I live in a rural community where everyone knows each other's business and if they don't some will make things up for the chance of a good gossip - you know the type of place? We have never got on with our next door neighbours, but I had a good friend for 6.5 years who lived in the estate and supported me, particularly with the neighbour.
This was not always easy to deal with having suffered from depression herself and in hindsight it was an unhealthy relationship for me, nonetheless it continued. That was until the end of last year when she suddenly decided our friendship had "gone", deleted me from her social media friend list and cut off contact.
Like I say I realised our friendship had been unhealthy so wasn't bothered until a month or so into the new year, after she found out I was going to be working for the same employer as her, she became very friendly with my next door neighbour.
I thought long and hard about taking the job with her employer, but at the end of the day it was a no brained due to money and commuting time saved. Now 2 weeks in I'm an anxious mess, feeling sick and tearful, not sleeping, driving my family mad and thinking I've made a huge mistake.
This is all due to me being polite with this ex friends mother, who also works with us, which lead to a mutual friend telling me she had posted a really nasty rant about me on Facebook and said neighbour had joined in.
I feel like I'm tiptoeing on eggshells at work, not wanting to go and when I'm there feeling isolated because I can't join coffee time, paranoid she's gossiping about me to colleagues who are virtually all related.
Every time I see her I feel sick as she has a gleeful grin on her face knowing the impact on me. Last night I just happened to see she was socialising with my neighbour and I was in tears.
The other really difficult thing is that, years ago I confided something in her which I would never want to get out, so feel I can't even deal with this formally if it got that far.
I do wish I was one of those people who could shut things off and not care what people think or do. It sucks having the anxious, panic gene .