Starting Over

The past year of my life has been one of revelation and a desire to start over. About 7 years ago i was betrayed by my best friend when he took my girl. That caused me to drop out of high school due to the fact that I could not mentally handle seeing them in the school halls together and still concentrate on my grades. I could not mentally heal unless i didnt see them, so theres where the dropping out happened. Through deeper mental forensics I wont get into, the situation caused me to use alcohol to cope, and thus being lazy, and thus causing me to not be able to get hired anywhere because i have a weak resume. I still hang out with the person who betrayed me, because she ended up leaving him and I "forgave" him. So, the past 7 years I have spent with hanging out with him and other people of the circle, and for the past year I have been under what I am interpreting as a revelation that It was being friends with these kind of people in the first place was the spark of the events of my mental downfall. Now, I am looking for the slightest excuse and financial means to just simply escape and change location and meet new people, but new people that match my current and new found intelligence about handling being betrayed and learning from mistakes. I do blame that single event mentioned at the beginning of this story for the ruining of my life, and now the people associated with the event and the life i still barely tolerate are obsolete to me. These people do not know anything about these feelings. Also, whenever I do move away, I feel justified that I do not even owe them the explanation of why I am going, they will be lucky to even get a goodbye. Should I fill them in on the reason/reasons or should I simply do what I think is more logical and quote "Go Ghost" on them.
KW444 KW444
26-30, M
2 Responses Aug 20, 2012

I think it is important that you do what you feel is best for you and what makes you happy and do not feel obligated to cater to the needs of those that do not respect you. It's also crucial that you realize that moving away may help to a degree (i don't know your living circumstances, small town, big city, everyone knows everyone, etc) but you sought these types of people out for a reason. It's awesome that you are realizing there is more to your "mental downfall" than one douchebag stealing your girlfriend, but I would suggest examining why you were attracted to people like this in the first place. Otherwise, your go-to may be to gravitate toward similar people wherever you move without even realizing it. It's important to looks at how the actions of others affect us but equally important to separate this from our role in things as well, which can be really hard to do when surrounded by negative influences. Good for you though for starting to look at this in a more open, deeper way. It says a lot about you as a person that you were able to realize this in the first place. You are most likely better off without people like this in your life, and you do not owe them ANYTHING! I mean unless you borrowed money from them or something like that, lol, but that's obviously not what we are talking about. Good luck too! Keep us posted.

Thanks for the input. I have thought about the possibility of getting involved in the same type of people for my new circle that destroyed my life in the old circle. I will be moving from an urban area to a rural area about 20 miles away. The good news, and i ran this through my head as well, is that nobody from the old circle has ever been to my new area, so the chance they know ayone where i am now does not exist. That was the first part of the strategy. I am going to attempt to find people, maybe about a 3 person circle at the most, that respect the "bro code" so to speak, in the very miniscule chance that i decide to give up my anti-monogamy mentality that the incident in my story helped to form. However, in the event that i am unable to avoid the same type of people, and i do get a girlfriend, i will simply have to lay down the law about never dating after me, even if me and the girl break up, and that if they ever wanted to date the person i broke up with, that they would have to allow me sufficient time to rid whoever she may be out of my mind, as far as any attachment i had, so that it would not hurt me. That would probably take about a half year or so. If they decide to disrespect that, then i will give them a little taste of the mental and maybe physical, if it gets to it, war tactics i have learned from studying machiavelli, sun tzu, and other war strategists. I could send a message as to my new capabilities i have as to preventing any potential incident like the first one from happening again. I learned some of what i might do if i get betrayed again from the count of monte cristo, except for the getting rich part, if you know the story. But, i think i can avoid the people that i befriended the first time, the ones that seem like they are "addicted to betraying" if you will. I am still debating as to whether it would be mentally healthy for me to look for monogamous relationship again, and just have to have the "revenge plot" i mentioned always as a back up just in case, or just to prevent me from ever having to do that, and stay single. I would also like some advice on that, whether it be from you, or anyone else. You and pretty much everyone on this site seem very intellectually talented, so i trust if you or anyone see this reply, that i will get well informed advice.

First of all, how old are you? how many relationships (like real, meaningful, somewhat long-term relationships) have you been in? And finally, what is the overall behavioral and emotional pattern you have experienced within your relationships? for instance, were they equal in terms of treatment, love and affection given and received, was there abuse (from either side), were you equally able to talk to one another, were they what you consider "healthy" relationships in general?
It is difficult for me to comment on the latter part of your response without knowing these things. In general, revenge is usually not helpful and only serves to further the unhealthy divide between you and whatever person/group you are with and furthermore, creates a schism between your internal world and your external world and generally leads to further negative behavior (both from you toward others and from others toward you). That is not to say that revenge does not feel good and is never effective, bc there are certain instances in which it may have its place; however, if someone from your new group does what this person from your old group did then you should take this as a sign that you have not found the right group for you. this is something that is obviously outside of your value system and something you do not appreciate having done to you. and in general, healthy people who are "real friends" would not do this to you in the first place, especially not without talking to you first. so if it does happen again i would not waste my time on the person who did it to me bc obviously they are not worth my time and/or energy in the first place. don't empower people like this. trying to get back at them let's them know they really got to you and only serves to let them know how to hurt you again. i would just let the person know how sh**ty what they did was and then never speak to them again. it is likely that if you remain involved with people who treat others in this way then they are only out for themselves and will only continue doing messed up, hurtful things.
in terms of whether or not you should get involved in a romantic relationship anytime soon it is hard to say, especially without knowing any of the information i requested above. in general, you are the only one who knows if you are ready to be involved with someone else. if you are not ready then any relationship you get involved in is likely to fail, or will at least be very difficult to make work. but i can still give you my opinion if you tell me a little bit about where you are at in your life and your history within romantic relationships...

I have been in 3 relationships my whole life. I will be 23 in november. The first 2 relationships were just little middle-school flings. As far as relationships that have meaning and lasted a good amount of time, that number is 1. To your question about my treatment to her and vice versa, I treated her like a queen. We argued about little things that didnt matter to the relationship, which were fun and respectful, like sports, cooking, etc. We would also argue about things that mainly she brought up that were minuscule, yet to her threatened to end the relationship. She said i treated her to fragile. I treat women nicely and the way i was raised to treat them. She considered arguing politics as something that could threaten the relationship, if i argued back that is. She took my virginity, so i would keep my mouth shout when she preached her conversative, big business, money-grubbing rhetoric so that she would still have sex with me, despite the fact that she was a very weak debater, and at any given moment, i could have shut her up with a few sentenced at the most with my rhetoric. Nonetheless, i consider a relationship healthy as long as the basic transactions are met on a regular basis. I treat her great, keep my mouth shut when i could easily shut her down, and she gives me sex and a non-dramatic relationship overall. Through time, mainly time spent after the betrayal happened, i learned through witnessing other friends interact with their women, and people in the general public, that women think theres something wrong if their man does not get mad at them when they are supposed to. I find this logic to by completely flawed and irrational. If the guy wants to not get mad in the sake of peace, or it just doesnt **** him off, even though it would about 99% of everyone else, he has no right to be mad at that. If anything, she should be grateful. It seems that woman dont like when i relationship is too peaceful, but to me, there is no such thing as too peaceful. I believe arguments destroy relationships, rather than strengthening by learning through experience. I am one now that this happened to me, that believes in prevention over trial and error. Then again it took trial and error for me to get to this philosophy, so maybe its a double-standard, but a necessary one at that. As far as revenge, i understand what you mean about taking action and proving to them your vulnerability, but in the end, i would rather let it be known that im hurt, take action, and then they will be intimidated enough as to not try it again, rather than walk away. Even if it is as little as a stolen girlfriend situation. I believe walking away and only letting them know how ****** they are isnt enough, it only lets them know that you arent willing to fight for your integrity, and you are too scared to enforce the right morals unto someone, and then they will go on thinking they can walk all over people and get away with it. You get into relentless revenge once you read Machiavelli and listen to Tupac a lot, trust me lol. I read up on war and revenge in general, not just Machiavelli, he just happens to be my favorite war strategist. Will i apply intense war and revenge tactics to little situations such as relationship betrayal? You bet. When its happened to you, and you truly want to prevent it from happening again, the Ghandi approach does not work, and even if it does, is not an option for me, at least anymore. I do have a list of philosphies that i will be seeking out when i search for the new circle, so that way i can, like you said, prevent myself from having to be the relentless revenge hero that triumphs over betrayal again. My list is very picky too, thats what 7 years of reminiscing and reevaluating your priorities will do to you. But, im not going to search forever, and if i settle for people by deciding to be less picky, and i do think someone in my new circle could be like any from the old, i will know what to do this time, should they decide to make the mistake of toying with my emotions. I will ask these people, the first time we hang out, while determining if we are to be friends, how they treat their friends that have girlfriends, and tell them my story ahead of time, and if they are decent people, they will take it in, agree to never betray me, and off the friendship goes, and if not, then shake hands and part ways respectfully, for then i would have prevented a potential disaster, by the process of pre-studying my potential friends first. Then again, its sad that i have to do this, people should just have it end their hearts not to betray, and people like me shouldnt have to be picky with people. But when the realism kicks in, thats far from the truth.

By the way, i meant to say "She has no right to be mad at that during the sentence about peace early in the rant.

I have a lot of typos in that incase you were wandering, i was in a hurry typing it. I said "I" when i meant "a" sometimes.

I think you may have misinterpreted my comments about revenge, and if so i apologize. i will clarify momentarily, but first i would like to point out that you and i seem to have a lot in common. i am a 30 yr old male who lost his virginity when he was 15 to a girl who was a year older. i treated her well and she ended up treating me like **** and ultimately ******* a good friend of mine. i used to listen to a lot of Tupac (still do for that matter) which turned me onto Machiavelli, the great politic philosopher/war strategist. The prince, the art of war, and Che Guevara's Manual on Gorilla Warfare are some of my favorite books. I agree with many of Machiavelli's theories, even though many argue that they are too brutal, self-centered, and lack empathy for the general population...i tend to argue the opposite, that if the ruler is week or if the government is always in a state of flux/chaos, then the people suffer even more...not to mention that if the person in charge does not do what's necessary to maintain power, even if these things appear brutal or callous on the surface, then someone else will inevitably be doing these same things to try to gain power. So in that sense the leader has to stay strong, even if this means doing things that seem to lie outside the scope of "communal morality." the set of morals a leader has to go by are quite different than the everyday person. which brings me to my next point.
The Prince was written to the man that was about to take the Throne in Italy during the 15th century, not necessarily the masses. So while these techniques may be effective in certain contexts and while the political philosophy may also be sound, he was not talking about how to deal with betrayal in 21st century romantic relationships. And while you could definitely apply his techniques to acts of betrayal in this day and age within the context you are talking about, I tend to think that unless you want to continue hanging out with the people that betrayed you then trying to get revenge is not going to do much good other than making you temporarily feel good. in the end it is probably going to cost you more (in terms of getting involved in a war so to speak) than you are likely to gain.
I have my masters degree in psychology and have what i consider a complex understanding of human behavior. so it is my opinion, based on what i have learned up until now, that if you are trying to get revenge for the purposes of teaching someone a lesson, and you have no desire to continue associating with the people that betrayed you, and you only want to teach this person/people a lesson so that they do not do this to other people in the future then you are WASTING YOUR TIME! period. people who are willing to do this sort of thing to people are willing to go there because they have deep-rooted psychological issues that likely go back to the way they were raised, what happened to them as kids, as well as the modeling of behavior they received from people close to them growing up. our personalities are almost 90% developed by the time we are 6-8 years old. This means that the tendencies we learn during these years are going to be the ones that stay with us into adulthood. (See next section so this does not all run together)

so trying to teach a person a lesson who sees nothing wrong with what they have done might serve to prevent the person from messing with you again in the future, but if you are done with this person anyway, as you should be if you are smart, then who cares? you can't teach someone a lesson who doesn't think what they did was wrong. if this was the case then putting people in prison alone would help curb the problem of "re-offending." but it doesn't bc most of these people have personality disorders among other things and they need psychological help along with drug counseling, medication, and a whole number of things. the people you are talking about most likely need these things as well and if you get revenge you are most likely going to just further the chances of them doing it to someone else aside from yourself. i am simply speaking from a point of psychological health here. you need to worry about preserving your own psychological health and not be concerned with teaching others a lesson. if you want to get back at someone bc it will make you feel better, then go for it. but don't expect to change this person in any way other than teaching them not to mess with you again...which i will reiterate, teaching them not to mess with you again is pointless if you are not going to hang out with them again anyway. the best thing you can do for yourself is to not associate with anyone who would ever treat you this way, and once they do you are done with them. this would be the thing that would probably teach them the best lesson anyway. getting involved in revenge and war might be fun at first, but it only ends making your life more stressful which makes you less ready to be in a healthy relationship.
and by the way, i agree with you about the ghandi approach. it only works in political settings in which the opposition is forced to change their actions due to the shame of what they are doing to defenseless people. shame is the key word here. and shame is only possible in open societies that have open media like the U.S., Europe, etc. this is why this strategy would not work in China or Russia where the government controls the media...bc the masses would never get to see what is being done to the defenseless people who are not fighting back. and it would likely not work in terms of changing the course of action of a "friend" who betrayed you. but it is my opinion that you shouldn't waste your time on people like this is the first place. i know how hard it is to walk away from a situation like this once you have been hurt. it is very tempting to try to make them feel what you are feeling. i used to think this worked as well, until i tried it and started to learn that not only was it taking me further away from the person i want to be but it was also making the people i was "at war" with more likely to hurt other people around them bc of the state of mind it put them in. so all in all i was doing more harm to the world than good, and moreover to myself. i want to bring this back around to dating and whether or not you are ready to be in a relationship and that kind of stuff, but i will give you a chance to respond to what i have said so that we do not get things mixed up. i just know that child molesters, for instance, were usually also molested as kids. you would think this would make them never want to do this sort of thing again, but it doesn't work that way. it makes them subconsciously want to take revenge on the person who did it to them in the first place bc they have never worked through this unresolved resentment/anger/pain. so they then end up doing it to someone else. then once they are punished they still do not get better bc they have not worked through what the real issue is. that's my point about anger and revenge. it's better to work through the heart of the issue, why you are hurting and what you are really upset about, rather than take this pain out on anyone else, even the person who did it to you...unless you are in a situation in which you cannot get away from the people who hurt you and you have to stand up for yourself. that's different. that's self-defense, and in that case i would argue that tupac and machiavelli would stand a better chance of backing people like this off than ghandi. ghandi would probably just get his *** kicked and his girlfriend

I guess i did misinterpret some of what you said. The person that betrayed me is long gone now. What i was talking about doing i never did, as far as revenge, i was speaking about what i wanted to do as far as dealing with him, and what im prepared to do if the new people i get involved with try the same thing. I would first have to establish these friends, and have a girlfriend before any of that could happen obviously, which right now i dont know who these people are. Right now im just at my new location relaxing for a couple months before i start my search. And the "war and revenge" plot that i keep mentioning doesnt just come into play in the event of emotional betrayal involving relationships with women. It could be if they steal money from me, say something about me that isnt true but could be detrimental to my image, or purposely got me fired from a job, or anything I interpret as betrayal, would invoke my tactics upon them. Im not going to get into the forensic details of this "insurance plan" i have within me if need, but hardly any of it it actually physical, most of the plot would be psychological attack for what they did, very very intense at that. Im basically prepared to do them about 75% of what they did to me, but mixed with a little bit of other things that ruin how people see them that i have thought of, resulting in emotional damage to them 10X that of what happened to me. But, i will stress again, i havent started searching yet, and all this im saying i hope i will not ever have to do. I will take your advice and be very specific when i look for friends again, and try to sniff out any and every little thing that could remind me of the old circle, and if they dont show any, then i can be friends with them. Its gonna be a slow process. I think as far as establishing about 2, or maybe 3 permanent new friends, that i have very carefully picked out to my exact standards, will probably take about 2 or 3 years, depending on how often i get out into town. Im not going to just approach people and ask if they match every aspect of my ideals so we can be friends, ill have to just notice these potential friends as time goes by, which is why i predicted about 3 years. I dont get out much, i like to hang out at the house about 80% of the time. Which, oddly enough, thats the man quality i want in my new friends, and its weird how im gonna have to leave the house to find these people. Kind of contradicting i know lol. I have opened my mind to the point you made about having the illusion that exacting your lesson upon someone will teach them to change is stupid. Yes, most of what i said was out of temptation, it is what i want to do. And i could live with myself as far as the temporary good feeling, as long as i put a lasting impression in the person's mind. The person probably wont change, but he would know that I did something about it, and like you said, he would know not to **** with ME anymore. But, like i said earlier, i never did anything to the person in my situation. Now, with child molesters, however, its always wrong. No matter if that person is molested, if he does it to someone else, he should be dealt with. I would not imprison them, I would drop them off in the front yard of the family of the child they molested, and put a gun in the dad's hands, and let real justice take over. People never need to rexact their wrongdoings from their parents onto other children. Its never an excuse, and will never be condoned. I dont care if chester the molester was molested himself as a child, he should have just kept it bottled up and not done it when he was older. Thats one of the only scenarios that i believe revenge is irrelevant, or if not revenge, then any kind of motivation for child molestation in general is wrong. Same goes with rape and terrorism. Other than that, i believe in revenge all the way. Im never interested in learning the past abuse of a child molester, terrorist, or rapist. Nothing that ever happened to them would never legitimize or be a valid reason to do it yourself, period. i feel sorry for people that were molested as children, and children today that are molested, as long as they never do it themselves, then the sorrow it automatically gone and they should die. But when i comes to other things that arent inhumane in the first place, and you get back at someone for what they did to you, and i will stress again, as long as its not viewed as inhumane in the first place, then revenge is relevant. Relationship betrayal, killing someone that killed a member of your family(Mother, Father, Wife, Children,etc) being the person you are killing for that is, and things like that, i always encourage revenge. But, only kill the very person who did it to you that is, or in general, only exact revenge on the very person that did you wrong. You can probably tell im an atheist. It probably radiates from my statements a lot. Revenge over forgiveness has always been something i lived by. Even before i my specific incident. And i will give you credit, i started becoming the way i am when i was about 7, right in the middle of the ages you mentioned. I got "tattled" on once in 1st grade, and come recess, i found the guy and socked him in the nose lol, the 7 year old version of a revenge plot right there. So, this "revenge plot" remains bottled up inside me for right now, and will always be there if needed. I am confident i will find people that i know will never end up activating the switch, so to speak. Like i said in my previous reply, i will tell them the reason i am wanting them to potential be a new friend of mine, but will not tell them about the plan i have inside me in case they **** up. Giving up your war tactics is the stupidest thing one could ever do, thats almost asking to be betrayed. Anyway, i still listen to Tupac a lot, and i still have the copy of the prince that i never returned to the library after about 3 years now. The discourses on livy is another good one of his. If i get betrayed again, i will try to take your advice and realize that nothing i do will change them, but more than likely the plot will win the battle of that dilemma. When you are that hurt by someone, as i was, the rage takes over, and every rational, intelligent, and logical thought leaves you. The logic and intelligence that it takes to exact revenge and war are still there, and enhance themselves tenfold, but the angel on my shoulder will more than likely get pimp-slapped and i will give the devil on the other shoulder the green light. I have been able to hold back revenge, only once. That was because the person that did me wrong was a close family member. My mother stole 150 dollars from me once to do whatever is she did with it, i never found out, but my war and revenge tactics dont apply to anyone in my close/immediate family. Anyone else, even if i become friends with people in the future, and they have been my friends for over decade, or even longer, will always remain expendable to me. They will never know it, that would obviously scare them off, but i just cant find myself to exact revenge on anyone from my family that does me wrong, even if i wanted to. Theres some kind of psychological force field around them that protects them from me. Im glad its there to be honest.

5 More Responses

Honestly, I don't think you owe anyone any explanations, especially if these are the kind of "friends" that you have. When I moved abroad, I only told a few of my friends because I felt that among all the people I knew, they were the only ones who really cared. I didn't even tell the guy I was seeing at the time because I learnt through other means that he was seeing his "ex" at the same time. True enough, when he realised that I was gone, he was totally unconcerned.

I glad you think i dont owe anything, i was thinking that myself. I am moving in a about a month or so, and when i move im changing my number, i might say a quick goodbye to a coupe of the "friends" , but noone is getting a reason. If i do say goodbye, its literally just gonna be that singe word and im gone.