manu85 Posted June 20, 2019 Share Posted June 20, 2019 Hi guys, I would love to hear some unbiased opinions on what you would do in my situation and why. I'm a 33 year old man and from the age of 15 I've had a group of 20 friends that have until now been the most important people in my life. We partied, had drinks, went out together almost every weekend together until our early 20ies and almost monthly until our late twenties. We went on holidays with all 20 of us, we still go on a yearly weekend together, I went to people's marriages, graduation ceremonies, I visited some of them in the hospital when they had children, went to funerals when their loved ones died, bought gifts for all their newborns, organized birthday parties with some of them together, dinner parties,... A fantastic group of friends! They were above my family, my girlfriends. These friends were the most important people in my life. 5 years ago, when I was 28, on one of the marriage parties, at 2 o'clock at night, 1 of these friends asked if I was gay. She was quite conservative but her own dad had come out of the closet and her parents had kept it a secret for 10 years. From the age of 18 I had felt some attraction to men, and even though I felt mostly straight, I started to experiment with guys as well between my heterosexual relationships and at the time of 'the question' I had actually dated a guy for the 1st time. I told her. The next day she assured me she would tell no one except her boyfriend. We left it at that, but 2 weeks later a nervous feeling started to creep on me and I emailed her to ask if we could get a coffee. It remained unanswered. I met her at a party and she said she d forgotten to reply. I sent another email another 2 months later and again it remained unanswered. A few months later, weeks apart, 2 other great friends of that group asked me, with a 'twinkle' in their eyes how I was doing in my love life and I could sense they knew more. I hate to lie to people I love so I told them the truth about my recent dating with a guy (which after all turned out to be an experiment) and my past experiments. I told them not to tell anyone. 1 week later, my then-roommate came to tell me these 2 friends had been talking loudly and openly at a party about my 'bisexuality'. From that moment, I felt trapped, extremely anxious and devastated that my friends had betrayed my trust, at a point were I was genuinely still confused about whether I was mostly straight with a very experimental side, bisexual or maybe gay and going through a transitioning phase. I felt pressured to tell other good friends, my parents and brothers, all of which I had never wished, but the rumours had been so widespread that I decided it was better to tell than to risk them finding out by other people. The stress culminated into moving abroad. I had always suspected that this 1st feiend had spoken first, but didn't address it because I felt, if that was the case, that she should be the one to iniate the conversation and not the other way around. This friend, is, importantly, the 'leader'of the group and organized more than half of all the weekends, holidays, parties,... combined. I felt lonely, scared and isolated in this new country. I haven't even come close to rebuild the vibrant social circle I once had. I do feel very free and independent though. 6 months ago, a friend of this group, the same friend who had kept the secret of my sexuality for 8 years, told me that this female "friend" was the one who had told the secret and had spurred on people to "help me come out". I found out all these friends had kept her secret for all those years, even though I had asked various ones of them if she had been the one who had broken my trust. The pain I've felt about this is pretty intense. How could my best friends, even though they knew I had done no wrong and they knew she had stabbed me in the back, all decide to throw away my trust with them and put the friendship at risk? I have been feeling very low about myself, depressed, angry, disappointed, but mostly hurt. I understand part of the decision was because she is the most "powerful figure" in the group and devotes herself to organizing, doing things for people (often for a gain of her own status, but still she does it), she is a perfectionist who probably couldnt live with her own mistake and didnt want people to know that she had been the one to tell because she was afraid to lose her reputation, part of it was probably also because many of those friends didnt find out that she had been the one to tell until years later, and part of their decision to keep quiet was probably a genuine wish 'not to hurt me'. But why? Why did no one speak up when I moved abroad? Why did I invest 20 years of devotion to all of these people only to be betrayed by all of them? I am perplexed at how my life has been influenced by this. The once self confident, popular, handsome, happy social guy with the vast social network in my old country has turned into a shadow of his former self in a strange country. I lost my reputation, my friends and some of my self-confidence. But I did gain a lot of self-knowledge, people's knowledge, spiritual and emotional strength. I hate this friend but I realize hate is no solution and in the end will hurt no one but me. happens and I have to move. I'm just not sure how. We have a weekend planned in september with these 20 people. I arranged the house for this weekend. But at this point I can't see myself enjoying a weekend spent with 20 people who all broke their trust with me while I put them first for 15+ years. Of course it is a devastating feeling not to be in that group anymore, but my self respect comes first now and I just don't see any possibity for me not to eternally feel like the group's doormat by remaining in this group. I have been torturing myself for 5 months now with the question whether I should step away from this group (that means quitting the whatsapp group which has determined 90 % of my social life for the past 7+ years and where most group outings, social happenings, newborns, etc are announced and which would of course inavoidably exclude me from a lot of these important moments and social events) and start to see these friends in smaller groups and organize my social life myself, or stay in this group and enjoy the benefits of it and forgive (I should and will forgive anyway also if I quit the group) but with the risk of feeling disrespected in this group forever. I am torn on this because I am not a very good organizer (most of my social life was organized for me in this group ;-) and I am scared that if I leave the group I risk becoming isolated, bitter and frustrated. But I do feel that independence, self-preservation and a different more self-motored way of living are also valuable goals and ways of living. And my real friends will find a way back to me anyway and I to them :-) I am just a bit scared being 33 that I will manage and even find new friends with whom I'd feel even remotely close or special compared to these ones. On the other hand I despise the prospect of feeling like a doormat if I'd just forgive and forget. I m scared of never ever gaining back my self respect that way. I ve been reading books about forgiveness and how to get back on your feet in life after a setback, but I realize I haven't yet found the answer and keep contemplating different options. So what would you do and why? Thanks for your input! Link to comment
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