Schadenfreude feeling

I had a friend who was not very supportive of me when I got clean at the age 20. She even went as far one time to call me and say that I do not deserve custody of my daughter and that I should go back to prison where “losers like you belong.”
Fast forward 14 years and I run into her mother in my Hometown grocery store while visiting. I almost didn’t say Hi but I decided against that just to see how she was doing. While talking to her I found out said friend had gotten into meth shortly after I cut off contact with her. Her addiction got so bad that her now ex husband has a restraining order against her for himself and their 3 children. I recently found out she is still sitting in the county jail for the last 6 months because no one will pay her $200 bail.
Here’s where I feel bad, I don’t feel bad for the now ex friend. I feel bad for her mother who has cut off contact with her, I feel bad for her ex husband who has to now raise 3 children on his own. I even feel bad for the few friends that have stuck by her during all this.
My therapist told me that what I’m feeling is valid. She chose this and maybe now that she’s at rock bottom she can finally help herself.


That the cost of continuing to use , nothing wrong that your feeling bad, only human but your ex friend has to make her own decisions ,


Your feelings are absolutely valid. It’s possible to feel sympathy - which you do - but also to recognize natural consequences. The natural consequence of addiction, every time, is irresponsible, unreliable, and often dangerous behaviour, and the natural consequence of those behaviours is people cut ties with you.

It’s not good or bad. It’s about safety. It’s not safe, emotionally or physically, to be with someone who’s using, and especially when children are involved, people have to make choices that are about safety.

It’s still possible to feel sympathy. But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your safety.


It goes back to a simple paradox. When I judge some one negatively, it seems I always find myself doing the same thing later. :thinking: