It has taken me five days to compose this post. That’s how hard it’s been to write about this.
In a previous post I recounted the ways in which I am a bad friend. Well, I had a revealing conversation today that gave more evidence of that. A friend of mine asked me how my Memorial Day weekend was, and she could tell it was not a good weekend for me. I told her that it was a hard weekend because I found myself recounting previous Memorial Days when she and I were closer, and I missed it. I then went on tell her that I felt she and the rest of the group of friends abandoned me when I really needed them.
She then shocked me by telling me that was not the case, that she, in fact, called me frequently during the time after I had my traumatic incident. She then went into detail about lengthy conversations we had on the phone, and I recall none of it. She has no reason to lie to me, and she gave too many details for it to be a lie. Plus, it’s not like her to tell anything but the truth.
And in that vein, of always telling the truth, while I was still grappling with the fact that she did, in fact, keep in contact with me, she called out the elephant in the room. She said to me, ” You never visited after my son was born. You only held him once. You disappeared as soon as my son was born, and I never understood why that happened.”
So there it was, just like that, she called it out. After nearly 5 years of walking around the elephant one of us finally called it out. I decided to go with it, and tell her after all this time why I did what I did.
Nearly five years ago I hit rock bottom. I was drinking and carelessly putting myself in unsafe situations. This behavior culminated in a sexual assault from someone I knew, and that person held a job in high esteem. My friend says that I she and I had long conversations about this attack where she implored me to report it. I do not recall these conversations, but the fact the she knew so many details indicates that we did have these conversations. I can only attribute my memory loss to my DID.
Shortly after my assault my friend adopted a newborn baby. My hitting rock bottom and crawling into the rooms nearly dovetailed with the arrival of her son. And I couldn’t deal, couldn’t and wouldn’t go see the baby. All of a sudden I had an aversion to her baby. It flummoxed me because I love babies. But I could not come near this baby without getting twitchy and freaked out.
The baby was not at fault for my body’s reactions. My friend was not at fault for my body’s reactions. Although I knew that, I was powerless to change my reactions. I could not function around this poor child, and found myself avoiding going to her house to see him. I avoided this new lovely child because of the reaction my body had around this precious being. But the fallout was my friendship with this person whom I cherished. That friendship took a very bad hit, and then, eventually, the friendship was no longer alive. There were no words exchanged about it, it just became a long goodbye.
Now it is all out in the open, and the realization of the impact of my conditions on friendships has hit me hard. I have a better understanding as to why I’m largely alone. It’s hard to swallow, but it makes sense.
It sounds to me though like you do truly have a good friend there who is honest and willing to stand with you. For what it’s worth I don’t think you’re a bad friend, you were just in a bad place and she now knows that more so. xo
Yes, we’ll see what the future holds. We were only able to have the conversation because we now work together. So, time will tell as to what will happen in the future with our friendship. I do appreciate her honesty though. Without it, we would not have had the conversation.
I”m so glad you did, at least there’s some further understanding for both of you!!
Sorry things have been so brutal for you xo
That doesn’t make you a bad friend in my opinion. It makes you human with a huge mountain of trauma issues in your life blocking you from doing things you would ordinarily like to do. None of this is your fault xx
Thanks Bourbon, I feel like a bad friend because my not being around her son really hurt her. She thought I didn’t come around because I thought she wasn’t fit to be a mom, or thought she and her husband shouldn’t be parents. She rarely cries, unlike me, and she cried while she was talking about this. It was so plain to me that the pain was still present 5 years after her son’s arrival. It was also a shock to me to hear it mattered to her that I was not around. I was honestly shocked to hear that my absence mattered to her. I didn’t know I meant that much to her.
Well your self worth is so low of course you wouldn’t think your presence is incredibly wanted and needed, by anyone. That is how you were raised to feel and it is an incredibly strong feeling and one that I am fighting at the moment too. I guess all you can do is tell her that in the future you will try to be much more honest about what is going on for you (that is related to her) so you two can talk about it like this instead of having it buried down and destructing the friendship. It’s an important lesson for trauma survivors to learn: that we matter, our lifes are important, honesty won’t always be met with a scorn of disgust. I really hope you two can think about this separately for a bit and come together again with a ‘clean slate’ or as much as one as possible xx