Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘memories’

I’m a very private person. Trusting people doesn’t come easily to me. But sometimes I can’t help but look back at my life and see all the people that I had opened up to so much; people who aren’t my friends anymore.

I can’t believe that I let these people see so much of me. While I was awash in my own insanity I clung to them, letting them see everything in my mind. I had no filter at all and they saw everything. They saw me at my highest, speaking crazed plans for running about downtown and creating comic books together parodying our classmates and starting a band. They saw me full of paranoid delusions that my mom was going to send me to a mental hospital. They gave me a place to stay each time I ran away for a few days, fearing hospitalization or simply fearing my own power over my mortality. They would put up with my insane crying and wild depressions, complete with meandering conversations about the price of life.

There were so many of those people who served that function, at least a dozen total. Only two are still in my life. I wonder if those ex-friends think of me as I do them. I look back on our friendships and feel embarrassment and gratitude. I wonder if they see me as just a crazy bitch that they hung out with for a while. I wonder if they sit around, drinking coffee with one another, laughing when the conversation comes back to “You remember Ashes? What the hell was wrong with that chick?”. I wonder what their parents think of me after letting me sleep over uninvited because their child says that they’ll “explain why later”.

I keep these people alive in my memories rather than letting their time in my life fade away. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. I feel like my bipolar life can be summed up in the string of broken friendships that I trail behind me. The list of short-lived camaraderie has stopped growing by now simply because I don’t let myself get close to people anymore. I don’t want to have to remember another person in the past-tense. Without my bipolar forcing me to seek out others to help lift my burdens, I just don’t do it.

None of them stuck around other than Koios and Theia. Theia has been my friend for over 9 years. We went to the same middle school and high schools. She transferred to the alternative school that I was in a bit after I did. She’s seen all of my moods too, but she’s never shied away from them. She always speaks her mind about what I’m doing, but always in a supportive way. I know she cares about me. Theia is the perfect friend that I could ever ask for. I don’t know if she knows how much she means to me, even though I’ve tried to explain.

Theia and I are what I call “shit-weather friends”. Rather than a fair-weather friend, we’re there for each other when we really need it. We might go for almost a year without hanging out, but the second the other one needs support and a friend we’re there for each other. A few years ago, one of Theia’s friends died unexpectedly. I sped over to her house and we stayed up all night so I could comfort her. I can call her up crying for no reason and she’ll tell me to come over and we’ll talk about nothing and everything. Despite living lives that don’t often overlap, we’re still best friends when it counts the most.

While I wonder frequently about the people who used to be my friends, I know that the ones that are worth my time will stick around. I don’t fault those who were pushed away by my bipolar; I know I wasn’t (and still am not) easy to deal with. I think a lot of those friendships were too stressful for the other person, having to deal with my insanity and life of constant chaos.

Part of me still hopes that I can start getting close to people again now that my bipolar is more under control. I’m not sure if I remember how to have a normal friendship with someone that I haven’t known for years, though. Maybe I’ll have the chance to learn again.

-Ashes

Read Full Post »

When I look back at my life I see so many people that used to be important to me, but now have faded from my life. Almost all of these ex-friends were pushed away thanks to my bipolar disorder, but the loss that hurts the most was my first best friend. I knew her from elementary school, and even Em was a victim of my irrational reactions to intimacy and friendship even though we were only 11 when our friendship dissolved. Em was my best friend for years. I still cherish the memories that I have of being with her, playing “Blind Man’s Bluff” and making a fort in the forest behind her house, staying up late watching music videos and telling scary stories about a local woman who claimed to talk to ghosts.We would also do this thing where we tried to communicate telepathically with each other. For an entire summer one of us would pull out a random card from a full deck and “think” it to the other one at 7PM. Five minutes later we would call each other to see if the receiver of our “message” could guess which card the other had picked. I were weird kids, most definitely. But we were like sisters to each other.

I started a stupid argument with Em over something inconsequential and unfair for reasons that were deeper than I realized at the time. She had a hamster that was dying from a tumor on his neck. He kept getting more and more sluggish, stopped eating, and slowly went deaf. I couldn’t believe (thanks to some fucked up line of logic) that she wouldn’t mercy-kill her favorite pet to spare him the pain of dying slowly and miserably. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe that I had the balls to tell her how she should handle her dying pet. The last thing that she needed was my scorn while her first and favorite pet was sick and dying. Friends should be there for each other, not pull stupid shit like that. It’s hard not to beat myself up about it, even know. I was so out of line, but after a week or two we became friends again.

The death blow was when Em hadn’t called me for a few days and wouldn’t answer my calls a few weeks after our reconciliation. I still remember the feeling of clarity and numbness when I picked up the phone and called her to tell her that I never wanted to see her again. I told her that she was a horrible friend and that she shouldn’t call me anymore.

I didn’t know why I did it for years, until I started seeing the same pattern. I would try to push people away when they got too emotionally close to me or when I became too dependent on them. I was afraid that they would see my “craziness”, that they would know about my suicidal tendencies, or that they’d be repulsed by my mood swings and turn away from me. I didn’t know that I had bipolar at that time, but I knew that everyone else pretended to be really happy and that I couldn’t do that with someone who knew me so well. I didn’t want to need anyone in my life because I thought that they would eventually leave me once they saw what I was really like. So I cut them out of my life before they could do the same to me. Bipolar made me paranoid about being hurt and abandoned; every small rejection seemed like it would shatter me for some reason. I don’t know why I didn’t see what I was doing for too many years after it started. It was so obvious.

Almost every time I cut away a friendship, it was coupled with this weird moral-superiority argument or judgment on my part. It helped bury the real reason that I was doing these things and worked as a smoke screen to fill in the blanks of my baseless emotional reactions to these people. I just wished that I had worked my head around my actions before I was left with almost no one.

I still miss them. Except for a rare few, I honestly wish that they all were still in my life, but I understand that I made my choices. Most of my ex-friends were just caught up in my own mind games and the need to protect myself by shutting everyone out; they weren’t to blame. I’m now friends with Em on Facebook. I’m glad that she was able to forgive me, even though we have obviously drifted a lot in the last 9 years. I don’t have the courage to try to call up any of my other ex-friends to try to repair those bridges. Some things are meant to stay dead. The memories of them are very effective warnings against falling back into old patterns.

-Ashes

Read Full Post »