Rant on friendship

I remember I had this one friend…I thought everything was okay, then suddenly I found out that this person never liked me in the first place.  I think she was only friends with me because she thought that no one else would be nice to me.  I think she took pity on me and hung out just as some form of charity.  She took it upon herself to put up with me, lying and pretending she was enjoying my company.  She shared a lot of her feelings with me, though, some of them probably genuine.  I did notice the “tap tap” quite a bit in the background of our phone conversations (the keyboard).  I think she thought she was doing some kind of self-sacrifice by being friends with me.  I think she is friends with a lot of people she doesn’t actually like, but feels sorry for and figures no one else will hang out with them so she is doing her “good deed.”  I noticed that when she talked about her other friends, saying she didn’t really enjoy them, and I wanted to ask her, “Why bother?”   It was just kind of a token “touch base” so she could say she did it, I guess.  Maybe she hangs out with people she can’t stand, seeing them once a month and then telling herself, “Well, I’ve gotten that over with.”  So she was holding in a lot, the fact that she really couldn’t stand me.  Then one day, poof!  She dumped me.  She let our her real feelings, told me she actually despised me (i.e. got out of her “charity” commitment cuz it got to be too inconvenient).  I had no clue.  She had been a good faker.  She had been lying all along.  Lying to herself, too.  Never mind that I felt completely devastated.

Why is it that when people dump me, it’s at the absolute worst time every time? Someone dumped me after she found out my dad died.  People told me that probably she couldn’t tolerate being friends with someone who had lost a parent, because she was so overly dependent on her own parents and could not accept their impermanence in her life.

One of my goals is to have real, lasting friendships.  But I wonder, is there such a thing?  The closest thing I’ve ever had to genuine friendship was at Goddard.  I felt accepted there…still do, as a matter of fact, still feel like I belong to a community.  It is now “Facebook only,” though, which truly sucks.  And now, I have my church.  I think church saved my life.  I am so thankful.

I wonder if It’s better to be part of a community than it is to have an individual friendship.  I figure that then, I am not a burden to any one person, but to an entire group, and any individual can “bow out” anytime they need a break from me.

I guess I am just a burden to everyone.  This is the message I get.

I get the message, too, that the reason I need a therapist supposedly is because I really don’t have anyone close to me that I can talk to.  I am such a rotten person that no one can stand to hang out with me, so I have to pay someone to do so for an hour a week.

I open up to my acupuncturist a fair amount.  This is a good thing, because then she can work her needle magic appropriately.  I like my acupuncturist.  She asks me a lot of questions, and then decides what action to take based on my answers.  The treatments are helpful.  Sometimes, I feel  immediate relief as soon as the needles go in.  The process, then, once the needle starts to work, is to tolerate “letting go” of the problem.  It is a physical sensation, this “letting go.”  It’s hard to explain if you’ve never experienced Chinese medicine.

When I think about it, the only people who have bothered with me lately are those who are paid to do so.  I suppose there are plenty of people who see a lot of professionals and have no friends.  Of course, many of these professionals think very little of their clients.  They get rich by faking it for an hour, for a bunch of hours a day.  Then, at the end of the day they are pretty damn tired of the game.  So they shut off their phone, go home, and enjoy their real lives.  Once a week, for two days they have this thing “weekend,” when they can pretend their fake lives don’t exist.  Then, Monday invariably comes and it completely sucks.

Do you think your therapist is glad to see you?  Of course your therapist is glad you showed up.  Many therapists are “fee for service.”  I think that’s what it’s called.  If you don’t show, they don’t get paid.  So they are damn glad you came.  Therapists who don’t “get their numbers up,” that is, attendance-wise, aren’t profitable for the agency to keep around.  A lot of therapists get fired from agencies for this reason.  If has nothing to do with the quality of their work.  Furthermore, it’s to the therapist’s advantage to avoid clients with health issues that might cause them to cancel a lot.  I don’t think it’s very profitable, for instance, to be a migraine specialist.  It’s not very profitable to see very sick people who can’t get out of bed half the time due to whatever their ailment is.  People with cancer.  People with AIDS.  People with eating disorders that have affected their physical health.  Anyone who is sick enough to be hospitalized.  Of course, it’s just plain stupid to take on anyone suicidal.  It looks pretty bad when they die.

One “partial” program I applied to regularly turned down anyone suicidal.  So when I did a phone intake, the guy asked me (I can practically quote you on this), “I’m going to ask you some questions.  Here’s the first: Do you ever have any thoughts whatsover about suicide?  Anything at all?”  I told him yes.  Then he stopped all the questions and said I was going to have to wait on going any further with the application process until he talked to Dr. P.  I asked him, “You said you had a series of questions for me.  Are these ‘screening questions’?”  He said that yes, they were.  I asked him what the rest of the questions were.  If memory serves me correctly, some of the other questions were about drug and alcohol use.  I’ll bet there was one on communicable diseases too.  I asked him if they asked these questions to weed out people who were going to be liability risks and he said, “Yes.”

This is why a lot of therapists who are eating disorders specialists won’t take on clients who have medical complications.  I was turned away from a couple of therapists for this reason.  So really, they only take on mild cases, or people who are so newly diagnosed that the medical consequences haven’t started yet.

Basically, the further along you are, the lesser the chances are of your recovery.  The statistics are right there staring us in the face.  The lesser the chances are of your recovery, the more therapists are going to refuse to take you on.

Therapists like this thing called “hope,” I guess, and when there isn’t any, then their work gets damn depressing.

I know this is hard to hear, but a lot of people end up so sick that the hospitals just let them go.  They “send them home to die.”  This is true in a lot of “Welfare cases.”  A lot of people who have AIDS are turned away from treatment.  With chronic eating disorders, people whose bodies are literally dying are sent home or turned away.  Some of these people have loved ones who take care of them at home.  Others have insurance and they go to nursing homes.  Some go to homeless shelters.  Some get incarcerated in the state hospital.  Many die at home alone.

It’s Sunday, and tomorrow night I’m flying to London.  I broke the bank back in the beginning of March to pay for this trip, or, rather, that’s when I put the charge on my credit card that will take two years to pay off.  I felt like it was something I HAD to do. So I’m doing it.

My friend sent me a link to a listing of free travel opportunities, saying that travel can be healing.  I mean, nothing else is working, right?

I fell asleep with my shoes on last night.  I went to pee, and then pulled down my socks a little.  All the skin underneath is discolored from edema.  The skin stretches when my feet, ankles, and calves expand to accommodate the excess tissue fluid.  I notice when I descend a staircase, my ankles bend a lot, and the skin stretches a bit too much, so I feel these little stings with each step when the skin breaks.  Sometimes, my skin stings a lot and the sensation keeps me awake, but not for long.  The edema is all over my legs now.  I can press anywhere on my legs, even up on my thigh with my finger, remove my finger, and a dent will remain.

I can’t imagine what my heart looks like right now.  I can’t imagine it isn’t surrounded by fluid, or has fluid in the tissues.  I hear that eventually the fluid has no place to go, so it fills your lungs.  Doctors spend a lot of time listening to my lungs, and then, finally, decide that I pass…for now.  But…there’s no point in going to doctors or hospitals anymore.  They decide, or we decide, that there’s really nothing they can do for me anyway.

4 thoughts on “Rant on friendship”

  1. I used to challenge my psychodynamic therapist why she didn’t seem too pleased to see me and she always told me why. Usually it had something to do with some other client she had just seen unloading something stressful. Or somebody she hadn’t seen in a while turning up. I’m glad I did ask why she seemed so distracted: it put a pin in my paranoia and deflated it.

    As for friendships, I was in at least 2 longterm USELESS friendships where my “friend” turned out to be exceptionally jealous of me and did everything they could to have a dig at me, bring me down, lower my already low self-esteem. In the end I got rid of both people out of my life. And I don’t miss either one at all. Just as I’m sure you don’t miss your rotten old “friend”…

    1. Hi Gledwood,

      I end up missing ex-friends terribly, especially at first. After a while, the hurt and shock fade.

      I had a therapist who told me all the intimate details about her other patients. I assume she told them stuff about me, too. Kinda unprofessional and illegal, I must say.

      Julie

  2. I have seen 3 counsellors for ongoing therapy over the years. The first one told me some of her life story and it was a kind of parallel to mine: very low self-esteem, a crap childhood and adolescence and a poorly-adjusted personality. But I had issues she never had, that I never told her about, and the big difference between us was that when she went to university in her late teens/early 20s she blossomed, while I was overwhelmed and went downhill quickly. She THOUGHT she understood what made me tick, and I could just tell that she despised me for not being able to handle life as easily as she had, despite her crappy past.

    In fact, counselling and psychotherapy annoy me because you’re expected to pour out the secrets of your heart to some stranger and it’s considered “unprofessional” for them to tell very much at all about themselves.

    I remember going to the clinic for my second counsellor (who was much better), turning up early while another session was still going in another room. The rooms weren’t exactly soundproofed and I remember listening to this person whinge (I can’t even remember what they were saying, it was so boring) but they sounded like they were sounding off, saying things about a person that they would never say to that person’s face ~ and that just underlines what I think is wrong with counselling. I always wanted to go to effect change, not just get things off my chest. I can get stuff off my chest by writing about it, blogging about it especially. I got pushed into counselling twice, basically because the other professionals didn’t know what to do with me. I remember saying to one mental nurse “isn’t counselling meant to make you feel worse?” and she shrugged and looked confused and said “well it might make you feel worse in the short term but…” and I thought yeah yeah. It never helped me feel any better. In fact it did my head in that the 2nd time especially, when I was having psychodynamic therapy, my behaviour seemed to really worry the therapist and it was so obvious I’d got under her skin. I just wasn’t up to dealing with someone else’s tangled feelings on top of my own. In fact I got a lot better when I STOPPED GOING to any counselling at all… which just about says it all!!!

  3. Hi Gledwood,

    Sounds like you had some really bad therapists! You are paying them so don’t put up with that shit! Unfortunately, by the time I find a therapist I fear that I will have to put up with whomever I get. I’d rather have no therapy than bad therapy…i can say that the one who slept through our sessions and talked more about herself than she ever learned about me was a bad therapist…but I have had some that had some worth.

    You know, they tell me to “shop around.” Huh? I can’t even find one therapist who will treat me, let alone have more than one to choose from. I have been told that this is pretty much the way it is when you are on public assistance. You get on a waiting list and do what you’re supposed to do on waiting lists…wait! Hopefully, by the time the wait is over, you’re still in one piece. Then again, whenever I’ve known someone to need therapy, they need it right away, not in a few months.

    Julie

Feedback and comments welcome!