Feeling trapped

It could have been a while that I have friends that I am close to. I met these few people at work and we became close and I enjoyed the moment. I was close to 2 of them who happened to be having affair. I did notice the behavior but I chose to brush it off. Finally it became clearer and I had confirmation from another friend who actually witness them together. I felt betrayed as they have been making use of me as an excuse to their spouses, so that they can go out together. I controlled my emotions till I could not contain anymore. After I cooled down, I spoke to them. After that, they just left the chat grp, ignore me in public but treat me nicely in offic. I could not forgive myself for allowing them to treat me like this. I still have to work with them, especially the guy. It’s so difficult for me and I can’t seem to walk out of it. No one wants to listen anymore…there are more to add on to how I feel, just too much to write

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Hi @user1095

I am sorry to hear about what you have experienced from your friendships, especially when they are close to you. Feeling used and betrayed by close friends can be a very painful experience, and it’s understandable that you experienced such intense and fluctuating emotions. I think you did a brave act by speaking to them about how you felt, that is the first step you took to protect your boundaries.

Sometimes, people are unable to accept when an individual steps up to draw clear boundaries. It also takes courage for you to be aware of your boundaries and speaking up. Do remember to keep up with the boundaries and know that you are not wrong in doing so.

Perhaps, you can take some time to process your emotions at this moment. Emotions can be complex and may take time to process and heal, it’s important to acknowledge and validate our feelings.

Here are a few steps you might consider:

Self-Compassion: Be kind and compassionate toward yourself. While you might feel that it is hard to forgive yourself for allowing their actions, I hope you try to show some compassion and understanding towards yourself. It is understandable given your close friendships; thus you chose to trust them previously.
It is not your fault at all, please don’t blame yourself for that. You may consider this activity: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg 1

Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be helpful to process and release emotions. You don’t have to share this with anyone; it’s for your own self-reflection. You can also try to declutter your mind through this simple activity: Mental Support & Wellbeing Resources in Singapore to Improve Your Mental Health | mindline.sg

Focus on Self-Care: Engage in activities and self-care practices that promote your overall well-being. This might include exercise, engaging in hobbies, keeping to a routine or spending time with supportive family/friends.

Maybe it would be helpful to minimise contact with them and only do so if it is for work. Have some time for yourself process your own emotions. Remember your emotions are valid, and it’s okay to take the time you need to move forward.

I hope this has been helpful. Do keep us updated on how you are coping, we would really like to continue to support you here on this platform. All the best and take care!

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Thank you for the advice. I have set a boundary and maintain my stand. The hurt was so bad, I had difficulty breathing. I went through the entire scenario, looking to close each chapter by accepting it and even try to forgive myself. I am actually making some improvement until the guy’s behaviour starting to get on my nerves again. I started to have breathing difficulty again coz I was so upset.

Recently whenever we have to communicate for work, he tried to be friendly, even using emojis to lighten the conversation. It really annoys me but I maintain my stand. He always sat with the lady at work and dare not even approach to ask me about work face to face, which is kind of a relief for me. Just last week, he texted me and said will come to my desk to ask me about work, which is something that can solved with a text message. Then I realised that lady is in a meeting. What kind behavior is that? The boundaries that I set is very clear, what is he trying to do?

Another set back was from another colleague who is part of the group. She knew about the situation way before but did not mentioned anything to me. When I found out, she was the one who confirmed that they are together and she listened to me. She shared my anger but in the end, she chose to stick with them. Honestly, I am not angry with her decision and I respected it.

But I am not sure if it’s her guilt playing a part, she will come and talk to me whenever they are not around. Trying to ask me out for workout again and again even when it did not happen most of the time. She ended up going with them instead.

I am tired of dealing with all these. Why can’t they just leave me alone and let it be

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I am glad to hear that you have maintained your boundaries and that you are making progress in trying to move on from it. It does sounds hard when they are making contact with you when you are not comfortable with it.

I sensed that you get angry because you set a boundary yet they seemed to be violating it by trying to talk to you.

If you can, take some time to pay attention to own emotions and thoughts. Understand that you feel triggered because they do not seem to acknowledge your boundaries. Focus on what you can control, not so much on them (what you cannot control). By doing this, you can empower yourself, I don’t want you to feel helpless in this situation.

Do continue to maintain limiting interactions with them. You can say that you are not ready to interact and just want to be alone for now.

When you feel anxious, here are suggestions for you to consider trying:

  1. Deep breathing exercises – Find a comfortable space and position yourself comfortably. Take a deep breath in while counting to 5 and breathe out counting to 5 as well. While you are breathing out, imagine that the air leaves with your stress and tension. Stay focused on your breathing and cast aside other thoughts. Repeat until you feel better.
  2. Grounding exercises – A five-step exercise (5-4-3-2-1) can help to ground you in the present when you are feeling anxious.
    You would need to engage your 5 senses (like 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can hear, 1 thing you can taste).
  3. Physical activity – It can be to go out of office for a walk, exercise after work, anything to release any pent-up energy within yourself.
  4. Mindfulness meditation - Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. You can start by trying simple mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or guided meditation (easily available on YouTube), to help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. Check out Balance Yourself

Hope this helps!

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Thank you for the advice and I have been trying out the breathing exercise, which helps a lot. My boundaries are still clear and I really avoided talking unless needed.

There’s one thing that I need to understand. Even with such clear boundaries, the guy just kept trying to find ways to talk to me. We still have on events together but communication is all through emails and teams message. He did something which he had never done before. He Whatsapp me the day before the event if I needed help with the setup, which I have to reject him a few times.

I don’t understand this behavior. He has given me a clear message by removing me from following his social media and I left him alone after that.

I tried to be diplomatic with him before that since we have to work together still. He did not want to give in then why try to be friendly with me again? Is he trying to make me the bad person here?

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Hi @user1095

Great to hear that the breathing exercises work! And I am proud to hear that you have been clear with your boundaries.

While I may not be able to pinpoint the reasons why he keeps doing certain actions, I am glad that you are maintaining your boundaries. The thing with boundaries is that some people will keep pushing. Their intentions can be unclear to us, what matters most is how we can be consistent with our boundaries. Hopefully, one day he will understand that you are firm and stop pushing.

Thanks for letting me know of your progress, I really appreciate it, and do keep it up! Consistency is key and I hope things will be better for you as days go by.

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