I wrote this a while back – early July when I [out of order due to depression] – and may explain the contribution to my current profound depression. Due to it’s emotional sensitivity I have not felt comfortable posting it. Until today.
I’ve been in therapy once a month tackling my abandonment and codependent issues and, along with a lot of research, I’ve been making headway in my understanding of dysfunctional behaviours that have carved detrimental patterns through my life.
On Monday, I had a breakthrough in understanding just how pervasive this behaviour is – not only as daughter, wife, girlfriend or lover, but that it lives and breathes within ANY relationship….. including my friendships.
What a harsh dose of reality to realise I have dysfunctional/codependent relationships with the only two friends I have and love. To realise that my value of these friendships was not matched with equal importance, I can’t tell you how much it slayed me. To realise I’ve been people-pleasing, jumping through hoops, making fun of myself and humiliatingly being made fun of; to realise I’ve been making excuses for behaviour I now find unacceptable (thanks to my boundaries crash course), all in exchange for their approval to validate my own identity, to be accepted, to be loved. To realise their love was condition, absolutely broke me.
She was my best friend. But I was only the ‘funny’ friend at work that was never included in her personal life or out of work activities. Out of work, she hangs out with a person she confesses to find ‘repulsive’. So why do activities with this horrible person when we could have been a reinvention of Thelma and Louise? She was a friend on her terms only. Offers of help when accepted, turned into excuses and lies.
At this point my abandonment issues were SCREEEEAMING! My natural instinct was to immediately disengage from the world. To close ranks, draw the bridge, fill the moat and cloak myself in isolation. To be really, truly, completely alone. I had to make a decision. Continue my current behaviour which would silence my fears of abandonment? Establish some boundaries? No, not possible. So I’ve cut all ties. My world has been emptied by the loss, a kind of death, of my only friends.
I want to say there is not blame to be bestowed. That we are all characters in our own lives and these lives blend together – sometimes for a short periods and sometimes for an eternity. But I can’t. I feel betrayed, vulnerable, cheated, angry. The loss of my only friends has felt like a death.
In the midst of this emotional storm, I was struck by a concept the therapist mentioned – a new home is the opportunity to create a new persona. So what if I looked at this from a different angle? Instead of loss, I look at it as gain? What if I have to say to myself is – I now have a clean slate; I’ve done my housekeeping and swept everything that’s dysfunctional out. And now it’s just me. Alone. Starting again. A second chance. An opportunity to create a new me, a new life well beyond the expectations of others. Feels kinda liberating looking at it like that. ….
Well, it would be if I wasn’t bipolar and felt every ounce of emotion like dry ice on raw skin . Instead my illness has directed me head first into an endless depression, compounded by the stress of buy a home, moving, the incident with my father, sciatica and then Ulla’s death.
This is what set my depression in motion. It has become more entrenched as each day passes. I try, I try and I try to adopt the therapist’s strategy. I try to keep busy, to fight the depression, to adopt my own strategies. My efforts are endless and exhausting. But the ‘aloneness’ is so amplified it is consuming me. On bad days, I think it’s going to kill me. Since all my dealings with people over the past year have lead to betrayal, I don’t have much faith in this ‘aloneness’ ending anytime soon.