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I frequent the local goth clubs. There’s not a large goth community, even for being a big city. 

Foolishly, when we open our marriage, I started seeing a guy (I’ll call him G) from the clubs.  However, this isn’t about him – I can deal with his efforts to ignore me.  However, his ex-girlfriend also goes to the clubs (I’ll call her M).

The first time I remember meeting M, she was in a group talking to my best friend. I came over. She took one look at me, and walked away… At the time, I wondered if it was just bad timing – of course I’ve also got enough social anxiety to wonder what I did.  Why didn’t this total stranger like me?

She continued the exact behavior.  G eventually explained she was his ex.  I thought the situation was stupid and wanted to just ignore it.  But I watched my best friend become her friend.

This does get a little gossipy, but M later told my friend that G was abusive.  Maybe he was with her. Maybe he wasn’t – I don’t know. What I do know is that she chose to ostracize me rather than talk to me.

When she heard that G and I broke up, she told my friend that “there was no hard feelings” um, why would there be? I didn’t do anything to her. I showed up to a club, meet a single guy, and dated him.  She seems to have some sort of problem with me.  I said thanks no thanks to being friends then – ok my response was way less nice then that. I was also 30 seconds out of a painful breakup. 

Another friend recently asked me if I would consider being friends with M… I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t.

I spent the last few years in a situation where the group of friends I had were ruled by an abusive person. She tormented me for years. No one supported me. Anytime I complained or raised concerns, I was gaslit – every time.  It contributed to my marital problems at the time. With the exception of my husband (and that was only after years), no one stopped being friends with her. I’ve been asked by more than one person to “get over it” so everyone can “just be friends again.”

The combined factors of that situation have left me little to no confidence regarding what I feel. Literally, I question every emotional response I have, and assume all of them are wrong. I must be overreacting. I must be misreading the situation.  And of course regardless of the veracity of my feelings, I know that they won’t matter to anyone.  My feelings will never be considered. They will never be put first – by anyone. 

I know I’m getting my own mental health issues tangled up in this current situation.  But I don’t know how to untangle it. I don’t know how to explain why I don’t want to be her “friend” –

ok, I do know how. What I don’t know how to do is not be afraid. I’m afraid that if I present my perspective, my feelings will be ridiculed, dismissed, minimized, and/or belittled.  I’ll be told once again to “get over it” and to put myself in a position where I don’t feel safe.

I don’t want to be friends with this person. I don’t trust her. I don’t like how she treated me. 

But I’m most afraid that out of my own pathetic desire to keep what few  friends I have left (and to not cost my husband anymore of his friendships), I’ll give in. I’ll “be friends” with someone who has already been hurtful to me, and that decision will be the only one the people in my life support. 

And yes, this is an issue I’m working on with my therapist.