Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two people who REALLY didn't want me there

Yesterday I went with Shalva to a lecture about miracles. The topic wasn't so controversial, but my presence was.

The lecture was given by Erica's husband -- I've been dropped from her enriching play volunteer email list, but she still sends me event invitations. And it was held at the apartment of an ex-friend of mine, Judas. (Apologies to anyone who's offended by a moniker plucked from the New Testament, but I couldn't think of an Old Testament name harsh enough to characterize him.)

Judas isn't really an ex-boyfriend, although I did go out with him twice more than 10 years ago. After we briefly dated, he became one of my closest friends. He visited me in the hospital after my sinus surgery. He showed me how to use the Internet. We spent a lot of time together, just hanging out and talking. Judas was one of the few people I told about my depression diagnosis, and he was very supportive and understanding. Then hypomania hit, and he dropped me flat.

I can't say I really blame Judas. He organized a shabbaton weekend, capped off with a Sunday afternoon of canoeing, and my behavior throughout was bizarre and extreme. When you're manic your brain isn't very good at creating and storing memories -- it's malfunctioning in a number of ways. So it's probably a mercy for me that I can't remember everything I did and said, although I know at one point I was prancing around in a bikini.

This was shortly after my first major depressive episode, during which my weight dropped to 99 pounds; I looked good, and I flaunted it. Later that summer my cousin got married in LA, and my mother and I stayed at a hotel with a hot tub. I ran around the hotel, to and from the hot tub, in that bikini. I also got up and sang "I can't help falling in love with you" at the wedding, although, to be fair, the band asked me to. (They were going from table to table singing with guests, and when I suggested they do that song, they asked, "Can you sing?" I said yes, and they took me up on stage and let me perform. Jerusha wanted to crawl under the table.)

Anyway, I'm sure Judas can remember what else I did during that weekend; I'm just as sure he was mortified I was acting so strangely in front of his other friends. But Judas never asked me, "Ayelet, what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you acting like this? Are you crazy? What's the matter?" He just started ignoring me. After a few attempts at communication, I started ignoring him back.

Judas has a great apartment, with a terrace and garden. So friends of mine like hosting parties there, and to give him credit, he's generous enough to let them. Thus, I've been at his apartment several times over the past few weeks -- a friend's going-away party (she's moving back to California after a year in NYC), a potluck lunch, or an afternoon lecture on miracles.

To give Judas credit, he's never openly rude to me. He won't speak to me directly, but he doesn't pretend I'm not there. Neither did Erica or her husband. But I wondered if the three of them would have been happier had I not shown up.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Forgiveness is an art. They need to forgive you for behavior you did not intend to be harmful. Have you asked them to forgive? If you have and they can't, it is their problem, but reminding them of that by not severing contact might bring them to a higher level. Stay strong. Katherine

  2. I agree that Judas needs to forgive me, but I don't think I did anything wrong to Erica!

  3. We are all absorbed in our own narcissistic envelope. Get out of your envelope. Don't worry about what you did in the past. Be a good person to others. If they're acting cold they may have their own mishigass on their mind. You might ask them if there is anything wrong.

  4. In the case of Judas, I did say something to him along the lines of, "It seems like you're avoiding me." He said, "Well, that's what it is." So I don't think it's a case of me being enclosed in a "narcissistic envelope."

    As far as Erica goes, after what happened I don't feel comfortable volunteering to help with her child, but I don't think talking about it will do any good.