Monday, June 19, 2006

The One that Got Away...

In the hopes of not "jumping the shark" as it were, I would like to take a different spin on relationships. Namely, the relationships women have with other women (and no I don't mean in that way you pervert).

When I relocated from Hell (read Richmond, VA), I cut off a few ties I had with people who didn't represent where I wanted to be or who I was trying to grow into. In short I thought they dragged me down and since we hadn't been all that close to begin with, I simply severed the ties completely and burned them at the ends to stop them from growing back when I revisited the ole homestead.

However, one of these ties was just a little bit different. She would be NotBipolar. She and I shared a love of the geekier aspects of my nature and she was someone I could sit down and chat with about my fandoms and not feel like a total trekkie convention reject because she shared similar if not the same fangirl spazziness. However, that was on a good day. On a bad day, she could be counted on to call me constantly, be overly emotional, attack me and others verbally and in short make a total bitch of herself. But I knew and understood that her mental disorder kept her from functioning normally if she wasn't on her meds. I was perfectly happy to accept her as she was and was even understanding of the fact that sometimes taking her meds did her more harm than good.

And then she came to visit me in my newly relocated venue and that changed...

Her visit was unfortunately, on a bad day, and this day also included a run in with NotAStreetcarDesire, who has even less patience than I do for unnecessary shit and annoying people. Did I mention that NotBipolar tended to be on the far side of trying the patience of a saint when not on her meds.


So while I was finishing up a shower NotBipolar came to visit, long story short, she was greeted (I use the term loosely) at the door by NotAStreetcarDesire, who immediately passed judgment that from her dress and looks she must have been a homeless person, which I deeply protested and admitted that she was a friend. Needless to say my sanity was in doubt for a few moments before NotASCD shrugged and went back to what she had been doing.

The visit did not go well to say the least and I ended up telling NotBipolar a lot of the things I had always wanted to tell her, if not for her own sake then definately for my own. She went home that evening I'm sure with two things on her head, 1) She had never seen me so angry before and 2) The friendship as she knew it was over. *snips ties and burns ends in acid*

Fast forward two years to the present.

I got a phone call on Sunday. It was none other than NotBP calling to let me know that she had some news, she had breast cancer.

I asked the questions that I expect most people ask when faced with something like this. "What stage is it?" "Are you going to be doing chemo" "How have you been?" But I couldn't bring myself to reopen that channel of friendship that we had had before. I couldn't bring myself to invite her back into my life or work my way back into hers. And to me that's the saddest part of all because she was the friend that got away and I didn't have the heart or even care enough to pull her back in.

So where does that put me in the human gene pool? I'm sure that by now some of you are either horrified that this is how I acted when faced with someone who used to be a friend or understanding of my place in all this. As for me, I'm not sure, I'm upset somewhat about what I did, but I can't help thinking that I just saved myself a world of hurt by not letting her get to close. This one that got away from me, will unfortunately, have to find someone else to reel her in.


The Confessor said...

You can still be her friend from afar I think. She reached out to you because she's going through something huge and needs support. Even though she's not a good friend sometimes a caring word doesn't go astray.

Clueless said...

I'm going to sound callous here but to clarify, I'm the one all my friends call "mum" because I'm always there for my friends and for most acqaintances too. BUT you can be used up by the overly needy "hard work" people who never give much back and are usually happier when they're miserable (no aspersions cast at the mentally ill though - am relating this to someone I'm thinking of not all bipolar people). Ouch that sounds harsh and I do understand she's unwell, but I can only relate to it from my own experiences - sometimes you outgrow people. She misses your friendship you must have been a very supportive friend. Her diagnosis is sad and she does need a friend but if you don't have the capacity to re-join the friendship, tread carefully so you don't hit her with a friend-rejection again when she doesn't need it if she tries to cling out of neediness (jeez all this from someone who you don't know - apologies but I hope it helps).

You'll regret not being caring if you don't show some concern..but maybe concern with constraint? Don't feel like a bad person for not being able to be someone's counsellor though.

GreenLineBoy said...

Sometimes we have to realize our limitations. We are not all professional counselors as we may think. She obviously needs help and I'm sure you're not the first person she called.

If you do desire to be there for her make sure your heart is in it. Helping out of obligation doesn't really help anyone. Maybe a resolutions is to take a little time to find someplace where she can get some counselling. That way you are not abandoning her and yet you still maintain your boundaries.

smashley love said...

i think shell be okay.

you did what you needed, regardless of her condition.

besides im sure if you would have known, it would have been a little different.


Jordan said...

Some people just suck the life right out of you and you have nothing to give in return. You can't force a friendship, although a few nice words is what she needed to hear, and you gave it. Some people realize how awful they have been or difficult to be around and when faced with a tragedy / trauma they want to un-do the wrongs and perhaps she was simply reaching out to do that... it's too bad people don't realize at the time what they're doing. But I do understand separating yourself from negative, and bad influences... it's contagious.

Style Girl said...

i think you are a bigger person in some ways for doing what you did. you did what you needed to do and that was/is enough. i don't blame you a bit!