Was this actually my fault? (Advice about a bullying event)

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Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 9 Apr 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 30
Location: the sea

11 Jul 2019, 11:45 pm

Hello, I am a 19 year old female and a couple of years ago I experienced what I felt was a very traumatic event in my life that I feel the need to find reassurance about. I have been diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression (for context) and my therapist has said I have some PTSD symptoms. However, I still feel like everything is my fault and that I'm an evil sociopath or narcissist because of what happened.

It's kind of a long story and it spans over about a year and a half, the main bulk of the events happening between April-September 2017, with good and and bits in between. It is basically about me joining a new group of friends and it all going terribly wrong, and me being unable to work out and piece together why I still feel so bad and if I'm deep down to blame for the whole thing.

The trauma, in short, comes from me being accused of being a bully and a bad person, along with feeling emotionally cheated on, confused, losing friends (because they felt I deserved it) and therefore without a support system in my final year of school before uni (apart from my parents who didn't know what to do).

I will try and explain it as clearly as I can without waffle, because I really could benefit from some reassurance from anyone. I had known a couple of boys, who were in this friendship group at school of people who were quite hipster-y and I thought quite smart, from a very young age. I admired them because they seemed really relaxed yet intelligent, and beforehand I only knew them in passing, but as we went up from the lower secondary school to upper college, the final two years in the UK before Uni, I became a lot closer with them, and it became clear they were keen on me hanging out with them quite a lot.

I am about to be diagnosed (most likely) with Asperger's, so I never had had that great social skills and a group of boys paying attention to me, even in a kind way, felt really flattering, even if it was just in a friendship way, because I was used to not being invited to things, you know the drill I guess, never feeling like you quite fitted in. Anyway, they were really nice and it started becoming much more intense when one girl in the group said they should 'initiate' me into their group, and I then felt a lot closer to them despite feeling a bit awkward about how she phrased it as it does sound a bit culty. :lol:

Anyway, this girl is anorexic and is one of those people who likes to be the centre of attention. It's just who she was, I didn't have a problem with it, because she just spoke and it was usually funny from a distance, this kind of black humour. She was quite clearly mentally ill but she was quite nice to me at the beginning when she saw I was anxious in class and tried to help me. So I took to her quite kindly at that point and had no qualms with her at all.

The trouble started when one day, I was with these two boys and her in a classroom after school, and we spoke about Asperger's, and she mentioned how her sister has it. I wanted to let them get to know me better, so I said I had traits of it (I wasn't close to being diagnosed then) and that my brother has it. This seemed to annoy her and the next day she unfollowed me of instagram and her whole demeanour changed, where I would talk to her and she would appear really hostile and ignore me, while talking to the other people quite clearly on our table and blocking me out.

I just kind of ignored it, it didn't matter to me too much, yet things didn't get better and it was little things over time that made me think she didn't really like me. She did generally invoke quite a lot of fear in people (sorry I'm just trying to give context as much as I can) and was a bit like your stereotypical Goth.

It just built up over time; I would try to compliment her and she would shut me down, and I had a gut feeling something was wrong inside her but I didn't do anything about it. Anyway, a boy in this group who I mentioned before liked me a lot and was getting to know me personally. We had a lot in common and a very powerful connection, something new to me.

This is where the two issues I've raised, the girl and this guy that likes me, intersect and cause problems. The guy is intense towards me, showing me his poems, inviting me to his house, and wanting me to meet his parents, in short trying to gradually intersect me into his life as a part of it. As the intensity grew, he'd let things slip such as he used to like me... and I could tell he was hinting that he liked me, and even though it generally made me happy it also made me extremely anxious (which may have been due to my Asperger's).

However, while this was happening, this girl was noticing us grow closer, and it so happened beforehand she'd made an instagram post joking about this guy being her boyfriend (for context). This was way before him and I grew close so I actually took it seriously before I realised it was a joke. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I got the impression she may have had feelings for him for a while. I picked up on her staring at him a lot, and a kind of energy between them which at first troubled me but I then shook off.

So you see there were some hints for a long time that gave me feelings, but I just ignored them because I'd been in the habit of being told I misinterpreted things. For me, the pivotal moment I felt I wasn't misinterpreting things is when I went over to talk to her and a friend I knew after a party had happened the night before, and she gives a sarcastic-y smile and turns her back to me, as if it's like a body block. The other girl looks really awkward.

Anyway, just as I meet this guy's parents after many signs, the same girl interrupts our conversation (me and the guy) and asks, abruptly with no context, if they were still meeting at 5. I was like, waa, confused and a bit jealous to be honest. I didn't react and went home feeling angry but defeated... until my mum got home and she saw them and said he looked really guilty!! So I went on an angry walk by myself and then I receive a text, him asking if I was okay.

I decided then to be honest with him (big mistake) about how I was feeling about him and this girl. He, having severe mental health issues of his own (self harm, disassociation, schizophrenic symptoms) takes multiple days off and takes what I said really badly. I feel guilty.

He comes back into school and we walk home to discuss it. This is then where it goes completely wrong and where I incriminate myself as awful. Basically, I say to him I think this girl's causing problems, is making me feel anxious, spiteful, and trying to get in the way of our relationship. All of the feelings I had surmounted in what I said. He then said that the rest of the group had felt the same, that this girl had also been flirting with another girl's boyfriend in the group, and that he also felt she fancied him.

I felt relieved I wasn't the only one, and that's when I spilled the stuff about her being spiteful and trying to cause problems (the incriminating thing). It looked like she had upset a lot of people so I felt a bit better talking to him.

The reason why I'm worried is that I worry I had bad intentions while telling him, as if I tried to manipulate him like a narcissist would, and that my intentions were to let the information disseminate throughout the group so she would be excluded. I worry that I had those intentions without realising it.

He then, without my knowing, sends her a message saying what I said (About causing problems, feeling anxious about her) and she confronts the next day and tries to embarrass me in front of many people (I had to convince her for ages to try and talk somewhere privately). She said now, because of what I said, her friends have excluded her.

After that, I cried, and when I saw him I said "they're your friends not mine" and then that night he had to go to the hospital because he felt suicidal. I felt this was my fault too.

It is all sorted eventually, and we make up, and then me and this guy begin dating in the summer before the second year, and while she is then invited back into the group, they decide during the summer to exclude her again without me knowing, and she thought it was my fault even though I never dared utter her name after that.

However, as me and this guy date in the summer, he becomes closer with this other girl in the group, completely different to the other one, who he is extremely close with. I perhaps thought they had a romantic thing, but to this day I don't know if I was reading too much into it. He stared at her body a lot, they met up without me (sorry for listing), and he compared me to her a lot, which made me feel quite bad. He also said he didn't think I was naturally intelligent, just a hard worker, which safe to say destroyed my confidence for a while.

And then the whole thing starts again, as they decide to exclude her over the summer without me knowing (I really only hung out with the guy, my ex boyfriend, and not the group as a whole).

I go up to her at school after I see her acting really hostile towards me, and then she blows up and raises her voice (again) and I get into trouble with the head of year, and she accuses me of being a bully to him. The whole college finds out, and while some people are sympathetic, my old friends detached themselves and nothing was the same.

Was this my fault, is it possible to be a bully in the way she described without me knowing?

It may sound dumb, but I'm just so confused as to why I still feel so guilty, and literally feel I've had all the bad karma for it... my grades dropped, I didn't get my first choice uni, and I still live with the guilt of it while everyone else is now fine.

I feel it might be my fault if I misinterpreted everything, as if I just imagined all this happened when really it was fine... and I just exploded over nothing and caused someone to want to commit suicide and someone to be excluded.

Do you guys think it was my fault?


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Joined: 2 May 2019
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Posts: 263
Location: Mid-Atlantic USA

12 Jul 2019, 2:39 am

It honestly sounds like from what you said that the other girls in the group were the problematic ones and not you. They both seem a bit narcissistic. And the guy you were dating definitely should not have told that other girl what you told him, though his judgment was probably clouded by his mental health issues. Wanting friends is a normal part of the human experience, autistic or otherwise.

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