It’s amazing when you meet someone you just click with, and that’s exactly how I felt when I met my best friend in college. We were thick as thieves, totally inseparable, and I thought I could trust her with anything—that is until she leaked our private conversations online.
- We were the best of friends. I’d even choose her over my boyfriend on most days, which is why it was so hard for me when she moved to another country. shortly after we graduated. Thankfully (or so I thought then) our communication remained active despite the distance. We’d message each other every day and soon I convinced her to come back for a one-month vacation.
- Things weren’t the same when she came back. Although I was happy to see her, I noticed she was ditching me more often than not. She’d cancel plans last minute and when we did meet, it was only when her boyfriend wasn’t around. After she left, I opened up to her about my feelings and she seemed understanding but her behavior continued even from afar. She’d only talk to me and her other friends when she was fighting with her boyfriend. Eventually, I’d had enough and told her that she wasn’t being a good friend but she refused to apologize and insisted she’d done nothing wrong. Our friendship was at a standstill.
- She lashed out at our other friends. After our talk, she immediately reached out to our other friends to report what had transpired. Our other friends tried to mediate while remaining as neutral as possible. They insisted we just needed time to clear our heads and while deep down I wanted us to reconcile, she freaked out and told my friends she was going to humiliate me until I was too embarrassed to show my face. WTF?
- She reached out to my abusive ex and to other people I’d long since cut contact with. Since she knew everything about me, she also knew where to hit me hardest. She reached out to my abusive ex and started to tattle about everything I’d shared with her throughout the course of our friendship. She also reached out to the few other people she knew I didn’t get along with. They banded together in an effort to tear me down and that’s exactly what they did.
- They posted my private conversations on Facebook. My former best friend started by posting group chats we had with other mutual friends online for everyone to see. People started to comment and like the post and it ended up going viral after gaining hundreds of shares overnight. I started receiving messages from strangers saying the nastiest things and even threatening to hurt me when they saw me. The hate was even worse on Twitter. People were tagging me constantly, telling me how disgusting of a person I was. It was just a flood of hateful messages that I couldn’t handle so I decided to deactivate all of my social media profiles.
- Our own private conversations were sent to people we’d talked about. The day after the post was made, I woke up to another barrage of messages. These messages came from people my (former) friend and I had talked or commented about in the past since she’d shared all of those transcripts online as well. I didn’t think it was going to end. The messages kept coming and coming and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
- My world became so bleak. My worst nightmare had come to life. It felt as if the whole world had turned against me and I cried constantly. I was waiting for someone to wake me up and tell me it was all just a bad dream but it never happened. To make matters worse, my former friend lied about her own motivations for taking part in these conversations in order to make herself look better. All I wanted to do was scream the truth but at the same time, I was also scared of what their next attack would be. My dad and sister found out about the drama, which caused them a lot of unnecessary stress, and it also reached my workplace and I was forced to explain myself to our HR department. It was a disaster.
- My mental health was affected that I had to seek professional help. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I had terrible stomach pains. My mind was in overdrive and I was depressed and anxious to an extreme degree. I’d become paranoid about what attack my former friend would launch next. Admittedly, I felt bad for the negative things I’d said about people, but I’d said them in confidence and never expected my trust to be betrayed like that. My best friend had turned against me and made the whole world the audience of our feud. I started to contemplate ending my own life. I was scared for myself, so I called up my therapist, who I hadn’t seen in three years, to make an appointment for the next day. There, I was given anti-depressants and meds that helped with my sleeping.
- Gradually, I started feeling better. This experience was a chance for me to rethink and reflect on my life and move forward to become a better person. Some people’s perception of me may have changed, but these are the people that I can live without. The important people in my life—my family, and my close friends—stayed and helped me throughout the whole fiasco. I can’t say that I’m 100% fine or over it, but I’m taking things one day at a time. I’m putting myself first and working on being the best version of myself every day.