Blamed for the death of someone I didn't even know...
November 20, 2015 4:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a terrible time processing and dealing with the sudden death of someone I had never even met. Why? Well, she was my (now ex)boyfriends good friend and ex-fwb, with whom his friendship was kept a secret from me. And now he's blaming me for her death...

Apparently they spoke regularly and he had even seen her the day before she died.

Apparently she had a history of drug use and would contact him whenever she felt like using.

I knew none of this.

The once or twice she came up in conversation, he would say they weren't in contact and hadn't spoken since we met. I was also warned that she was "crazy" and had stalker tendencies and if she ever was to contact me, I should ignore and block her immediately.

The day she died he told me he was going to her funeral, which I was fine with... and then it came out that they had been speaking, and friends of his said he had been spending time with her as well.
So I confronted him on this and he told me they had been friends the entire time but that he "had to" hide their friendship from me because "she loved him unconditionally, unlike me, and was there for him no matter what and I'd never understand their special friendship and he knew how angry I'd be".

Instead of being able to be there for him, I was reeling in all the new news about this girl, and yes I was angry, not about her, but that I was lied to about so much for so long.

"See? I knew you'd react this way".... and then he broke up with me.

The last I heard from him, he was blaming me for her death, saying that I was so jealous and insecure that he was afraid to tell me that they were friends, and that she had reached out to him for help the night before she died and that he was "too scared" of a girl half his weight to answer a text from her.

We had a 4 month tumultuous relationship where he constantly threatened to break up with me and compared me to his ex'es (thus creating an insecure relationship), had anger issues; yelled at me and broke things (thus creating fear, stress and triggered my PTSD) and compulsively lied (thus creating trust issues) about so many things I couldn't even list them if I wanted to.

I know I was in an abusive relationship and his blaming me is a fabrication of his fucked up head and world..... yet I still feel guilty, I still feel if I hadn't been over there that night she'd still be alive. I had a heart attack 2 days after this happened and don't even feel I deserve to get the care I need anymore. I just cry and sleep all day... is this my fault? I'm so confused and upset.
posted by tenaciousmoon to Human Relations (53 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
fuck this dude. he is gaslighting you RULL bad. please do the followup care you need for your (buried the lede) heart attack!!!
posted by listen, lady at 4:51 PM on November 20, 2015 [179 favorites]


your ex is a dick. you should consider the fact that he dumped you a blessing, block his ass on every point you can, unfriend him everywhere, go the therapy and your medical appointments, and move the hell on.
posted by koroshiya at 4:52 PM on November 20, 2015 [91 favorites]


He might try a reconnect, so be wary.
posted by Freedomboy at 4:53 PM on November 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


to be a bit nicer about it: this was his relationship. you did not act out of band for what he told you. you had nothing to do with her death, you didn't even know this woman. your ex is not a good person. get an order of protection while you're at it.
posted by koroshiya at 4:53 PM on November 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Jesus, what an asshole. No it's absolutely not your fault. He can go fuck himself times a million for even daring suggest that - cut him out of your life.
posted by windbox at 4:53 PM on November 20, 2015 [19 favorites]


It's perfectly reasonable to be sorry she died, but your ex is a MAJOR FUCKWIT who deserves nothing from you. Blaming you for somebody's death? Douchbag move. Take care of yourself.

On preview, what windbox said.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:55 PM on November 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


People like your ex...I had someone in my life who I could imagine would do something like this. It really seems complex, doesn't it. But really, it's just making you feel guilty makes him feel sooo deliciously good. Do you have a level-headed friend to talk to? Because that guy is fucking nuts.
posted by WesterbergHigh at 4:56 PM on November 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was all set to tell you to give the guy a break, he just had someone die, grief and guilt does all kinds of crazy things to people.

But:

We had a 4 month tumultuous relationship where he constantly threatened to break up with me and compared me to his ex'es (thus creating an insecure relationship), had anger issues; yelled at me and broke things (thus creating fear, stress and triggered my PTSD) and compulsively lied (thus creating trust issues) about so many things I couldn't even list them if I wanted to.

This... does not sound good. I know breakups can suck, but wow, it seems like you just got handed a get-out-of-jail-free card. Here, let us stamp it with validations.

And no, you're not responsible for that woman's death in any way. Your ex isn't even responsible, even though it's conceivable he could have helped more if he'd been more open with everyone.
posted by namespan at 5:02 PM on November 20, 2015 [38 favorites]


Good lord, no!!!!! This has ZERO to do with you and everything to do with two very unhealthy people who created drama where there was none. I'm so sorry you are hurting and upset, pissed for you that your boyfriend was a gigantic sadistic asshole, and concerned for you and your health. If this weren't so fucked up, I think you could see this now for what you'll see it for later: a massive blessing that someone like this is out of your life. Please take care of yourself.
posted by cecic at 5:03 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


In case it helps to have more people echoing this, your ex is a terrible person and you are in no way at fault or responsible for this woman's death! It sounds like you could use a few (or more) therapy sessions to deal with all manner of terribleness from this asshole.
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:10 PM on November 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, no. This has absolutely nothing to do with you. This guy sounds very deeply damaged and more than a little crazy and you are beyond lucky to be rid of him. Honestly... if he did this kind of stuff to you in that short of a timeframe, imagine what he did to her. This is not at all your fault.
posted by palomar at 5:11 PM on November 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


DO NOT TAKE HIS CALLS
PRETEND HE GOT EATEN BY TIGERS
posted by listen, lady at 5:18 PM on November 20, 2015 [262 favorites]


This guy is a terrible person. You deserve better than to ever speak to him again. However it is understandable that you are feeling guilty and mentally fucked by this whole situation. Therefore...

I had a heart attack 2 days after this happened and don't even feel I deserve to get the care I need anymore. I just cry and sleep all day

Please go stay with a relative or get one to come stay with you. Or a close friend if you have someone you can crash with. You need and deserve care right now - this is a totally, utterly allowable time to fall on your support network. Stay safe.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 5:21 PM on November 20, 2015 [23 favorites]


"all about me"...

Please. Know. Everything that comes out of this guy's mouth is bullshit. I could go on about projection, psychopaths, blah, but just disengage and never talk to this idiot again. You are an innocent bystander and he has some sort of personality disorder. Also what Joey Buttafoucault said.
posted by WesterbergHigh at 5:24 PM on November 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Block his "friends" on social media and send their emails to trash, too.
posted by jbenben at 5:27 PM on November 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh hell no.

You may not be able to see it now, but trust me on this: you deserve so.much.better. If you don't believe that, please take this random human's word for it. I promise you that this treatment is deeply, deeply not okay. And the longer it lasts, the harder it may be to undo its spell.

Think of it this way: would you want a friend of yours to be treated this way?

If the answer is no, you know what to do.
posted by chicainthecity at 5:37 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is not your fault! This other women lost her struggle with her own issues. Your ex should not be blaming himself. The fact that he blames you is waaaaaaay way out of line. It is not close to reality.

Now that this horrifying dude is gone, let's focus on you. You need to go to your doc and start your heart follow up and discuss any feeling of hopelessness and depression you may have. Honestly, if you can and you aren't already, get groceries at the food bank to make of the difference for the cost of a therapy copay if you need to. I'm going to speak for myself and everyone who has donated food every: please use your money to take care of your physical and mental health. There should be no question in your mind that you deserve care (and that this dude was wicked and wrong).
posted by Kalmya at 5:49 PM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


His mental health, or the ex's, is not your responsibility.

Now, we can assume that ex is telling a similar story on the anti-AskMeFi where you are the villain. So be it. Further assuming that your side of the story is the most accurate, I concur with the rest of the jury: please be done with him.

Even if this *was* a he-said-she-said situation, you guys are not for each other. So staying broke up is good for everyone involved.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:56 PM on November 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Breaking up with someone is really hard. Sometimes, breaking up with someone who was abusive is particularly hard, because abusive partners work really hard to undermine your belief in your ability to function without them. But you are so much better off without this dude. This dude is an asshole on so many levels.

Do you have any healthy, supportive friends who you can call to help you deal with the immediate shock of what's happened to you? It sounds like you've done therapy before and should try to get back into it again, but I think for the moment what you need is just someone who will hang out with you and talk you down and remind you that you are much, much better off without this toxic asshole.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:04 PM on November 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


I still feel guilty, I ... don't even feel I deserve to get the care I need anymore. I just cry and sleep all day
This sounds like depression. Depression is very common after a heart attack. 15-20% of heart attack victims experience major depressive disorder and a much higher percent have some of the symptoms. This is a real illness, just like your heart attack, that needs treatment. The nasty thing about depression is that it lies, it tries to keep you from seeking treatment by trying to convince you that everything is hopeless, all your fault, you don't deserve treatment etc. etc. Since these negative messages are coming from inside your own head, it is easy to believe them even though you know it isn't true when you stop to think about it. DON'T LISTEN. Tell your doctor and get help.
posted by metahawk at 6:09 PM on November 20, 2015 [51 favorites]


If he didn't want to answer her texts in front of you he could have Told You About It, and negotiated the relationship like a bloody normal person.

He's a gaslighting jerk.
posted by Mistress at 6:22 PM on November 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


Second ArbitraryAndCapricious. Hi, fellow survivor of abusive ex. I am five years clean of this asshole, and he still affects me. Please do not make the same mistake as I did, and isolate myself and deem myself worthy of not having care. It severely damaged my health and prolonged the mistreatment that was leftover from his lack of care. You absolutely are entitled to the a significant amount care and worth, and you deserve to be in better company with people who treat you so much better. He is a gaslighter.

Call your doctor, get referrals for therapy, and find your local support networks and try to build as strong of a base as possible for recovery. You deserve good healthcare because you are a person who has been made to feel dehumanized. If you are having trouble mustering up motivation, have someone go with you to the appointment for support.
posted by yueliang at 6:25 PM on November 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


- He didn't have to hide that friendship, that was his decision.
- His decision to hide it made everything look shady (even if it wasn't, though he obviously had feelings for her); you weren't outrageous to feel put out when details emerged.
- She suffered from a disease (addiction) that kills people. That disease did that to her. Not you.
- Let's say we want to entertain counterfactuals - first, he didn't answer that text because of whatever was in his head. Second, something else could have prevented that text from getting to him (other than his deciding not to answer it, which is what happened). Third, even if he did reply, anything could have happened. That day or another. She suffered from a lethal disease.
- In summary, there's no way anyone with a lick of sense could say it's your fault she died.
- 2nd that he lacks sense, is gaslighting you, is dangerous, and should be avoided.
- Good call on locking him down.
- If these friends aren't still friends after this, you don't need them.
- Take care of your heart.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your ex was likely a contributing factor in her death. He was clearly gaslighting the fuck out of her too, using her for drugs and sex, and tormenting her with boogeyman stories about all these imaginary people who were going to hurt her.

Just like he's doing to you now.

He's a monster, stay clear of him.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:41 PM on November 20, 2015 [35 favorites]


We had a 4 month tumultuous relationship where he constantly threatened to break up with me and compared me to his ex'es (thus creating an insecure relationship), had anger issues; yelled at me and broke things (thus creating fear, stress and triggered my PTSD) and compulsively lied (thus creating trust issues) about so many things I couldn't even list them if I wanted to.

I know I was in an abusive relationship and his blaming me is a fabrication of his fucked up head and world..... yet I still feel guilty, I still feel if I hadn't been over there that night she'd still be alive. I had a heart attack 2 days after this happened and don't even feel I deserve to get the care I need anymore. I just cry and sleep all day... is this my fault? I'm so confused and upset.


Dearest Internet Stranger,

I am so glad you are out of this relationship. However it happened, it is good. Please:

1) Focus on your own health. You deserve care by you and also, it has nothing to do with your relationship status and...quite frankly, this heart attack is the big deal. What are you doing about that?

2) see the bolded in the first paragraph - do not date someone like this again, and maybe get a hand figuring out why you did for four months. It's okay; I'm not blaming you at all. But this is something worth figuring out for yourself.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:55 PM on November 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


I was coming in to mention the crying and sleeping being a common post heart attack symptom, make sure you let your cardiologist. know.
Your ex-boyfriend probably finds it easier to blame you for her death than himself, though he's not at fault either. Be glad that you are well rid of someone who feels the need to blame you for the random traumas that happen in his life. I suspect that pattern would have continued should you remain in a relationship with him and everything would be your fault.
posted by BoscosMom at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2015


tenaciousmoon, please note that these are among the harshest responses I have seen on AskMeFi in a long time. Take a lesson from that: you are WAY better off without this dude.

Go get yourself taken care of, continue to be good to yourself, and don't look back!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:06 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


What nerve. You had a heart attack and then he blames you? Wow. Just... Wow.

Immerse yourself in the parts of yourself you find beautiful while you take everyone's advice about getting care. A therapist can help with that, but so can good friends and a healthy support network.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:32 PM on November 20, 2015


This person behaved terribly and this is not what an adult relationship looks like.

You can have a different kind of relationship - meaning you can find a person who does not behave like that, and you yourself can make different choices that are better for your safety and well being. This is a realistic and achievable future for you.
posted by latkes at 9:03 PM on November 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sleep and cry. Feed yourself drink enough water. Get protein and calories. This is a crappy time of year for a breakup. Sounds like he is also a drug user, the unconditional part of his relationship with the FWB is probably that kind of sharing. Please get love from friends or family, don't be alone to recover from a heart attack. Best to you and rest up. If you start feeling worse go back to the hospital. Stay safe. Turn off the pbone sound so you don't automatically pick up. Screen your calls well.
posted by Oyéah at 9:13 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


It is never ever ever ever your fault for reacting to only the information you had. It us likewise never ever ever your fault for reacting to someone else's dishonesty by believing they were being honest. In conclusion, fuck. This. Guy. He lied, he treated you like shit, the only good thing he did was break up with you before you had to suffer further. Fuck him right in the ear.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:38 PM on November 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Wow, yes, just listen, take care of yourself and await the day you realize what a blessing this was for YOU.

I will disagree with one thing some of the above said... imo, there's a decent chance that he WAS indeed part of that girl's problem, and I'm glad you're free of him - because I wouldn't want to see you follow in her footsteps.
posted by stormyteal at 9:42 PM on November 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, sweetie, be well. Everything that needs to be said has been said, but I just want to offer you a virtual hug.
posted by Ruki at 10:25 PM on November 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


holy crap none of this is your fault. none. you have been manipulated by someone who never had any good intentions towards you, and you were strong enough to confront him about it and find out the truth. Stay as far away from him as you possibly can. You have all my sympathy, and I hope you know that everyone here in this thread is on your side. Rest, recuperate, get whatever help you need. You will get through this, and you will feel better, and you will never put up with crap like that again, because now you know what it looks like.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:11 PM on November 20, 2015


a.) Baby girl, please go to the doctor. You deserve to be well. You deserve to be save. You deserve to be alive.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 11:44 PM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good riddance.

Congratulations on not dating an a-hole anymore. That is your takeaway.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:30 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuck this guy sideways with a rusty pitchfork. This is NOT on you in any way, shape or form.

Your ex is hurting, but he had no right to blame you for a damned thing or to lash out at you like that. Quite apart from that, he sounds like an abusive pile of garbage. Be very glad you are no longer together.

You need to focus on yourself and on getting better. Forget about him; his problems and his pain are not your problems or your pain to share, by his own choice. Embrace that, and focus on getting yourself well again. Now is a time for self care, not worrying about guilt that isn't yours, about events that had literally nothing to do with you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:29 AM on November 21, 2015


Unbelievable. What an asshole.
posted by StrawberryPie at 2:42 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you intellectually know that you had nothing to do with her actions or his reactions? Keep telling yourself that nothing about this situation had anything to do with you. Clearly this guy is a class A abuser who is a master of gas-lighting and you are well out of this relationship. Purge him and his friends from social media, you don't need this kind of negativity in your life.

Get to your doctor and discuss your mental state with her, get into counseling so that you can understand that you had NOTHING to do with the situation with your ex and his friend. Also, you need to understand why you'd believe such a load of horse-shit in the first place and how to identify potential abusers quickly so that you don't invite them into your life.

Take good care of yourself. You are worthy of love and life.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:49 AM on November 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


He is a sociopath. Sociopaths get off on "triangulation", ie. setting up love triangles and playing people off against each other. They also get off on wearing people down and watching them fall to pieces as they try to cope with this horrid behaviour. They often pick on people who are vulnerable and who suffer from mental health issues because they are easier to break. He obviously wasn't bargaining on this little game driving her to suicide, but now it has, instead of changing his ways, he's actually using the poor girl's death as a stick to beat you with. Unbelievable.
posted by intensitymultiply at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2015 [19 favorites]


He did you a favor. The trash took itself out. Don't let it back in.
posted by almostmanda at 6:47 AM on November 21, 2015 [24 favorites]


and then he broke up with me. - Good, because
she loved him unconditionally, unlike me, - Insta-dump.

Dude's just going to blame you for anything and everything, always, to see what sticks. You want to live like that? Say no.
posted by ctmf at 10:02 AM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


WTF?? Your ex is a terrible, terrible person. Of course her death (and his assholery) have absolutely nothing to do with you. Please take care of yourself.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:12 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sounds to me like he's one of those toxic people who always has to have someone to blame when something goes wrong. And it's never ever anything they did of course.

Unfortunately you just happen to be his latest target of this blame game and it says absolutely nothing about your worth as a person. Eventually there will be another and another and another, because that's the way he is.
posted by Kimmalah at 11:44 AM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope you will block him forever and forever, everywhere. He may appeal to you to talk one last time, because he may not take well to the blocking even though he broke up, etc. But he deserves zero closure. Also, when you cut off contact for good, be prepared for some dramatic shit from him shortly afterward--something like a fictional accident that happened to him, something that will make you feel sorry for him (sociopaths love pity) and talk with him again. These assholes thrive on drama.

I wish you the best--you are so well rid of him. Let me tell you this as well--people like him choose someone like you exactly because you are a decent person and will give him the benefit of the doubt for a long time.

Good luck, honey.
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jumping on the bandwagon to say that your ex is a horrible person whom you should have zero contact with. I mean ZERO contact with. Erase him from your life forever. Erase his friends, and dump anyone in your life who says he deserves any sort of another chance. He sounds just like my psycho ex and neither of them deserve the time of day.
posted by patheral at 1:11 PM on November 21, 2015


Wow, just yesterday I was telling a friend about an encounter with someone who reminded me of my abusive ex. The way everything got twisted so that it was my fault was a big part of that. Nothing was ever their fault, in fact me feeling bad made them feel like a bully which was, of course, my fault.

Your ex sounds like another of the same ilk. Don't let him convince you. It took me ages to rebuild my sense of self-confidence, my faith that I was worth anything good without feeling terribly guilty for even basic self-care. At the same time, everything I did for myself was like a gigantic FUCK YOU to my ex and it pleased me immensely.

You deserve better by far. This other woman's death was totally not your fault in any way and I think deep down you know that. Please look after yourself, even when it's hard, even when the depression wants to immobilise you. Each thing you do for yourself is a celebration of how much you are worth, how much better off you are without him, how much things are getting better for you every day.

As others have said, he will probably try to stuck you back in, quite possibly with a suicide that our something equally over-the-top. Do not ever go back there again.

*big hugs* You can do this. You are stronger than you think you are.
posted by Athanassiel at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, my ex called me up and imed me to threaten that he would kill himself with suicide attempts until I started talking to him again. He didn't do it - he just wanted me to pity him and so he could have control over me again. Zero contact please. Everyone's advice above is so good.
posted by yueliang at 1:45 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


She dies. Two days later, you have a heart attack.

What is the common element here. Hmmmmmm. Let me thiiiink.

HIM.

I would go with the hypothesis that if anyone is guilty of "killing" her it is him -- and his behavior also threatened your life. I mean, stress causes (or contributes to) heart attacks. You see no connection between this shitty, shitty, shitty thing he did and your heart attack a mere 2 days later?

So, yeah, if you want to pin psychic murder on anyone, he only doesn't deserve two counts because you survived. So, one count "attempted" I guess.

As others have said: Have nothing to do with him ever again. Ever. Again.
posted by Michele in California at 3:21 PM on November 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stay away from these fucked up people. This guy is very bad news and his friend group probably is too. Get away and stay away from people who live with this sort of drama.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:17 PM on November 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


He is most likely responsible for her death, because he was probably lying to and fucking with her too. Now he is blaming it on you because it's easier than blaming himself. Ignore this asshole.
posted by corb at 7:32 PM on November 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your logical side has come to all the correct conclusions: this was an abusive relationship, you are not responsible for her death, and he is a lying, manipulative, toxic person. You know that you are not the person he's describing not only to his friends but also to you. Your logical side is smart and on-point, but your feelings of guilt and grief live in the emotional, often irrational, corner of your brain, which far too easily can drown out the logical side. It's also important to keep in mind that the depression may not only be emotional/psychological, but also biological. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. You don't deserve one iota of what has happened to you.

Please try to let your logical brain guide your actions right now and get the help you need, even if there is a voice telling you that you do not deserve care right now. You absolutely do and everyone on this thread knows it. Please talk to your doctor about your feelings of depression, which as noted above, are common post-heart attack. I think unpacking this with the help of someone will be the thing that helps you process and let go of the guilt, remorse, confusion, and blame that has been injected into your life by this awful, terrible person. Invest in your healthy relationships with friends or family members and just take care of yourself. Do you deserve to be tended to, healthy, and eventually happy? Absolutely, no doubt. It's going to take you awhile to genuinely feel that way, but you will get there. Best of luck to you.
posted by katemcd at 8:19 PM on November 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


He is taking advantage of your kind heart, and is using the fact you care about both him, and this woman you never met to sidestep his responsibility/complicity in this. Many people with PTSD suffer from gaslighting in regards to the truth of the abuse that happened to them. Looking for proof of innocence or guilt is a thing, because people with PTSD cannot trust themselves and their own judgement. Anyway please talk to someone, sitting with yourself mentally will only make you feel bad/guilty. Memail me if you'd like to talk about anything, or just chat.
posted by everyday_naturalist at 5:45 PM on November 22, 2015


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