Romantic relationship PTSD is definitely real, but you know what else is potentially traumatising? Nightmare friendships. A bad friendship experience can scar you for life and leave you unwilling to trust anyone else. We asked women to share their horror stories with ex friends and their responses are definitely jarring. These women also share their advice for dealing with toxic and unhealthy friendships and how they were able to heal and move on from their experiences.
We met when I gained admission into the university. She slept with my then boyfriend, then proceeded to tell him that I was having sugar daddies around school so he would break up with me. He eventually got her pregnant and begged me to stay with him while they both figured out what to do with the baby. I walked out of the house that day and never looked back. Meanwhile, she used to steal from me. Clothes, bags, wigs and provisions. One time, I had my school fees in cash, I wanted to deposit it in the bank and head back to class. I branched at the hostel to use the restroom, she saw me with the cash and stole it and ran out of my room before I came out of the restroom. She was always jealous of whatever my then boyfriend got for me. She complained to her own boyfriend that my boyfriend was trying to make her jealous. Meanwhile, I always got things for her too and if my boyfriend was getting food or provisions for me, I’d always tell him to include hers too. I never confronted her, she knew what she was doing with her full chest and I didn’t need any closure from anybody. It was a gradual process but when I realised she didn’t deserve me in any way, I ended the friendship. My mum still asked about her a few weeks ago but I brushed it off. My advice, you better run away from toxic friendships, because a jealous friend can actually kill you. Also, don’t befriend your fans.
– Mimi, 24
“Why Are You So Obsessed With Me?”
I was friends with this girl and it was good until it wasn’t. And she was the one who pushed to be my friend. I’ve always been very introverted and to this day, I have trouble believing people genuinely like me and want to be around me. She talked to me regularly, sat down beside me, and whenever she could, she would come to my room as often as possible. It soured 5 months in. Within a few months of friendship, she became controlling, overreacted to every single thing and her mood swings were crazy. I was constantly walking on eggshells around her for fear of setting her off. She would get into moods because she was jealous of my other friendships, and she was treating her roommate so badly that the girl told me to stop talking to her, so that she’d have peace when I wasn’t in their room. I was afraid to talk around her and whenever I did something to anger her, she would give me the silent treatment and make me feel like I had to plead with her. The one time I got angry at her in return, she swore at me and threw something my way. We had like 3 interventions where I’d beg and plead with her to be honest and straightforward with me. I was tired of trying to read her moods and being punished when I didn’t get it right. The friendship ended very abruptly. We were talking for two weeks straight when we were at home, and due to stress and a family member’s illness, I went silent for 3 days because when I’m stressed, nonessential communication is a burden for me. I didn’t expect her to know without being told, I didn’t expect her to not be angry, and I called her with the intention of genuinely apologising. When I called, she did that stonewalling thing again and I was just very suddenly tired. I wished her well and hung up. And that was the last thing I said to her. Looking back, there were many red flags that I ignored. I was exhausted and frustrated for a while after that, and making friends had never been very easy for me, but honestly, the lessons I learned from her have helped me with new friendships. In an interesting turn of events, I’m now best friends with her former roommate. My advice for people in such situations is simply this; give it up.
– Sade, 21
She decided to be with a guy I was once with and at the time, I still had feelings for him. She didn’t tell me she was dating him, but instead listened to me cry about how much I missed him and how much I wanted him back, and the whole time she was seeing him. When I found out, I admit that I didn’t take the news very well as he was the one who told me and not her. I called her out publicly at the time, and looking back maybe I shouldn’t have. She ended up texting me and she basically gaslit me into thinking I overreacted and it wasn’t that deep. I even apologised for reacting, like my reaction wasn’t valid. And in all, she never apologised. She went on being with him and just threw out our friendship like it was nothing. It hurt so much, because I truly loved her and would have never done that to her. In retrospect, I should have known. She did the exact same thing to someone else that she considered her “sister”. I should have taken the cue and ended the friendship then because if she could do that to someone she regarded so highly, how much me? It took a while to move on and form healthier friendships. When I would make new friends, I would keep them at bay because I didn’t want to get too close and get my feelings hurt again. When I would talk to a guy, I didn’t tell my friends about him because I was worried something similar would happen. But now, I have made new wonderful friends that I love and they love me and I share everything with them because I know they wouldn’t do that to me. After I thought I had moved on, I spoke with a therapist and she encouraged me to reach out to her. Not to rekindle the relationship, but for my peace of mind. She didn’t pick up the call, so I left it as that. Nothing in life is a do or die affair. The minute you see that it doesn’t benefit you or that you’re putting so much time and energy that’s not reciprocated, then leave. Every relationship takes two to tango and if it’s only you that’s dancing, you’re really going to look stupid. Leave early to avoid pain.
– Aisha, 20
“B*tch, You Better Be Joking.”
I met her through a friend and it was on and off for 4 years. She was a disturbed woman but I ignored many red flags. She always wanted what I wanted but only after I wanted it first. The final straw was because of a man, and at the time I didn’t even know she liked him. This was someone who I never judged regardless of her bad life choices. She was a stripper and a hookup girl, but I embraced her and tried to talk her out of the lifestyle without being judgemental. I stayed with her for a while on the island and she had 3 flatmates; a gay guy, a tomboy-ish girl and a straight sexy Ghanaian guy. I had a thing for the Ghanaian guy so I decided I wanted to get to know him. Her female flatmate was close to the Ghanaian guy but she was in a serious relationship so I didn’t suspect that she had a thing for him, and we even asked her several times but she said he wasn’t her type. One thing led to another, and Ghanian heartthrob and I eventually got drunk on wine and made out. It was so hot, I called my friend and told her what happened. I knew I wasn’t breaking any rules because he was nobody’s man. Fast forward to some weeks later, I went back to my house and this man kept texting me saying he wanted more, but I didn’t intend on doing it again because I kept sensing animosity from my friend. I never knew the female flatmate saw my chat with him who then went to tell my friend, who called me screaming at the top of her lungs, wanting to know why I would get intimate with the Ghanian guy knowing her flatmate liked him. She called me all sorts of names; said I was cheap and a slut. I’m not one to judge anybody, but a stripper calling me cheap? The girl that gives her body to different men every night? What was my offence? Because I decided to live a little? Mind you, this is someone I always defended, and I didn’t even sleep with the guy. She basically interrogated Ghanian heartthrob, wanting to know every detail and he actually told her what happened and even lied that I slept with him. She then had the guts to tell me that all her flatmates rightfully slut shamed me. A whole me! I gave it back to her though since she wanted to be judgy. Everyone I told concluded she liked him too and was pained he didn’t look her way. I felt disappointed because she was someone whose back I always had and the one time I needed her to have my back and defend me, she slutshamed me with her flatmates. Anyway, if the friendship ended, maybe it wasn’t real.
– Angela, 28
My friend set me up with a guy and portrayed him to be such a great person. To cut it short, he almost ended up raping me. The most disgusting part was that the guy was actually known for being a rapist and my friend knew!
– Zainab, 27
“Who Needs Enemies When You Have Friends Like This?”
So we all have friends for different occasions right? I had a certain friend I always went to parties and outings with. She wasn’t really a friend I told my secrets to because I just couldn’t trust her at all. One day we were out and she was casually going through my phone, no big deal right? A few weeks later, I started getting threats from a weird Instagram account threatening to leak my nudes. I didn’t even know what to do because I’m not someone who casually sends nudes to people. How did they even get it? One day I was with that same friend and I was with her phone. I don’t know if it was God but as soon as I opened the Instagram app on her phone it wasn’t her normal account that showed. It was the account that had been sending me DMs and threatening me.
– Anita, 25
Nightmare friendships can leave a lasting impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. The women who shared their horror stories about their ex-friends show that toxic friendships can be just as damaging as toxic romantic relationships. It is important to recognize the signs of a toxic friendship and to have the courage to walk away when necessary. While it can be difficult to let go of a friend, especially one who has been a significant part of your life, it is essential to prioritize one’s own well-being. By sharing their stories, these women have shed light on the importance of healthy friendships and the need to set boundaries and recognize when a friendship is no longer serving them. It is possible to move on from a toxic friendship and to build healthy relationships based on mutual respect, trust, and support. Hold your friends of substance close but remember, at the appearance of evil, turn your back and flee!