You got through Tuesday … well done. It was difficult. It was draining and emotional. But perhaps now you might feel better, knowing that someone believes you about the intensity of your illness… knowing that there is help out there for you. Maybe it’ll feel better now you understand why your mental health has deteriorated…
Having your medication increased before Grampa passed away was a mistake. Funnily enough it did what you wanted at the time – it numbed your emotions. It made you more subdued. It got you through the initial loss, more or less. But as it was pointed out to you in your assessment on Tuesday, numbing your emotions isn’t the answer…. it stopped you being able to grieve properly. For all the time until your body adjusted to the new dosage and the pills lost their effect, you didn’t experience your feelings fully…. you didn’t grieve. You already know you didn’t grieve – you were staying strong for other people. You didn’t know what grief felt like… it was your first experience of it. So in the initial aftermath when friends were there for you, you weren’t truly experiencing the full effects of grief. By the time the ‘benefit’ of the medication wore off and you felt the true and full effects of the loss, people weren’t there anymore. Life had returned to normal and it felt like everyone forgot you were grieving. It’s no wonder you’ve struggled all last year…. your medication wasn’t working, and nobody was there anymore, at a time you needed them more than they could have known. You needed them more last year than you did the previous year, when he passed away, because your grief was delayed.
So it isn’t right how you were treated last year. You didn’t deserve what happened. And hopefully in time she will regret hurting you. You needed care, compassion and support. And it’s perfectly understandable to be upset that at a time you needed that, you were met with silence and eventual hostility. It doesn’t matter what people had on. You can be understanding that others have their lives so can’t be there, and still feel upset that you were neglected. You don’t owe anyone an apology for being angry at how you were treated.
Your anger comes from a sense of injustice – knowing you didn’t deserve it, and from a place of frustration…. not being able to make her understand. Just being honest about your emotions and having that ignored and being made to feel like a burden, and being blamed for the state of the friendship… it’s okay to be as furious about that as you are.
You were the one with a serious mental illness…. you were the one experiencing paranoia and splitting – which you know are not rational patterns of thinking. She clearly doesn’t know this fact, so took things more personally than she should have. It became about her defending and explaining herself, when you just needed her reassurance and care. Her responses to your paranoia and splitting only confirmed the things you falsely thought. You needed people to not take it personally, to see it as a symptom of an illness… one which they could have helped with by proving those thoughts wrong – not through explanations but through love. She didn’t do this. Fact is, she was supposedly the ‘rational’ one of the two of you, therefore she was more able to communicate and to protect the relationship… if she’d wanted to. She was capable of reassuring you and forgiving you for your behaviours. She had the potential to be reasonable where you couldn’t. The bad things you felt about her were as a result of your illness, not a reflection of her… you made that clear… they were irrational thoughts… ones you didn’t want to have. The bad things she thought of you were her actual rational opinions, based on the symptoms of your illness that she did not recognise as such.
Yes you perhaps should not have blogged about your feelings…. it led to her being hurt. But you know how unintentional that was. You know the motive behind your own blog. You know how much she misconstrued what you were saying. You accept you could have worded a couple of things differently and you have as such apologised for the pain you caused. It’s more than she has done. You accept that sometimes when you’re in deep despair you don’t always make the right choices. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You need to forgive yourself – it wasn’t the crime of the century. A mistake perhaps, but not even that. The meaning was misinterpreted and you had a lot of things thrown in your face as a result of her misunderstandings… at a time you needed love and support.
I know why you’re so upset… You feel sad because none of this was your fault. This was suppressed grief worsening your mental health at a time when people couldn’t be there for you. This made you split and be paranoid, which you cannot help – you can’t just switch off paranoia with rational thought! Even today you still feel paranoid about some things. It’s hard second-guessing reality. Your mental health took a nosedive…. you couldn’t make the effort for her. You made it clear all year that you needed others to make the effort for you, as you were struggling. You explained your illness all year, and you said you felt like you didn’t have friends…. instead of being offended by that, you needed people to assess their behaviour and consider if they could do more to make you feel you had them as your friends. You needed reassurance. You needed effort, care and love. You didn’t get that.
You got distance. This may be for very legitimate reasons, not related to you at all… but she needs to accept that the splitting and paranoia surrounding her, which is off-the-scale now, contributes to your beliefs…. they may be irrational thoughts, but it’s what results from lack of reassurance and being attacked unfairly…. it solidified the split and made you doubt her intentions even more. So you are bound to think that everything she did was to upset you or have some emotional effect on you…. it’s okay to say that. If she thinks that makes you sound self-absorbed, selfish or it upsets her that you think these things about her, then that’s not your problem and illustrates perfectly what the problem is. She’s the one who needs to learn that paranoia and splitting is not within your control… that it may be irrational…. the things you think and say may be untrue … but she is the ‘rational’ one – she has the power to dispel these beliefs… and she will only do that by being nice to you. By being reassuring, caring, kind and not holding it against you. She is not in that mindset currently. She had a chance to do that before, and she was simply defensive instead… she thought you were attacking her in that blog and went on a counter-attack as a result. Only time will teach her that you didn’t genuinely think bad things about her – her behaviour since may have changed that. You didn’t want the friendship to end. You were simply suffering with your illness and your grief, and felt powerless to get anyone to give a damn about you… you felt so alone. You just wanted her to understand and to show some level of concern or care for you. And every time she failed to do that, it compounded the irrational thoughts. And those irrational thoughts upset her, and pushed her away. She gave up on you. Because she thought you honestly felt that way about her. One day she’ll realise that wasn’t the case. One day she’ll understand how much she hurt you… what she did wrong… and she’ll know that she walked away from and gave up on someone who would never have given up on her. No matter what you may have said in the last year… the things that may have given her the impression you didn’t want her as a friend… you know and you wish she knew that those were the cries of a desperately isolated, helpless and paranoid person, quietly pleading for her friendship. You never gave up on the friendship…. you just felt she had. And her inaction proves it.
At this point you have given up on her. Because you’re not getting the care you need and deserve. Because she’s hurting you more than helping you. Because you’ve now done all you can.
You sent her and the family Christmas cards and presents. You wrote to her, to apologise, to explain, to show compassion and to make amends. You should never have had to put that effort in for her, when effort was the very thing you needed all year from her. When that compassion was what you needed. She should have been doing the running, not you. It’s always you. This has to stop now. Stop chasing after people and fighting for people who wouldn’t do the same for you. Grow some self-worth. That effort was wasted on her. Don’t ever do it again. It was not appreciated.
For the first time in over a decade you didn’t even get a Christmas card…. or a text to acknowledge you or to even thank you for what you sent. You were completely snubbed over Christmas and the New Year, and there’s been only silence since. No matter how hurt you felt and how much you didn’t want to hear from her, that is plain rude and disrespectful. It’s unforgivable and the final nail in the coffin. And it seems like it was done to punish you…. for that horrendous crime of writing about your feelings…. which she misinterpreted. She wanted you to feel bad… she wanted you to feel like you were the one in the wrong and didn’t deserve her. Don’t start to believe that. I know you thought it all year anyway – you don’t need people to make you feel that way… you naturally feel you don’t deserve anyone. That changes now. I know it made it look like you were the one in the wrong – there she was blanking you, pretending you were dead to her, whilst you went running after her, saying sorry and wanting to fix things… it makes it look like you were trying to make things up to her. Don’t worry what it looked like. You know the truth. You know that you sent what you did in the full knowledge of your innocence and knowing she had totally misunderstood you and hurt you as a result. You were being the bigger person. And you know what? You are. Because despite being the hurt party and being mentally ill and suffering as much as you were, you still made that effort for her. You took hours making those things for the kids. Days. You didn’t have to do what you did. But you did because you are not petty. Because you were willing to forgive her for her misunderstanding. Because you have a good heart. Because you thought you owed it to each other to not end things on terms like that last message you received. You deserve better than that. The message she sent you indicated she took no blame for the state of the friendship…. she didn’t like that you expected her to make amends with you (even though that was a misinterpretation of you what you said anyway)…. and she was worried people would think badly of her and would think she didn’t deserve you.
I’ll tell you who deserves you…. the person who questions if they do deserve you. The person who looks at their behaviour, can reflect on it, consider your emotions and do the right thing, without making you feel guilty for expecting it. You need to build yourself some boundaries young lady. Some standards, and stick to them like glue. You might lose people you’ve known all your life because of those standards you set…. let them go. The people, not the standards! You are not a doormat. You are allowed to use your voice and say when you feel you deserve better treatment. You may need to consider the way you go about voicing those feelings – as you well know you are not perfect and can always improve – you’re not so arrogant to think you are never wrong… in fact you’re frequently wrong and feel genuine remorse about it. You deserve people who show genuine remorse towards you too. People who would do anything to not lose you. You deserve that. People who are not too proud to admit their mistakes and apologise. People who remind you of the good in you when you cannot see it in yourself. People who tell you how they feel towards you…. without you having to put words in their mouth. They say it because they feel it and they mean it. You deserve relationships and friendships like that. You need it. Do not settle for less. I’ll kick your arse if you do.
Let her think what she does of you. What others believe about you is not your concern. Your concern is picking yourself back up…. gluing yourself back together… holding your head up high and carrying on with you life, with or without her.
You have to accept that it is highly likely this friendship is dead. No matter how much you don’t want it to be… if what you did (however misunderstood), upset her that much that she says nothing will ever be the same now, and punished you by snubbing you, then how long would it survive if resurrected? It would always be in your mind that she holds it against you, along with her interpretation that you gave her an ultimatum. It will haunt you that she saw the reality of your illness and said nothing will ever be the same now, because of one misunderstanding / ‘mistake’. That she gave up on you that easily. That she was that petty and that rude to snub you, when you had gone to a lot of effort for her…. How would that last? Think about it… seriously… I know you don’t want to lose her – the whole point of last year was because you were afraid of losing her. The reality is that she was not afraid of losing you. She must have let go of you a long time ago… you’re always the one left holding on long after others walk away. Don’t do this to yourself any longer than you have.
The simple fact is that you can’t go back and undo everything that’s happened. You have ‘trauma’ issues. Undiagnosed but possible I would think, that you have C-PTSD. And this means that you cannot let go of hurtful things that happen. Or rather they won’t let go of you. What has happened has scarred you…. in more ways than one. That damage is done. Equally you cannot go back and change what you have done. You cannot go back and unblog your feelings. You cannot change the words you said to make it clearer what you meant. You cannot go back in time and change how you reacted to the Hannah stuff. you cannot unwrite what you wrote back then… you cannot unbeg for her to consider your emotions. I don’t think you should to be honest. If someone won’t consider your emotions then sometimes they need to be told about them! But if you had known it would lead to accusations of ‘ultimatums’, then in hindsight you would not have approached it in that manner. You cannot undo that. And the past won’t go away.
People do overcome difficulties in relationships and friendships…. people do forgive and move on… but the difficulty here is her level of understanding, and your emotional needs do not seem to match anymore. Her actions or more importantly inactions demonstrate that she will not forgive you for what she thinks you did wrong, because she sees things less compassionately than your illness requires her to. Perhaps in her mind it is unforgivable and she can’t forget it. That alone is reason enough to call it a day. You don’t need to beg for forgiveness. You don’t need to suck up to her. Because you know the story. You have apologised. Do not make it all about what you did to her… that you wrote about things that involved her, without naming her. Because if you do that, it sweeps over the things she did to you. It absolves her of her sins. It makes it seem like you are a piece of crap on the floor, you don’t deserve anyone or anything, and you’ll grovel to anyone to keep them as your friend. You have already done more for her than she has for you in this situation. Stop giving. It is her turn to fight for you. To apologise to you. You have tried being compassionate and forgiving to someone who hasn’t sincerely apologised. And she appears to be unforgiving to someone who has apologised.
Reality is that the whole debacle was because you are mentally ill and struggling so much with it. It’s because you are grieving without support from friends. It’s because you were abandoned when you needed people the most. It’s because you felt you were misunderstood, judged, blamed and punished for the symptoms of your mental illness. That is purely wrong. It’s okay to say it is. Call out stigma where you see it. All people make mistakes… even her…. the bit that shows how redeemable someone is, and how fixable a relationship is, is willingness to admit those mistakes, apologise for them and show dedication to making up for them. I wouldn’t expect it from her. Not now. She is moving on… by the sounds of it she’ll be moving, probably far away from you now she doesn’t need to stick around for you anymore – what a way to find out you’re potentially being actually, physically abandoned by someone you care about – online. You used to be the first she’d tell about things. Now she hints about them (in your paranoid mind, to hurt you). It makes you feel excluded from her life. So she clearly doesn’t want you in it anymore. She’ll move on and like with Hannah, you will be painted as the villain.
Even this post would be used as ammunition. It would be all about what you did wrong here, rather than admitting that this is as a result of how she treated you…. that this is about self-compassion and fixing what she broke in you. That it’s not about her, it’s about you. It’ll always be about making you feel guilty and like you have to apologise for what you do, without her taking responsibility for how she’s made you feel. But you know what is true. And one day she will regret it. It is her loss. No matter how sad it makes you to lose her, the kids and a long history…. if she cannot see what she has done wrong, and won’t do what is needed to fix it, then you’re better off. Because one day you will recover from this mental illness. You may look back with regret at some things you said and did in the midst of your breakdown… but ‘you will still be you’, as Grampa always used to say. You’ll make it out the other side of this breakdown, and you will be the same person you were before you went into it…. you will be the same person you know you are right now. You know you’re still in there, and you needed your friends to look into your heart and recognise you as their friend. You’ll know that she let go of a loyal, caring, thoughtful and honest friend… someone who would never have given up on her. Time will reveal the truth to her. And she will one day regret losing you. But not right now…. right now she hates you. And that’s okay. She’s entitled to. She doesn’t know what you know.
Always hold on to who you are. Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt that you’re a good person. Don’t keep punishing yourself for mistakes you make… other people don’t punish themselves for their mistakes – they take it out on you instead!!! Put the anger and the blame where it belongs. Stop inflicting pain on yourself. Stop hitting yourself…. stop trying to break your hand and your arm…. stop cutting and bleeding for people who don’t even blink at the thought of hurting you or losing you. It’s crazy. Focus on your recovery. Focus on getting well again. And cherish the people who are around you, supporting you, loving you and who remind you of the good in you. The people who never give up on you, especially in your darkest time. Forget what you have lost, and focus on what you still have. You will get there. Just stop letting the opinions of others become your reality. Forgive yourself, focus on your health and one day this will all make sense on a higher level. Love yourself first. You’ve got this.