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Best friend physically assaulted me


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Its been a pretty rough year for me these past 12 months. Firstly my Father passed away last April due to Covid-19. I was at his bedside and watched him take his last breath. I couldn't stay in the place I had been living in at the time (long story) but had the resources to purchase a house of my own but meant that I ended up living many miles from friends and family and a 3hr commute to work every day. My Sister took my Dad's death very badly and was suffering from depression. She called me several times and talked about ending her life. My own health went into decline with a recurring back condition which saw me in hospital in January and again recently in April. This condition has caused has added to my own mental health as I find it difficult to do even the most basic tasks like putting on a pair of socks.

When I was in the hospital recently I was barely able to walk yet they discharged me without consultation and with no regard to how I was going to cope at home especially as I live by myself. I have an on-going complaint with the hospital in question. I actually fell over several times at home as I was unable to maintain my balance.

I was offered the chance to stay with a friend who lives with his Sister in another part of the country close to the coast. They have a big house and plenty of land which seemed ideal for me to recuperate and not be alone. I have known my friend (M) and his Sister (C) for over thirty years and we regard each other as family.

M recently separated from his partner of 2 years. He is rather bohemian in that he gets up at all sort of hours, works from home and generally does what he wants and when he wants. His partner was more of a conventional type of person and their respective lifestyles just didn't mesh. They both separated amicably. He is in his 50s but is a child at heart and loves his computer games........this is generally not a problem and I don't judge his lifestyle.

He was obsessive about a particular type of game that his old computer could not handle and was in the process of buying a new one which I helped him to set up. I also purchased for him a new monitor as I knew he didn't have the money for it.

One day about three weeks ago, I had gone out for the day with C and her partner (A). We did a bit of shopping and generally just had a laugh. It was a great day as I was relatively pain free and we all had a meal together in the evening except M who was trying to load up a game on his computer or something related.

The meal was great and I also had a few drinks (probably not a great idea on the medication I was taking but I was ok). M had phoned from his bedroom to the kitchen asking for me to go upstairs and help him with something computer related. C answered the phone and told him I was still eating and would be up shortly.....she said that he sounded irritated. I was really enjoying myself and having a laugh so did not realise that an hour had passed and M called again sounding even more irritated and frustrated so I decided to go up and see what the problem was.

As I entered his room he immediately launched into a tirade. I cannot remember the exact conversation but I think me mentioned something about leaving the house to which I replied that I was happy to do if he so wished. At this he grabbed me by my shirt collar. Instinctively I pushed him back and he fell on his arse. A nearby table and the computer/monitor crashed down on top of him. I was just shocked and stood there not taking in what had just happened (we have never had any physical violence between us in all the time we have known each other). He got up and immediately picked up a heavy metal chair and smashed it against my body (my left arm is still bruised and swollen three weeks later). He said something along the lines of what makes me think I can attack him and he then produced a knife (divers type knife) from his bookshelf and stood there menacingly holding the knife and told me to leave.

I was shocked and told him that I couldn't believe he had pulled a knife on me (let alone the chair across my body). He just repeated 'to go'. I left the room and he then came out and hugged me and told me he was sorry.

I went down to the room I was sleeping in and started packing my bags to leave. C asked what had happened and after I told her and continued to pack my stuff, she pleaded with me to stay and to work things out. I was adamant to leave but seeing her in distress really upset me so I stayed. M apologised, said that nothing like that would ever happen again and cried to his Sister, calling himself some choice words. There was some vague explanation that his inner child got the better of him and when he was a child he would have tantrums to get his own way.

I really should have left the following morning but I stayed for another week thinking that I could put it behind me but I found that as the week went on I had trouble getting to sleep, felt on edge the time and dreaded seeing M at whatever time he decided to wake up (usually very late in the evening). I spoke with a friend who is also a professional councillor and he articulated my feelings pretty well by suggesting that I regarded their home as a safe space and I had been through a traumatic experience and was now feeling a type of post-traumatic stress syndrome. That very same day I packed my bags and left and basically went back to my own house approx 350 miles away.

I love M like a brother. I've known him for over 30 years and have accepted that he has many faults but we had a very strong bond. M is someone who is used to extreme physical violence and has done some things in his past which he is ashamed of. He has a temper but usually controls it. He is very intelligent and can converse on many subjects which has been the bedrock of our relationship and he is very loyal. He does smoke a lot of weed and I wonder if this has changed him in some way. I did find that he was more argumentative than usual.

I'm back in my house now alone and wondering where to go from here and asking myself if our friendship is over, can I trust being around him again, do I feel safe in his company. What makes me feel very sad is that I came to their house at one of the lowest points in my life and he did this to me over something so trivial. He could have inflicted life changing injuries to me given that I already have issues with my spine. I realise that if I end my friendship with him, realistically this would also losing my friendship with his Sister and her partner as well.

I just cannot process what has happened and what to do. He has called but has stated that he knows that he cant just keep saying he is sorry. His Sister calls me and tells me that I should fight for something if its worth fighting for. She does not want to talk about the incident itself and told me that its between myself and M to sort out. I'm in a very dark place at the moment and have started to grieve for the loss of my Father. I feel betrayed and let down by people I trusted and regarded as family. It does not help that the pain medication I'm on makes it very difficult to process things in my mind. For the most part I just feel very groggy and cannot often do simple tasks.

I needed to write this down and I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you for reading.

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Posted (edited)

I am so sorry for everything you have dealt with.  

This guy sounds really unstable and you should stay away from him.   Personally, I would never feel comfortable  being around someone like this again.   I think you need to stop making excuses for him, as it sounds like he is really off.  What did you mean that he was "used to extreme physical violence?"  

Can you go to live with family or are there any other friends you can stay with?  Have you looked into home aides to help out?

Cut this guy off.   Not only is he dangerous, but also sounds strange.

Edited by Hollyj
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11 minutes ago, Hollyj said:

What did you mean that he was "used to extreme physical violence?"  

When he was younger, he was a heavy drinker and regularly drank in pubs where fights often broke out. Sometimes he would be involved in those fights and would use whatever means to defend himself. When I say extreme physical violence I mean that these fights were not boxing matches, rather noses, ears being bitten off or things smashed across the head. He would also hang around like minded individuals. Its very difficult to explain as in many ways we are very different from one another. He gets off inflicting and receiving pain. I know that I've painted him to be some kind of monster but we have been friends for over 30 years so he is much more than simply being a violent person. The people he got into fights with were often people that were looking for trouble. M is a big guy and in certain situations that often attracts other guys who want to prove something to themselves.

M may sound unstable but for the most part he is actually quite charming. He is well read and can easily hold his own in very high level, deep conversations. No doubt there are issues but around me he has always been in control of his anger and we usually have a good time together. We both have a passion for films and literature and enjoy one another's company. This incident between us is really shocking given what I have said about his past and taste for violence.

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2 minutes ago, fIIsion said:

When he was younger, he was a heavy drinker and regularly drank in pubs where fights often broke out. Sometimes he would be involved in those fights and would use whatever means to defend himself. When I say extreme physical violence I mean that these fights were not boxing matches, rather noses, ears being bitten off or things smashed across the head. He would also hang around like minded individuals. Its very difficult to explain as in many ways we are very different from one another. He gets off inflicting and receiving pain. I know that I've painted him to be some kind of monster but we have been friends for over 30 years so he is much more than simply being a violent person. The people he got into fights with were often people that were looking for trouble. M is a big guy and in certain situations that often attracts other guys who want to prove something to themselves.

M may sound unstable but for the most part he is actually quite charming. He is well read and can easily hold his own in very high level, deep conversations. No doubt there are issues but around me he has always been in control of his anger and we usually have a good time together. We both have a passion for films and literature and enjoy one another's company. This incident between us is really shocking given what I have said about his past and taste for violence.

Dude,  you can excuse all you want.  He cannot control his temper, he hit you with a chair, and pulled a knife on you.  If you want to gloss over this, then that’s on you.  This guy is off and dangerous! 

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Believe me I don't want to gloss over anything and I'm not trying to excuse his behaviour. I wanted to give context to this incident. We wouldn't have been friends for over three decades if I simply regarded him as dangerous and off. I also have to consider that I'm going to lose my friendship with his Sister who I also love as a Sister. 

I'm actually really angry about what has happened and have told him not to call me anymore.

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Where do you live now? Did he ask you to leave?

Have you been treated for the pain pill dependence?

Stay away from them. Find better options for your medical problems and get more support for that.

 

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I would not speak to these people again. 

He is violent and dangerous, and his sister makes excuses for him and tries to emotionally blackmail you into accepting it. 

 Not worth the friendship at all. 

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3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Where do you live now? Did he ask you to leave?

Have you been treated for the pain pill dependence?

Stay away from them. Find better options for your medical problems and get more support for that.

 

I live far away from where my friend lives. I choose to leave on my own accord after I felt uncomfortable trying to put the incident behind me.

I have a spinal issue that causes me extreme pain and I'm currently managing the pain through strong pain killers. I'm unable to do any physio treatment until I manage my pain symptoms. The plan is to decrease the dosage of my pain killers as I heal.

Its very difficult to throw away the last 30 years. Its literally like never seeing your brother and sister again.

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2 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I would not speak to these people again. 

He is violent and dangerous, and his sister makes excuses for him and tries to emotionally blackmail you into accepting it. 

 Not worth the friendship at all. 

It hurts to read this, probably because its true........

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You've known for years and years that he is violent, unstable, and dangerous and have chosen to turn a blind eye to that and make a lot of excuses. You've counted on your friendship or whatever special connection you think you have with him that he won't ever turn on you and hurt you.

You've now found out first hand that yes, he will turn on you too and will attack you. Once that physical violence line is crossed, next time will be faster and worse. I'm sorry but there is no coming back from something like this unless you want to find yourself in the hospital or six feet under.

Psychopaths/sociopaths are very charming and charismatic people who can really get under your skin and make you feel like you have the most amazing connection with them....until the mask falls off. His mask had fallen off a long time ago, you just chose to ignore it and believe that you would be a special exception to the rule. You are not. Nobody is. Also, with age, these people get worse and worse and more dangerous. Please have the sense to stay away. An interest in literature is not worth a beating.

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2 hours ago, fIIsion said:

I live far away from where my friend lives. I'm currently managing the pain through strong pain killers.

Excellent. The assault was a game changer, it's good you left.

Talk to your orthopedist about better options than becoming dependent on opioids. You're simply replacing one problem with a worse one.

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9 hours ago, fIIsion said:

I'm back in my house now alone and wondering where to go from here and asking myself if our friendship is over, can I trust being around him again, do I feel safe in his company. What makes me feel very sad is that I came to their house at one of the lowest points in my life and he did this to me over something so trivial.

Trivial or not... he lost it on you.. and you can be sure why.. because of his instability 😕

9 hours ago, fIIsion said:

His Sister calls me and tells me that I should fight for something if its worth fighting for.

If it's worth fighting for... BUT the guy assaulted you and had a weapon!

I am very sorry for your loss.. loss is very painful 😞 .

I suggest you look into some prof help... get in for some grief counselling and/ or therapy.

As for him... he needs the same.  He cannot act out like this!  Who's next. his partner?

I suggest you just remain at a distance.. and focus on yourself.. self care ❤️ .

Any local friends?  One's you can see on occasion/ chat or visit with?

A journal may be of some help- a way to 'vent' it out.

Do try to get out for some air.. sit outside, get some sun.. nature does wonders 🙂 

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6 hours ago, DancingFool said:

You've known for years and years that he is violent, unstable, and dangerous and have chosen to turn a blind eye to that and make a lot of excuses. You've counted on your friendship or whatever special connection you think you have with him that he won't ever turn on you and hurt you.

You've now found out first hand that yes, he will turn on you too and will attack you. Once that physical violence line is crossed, next time will be faster and worse. I'm sorry but there is no coming back from something like this unless you want to find yourself in the hospital or six feet under.

Psychopaths/sociopaths are very charming and charismatic people who can really get under your skin and make you feel like you have the most amazing connection with them....until the mask falls off. His mask had fallen off a long time ago, you just chose to ignore it and believe that you would be a special exception to the rule. You are not. Nobody is. Also, with age, these people get worse and worse and more dangerous. Please have the sense to stay away. An interest in literature is not worth a beating.

Thank you for your feedback (and everyone else that has replied). Your post resonated with me as I think about the last thirty years ,I have made excuses for his behaviour. I never really thought of him as a psychopath or a sociopath however I guess he does match some of the behaviours of either. Its very difficult to fully explain his character and/or our relationship simply in words where an outsider can just pick up on the very negative aspects as described. I don't think of myself as a stupid person and I'm very selective about the types of people I associate with.

Maybe i have been naive but I've never felt unsafe around M before and he has always been there for me like when I lost my Father and other traumatic events. He can be violent and potentially dangerous but in the past that was always directed to those who threatened himself or family.......see i'm making excuses again for him.

This is still shocking for me given our friendship and although all of you have told me to simply walk away, there is nothing simple about ending a 30 year friendship ( and I do believe it was a friendship given his personality).

I'm going to really miss his Sister, its not going to be easy to say goodbye to her.

By the way I'm under no illusion that this friendship is over. A line has been crossed one way or another and I know that I will never feel safe around him again let alone the betrayal I feel given my own personal circumstances and his childish needs that he felt were more important.

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Posted (edited)

I ended a 25 year friendship as it was unhealthy.   This was also my best friend.   It wasn't easy but something that had to be done.

 

Violence is never acceptable.   

Edited by Hollyj
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23 minutes ago, Hollyj said:

I ended a 25 year friendship as it was unhealthy.   This was also my best friend.   It wasn't easy but something that had to be done.

 

Violence is never acceptable.   

Very sad to read this however I understand your choice to take your life in a healthier direction. I guess this is still very raw for me and im don't feel right in myself with the pills I'm taking (especially the opiates).

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12 minutes ago, fIIsion said:

Very sad to read this however I understand your choice to take your life in a healthier direction. I guess this is still very raw for me and im don't feel right in myself with the pills I'm taking (especially the opiates).

Can you be closer to family or another support system?

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13 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I would not speak to these people again. 

He is violent and dangerous, and his sister makes excuses for him and tries to emotionally blackmail you into accepting it. 

 Not worth the friendship at all. 

^ I second all of the above.

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I think you've been making excuses for M WAY too long. There is a saying: "When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them". Or something along those lines. He was always an alcoholic and violent. He always got into fights. Just because he wasn't violent to YOU doesn't change that. He can't control his temper at all and he treated you absolutely appallingly and did assault you. He was told by his sister that you're still finishing up with your dinner. You are not his servant, so you're  not required to go up and help him the second he calls you. And he acts like you actually are his servant and he's ringing a bell to call you because he didn't even bother to come and talk to you, but just rang on the phone. He expects you to wait on him. Then just because you didn't come he tried to hurt you. I would never continue a friendship with someone who hit me. Especially a man hitting a woman. I really don't understand why you've thought all those years that he's actually a decent person. Are you desperate to have friends, even if they're bad people? 

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10 hours ago, Hollyj said:

Can you be closer to family or another support system?

I've got my Sister however she is still suffering from depression and her daughter is going through early puberty so didn't want to add to her problems. I'm doing ok. I've got various appointments coming up and i'm moving around and managing my pain.

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9 hours ago, Tinydance said:

I think you've been making excuses for M WAY too long. There is a saying: "When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them". Or something along those lines. He was always an alcoholic and violent. He always got into fights. Just because he wasn't violent to YOU doesn't change that. He can't control his temper at all and he treated you absolutely appallingly and did assault you. He was told by his sister that you're still finishing up with your dinner. You are not his servant, so you're  not required to go up and help him the second he calls you. And he acts like you actually are his servant and he's ringing a bell to call you because he didn't even bother to come and talk to you, but just rang on the phone. He expects you to wait on him. Then just because you didn't come he tried to hurt you. I would never continue a friendship with someone who hit me. Especially a man hitting a woman. I really don't understand why you've thought all those years that he's actually a decent person. Are you desperate to have friends, even if they're bad people? 

Than you for your feedback and to all those who have read my post and replied. I agree with pretty much of what you have said. I'm I desperate to have friends? Luckily I've got good, non-violent people around me. I'm actually very selective of people I deem as friends. I appreciate that what I've written it terrible, and it is. There is no excusing M's behaviour and his underlying violent temper. I would add that he is a much more layered person than the sociopath I've described him as (maybe I'm just realising that he is a sociopath?) and for the best part of 30 years we have had a very fulfilling and enjoyable friendship. I'm under no doubt that this episode has changed everything and perhaps It will make me re-think the last 30 years........certainly Its ended our friendship.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, fIIsion said:

This is still shocking for me given our friendship and although all of you have told me to simply walk away, there is nothing simple about ending a 30 year friendship ( and I do believe it was a friendship given his personality).

I don't think anyone suggested this will be simple. 

But if someone threatened me with a weapon? I would do the hard work of forever closing the door on these dysfunctional and dangerous people, 30 years of history and all. 

 

 

Edited by MissCanuck
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On 5/14/2021 at 10:20 AM, DancingFool said:

Psychopaths/sociopaths are very charming and charismatic people who can really get under your skin and make you feel like you have the most amazing connection with them....until the mask falls off. His mask had fallen off a long time ago, you just chose to ignore it and believe that you would be a special exception to the rule. You are not. Nobody is.

I agree. I would never go back.

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