him to the door while both of us cried. if he had stayed, he either would have said too much or i would have, and it would not change the fact he felt he loved me, and i felt i never could love him.

i ended a friendship with a girlfriend who was my friend for over 12 years. she had discovered her sister had been abused by their father. her sister had acted out of control for years, since they both were young teens, and now her sister finally revealed the great family secret everyone knew except my friend. even her mother knew, but tried very hard to not to know (that old old story). when her sister pressed charges against her father, my friend turned her back on her. she disowned her sister. she called me for support. i told her that i believed her sister and she spent the next hour on the phone telling me how wrong it all was, how evil her sister had to be, that her father was a saint. i knew the family. i could only believe the sister. i told my friend what i had seen too. she screamed at me and insisted i back her and not her sister. i told her i believed her sister. i knew that it would be the end. i could have lied, i could have commiserated with her about her sister breaking up their family. but i told her about my family. she didn't know what to say to me about that, but she still thought her sister was lying. i told her that she needed to consider what would her sister's reasons be for splitting up the family. she said it was simply impossible. i asked her if she believed me. she didn't. she thought maybe people could fool themselves into believing a spanking was a beating. i told her i had teacher's reports and neighbor's eyewitness accounts. she couldn't accept it. i told her i was so angry and full of rage at this point, i couldn't talk to her anymore. later, she called again, and said she couldn't support her sister. i told her i couldn't be her friend anymore. it was very hard for me because we had shared our 20's together. now we both were 40. she connected me to a great deal of my past, much of the time we spent together was enjoyable and fun. but i couldn't respect her anymore and she couldn't respect me anymore. i couldn't do this one in person, so i did it over the phone. i told her that growing older had changed the two of us in ways that we no longer could bridge. personally, my disappointment in her was huge but i never said this. i said we had changed and now we had walls between us, and i couldn't be her friend anymore. this was also difficult and hard to do, but i knew if i didn't our future get togethers would be impossibly difficult and even mean. i guess how i did it was think about future meetings and future get togethers. i have an ability to imagine how it would be for me to go to a movie with this person, or eat a meal, or go shopping, knowing how i felt and how they felt. when i felt revulsion or a shrinking of my spirit in thinking about future meetings, i knew i had to break it off now. thinking about how i would feel if i were forced to continue to act as a friend gave me the courage to break it off before our relationship became totally toxic and agonizing to me.

it boils down to being your own protector or advocate. i think if you can identify your feelings that you are unhappy being with this person, then you have to proceed breaking it off with the mindset of being strong in protecting your own interests. survivors don't feel safe or as if they are not doing the right thing, so it also requires courage. there is no way to give courage to a person. courage comes with practice when it is not natural, and for most survivors, courage is in short supply since they usually suffered a great deal when they were children and showed courage.

it helps to remind oneself that that childhood was a long time ago for both of you and adults have a lot more personal power to be the person they want to be, and a lot more control over their environment where adults can walk or drive away or change jobs if necessary. being adult is also about accepting consequences. every action has consequences so pretending one is a child with no responsibilities or that adulthood is always safe and secure is childish. but survivors go too far imagining the distress of making mistakes. i think survivors do a lot of catastrophizing and undermine themselves. if you have decided the relationship is or will be toxic, then you must stop it. there is no way to break off the relationship without feeling scared, bad or regretful. accept that you will hurt this person because that is life. while you may hurt this person today, you will not destroy them. they will somehow get up the next day when the alarm goes off and go to work. their world and yours will keep on keeping on.

at the end of the day, each of us must do our own advocating for ourselves. controlling your own life means making decisions that affect others, but everybody has to do this every day. to protect yourself you may cause pain to others, but adults get over it, as well as have tons of practice doing so. sometimes you must make an effort to minimize the pain, like a nurse that shakes your arm while giving you a shot, but some nurses just plunge the needle in. either way, if it had to be done for future good, the pain soon is forgotten.

it is not possible to make decisions when they affect other people without feelings or emotions. the only people who feel nothing at all are damaged people. if you feel bad about your action, that is only being human, but it is not being bad to break off a toxic relationship that makes you uncomfortable. it is about being loving to yourself. your ex-friend will go on, and no longer waste their energies on you. they will find other friends, and maybe be a better one with the experience gained by your rejection.

for adults, rejection is not a life-threatening experience. if you feel it is, that is your childhood reaching out and it is not reflecting the true powers of adults to change and to accept change. adults don't die if you don't like them anymore. babies do. so check your mirror, see how big and old you are, and tell yourself you love yourself enough to do this.

create the environment where you break it off, a public street, a restaurant, mall, library, wherever is logical, where you feel safe, where the two of you can retreat to a car or a store and leave. if you have to work with this person, then perhaps say that you still want to have a working relationship with them, that it is not about this person themselves, but it is about being a close friend, that you simply are not comfortable and feel forced for some reason. you don't have to be definite or specific at all, most adults know that sometimes things don't work out. if it seems that wouldn't be ok, and you wouldn't be the first adult to confront this situation, take a deep breath and decide how much inconvenience and uncomfortable feelings you can handle. you have a range of possibilities from simply turning down more and more invitations to go somewhere with this person and not sharing your life with them at all anymore (keep conversations short and one sided, don't respond so warmly to the person), to actually verbally breaking it off and worst case, change jobs.

you can kill a friendship with a lack of interest as well as verbally saying something to end it. simply either be too busy or unavailable for more and more overtures to do something together.

one of the wonderful things about being an adult is having so many choices of behavior. when i had a best friend, we called each other a lot. we shared a great deal of a past, and we had tons of fun and good memories created being with each other. we shared the same sense of humor and we liked the same movies and music, and we made fun of the same things. we enjoyed each other's company, and we looked forward to seeing each other again. we had fun shopping (purposeful) and just sitting around watching tv (no purpose at all). it was easy to find presents for each other on birthdays and holidays. we could count on each other and neither of us doubted that. we trusted each other to keep secrets. you felt warm and happy with each other, similar to the feelings a puppy or kitten raise. i knew she defended me and i defended her, when necessary. a best friend is a great thing when you have one.

i lost mine because my husband got a job transfer to another city, and we could not keep contact. she also married, and our lives stopped intersecting each other. she got kids, i didn't. life happens.
-- By InfantonBoard


Hi G.,
Here's my perspective on your questions about friendship. I have decided to end a friendship.
I was friends with C. in college and we kept up after we graduated. However, I decided to end it because I was the one who had to call her all the time. She never called me. After a couple of years that was tough for me to take. Additionally, she has three kids and finds her highest fulfillment in being a mom. I think that's great, but she could not understand my decision not to have children (my husband and I have health problems that would make raising children difficult). I decided to stop calling her. She never called me, so the friendship ended.

My best friend is my husband. We are compatible in a number of ways; for example, we both love to read. We have similar values and were both raised Catholic, so we have that background in common. He is very easygoing and I find him great to talk to. He is very lovable. I can talk to him about anything. I love being with him. Hope this helps.

Mary K


You asked us to describe your best friend! Or the best friend you have ever had, and what made your relationship special and honest.

The Webster Dictionary meaning of the word "friend" is someone that you know, like and trust. I remember writing about that very thing shortly after ending a very toxic friendship. I had to think about all the people I called my friend that I didn't really know, surely didn't like them for the most part and I didn't trust them as far as I could see. Learning to be friendly with someone didn't mean that I had to be or was their friend. They may say that I am their friend but there are very few people in this world that I would stack my life on.

With my groups both face to face and on line the only way that I trust is by knowing myself and being the best friend I can to me, whover that is when I wake up. It took being confident in myself and my instincts to know that if I don't say anything that can be used against me I have no worries. I've been told I'm too honest with people. Maybe I am but I don't have time to play games.

The person that I shared a house with when I moved back up north would have to be one of the few who I call a friend that I could rely on. Even then there were times that I didn't agree with what she was doing in her life but I respected that it was her choice and her life. It never crossed my boundaries.

She is also dissociative and was able to understand my lost days. I trusted that when she told me I did something, I knew she was telling me the truth. Losing time is a dissociative's worst fear. Even though I had moments when I needed to get out of the situation that we were in, I miss having that person to talk to about the world around me.

We both moved into our boyfriends' houses and we are feeling closer than before. Allies in this alien world with single minded men. What makes it special is that we know each other well enough to understand what the world means around us. She gave me a little sun catcher that sits in my kitchen window. It reads "We'll always be friends. You know too much". That says it all.

Lady J ********************************************************************************