For 18 months, my (16F) friend Elle (16F) told me and my friendship circle that she was FWB with our other friend Mia (16F). Elle told Mia she liked her, and Mia rejected her respectfully. A few months later, Elle told us that they were making out often in secret, eventually even giving some sexual details. At some point, Elle told us that she was doing the same thing with our friend Finn (16M). However, one day we found out Elle had made all of this up, and she never did this with either of them. When we confronted her, she confessed and said it was a coping mechanism for her very poor mental health. Elle has an abusive father who she still has to see regularly, and her parents divorced recently; her mum filed for a restraining order against her dad. As a result, she has PTSD, anxiety, depression and abandonment issues. A few weeks after we confronted her, Elle was in hospital for her mental health. I accept that what Elle did was a coping mechanism due to her bad mental health and that this isn’t something she’d ever do normally. However, I’m torn about whether I should accept this explanation as an excuse and forgive her; if a teenage boy did this to a teenage girl, I’d think they were a sexual abuser and never want anything to do with them again. Even though she was struggling, what she did was effectively a form of sexual harassment and I would hate to condone or even enable that sort of thing, especially since her main victims haven’t forgiven her. What should I do?
I don't think that it is a forgiveness issue for anyone except Finn and Mia. They were the people that she told lies about.
It seems like Elle is mentally disturbed and prone to believing her own fantasies as a means of ignoring reality. Be very cautious of trusting her. Don't believe anything that she tells you without independent confirmation. It is very unlikely that she will keep any of your secrets that she knows about. Trust your gut instinct on whether you want to continue the friendship or have much face to face contact with her. Good luck!