About a week or so ago, I ran out of one of my prescriptions for happy pills. I knew it might cause some of my negative emotions to rise to the surface, and it did in the form of frustration with work. But frustration with work is not all that unusual anyway. Surprisingly, I actually had some good experiences while off the drug, but yesterday I started to feel rather sorry for myself. I’m sure some of it was the fact that I had a low-grade headache, but I got to the part where I just didn’t have the energy to do much of anything.
One thing that’s been weighing on my mind is the end of a 26-year, very close friendship. Actually, we’d been growing apart for a few years, so perhaps its more like a 20-year relationship. I’ve written about her lack of support before (although I’ll be darned if I can find it); and some of the ways she’s hurt me in the past.
Various people have told me over the last years that I should probably end it. But I just couldn’t imagine doing it. I guess I wasn’t ready to give up on the relationship. But so many significant things happened to me this past year that she’s ignored. And after totally ignoring my birthday, not to mention my phone calls and e-mails, I’d had enough.
I wrote an e-mail explaining how I felt, and how I feel I’ve been ignored. Even though I was sure she hadn’t read the e-mail (she corresponds from work), I felt so much better having just written and (prematurely) sending it. Then, last week she sent an e-mail that I’m sure was meant to be funny, but I found it insulting. I hated to reply to her at work, but I knew otherwise she’d never see it. In it, I told her to check her home e-mail.
I have not heard from her since. Nor do I think I ever will. I know she probably thinking this is my normal (destructive) pattern of behavior, because I have alienated a lot of people in my life. Some of those were my fault; I was severely depressed and didn’t always understand the effect my behavior would have on others. Other times, I just had to set limits because of other circumstances.
Of course, all this alienation leads me to think that a lot of it is my fault. And I’m willing to believe that to some extent. But I think the other part is that I’d been a doormat for so long, I thought I deserved to be treated as a nonentity.
Today I got an e-mail from my counselor, part of her monthly newsletter. She first talked about patience, and how sometimes being patient is difficult and painful. She ended with 30 ways to build self-esteem. The last one was “Communicate your needs.” That’s just what I needed to hear! Things will be difficult and painful for awhile, but I’ll be better off in the long run. And I did communicate my needs. If my friend cannot take my needs into account, then what kind of friend is she?