wellness

'Your kids usually destroy my place': The moment I knew my friend was toxic.

I first met Megan five years ago through mutual friends. She seemed normal and nice. 

At first, she was very complimentary of me. A bit too much, actually. Compliments among friends are really sweet - but this was different. It never felt genuine.

No one looks that cute in a head-to-toe Roxy tracksuit with unbrushed hair on a quick trip to the shops while sick. (Prior to the pandemic.)

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Unbeknownst to me at the time, she had classic covert narcissist behaviour, and I was the victim. In case you don't know, a covert narcissist is someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder but does not exhibit the classic signs. They’re usually more shy. 

As Megan and I began to get closer over the years, the cracks started to show. There were little things that Megan would say or do that didn’t sit right with me. 

She was always unnecessarily nasty to our friends and strangers. She’d always say something nasty about one of our friends, then cover herself by pretending someone else said it first. 

For example, referring to my house, she once said: "My daughter doesn’t know how you live in such filth."

Yes. At times there’s been clothes not put away and a dishwasher waiting to be unstacked from the morning. But to say my house is filthy and then blame it on her 10-year-old daughter is not acceptable behaviour from a friend. 

This was just one of a long list of horrible things Megan would say to me over the years. 

I admittedly brushed a lot of it aside, or excused it.

My husband and I often fought over Megan. He thought she was self-centred and treated me awfully. I defended her. But at the end of 2019, after yet another disagreement with my husband, I made the decision to slowly back away from her. I began to see what my family and friends had seen for a while now. 

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I’d done so much for Megan. I’d babysat her kids - sometimes because she had to work, other times because she had to go see her married neighbour. (Yes, she was sleeping with her married neighbour, while pretending to be friends with his wife. According to her, they were "in love", which made it okay.)

I’d helped her through her separation from her husband. I spent an entire day at her house helping her move out. I made beds. I cleaned. I made sure she was safe when he left. 

I barely got a 'thank you' for any of this. 

She told me that because I didn’t have a full-time job; I had nothing better to do. Megan played on my insecurities around work very well.

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But it was a single text that finally made me realise what I had failed to see so far. 

In early 2020, I made plans to see Megan’s post-divorce house. But a couple of days beforehand, she sent a message. 

"I hope you don’t mind, but my kids are freaked out about your kids coming over, as your kids usually destroy my place. So they don’t want them in their rooms."

I wish I had made that up. But that was the message, word for word.

Like most people would, I took great offence to this. Megan knew how hurtful these words would be. And they were.

Of course, I hit back. 

I made it clear it wasn’t the 'rules' I was objecting to. It was the words used and the insult to my children. Sure, they’re not perfect, but they don’t destroy people's homes.

Megan said I was being petty. She seemingly took no note of what I was saying or why I was upset. 

She sent me email after email, page after page of lies and harassment. I couldn’t even read all of it. I knew I was a good friend to her and was there when many others weren’t. 

I’m still in the friendship group, which is more evidence that I was right and a good friend - not a toxic one as Megan would like everyone to believe. 

To this day, I don’t know why Megan turned on me so quickly. 

I can only assume it is because I didn’t believe Megan when she told me my husband apparently intended to leave me. This, of course, isn’t true.

But according to Megan, he was telling her of his plans to leave me on New Year's Eve. She liked to think she knew my own husband better than I did. She didn’t. He was right not to trust her from the start. 

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Not having talked for a while and finally having my sparkle back, I was happy. Happier than I’d been for a while.

As 2020 dragged on, I began to realise how important good friends are. I realised how happy I am without Megan holding me down, manipulating me and making me doubt myself.  

She has made one half-hearted attempt to reconcile. But her message was all about her and how well her life was going. She never apologised for insulting me and my children, or for trying to ruin my marriage.  

I didn’t reply and I will never speak to her again. I won’t let her pull me down. 

My marriage is strong. My kids are happy and flourishing in their lives. 

I’m surrounded by strong women who have my back and never make me doubt myself. They make me laugh and encourage me to be the best I can. And I do the same for them. That's all I wanted.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.

Feature Image: Getty.


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