The Poisonous Friend

We’ve all had them. Those friends who are like a virus in our lives, the ones you just need to make a break with to get clarity on how they affect you?

What if that friend is really one of your very best friends? And their child IS your son’s best friend? And you don’t even realize how poisonous the relationship is until over a year later and you’ve gained a whole hella perspective?

It’s hard that Declan still asks for his friend.

But what is harder, for me, is that in the midst of the friendship, I didn’t see how often I was being manipulated, lied to, and lead around by a string. And in the end, how lucky I was that this friend happened to also be a Drama Queen (with a capital DQ). A drama queen that decided to blow up our friendship over something that was 99% her fault. Something that, in the heat of the moment, I took on my shoulders and bore even though I knew SHE should have said she was sorry. SHE should have reached out. SHE should have tried at least as hard as I did.

But she didn’t.

SHE let our friendship wither and die. SHE did me the favor that I didn’t have to stab a knife in our friendship. She pushed it off a cliff for me instead. And the truth is, I am better off for it.

But it still doesn’t make it any easier when Declan asks for his friend.

This article has 36 comments

  1. Megan

    I had one of those a few year ago too. I couldn’t believe how she treated me.

  2. womaninawindow

    Ya, distance works, doesn’t it, and luke warm vibes. Then more distance. There’s not enough time in anyone’s life for spirit-suckers!

  3. zipper

    Freinds can be so harsh.

  4. Kathy

    Been there. I don’t have kids, though, so I don’t know what I’d do in that situation. I’d probably find a way the kids could stay friends, if that were possible.

  5. Sizzle

    It’s good you have this perspective on the friendship now but I can understand why you feeling sad for Declan.

  6. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Kathy, the even harder part was, the friend wasn’t all that great for Declan either. So, probably for the best, but still hurts.

    Thanks you guys.

  7. Builder Mama

    Yup, feel your pain. Although not the kid/friend part. I had a falling out with my best friend from college, basically because she decided to date my ex-fiance behind my back. Honestly, if either of them had come to me and said they liked the other and wanted to date it really would’ve been fine since I had no feelings for him anymore. But the sneakiness of it was what hurt.

    I miss her, but she was a real puppetmaster in that everything always had to be her way or the highway. No one needs friends like that.


  8. Anonymous

    oh, sooooo been there, done that.

  9. zenrain

    i’m so sorry he still asks for her…must be so hard. so cliche i know, but it’s her loss…. 😉 love & hugs to you all…

  10. Mamma

    That stinks. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I have a stomach ache thinking about it.

    It’s hard losing a friend, even when they aren’t good for you. Poor Declan.

    Just know you have us here.

  11. jessica

    are you able to talk with declan about friendships and what it takes to make them fun and happy and reciprocal, even for kids? without putting words into his mouth, maybe he could recognize things about his current friendships that “work,” and things about that one that didn’t? with some insight from you and bryan?

    i don’t know, from what we read here he seems like a kid who is pretty aware. i’ll bet you could coax him into getting some simple perspective on it.

    i’m sure its tough. but just think, he could be a girl– a 15 yr old girl! remember THAT bs? yuck.

  12. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Good points Jessica… we have tried to talk him through it, but also tried not to talk badly about any of them. But it would probably do some good to talk to him ab out the issue separate of the friend in particular. And luckily, he really has gotten better about asking after her as well. Just lately he has started up again, not sure why.

  13. amy t sharp

    I think the way we grow is to prune…I know it hurts– so been there. xo

  14. Alison

    Wow, I have been there, and just in the past year too. I’m lucky in that my kids weren’t “best” friends, but when I was still married we did spend a lot of time together as families.

    But my friendship blew up because SHE overreacted. I was very angry after the fact, but have reached out a couple of times since then, to not much avail. I guess what I thought we had wasn’t such a great friendship after all.

    Anyway, I’m sorry that it’s hurt Declan.

  15. Nat

    I’m in the midst of this right now. I got long winded email or something.

    I am pissed but she totally did me a favour. Luckily The Boy was not involved sucks when it hits down to your kids.

    As a result though, I am keeping people who aren’t “right here” — at arms length. Once bitten twice shy.

  16. Sue at eLuckypacket

    May you have many true friends to take her place 😉

  17. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    That sucks. I’m sorry.

    I’ve had friends like that, but never one that my kid was attached to their kid.


    Well that sucks. It is even worse when a family member is poisonous.

  19. Sassy

    Yeah, I just have to say that I’m totally in the middle of the whole “her pushing our friendship off a cliff” thing right this very second. And it sucks lots. I definitely feel your pain.

  20. Andie

    I went through this not that long ago as well. It’s amazing how clear things are once that person is out of your life, isn’t it?

  21. Ali

    i have so been in these before. i’m FINALLY at a place where i don’t have any of these in my life. i’ve spent the last couple of years weeding them out of my life.

  22. Anonymous


  23. MB

    Yuck. I think it’s great, though, that you can process it for you and for him and, hopefully, with him. I always TRY to look at it as an opportunity for them to grow, too…even if their little hearts hurt.

  24. Ashmystir

    That’s too bad. Can’t really have one without the other I suppose. Declan will eventually move on so just hang in there and have plenty of distractions to keep him occupied.


  25. chloebear

    Totally understand how your feeling. I had a very close friend who I felt betrayed me in so many ways. I even contacted her to try to go 50/50 on the guilt in our disagreement – she wouldn’t meet me there. I know I was the bigger person.
    The thing is we “bump” into eachother sometimes due to our professions… the thing that really bothers me is: in a crowd she is so sickly nice to me as if nothing ever happened. I have decided to flat out “rip her a new one if she tries that bullshit again” you know – call her out in front of whoever she is putting on the performance for… I don’t want to the bigger person again. We all have that little bit of evil people like that bring out in us.

  26. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Motherbumper, it’s so weird how that happens!

    and thanks all for your kind support! As always, you are the best!

  27. EatPlayLove

    For me, it’s not always the stab you in the heart type, it’s the type that slowly acts in ways that hurt me again and again, it just eats away at me.

  28. painted maypole

    ouch (and good riddance)

  29. Anonymous

    that’s tough.

  30. motherbumper

    That really sucks for Declan but in all honesty, I bet it’s way better in the long run. Being someone who also had to sever ties with a “BFF” who dripped with poison I could never smell until I was far away, this post really resonated with me. Kinda weird since that exBFF of mine left a message on my voicemail last night – first time she’s called in over a year.

  31. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Hi Coward. I probably would be Coward too if she wasn’t DQ.

  32. nutmeg

    Do we all have one of these? I’m not so lucky to have the exposion and I don’t have the back bone to stick a knife in it. I avoid phone calls, never have time for coffee, have another commitment… It’s the coward’s way of dealing. Hello, my name is Coward.

  33. Lisa Lou Hoo

    Hi, I’ve been delurking for a while and decided to finally chime in and say Hello. I actually filched from you recently for Simply Nutmeg’s Fich It Friday. Here’s the link, if you want to read it:

    I really enjoy your blog and find that many of your posts hit home for me, this one included.

    Anyway, just wanted to say Hi and let you know that I filched from you- hope that’s ok!

  34. Amy

    I had two friends that were very close friends to me and two years ago it all went south. She wanted me to apologize, but instead of talking to “me” about it, she talked to the other friend about ME and now there is no more friendship. Looking back on why I didn’t fight so hard to keep the friendships alive…she was not all that great for the children. And I don’t need to think any further than that.

  35. Bridge

    I have so been through that. The elimination of that friendship helped me grow in so many ways.

  36. JennyMoose

    I am proud of you for recognizing that this person was toxic to you, and putting and end to it, even though it would hurt you too, and your son a little. (Better for him not to learn that behavior, though.) But you deserve better, and I’m glad you had the vision to see it! Sometimes we are poisoned so slowly and gradually, we don’t even see it.

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