I realize I’ve only been blogging when I need to rant, vent or whatever. I thought maybe I should try writing something on a semi-sane day. The main reason it’s semi-sane is because it’s still summer break and the kids are home from school. September isn’t coming fast enough. Forgive the randomness of this post; I’ll probably jump around.
I’ve had a friend, who had dropped out of my life, send me an email asking forgiveness and to start over. I tried to dissuade her because I’m afraid of trying to be friends with people. I know in my last post I complained about how much I wanted a friend, but what I want and what I’m capable of having are two different things.
It’s not like I don’t have any friends. I have two that are still in my life, though I see them very infrequently. One is someone who I’m sure anyone feels is like a breath of fresh air. Even before things started spiraling down on me, I enjoyed her company because she’s just one of those people who it makes you feel good to be around. She’s funny and quirky and sweet. A bonus feature is that she has teen- and tween-age kids like I do (I know very few people with kids as old as mine are). The other friend understands mental disorders because she has suffered from troubles with them herself. We have good conversation together because we’re both intelligent and insightful with each other. She often gives me good advice and has told me that I’ve helped her as well. Both of these friends are also the most non-judgmental people I’ve ever known. They accept you as you are. Period.
And then there are the others. There are two women at my church (which I haven’t been able to bring myself to attend for over a month now) who are the reason I can’t bring myself to attend my church. These two women I thought were my friends. But instead of trying to understand my disorder (the internet is full of information on pretty much anything, including borderline personality disorder) and/or accepting my situation with love and grace, as I expected they would, they seemed to just see me as being a selfish bitch who was performing to gain attention. One of them even told me how exhausting I was – not great words to use unless she was intentionally trying to feed my disorder and make it worse for me (which I’m sure isn’t the case).
Yes, someone like me is a pain in the ass, because you have to be careful with what words you use. I take things the wrong way very easily. If it sounds even slightly like a negative criticism, I will take it as a huge criticism. That’s part of my disorder, born from the lack of praise or positive affirmation I had throughout my life. No wonder my love language is words of affirmation. No wonder I spent 5 nights out of 7 at the karaoke bar; I would get compliments on my singing at least once a night. It made me feel like I had some value. A “well done” or a “thank you” makes me feel valued. I almost never hear those words. Especially not from the people I really need to hear them from.
Another thing I wish others would understand is that dealing with this disorder is not a simple matter. I’ve heard a lot of “you just need to this” and “you just need to that”. It doesn’t work that way.
I’m not an expert, but this is what I think it is. I remember learning about the neuro pathways of the brain when I took psychology in college. You could scan someone’s brain and map their pathways. Then start them on violin lessons. In a year those pathways would be different because of having taken those lessons. You can change the pathways in your brain, but it’s not simple. I’m going to be starting an intensive therapy in September. It’s once a week for a few months, I think. I’m sure I’m going to be changing some pathways and I’m not expecting it to be easy.
And despite what I know some people think, I do know that this is what God wants for me.
I can say that I have known even in my anguish that Jesus is with me. God has been giving me comfort in ways that some people see as foolishness. He’s granted me a parking space near the entrance to wherever I was; He’s put things in the grocery cart that I didn’t remember (I can’t remember much of anything these days); He has led me to the right tweets, posts and articles that I need just at the right moment. He’s granted me a lot of simple little things that take the edge off my stress. And my stress level has been very high for quite some time (something I used to turn to booze for, but praise God, I haven’t even had an urge). My eating and sleeping are random at best. But, like I said, God has been keeping the edge off, so I can get through my days. God has to be behind my husband’s acquiescences of late. There are things that I just can’t talk about without getting agitated, and my husband has actually not tried talking about these things. He even conceded to going to the church we used to go to again. But, I guess keeping me calm makes life easier for everyone in this house.
As for the friend who emailed me. I had started to pull away from her first, and the reason I did that is the main reason I hesitate to be friends with her again. That is that she is a good christian girl with a good christian husband and two teeny little children who don’t need a neurotic lunatic stressing out their lives. It’s kind of how I always feel when I’m around people who’ve had pretty, quiet, sheltered lives. I always feel like I’d contaminate them with something awful if I ever said anything about myself. That’s how I feel about this person. I feel like I’d pollute her and her family if I spent any time with them. But I guess in all fairness to her, being on a missions trip somewhere kind of nasty, if she isn’t polluted by that, she shouldn’t be polluted by me. But I also don’t want to cause her any stress.
An exhausting person like me can do that well.
So I don’t know what to do.
Even though I’ve already published this, there something I need to add.
The primary reason I can’t bring myself to attend our usual church, is because of how humiliating this disorder is to me. I am embarrassed over things I could not control. And I expect looks of contempt, fear or disgust if I walk through those doors again. And looks like that would send me into a tailspin.