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Thank you! It definitely has. Yes she currently sees 3 different therapists. 2 of them I know she sees pretty regularly. She’s also in a support group for children of alcoholic parents, and another support group every Sunday for people who have left a church. So she’s getting a lot of support but it doesn’t seem to be helping her much.

 

Just to point something out, she told me recently she had a conversation with one of her therapists about a dilemma - long story short she’s hung up on a guy she dated many years ago. He’s married, and they don’t speak To each other or anything. But she told her therapist she still follows him on social media because when she does finally get a boyfriend one day she wants him to see what he’s missing out on, be jealous, miss her, etc. Her therapist said “that’s understandable”. This is just one example, but I was thinking that was such an odd response from a therapist. It gave me the feeling that her therapists aren’t helping her. She obsesses over this guy and they haven’t spoken in 8 years. He’s married. I just feel like the therapist should have told her to unfriend this guy on social media and move on. :/

 

The therapist is a professional who knows what he/she is doing and probably knows very well what kind of a personality disorder your friend has. In other words, the therapist knows better than you how to respond to her in a way that might eventually be productive or at minimum not incite her into worse behavior or contradictory behavior.

 

You are failing to understand that this woman is deeply disordered and continue to try to treat her like she is sane and so any common sense advice she will just accept, do, live by. When has she ever taken such advice? By your own admission, she doesn't. Keep reading up more on those personality disorders that seem to describe her so well. It will open your eyes a bit in terms of who you are dealing with. I hope it will open them enough that you actually walk away.

 

This is not a healthy friendship and it's only going to get worse as she gets older Ultimately it is a one sided friendship - she uses you, unfortunately you've convinced yourself that she can't live without using you. She can and does. You are just one in a rotation of many sources of attention. Rather than focusing her, maybe focus on yourself and fix whatever it is that's attracting you to this toxic dynamic.

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2-3 hour phone calls several times a week is a bit too much. Work on better boundaries. Remember that we teach people how to treat us. I think you could benefit from some counselling also if you're feeling overwhelmed or having trouble developing healthy boundaries. There is no shame in that. A good friend told me a few weeks ago that therapy is not just for hard times. She's been going for therapy for over 20 years and still finds benefit in listening and learning.

 

I am like you and prefer working on personal issues silently or in the background. The world could be completely shattered but I'd never show it or not go on. Life does go on. You're right. But I think part and parcel of coping and developing healthy strategies is also developing healthy boundaries. You can choose to cope or you can choose to flourish. It's your choice.

 

I hope things in the friendship smooth out a bit more. Take care of yourself.

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I have to agree with Dancing F. here.

 

Dealing with someone insane is a job for the professionals. And it isn't healthy to engage with someone so disturbed. The negativity does rub off, and can drag you down too.

 

You need to disengage from this scenario.

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What she tells you is third party hearsay. You really can't evaluate and second guess therapists based on that.

 

Bottom line. If you enjoy living vicariously through her drama then fine but then don't worry about her because clearly she has enough professional and peer group support.

Her therapist said “that’s understandable”.
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I went down a rabbit hole while researching and somehow wound up on some other things like personality disorders and narcissism. The more I looked into them the more those seemed to fit her well too.

 

I get how these sorts of rabbit holes can provide some comfort—and, hey, perhaps those diagnostic terms have a place here. That said, I think there's an even simpler way to understand her, which is that she's a pretty immature and shallow adult who gets through the business of living with some pretty rudimentary coping mechanisms. She kind of views the world the way teenagers do, where everything is dramatic and everything is about them, like a rock star who skips the part where they make incredible music and goes straight to the part where they have an audience to reward their angst 24/7.

 

I get that you're concerned about her, and that that concern is sincere. But I also think you're just annoyed at being cast as audience member, a mirror, feeling that the person you call your "best friend" isn't really much of a friend, or at least a friendship that fosters positive growth in you. You've known her for a while. During that time you've been growing up, shedding husks, moving further into yourself. She, on the other hand, has stayed put, growing into an obsessive, wounded juvenile state that most people grow out of. So your relationship with her, at this point, requires you to slip back into an adolescent set of feelings and behaviors, indulging in a version of yourself that makes you disappointed in yourself.

 

Codependency stuff, in short.

 

Why is her drama so compelling to you? What do you get from engaging in it, trying to quell it, labeling it and her as "deep"? Do you feel that her perpetual spiraling reflects something back to you that makes you uncomfortable? Do you feel that being able to slow the spiraling would make you feel better about yourself? Do you feel that remaining connected to someone so lost reinforces a self-conception that you are more found? Do you feel you'd be more lost, and have to confront that, if the album of her troubles were not playing at such a high volume in your life? Do you feel guilty "using" her as a distraction from your own troubles? Questions along those lines might be worth exploring a bit, to shift the spotlight from her and onto yourself, the only thing in this world you have any real control over.

 

It is so very hard to set boundaries with people we love. Harder, still, when we have lost the ability to genuinely respect the way people we love live their lives. Looking in from the outside, that's kind of what I see here. You care very much for her, but over the years have lost respect for her and the way she copes. At this point, peace may be found in respecting that jagged truth rather than through trying to will a different, more palatable truth into being through weekly engagement of the sort that has become routine, and draining.

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