I’ll start with my father, though this isn't about him:
For years, he had an undiagnosed personality disorder. He’d put down me and my mother. He tried to break my spirit. I was shy, quiet, with few friends.
Even when I moved away to university, he tried to control me.
He was finally diagnosed with a mental disorder while getting medication for his diabetes. He’s a different person now.
But my fear is real. The rest of his own family still have nothing to with him.
I've been recently diagnosed as having a co-dependency personality disorder.
Now, my best friend growing up through scouting and school, has reached out to heal our own friendship breakup.
He still doesn't know the whole story as to why I came to hate him.
I have other good friends, a significant other, career success, and independence.
But my best friend and I used to do everything together.
When I figured out I was gay I was fully supported by him though my father tried to disown me. He cried when I moved away for university.
However, he got a girlfriend who wanted him to spend all of his time with her, so he started to forget about me and his other friends.
I always left the door open.
He called a couple of times to hang out, when he had breakups with the girlfriend.
Then, I was stressed out at university plus financially troubled, my father and I weren't on speaking terms, and my grandfather died.
My friend never showed up at the funeral. I wanted nothing more to do with him.
When telling my mother this, my father interrupted, saying that it wasn't much of a loss of friendship since he’d been paying my friend money for years. He was to spy on me, report anything I did, who I did it with, and what I was saying.
I felt violated and destroyed.
I left university and was forced to move back in with my parents.
I hated my former best friend. When we’d run into each-other, I’d turn and walk away.
I never told anyone else about it, not even in therapy. But it still bothers me. It’s taken me years to have the right balance in friendships.
In my 30's, I have close friends whom I trust. I live three hours away from my parents and am financially stable with a good job.
I eventually got a college degree that I paid for.
I realize now that this friend was my first co-dependent relationship. Can renewing this friendship be healthy for me? What if it’s just one more manipulation?
Could it be what's stopping me from forgiving my father as well?
You’ve come too far to allow yourself to slip back towards too much vulnerability. You need to feel strong in order to be forgiving of this friend.
If you discover that he’s just broken up again, you may find that he’s trying to re-build co-dependency.
To me, this decision isn’t nearly as important as whether you’re ready or need to forgive your father.
His more severe personality disorder was not entirely his fault, and he’s changed. Your mother’s stayed with him. If forgiveness would help heal the whole family, it’s worth considering.
You’re now secure enough to talk to a therapist specifically about these decisions Remember, you don’t have to drag yourself through the full emotional wallop again… and if thinking about all this takes you back, you’re not ready, so drop it.
Two years ago, I was taken in by a really nice family who accepted me with open arms.
Lately, I've been feeling they regret their decision.
Singing’s my passion but I'm immediately shut down and told that I have a terrible singing voice, which really lowers my self-esteem.
I've talked to them, they apologize, but go back to the same ways.
Recently, I was even called a nasty word.
Is this a safe/healthy situation for me to be in? Should I be looking elsewhere for homes? Or am I overreacting?
No one should call you a nasty name, but you’ve persisted with something they find intrusive.
If this family is decent and encouraging otherwise, there are options.
Join a music club or production for singing at school, or in a local choir. You’d gain the advantage of some training and direction.
If the family remains cool, talk to whomever placed you there.
Tip of the day:
Forgiveness can be healthy, so long as you’re secure and strong.