Thursday, January 19, 2017

"I care about you, but..."

A person I've known since middle school created an anonymous profile on Fb where she could share her private thoughts and concerns. Kinda exactly like I did.

I guess at some point I stopped following her. Maybe I was going through too much and I couldn't take too much reading about other people's pain. If she emailed me, though, I responded. Back in 2014 she asked me to help her find a therapist for her daughter. I offered to post a query on my professional association listserv:

Ayelet: This is what I'm thinking: 'Seeking contact information for psychiatrists with a holistic approach and experience overseeing light box therapy. Issues are depression, child of narcissist, childhood emotional abuse, ADD, and other learning disabilities. She is a 19-year-old college student who has her own car and can travel a bit."

Alleged friend: Perfect. Thanks so much. I have been wondering: when were you first diagnosed with bipolar? When was your first major depressive episode?

A: Probably college, but I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 24 and bipolar at 25. Only took me 18 years to find a really good psychiatrist -- God willing, it won't take her nearly that long.

AF: What is it about college that messes people up so much?? I wish I knew how to help her more, but she wants to be independent, even though she isn't up to it. Sigh.

A: Your schedule is chaotic, your hormones are raging, you have so much independence that you don't know how to manage, and you think you're an adult & know everything even though your cerebral cortex is still not fully developed. If you'd like me to talk to her, I'd be happy to.

AF: Yep, guess that sums it up 😉 Gotta run. Hope you feel better!

Recently I tried to look at her private profile and noticed we were no longer friends. I wondered why and asked her. She responded:

AF: I removed you from this profile more than two years ago. Interesting that you just noticed.

A touch passive-aggressive. Somewhat patehetically, I asked her why and said that if I'd done anything to offend her, I was sorry. She responded at length:

You didn't offend me or hurt me in any way. But I think the fact that you didn't notice for over two years explains why I removed you. How did you not realize that you hadn't seen any posts from that profile the entire time my mother was in hospice and dying? While I was sitting shiva and mourning? Some major things have gone on in my life which were shared to some degree on my general page, but you didn't notice that you were no longer in the private loop.

I care about you, Ayelet, but I have observed you are very one directional in your use of Facebook. You want people to follow you and comment on your posts, but you do not reciprocate. Your interest in other people's lives, and sympathy for other people's ordeals, is minimal. My private Facebook page is for my inner circle, the few people to whom I confide my deepest thoughts. At some point I realized you haven't earned that position.

I was upset all day--I guess what she said hit close to home. Even though I remember sending her a condolence card, calling her, and trying to comfort her. I guess it wasn't enough.

I know I'm a narcissist. But I also know that I prove how much I care about other people every day. To clients as well as friends. And if someone is going to walk around with simmering resentment, then lash out and slander my character, I don't need them in my life, I can't trust someone who has such a vile opinion of me and claims to be my friend.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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