I am well aware that many of my posts from the beginning to the middle of this year have had a strong sense of self-pity as their catalyst. I was depressed, hurt, and alone, and I couldn’t understand why I had no one, in person, to help me process the pain that resulted from my illness (who didn’t have issues of their own that they projected onto me. Yeah…I am sure I will get into more trouble with that statement, but it is the truth, nonetheless). At that time, my thinking and emotional processing was irrational, colored by Borderline Personality Disorder.
One of the central issues people suffering from BPD deal with is a sense of being abandoned, real or imagined. (As I have described before, the sense of abandonment can be interpreted in many ways. Heck, I feel abandoned when my husband leaves for work each morning…but I can recognize that that it isn’t rational thinking.) I felt alone and abandoned by people who I did not lash out at and did not have arguments with, who had no good reason to leave me languishing alone. I have long admitted that being my friend was not easy, because when depressed, I “disappear” for a month at a time. However, other than that, I was not a mean or bad friend to anyone. (If only the worst we had to deal with in a friendship was knowing that a friend had to take a step back from life once in a while, how easy thing would be! Do cancer patient sometimes not have to do the same while in treatment?)
I am glad that my friend was brave enough to ask me what had caused me to step back from our friendship. In their doing so, I was finally able to write a post that acknowledges the fact that I went through some pretty tough times that were hard for people to understand, and that I did not have the emotional capacity or intellectual clarity to explain.
I do stand by the fact that the rare text or email does not a friendship make, and I stand up for my right to ask for more from a friendship. I do not, and have NEVER expected to come before peoples’ families and responsibilities. I have always understood that a certain balance must exist and that is all I have ever asked for. I also wanted, and tried, to be the best friend I could be. I rallied my strength on good days to help clean, bake cookies, and make meals for friends who I had let down when ill.→THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR. I have always wanted to give what I hoped to receive.
The good news is that I have processed, in large part, my sense of abandonment and grief (they percolate up to the surface from time to time but luckily haven’t ‘been the boss of me’ for a while. =), and have been slowly letting go of the relationships that were unhealthy for me and the people involved, adding blame to no party. As I say below, lives diverge and I was not meant to be in the lives of everyone I care for. And that is ok.
This is my response to a friend who recently asked if they had done something to upset me after finding that I had unfriended them on a social website…
“This is a hard thing to explain without sounding like a nutter, but alas… So here goes…
I am terribly lonely as I literally have no friends who invite me to spend time with them or come to visit me. The only times people come to my house is when I plan something with food. Ask Rance! It is the truth! =) I have friends who always beg off on visiting because of being busy but then talk about/post pictures about things they have done with other friends. This has, in the recent past, cut me to the core. I have no problem with the fact that I am not anyone’s best friend or invited to share people’s every spare minute, but for a while during this last and worst depressive period from last October through June, I felt very sorry for myself and very hurt. I gave in to it completely.
When the depression gave way to more rational thinking, I realized that I needed to go through that self-pity stage to get to where I am, where I feel bruised by a lack of interest from others (whom other than being ill, I did nothing to…not yelling at, no talking about them behind their backs, no anything mean), but not mortally wounded. Yeah…it can feel that bad when I am sick. So I decided to go through my FB friends and unfriend people who I may allow myself to fall into that trap with again. Friends of almost 15 years even fell into that group; people who I thought would be those friends who drove hours to sit with me when I talked of hospital admissions and the feeling of wanting to die but never did. The only reason family members haven’t been deleted is because I literally wouldn’t have anyone (and Christmas would be VERY uncomfortable! =) The decision didn’t come from a hurt place or a place of self-pity, but a place of self perseverance because I know what my weaknesses are, and I wanted to lessen the chance that I would fall back into those weaknesses. After all, if people didn’t seek for me to be active in their lives before, why would I need to try to keep the hope that that would somehoe change ? I may feel as though I carry a simple bruise now, but the next time I have a depressed period, I could fall right back into the pain of reading how friends interact with friends but somehow leave me out. It is akin to being a recovering alcoholic who keeps a beer in the fridge, in a way.
I do not blame you for anything or esteem you any less (in fact, I still think you FREAKIN rock!). I am just learning that lives diverge, and I was not meant to be in the lives of everyone I care for…and that is ok…well, I am getting better with ok. =)
I hope you can understand, odd as this is, and not be too upset with me, knowing that I made these decisions not when I was ill, but when I was rational and trying to do the right thing for my mental health.
I would love to be FB friends again but even more, I’d love to hug you once in a blue moon…maybe even with a drink on a swing. =)”
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