n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, May 29, 2010

the first and the last

RecoveryIt took me awhile to get the ordering of this straight.

But I think it begins here.

It's been awhile since I've had a month so intense, with so much happening that's for real, that is not just about me but about events, and oil spills, and operations, and my best friend being ill... that I've not even known how to begin processing the information.

Let's start with: my best friend has been diagnosed multiple times with Borderline Personality Disorder, but she has not accepted this diagnosis and still seeks what she calls a 'medical' reason that will explain her pain and the shattering of her life. From what I can see, each and every one of her symptoms can be linked with this disease, and I see BPD as indeed 'medical', and have been researching and doing my best to shuttle her towards acceptance of the psychological domain. But she will not yet go there, and keeps seeking the 'medical' help of 'medical' specialists, and we have well nigh fallen apart around the definition of medical, and the incredible trust issue that surrounds her belief that she is experiencing a rare, undiagnosed problem [heart condition, ciliac disease, tumor, cancer, virus, infection, etc... the list goes unparalleled]. The trust issue being that if I don't accept the diagnosis of the day, I'm against her. If I don't listen for hours about her medical conditions, I'm against her. If I suggest other options, I'm against her. If I don't agree, I'm not listening, not believing, not on her side. I'm just another one... of those. Of course, I can't believe, or state I believe, anything other than I what I do.

I'm glad I've started reading about BPD, but the whole experience is still like my best friend has disappeared, and this bitchy, abusive, self-centered, circular-logic person has come into my life. I've gone through the angry stages, the I-can-save-her stages, the Her-Dramatic-Gfiend-Is-at-Fault stages, the I-Hate-Her-Family stages, the I-dream-of-her-every-night-in-fear stages, and others. I've backed away, I've tried contacting her family (what horrible parents that exist in this world!), I've tried listening to her as she falls asleep, wakes, falls asleep, cusses out others, falls asleep, wake and begs for me to still be there, falls asleep. I've questioned my own intentions, left right and center. I've contacted her girlfriend, and been lied to by her girlfriend ("Oh no, I'm not planning on visiting her soon") and then heard her girlfriend tell me why she had to file police reports against her for violence (I don't doubt that there was violence, but there is no 'sorry for your plight' in my heart after having advised her to wait until N is more stable, and then watch as N's small iota of built-stability disappears, and I'm supposed to pick up the mess, I guess).

I never thought this possible. And I don't know what to do. In the meantime, I'm reading about what to do, thinking about whether I can do something, really practically and not just via phone, and living my beautiful life that somehow seems more beautiful and yet more wrong for the fact that my best friend is suffering something beyond her control.

Control. I keep thinking about that. N has historically been so high-functioning, so winnerly of everyone's intellectual and friendship admiration. She's taken care of herself since high school, gotten herself ABD, paid her bills, had relationships, gone through counseling. She's held the friendship of people who I thought were my friends, and who weren't (yeah, dealing with jealousy issues in the midst). And it's like a tumbling tower... all the more to fall for having been built up. One of the survivors I've spoken with says this is normal... everything holds together until it falls incredibly and irretrievably apart, bit by bit, unstoppable, right in front of the survivor's eyes. Until nothing is left to hold onto or contain.

Makes me wonder how much I've wrangled into position. Makes me want to run out and get counseling just to make sure. Makes me scared for everyone sensitive I've ever known.

I've been trying to build up appropriate walls, not accept the 5am calls. Call when I am ready, in the garden, solid, secure in myself, secure in patience and love. I've had a conversation with DP, who I thought I'd never have to interact with again in my life (hoped, maybe) [felt like sometimes people are inextricably tied to your life, no matter what you do... Though it wasn't bad, it was hard in that it raked up so much emotional past, and made me wonder why I was so easy to discard and betray, whereas N was not. So much anger and jealousy around the fact that my own best friend was deemed good enough in the eyes of those I loved, whereas I was not. Hard to deal with at the same time as trying to be there, reach out to everyone, and speak to someone who I always admired and who stood by N but not me, ultimately. Sometimes I can't believe the circles generated.] Fortunately, it seems like N and I have always had the right boundaries, and so they somehow hold out. We're not lovers, nor in love with each other. We're 'just' best friends, and we owe each other nothing, but nonetheless love each other, and understand each other somehow deep down beneath whatever's happening, so... so far, no irreconcilable fights. Just fights that end with "Sorry, love you." Not that this solves anything.

Anyhow. I've been having a hard time accepting my other friends' commendations about response... hard to explain, but it doesn't seem right making it about me doing right. Not about me. On the other hand, I've gotten way better about accepting these friends' support and love and doing positive things. Just don't want to talk about how 'awesome' I am because it somehow make me feel heavier and more sad and really sad. I just need my friend to be better, like I'd need my baby sister to be better if she was suffering. Just like that. It ain't right.
I am so sorry that you are (in some ways) losing your best friend. I can only imagine the pain of it. I am here for you, you can cry on my shoulder any day, you can eat out of my fridge anytime, you can come get hugs anytime.

You do indeed have a sweet heart. 'Preciate the love.
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