There's socially awkward and then there's unacceptable.
Could just tell her you need a break from the "friendship." Break up with her. I don't think it is much of a "friend" if she's doing these things:
- oversharing and having odd boundaries
- made derogatory comments about Joe to me
- hurtful comments to me like " You can't really expect to be acknowledged"
- literally yelling inches from my face. She claims she was trying to be supportive in saying that, but her tone was less then friendly.
- constantly brings up (BDSM edge play I do not want to do), trying to bug me in to doing those things.
- She also said several things regarding how my relationship would be like hers soon (jealous of affectionate behavior toward me from Joe)
- launched in to a 30 minute spiel about rape ignoring my request to not talk about the topic
- minimized my feelings about my scars on my labia
- Generally when she is being hurtful, I'm in such shock that I don't really respond.
Those are some SERIOUS boundary breakages to me. It goes beyond "awkward" to me. It skirts into the land of verbal abuse.
I can't be in a relationship where I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her- I worry that if I try to loosen up around her again, she will say more hurtful things.
I agree. This person is not emotionally safe for you. Could choose to not be friends with her. You sounds like to me you have reached your limit and want to know if it is ok to withdraw. I would!
You could choose to NOT be in relationship with her and NOT loosen up around her. Be a formally polite but distant metamour, but not a friend who shares personal info. The friendship with her brings you joy, love, support, and kindness how?
You have already tried to be that kind of a friend, and it's just not worked out. You are not obligated to sign up for verbal abuse here just because Joe also dates her. Joe
dates her. Not you
. It's not on you to deal with beyond basic polite should you run into her. You can manage calendar and be respectful of her time with Joe without having to be her pal.
After I spoke to Joe, she apologized via email a week later by saying it all was "miscommunication". She said, "We communicate differently, but there's nothing wrong with the way either of us do so." Um, in my book, if you're not trying to hurt somebody with your word and you do so, there actually IS a problem with the way you communicate.
She's minimizing it. Not actually willing to be held accountable for less than acceptable behavior and own it. I don't think this is apology like "I see what I did hurt you. I am sorry for hurting you. I will not do it again." This is "it's just my style of communication, deal with it!" and paving the way for more shenanigans in future.
You are responsible to you -- and that includes choosing the company you keep and being around healthy people. Try to see if you can be in better relationship with Joe if you just skip being her friend and leave it at the polite meta place. Hopefully it will feel better to you with some distance from her.
If your relationship with Joe is not satisfying for you that you are happily willing to deal with a weird meta as part of the "price for admission" here with him... break up with him before it goes deeper. You have been dating him since May 2012. It's only December. You haven't dated all that long and you are not obligated to put up with shenanigans just because you do date him.
You don't have to be issuing ultimatums like "Pick! Her or me!" But you can always pick yourself and your own best healths
and walk out. No ultimatum -- just walk away because choosing to be in relationship with him and deal with her is too draining and emotionally unsafe for you.
I know that could sound cold or mean, but if YOU don't put your own oxygen mask on to look out for your own mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health...who will?
Sigh. I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
But see if it feels better if you do a "friend break up" with her and leave it at polite metas. And if it doesn't improve? Pick YOU. And walk away from unhealthy. You don't need it.