How to be around a triggering person


A few years ago, I was sued by someone who literally tried to destroy me. It was the most malicious thing I have ever experienced, and I walked away believing she is a truly evil human. My life is amazing now, but I struggle with being around her. I want to beat her at everything–to prove I’m better than her. For the most part, I am never around her, but she recently married someone who is a member of the same country club that I have been a member of for years.

A friend of mine asked me to play summer tennis on Tuesday nights with her, and I was looking forward to it. I just got the email listing all the players, and her name was on the list. I immediately emailed the tennis pro saying I have a conflict and can’t play. (She is a better tennis player than I am). Tennis is an activity I started to try to make my life more exciting and my food less exciting-and I’m pretty bad. However, it will not be fun and relaxing for me if she is there–and I will be paranoid that she is spreading rumors about me (which she has done in the past-because I had an affair with her ex husband many years ago).

My resistance to her is so bad that we joined a second club last summer so I could avoid her at the pool. (Our kids are friends and always play together). But, the second club is farther from our house, and I really like the first club. I’ve gone there for 30 years. Part of me wants to be like “she’s not going to run me off. I was here 30 years before her and I’m staying”. Still, a second part of me just wants to run to the other club–which is actually a lot nicer. My kids like the second club better.

C-play tennis with someone who loves to tell people I had an affair with her husband–but won’t tell people she sued me because she has kept that secret. I wasn’t hurt financially by lawsuit-just emotionally. She has always struggled financially and is very insecure about money while I have always had money and she hates me for that
T-I won’t have fun playing if she is there, I will be paranoid she is talking about me
F -scared, fear
A-I withdraw from Queen of the Court and don’t play Tuesday night tennis
R-I disappoint my friend who asked me to play with her and miss out on what would have been a fun activity

I’m trying to come up with bridge thoughts like maybe we can be friends now–but I can’t do that. Maybe I can rub in her face how amazing my current husband is-and how much more successful in life I am. I don’t know. HELP!! Is it bad that I took my name off the list because hers was on it? Last year, when she was at the pool not signed in as a guest because her boyfriend told them she was his wife, I actually took pictures of her with the intent of emailing the head of the pool to report them for not abiding by the guest policy. My husband talked me out of it, and we decided to join another pool. But, I love the first pool and the people there and don’t want to leave forever.