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It’s been rough, and so I have not been posting, but a lot of stuff has gotten better. And one thing is bad and scary, and I’ll get to that further down.

I’ve struggled with collapsing, after therapy and after other things, like 12 step group. It’s not been clear what was causing the problem, but I’m hoping I’ve got a handle on that. We discussed yesterday in my session…I’m not sure what i want to talk about here. I think work. And then my sorry ass health concern.

Last weekend was so rough, where I was mostly lying down, unable to think. I felt endlessly sad in a swamped kind of a way, with no real adult reasoning power to help. By the end of it, I decided I had to do something to improve my life. I decided to quit my job right away. So Sunday night I sent off an email to my boss’ work email, resigning with two weeks’ notice.

I had some medical tests Monday and Tuesday, so didn’t get back to the office until Wednesday. Well. Turns out they really want to keep me. I don’t know why that surprised me so much, but it kind of did. Of course, it’s costly to lose a new hire. But if I was really bad, they would let me leave if I want to. So pretty much right away, the managing director wanted to see me to discuss my concerns.

She was good at communicating, in contrast to my boss. She asked me questions, and listened carefully to my responses, and spoke to what I said. I’d decided to go with this not being a writing job, that it was not a fit for my skillset, rather than with ‘I hate my boss’. Because I really think if the job is OK, I can manage the damn boss.

She did ask me right away whether it was a ‘reporting issue’, if I’d like to report to someone else. I couldn’t think whom else I could report to. She looked at me and said ‘me’. Which totally shocked me. I didn’t know what to say, so I said that was for her to decide.

Then we talked about how the job is supposed to be 70% writing/ 30% admin, and how it’s the opposite, or less. Mostly admin. And how I didn’t think the person whom I was replacing had been a writer. The discussion was a little involved, but she said no, the previous person had done a lot of editing, and I had misunderstood some things. And that if my boss was focusing on admin, she’d need to speak with her to straighten this out.

All my resolve that I needed to leave this job kind of melted away here. I know this MD can also be difficult, but she was pretty nice to me at this point. After dealing with the boss where every interaction seemed painful, it was nice to speak to a boss who didn’t seem angry.

Later in the morning, I also spoke with J (boss). She was a completely different person also – concerned, ‘shocked’ by my email resignation. I explained again about the job not being a fit for my skill set. She also said the previous person was a writer, but she was less sure that she could make the job mostly editing rather than admin. However, she didn’t say she couldn’t.

I also said that I’d felt our interactions had been rather difficult, and that I wasn’t sure if I was doing things wrong or what the problem was. She said no, there’d been stress, but she had no concerns about my performance. I also said I’m used to managing my own projects, and don’t need a lot of manager input – that I escalate if I run into issues, but otherwise am fine. She wasn’t sure what I meant. OK.

So. The upshot was, I decided to stay for another few months, give it a try. And it’s been so much better. J has backed off entirely – I’ve barely heard a peep out of her directed my way, except to say something social. I expect she’s now afraid to send me any admin tasks, lol. I’m sure that will change. Then today I got this huge document to edit. I think they were going to skip the edit, because they are behind schedule, but have now decided to give it to me, maybe to show me there is lots of editing. There is more there than I can get through in the time allotted, but it’s OK. I like having work.

Having this boss back off is huge. I feel so much better.

So, maybe quitting was the right thing. Even though I’m staying for now. The situation felt so awful to me, and now it seems better.

The bad thing. I went for the medical tests. I had a serious illness a few years ago. It seems all OK, but now a test has come in that they’ve called me in to talk about. It’s unexpected, so I guess they’ve found something.

I’m really not set up for serious illness. I don’t have support. I don’t even have full-time work at this point, though I believe I do get some amount of short term disability if I needed it. There’s no partner, no close friend.

Anyway. I was in a panic when they called me at work. I called my ex to try and talk a bit and calm down. He’s really been a great support to me with this illness. He said if it was something serious, they’d have me in right away, not in a few weeks.

But this surgeon only has office hours once a week, Mondays. That would leave this Monday, because the following is a holiday. So I am in pretty fast really. Whatever it is won’t progress in a few weeks.

I was so darn scared. Still am, hours later, if I think about it much. Then I think – so many people go through what I’m going through. The tests. The waiting. The hope and fear. I am not alone in this experience.

So a mixed salad. Work being better is so huge, I can’t describe it. Medical bad news is so distressing it’s also hard to describe. Though this seems like fear, rather than anxiety, and so is more limited. I’m getting bits of time where I feel OK, which is not likely with anxiety.

I think with work also, I feel that nice sense of agency. I took action to change a situation, and it did change, if not exactly in the way I’d envisioned.

A lot of therapy time is spent recounting these details of my life, simply. As to the rest, another post.

 

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Last therapy session seems a bit of a distant memory, with the weekend and a full workday in between. At work there are politics, especially surrounding one individual who is very difficult, and, oh joy, is one of my main clients. Sigh. Why me. So I come home frantically strategizing on what to do, how to make it better. Anyhow. It will or it won’t get better, and life will go on.

So therapy was much much better. I got home and never thought of quitting. I took Friday off, and Ron was able to see me that day, so I wasn’t as desperately tired, and that really helps me be more open. I hope i can remember some of it.

First I tell Ron I didn’t agree with his interpretation of my dream last week. He asks me how I felt about him, when I didn’t agree with him. Frustrated, I say. Like you don’t understand me. He nods.

For me, the dream was about how my family is. How they deny anything painful, and how once it’s  brought into the open, they think you shouldn’t be upset. I mean, sure, my son dying and them not being upset is an exaggeration. But this is what they’re like in general. My mother doesn’t speak. You can’t imagine what it’s like to live with someone who never voices an opinion, who never says what’s going on for her. It’s just brutal.

Ron looks at me. You think I don’t understand how difficult your family is? He’s a bit surprised. I think when I thought about your dream, I thought that you already know your family is difficult like this. So what else is the dream saying?

Well, I know and  I don’t, I say. When I visit them, I kind of forget. I start to think it’s my fault.

Do you think the dream could be about you, about how you are treating parts of yourself? I try to consider this. Who knows. It’s painful to think, but maybe I don’t pay enough attention to parts’ feelings.

Then Ron asks whether I am like my mother – not opening up much. I  consider. I actually don’t feel I’m like my mother, temperamentally. My sister is – she feels it is virtuous to always keep your true feelings to yourself. I think my impulse is to confide. My father is more like that – he will talk about his thoughts (at length) and feelings. At least, some of them. He’s not truly open, but he has much more desire to communicate than my mother does.

However, I see Ron’s point. I hate to think I’m like my mother, but it is true I’m not making friends. I used to have some friends I made in support groups, and my neighbour became a friend. However, these friendships have kind of fallen apart, and I haven’t replaced them. I am reluctant to confide, in that, I don’t easily tell my troubles. At the moment, it sometimes feels I have nothing to talk about with anyone, because I’m mostly just surviving. I don’t have the energy to go out and socialize much, though I make some efforts, which don’t go anywhere. I think it’s just hard. I’m unlikely to make friends at work, unfortunately. I don’t find I have that much in common with these fellow workers.

So I can see what Ron means. But I still don’t think I’m cold like my mother. I do have trouble finding friends. I’m just too exhausted to put myself out there.

Overall, I felt a lot better about our discussion around this dream than I did last week. I could at least see Ron’s points as making some sense, and I felt he did pay attention when I told him how I see it.

I’ll continue the session review in another post.

The rest of the session was also OK. Now it’s been a while, so I forget a lot.

I talk about a phone call with friend E. This friend is not sympathetic to pain. I’d had some severe physical pain from my shoulder problem, which I described to her, not in too excruciating detail, and she changed the subject immediately. I felt hurt and disregarded. But then, she’s like that. Ron says – so he has almost no capacity for sympathy then. I sigh. I say I’ve chosen the wrong people, I think. People who think but don’t feel. (This friend has her good points, btw. Nothing is simple. I feel guilty writing this out, but I want a record of my session. Thanks for understanding – it’s always really about me.)

Then I worry aloud about not having real friends. I do have friends though – just, I’m unhappy with them most of the time. No one is close.

We talk about my friend H, whom I do have more of an emotional connection to. I know she cares about my feelings, and will listen to me talk. As I listen to hers. She has moved across the  country, so our relationship is now only on the phone. This is what I’m telling Ron. I like her and have known her for years. The big downside is she’s got herself this major diagnosis of schizophrenia, from back when she had a breakdown years ago and ended up in hospital. I personally think it’s a ridiculous diagnosis – I think it much more likely she is like me, split into parts. However, you cannot tell a medical person about voices of any kind, especially if you’re in a crisis, because you’ll be diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on anti-psychotics. All my anxieties about the medical profession come into play here. Ron agrees that the system is problematic.

H gets upset if I ever talk about her diagnosis, so we never go there. She is on permanent disability, shares an apartment with a brother who abused her as a child, though he no longer is abusive, and has various health issues because of the meds. But. She is a good and kind person and we do care about each other. Just I get so sad and furious sometimes thinking about her situation – it seems so hopeless somehow. But….she goes to therapy and tries to work through her abuse, and does a few things to try to help herself. It’s not really hopeless. It’s just friendship with her is fraught for me.

Ron asks if there are implications there for me – if my feelings about this friend are about me somehow.

I say I don’t think so. I’m in no danger of being put on major medications or diagnosed, after all, I’m seeing him for therapy, and he’s about the last person in the world to suggest meds to anyone. I puzzle out my feelings a bit more. I feel like…..I feel like people should be able to cope, I guess. Should? says Ron. Well…..I don’t actually think that. I understand some people cannot. But wouldn’t it be so much less difficult to face the working world than to live in such absolute poverty?

We don’t take this any further. I honestly don’t want to judge anyone for needing to be on disability. In my friend’s case, it’s pretty clear she will never get off of it, as she’s close to my age now. It makes me sad. I always wish she’d fight more, get mad, but she doesn’t. It is not my place to say.

I switch topics and ask Ron if he thinks I’m wasting my session. No, he says. You’re telling me things as you experienced them, you’re maybe not going into depth, but it’s worthwhile. I say I’m worried I’m just treating him like a friend, instead of a therapist. More of a chat. He says if I was doing that, he would still be there, and he would act in a therapeutic way. In fact, there is some theory that says that in therapy, the therapist’s unconscious communicates with the client’s unconscious in a way that is helpful, no matter what they actually discuss. He doesn’t entirely buy it, he says, but there’s something to that.

Huh. I don’t buy it at all. So all we have to do is sit in a room together silently, and he’s already being helpful to me? OMG.

Anyhow.

My sleep has calmed down, and i now remember some dreams, so I pull out my dream journal, as Ron is really good with dreams. I tend to be amazed at what comes up discussing them, and what Ron suggests often hits home. On my own, I rarely make much sense of dreams.

I tell Ron the following dream. I am at sea in a boat, and I see all my mother’s dishes floating away. I do my best to rescue them. I just save some of the last ones, the oldest and most scratched up dishes.

What do you make of it, Ron asks.

I have no idea whatsoever.

What about the dishes?

Well… I consider. I guess Thanksgiving is coming up. My mother will be cooking a lot of dishes.

Ah, dishes in that sense. Do you think you feel you have to take care of a lot of your mother’s anxieties for her?

Um. Yeah. Everything she cooks, everyone always has to compliment her about how good the food is. (I’m surprised at how upset I feel all of a sudden.) She cooks so much, by the time we sit down to eat, my mother is just rigid with tension. She really doesn’t talk or relax at all. So it’s a performance? Ron asks. Definitely. That’s why I don’t want to go. I hate going. That’s one thing, my relationship to my family has not changed since I first came to see you.

I think you’d really have to push for that to happen.

Yeah? Well, they’re not going to change.

No, but you can change how your react to them. Your family, at least the way you describe them, reminds me of the novel The Remains of the Day. (In this novel, a butler concentrates very hard on all the ‘proper’ details of a large house, that the soup is perfect, that not a hair is out of place, that all is in order at all times. He is very devoted, but he completely misses the fact that this is a Nazi household and these people are committing murder. All is proper on the surface only.) I just say yeah, you’ve said that before.

But I just see them on these formal occasions, I say. It’s not the time to delve into difficulties. Well, nothing is stopping you, really, from driving up there and visiting on your own? No, I guess not.

And then, I have the overwhelming feeling that I’m discussing the wrong things, as I described in my previous post. Parts not being heard I suppose.

I leave calmly enough, wishing Ron a good holiday.

And my weekend is so much better than last. So much better. No trauma memories stirred up. I feel like being alive is OK. There’s a lot to be said for trying to discuss things as an adult.

Well, I’m off work. My last day was fine. It always amazes me how I worry about things, but then they come and go, and it’s really no big deal.

I went out to lunch, separately, with both friends I made at work. I think I can call them friends – not deep friends, but people who want to hang around with me at work. I had all these reservations and worries, that they wouldn’t care I was leaving, but they did. It made me feel good. And this is the first contract where I made friends, really. I’d interact pleasantly with co-workers in other contracts, but never went to lunch with anyone. And with both of these, our jobs didn’t intersect, so it’s like I feel chosen somehow.

I wonder what’s changed. I think my confidence is just generally better. Plus I think buying a more business type wardrobe helped me look like I fit in better. It seems superficial, but these things matter. I don’t have natural good looks or youth, but can try and polish up a bit. I don’t have style either. So many women seem to have natural flair, and I don’t. But, it isn’t that important. As long as I wear decent quality newish type clothes, it’s OK.

The one woman I worked most closely with is in the US, so we mostly met on the phone, though she came to visit in person once. She said some kind words about how impressed she was with how I handled some things. I told her she was my best and most committed co-worker on this particular project. It was so kind of her to say something positive about me, as certainly no one else has at this job. I don’t think she would have said if she didn’t mean it, so there, I did some good  things perhaps. Bless her.

The reason I’m uncertain is I did so much nothing in this contract, in between doing actual project work. I have no idea what this boss was thinking. However, if I translate him into what anyone in my family would think, it would be bad. He might have thought that I was brought in as an expert in this particular area, and so could write reams of material without taking up anyone else’s time. I never advertised myself as a subject matter expert, but that could be how he thought of me. Then, I can see how I would be very disappointing, not producing anything on my own, constantly asking people questions.

Being a technical writer, especially doing contracts, is more like being a journalist than a specialist writing a paper. I am not the expert. If I’m made to sit at a cubicle by myself, and asked to write, nothing much good will happen.

However, since we never had this conversation, I have no idea what this boss thought. What is true is that he took over the project, re-wrote large chunks of it, and ignored me for the most part.

Anyway. Everyone was surprised I was leaving when I walked around to say goodbye on my last day. The admin said she should have been informed, so she could have sent me instructions, but anyway. He hadn’t told the second in command there either, so she was surprised. She offered to take me out to lunch, which I declined. It would have been super awkward, as we don’t get along well, but it was still nice of her to offer.

So. It was all pretty easy, and some nice things happened too. Overall the contract wasn’t a success, but it wasn’t a complete wash either. The end product was in place when I left after all. Some people liked me. It was interesting work.

I guess I haven’t been making great use of my days off. I’ve been struggling with allergies, which can be a huge deal for me. I don’t do well on the anti-histamines. They are so non-drowsy I can’t sleep at all. Plus they make me feel strange. So I have been trying the supplements/herbs/diet route, and it’s working pretty well, fingers crossed. I didn’t take anything today except natural stuff, and I can cope. I’m taking so many different supplements, I don’t know what is making the difference though.

I finally did a bunch of research on this. Not sure what was stopping me previously. There are a lot of options to try for allergies, and I’m trying a lot of them at once. Plus I stepped up the Paleo diet again, which seems to help, strangely. Apparently your gut is closely tied to your immune system. So I’m also back on probiotics and digestive enzymes. Onions, garlic, blueberries every day. Kale. Today I cooked some liver.

Yesterday I went into a small herb dispensary type place and bought their allergy tea. That definitely does something, but it seems very sedating as well. And it slightly irritates my stomach. So may not continue with that. Bye bye fourteen dollars. I could have taken a sample first, I should always do that. I still like the concept of dried herb infusions to help with specific problems – I’m going to try some other kinds in future. The tea feels incredibly warming and nurturing, even though it’s having some odd effects.

I also want to try and at least buy curtains for my living room, and maybe a rug also. Spruce the place up so it looks like somebody cares. But I’ve been struggling with low energy, so nothing much has happened on that front.

Ron is away until the end of the week. I’ve been aware of his absence, but not pining to see him. The therapy is so painful, I’m just as glad to have a break. I miss him as a person, but I don’t miss therapy. Which is good – I need a break too, to gather my resources and to just chill.

My distress with work continues. This is unexpected – I thought I’d just be happy to go. Apparently not.

I’ve stayed in bed a lot of today and yesterday, though yesterday I had to go in in the morning. Today I ventured out for a hair appointment, but that seems to be all the effort I’m capable of for the day. I feel like I’m in a depression.

The boss apparently left for a two week vacation on Wednesday. I found this out by accident, by chatting with a co-worker. So. He didn’t bother saying goodbye or even letting me know he was going to be away. I guess I’ll leave my laptop with a co-worker then on my last day – thanks for all the caring Mr. Boss.

I remember when my previous contract ended unexpectedly. I was unreservedly happy, despite having nothing else lined up. That boss bullied me, I hated him, I hated the project – it was a clear situation. He didn’t remind me of my father in any way. There are many ways to be hurtful after all.

This time, when I initiated the leaving, it’s as if I’ve gone into mourning. But this boss totally triggers my father issues. The same PhD, that’s in the background of everything somehow. Then, he was charming and seemed kind at first. My father also can turn on the charm, and lots of people think he’s wonderful. And for me as a child, my father had a loving side, and he was my source of love in the family.

Then, he ignored my project for reasons of his own. Then, when one time we disagreed, he seemed to take it pretty badly. It was not OK. And the way he manages relationships seems to be with distance.  He just kind of drops you. Cue intense triggering – my father does that.

So, that must be why I feel endlessly depressed. I’m assuming I felt like that when my father ignored me for all those years – worthless.

That’s all I seem able to say about it. I hope I can snap out of this and enjoy some time off before my next contract starts. I’m already mad at myself for feeling like this and wasting these days. Hoping it’s time limited.

I did have one positive experience which I’m grateful for. There is a very young co-worker I’d gone for coffee with a few times – she’d reached out to me, and we kind of hit it off despite our age difference. It could be she’s looking for an older person to steady her, poor  her, picking me, lol. Anyway, we went for lunch, I told her I was leaving, and she said so many times she’d miss me. It was lovely to sit and have lunch and chat for a while. I am almost friendless at the moment, and it’s heartening to think I now seem a desirable coffee mate to some. In my previous four year job, I didn’t make one coffee connection. I really feel that although my therapy hasn’t done much for my PTSD / DDNOS situation, it’s helped me with relationships. I shed a bunch of difficult friendships, but now maybe I can attract some people into my life who I can have a genuine connection with. I feel I do have much to give, if I just get a chance. I’m a good listener, I’m  thoughtful. I just need to pay attention to find those who are on somewhat the same wavelength as I am. BTW, this co-worker is from a different culture, but that isn’t a factor in whom I like to spend time with. Actually, it may be a positive factor – I’ve always loved being around people from different cultures.

Well, I’ve slid into a pit of loneliness. I had been congratulating myself on feeling a lot less desperate and alone than previously. Not that there are more people – just for some reason, I felt I had enough to do with managing myself.

This is my second week of working from home, plus a therapy free previous week. And it’s been hot.

I don’t do at all well with heat. I’m not sure what it is, but I wilt. My air conditioner doesn’t cope once temperatures go above thirty. I think I have a tendency to dissociate when I’m uncomfortable, so I end up feeling quite spacey. I wanted to go out to a group on the weekend, but it’s held on the second floor of a church, and I thought it would be just sweltering, so I didn’t go.

Today I didn’t do much. I went out at noon to sit in a cafe and then got my nails done, in an attempt to break out of my lassitude. It didn’t help much. I’ve been needing to vacuum and clean my bathroom, and that hasn’t happened.

I feel miserable.

I talked with a friend on the phone on the weekend. She lives in another province, so we never see each other, but we talk sometimes. We first met about twenty years ago in a support group, both trying to work through the effects of abuse. Since I was in a frightening and abusive marriage at the time, not much working through was able to happen, as my PTSD was simply triggered over and over by my situation. She seemed better off – she was working, unlike me, and she was  in love with her boyfriend.

However, things worked out badly for her. Her boyfriend left her, and she fell apart, to the extent where she needed to be hospitalized. She got herself a major diagnosis (schizophrenia) and some heavy duty medications. And she went back to her family in a western province, to live on disability and stay with a (formerly) abusive brother.

No way on this earth is she schizophrenic. But….she is afraid. She is afraid of not getting her insurance money, she is afraid of doing her own research, she accepts doctors are smarter than she is. She is a lovely, kind person, but she is living a nightmare as far as I’m concerned. If I was stuck, dependent on my insane family, my life wouldn’t be worth living.

I on the other hand found a very slow way up and out. I went back to school for a writing qualification. I slowly separated from my ex, despite complete economic dependence on him. Finally, finally, fifteen years ago, I found steady work which paid enough to live on. And just five years ago, I finally moved completely out of my ex’s house, found a therapist, and was able to start healing my PTSD.

My life is difficult. But it’s going in a good direction IMO. My friend’s life seems to have crashed and burned. She said she’s struggling with ‘motivation’, getting out of the house even for a walk is hard for her. She thinks it’s part of her ‘condition’ – apparently with schizophrenia, lack of interest in life is supposed to be an issue. Well – I wonder, is it the ‘condition’ or is it the anti-psychotic meds that cause that? And to me, if I was trapped in a small apartment, living with my abuser – I would completely shut down also.

So it’s painful to talk to her. It’s good, in that we’ve shared a lot of our struggles with each other, and I can talk about most things and she’ll understand. But her situation seems so very sad to me, and I can’t really say much about it without offending her. She has no prospects of ever getting off of disability, off of meds and working. Of ever being able to afford much of anything, like being able to live on her own or with someone she chooses.

I always want her to get angry. Maybe you can’t get off the couch because you’re angry? No, she doesn’t feel angry. Then I remember trying to get her to feel her anger twenty years ago. It didn’t happen then either.

I am so sad this friend’s life has gone this way.

friendsIt’s no secret that I struggle with relationships. Not just big R romantic relationships, but basically all of them. I feel like the term social anxiety was invented just for me. Except that I don’t think it’s some strange brain disease that requires Paxil to cure. It’s based on my habits of mind, related to what happened when I was a child. But, it’s basically my top issue where I struggle consistently.

I have been shedding relationships. Partly through ineptness, and partly because I have changed and friends have not liked that. I met up with a friend last weekend, and it really underlined for me how my perceptions have entirely changed.

I had stopped calling a particular friend, E, and she then called me over the holidays. She asked me what was up, that I hadn’t called lately. I didn’t say much, because it’s not that she’d done anything, it’s more that I don’t think we’re that compatible anymore, which isn’t something worth discussing IMO. She asked did I want to go for a walk, I said I wanted to meet for coffee instead, so we did that. I felt good about that, because a complaint I have about her is that she controls everything – what we do, where we go, and when. So although I would have been OK with a walk, I also wanted a coffee, so I expressed my wishes, and she went along with them. That already felt quite good to me. I think she does tend to seize control if anyone is not sure of what they want, but she is somewhat flexible if you have a firm plan.

So we had an OK chat for half an hour. The next weekend, I’d decided I’d like to see a movie, and I picked one I thought we might both like. My pick was more slanted towards her tastes, but it was still a movie that interested me. So I called her, and yes, she wanted to come. So far, great. I was asking for stuff I wanted, and she was happy I was making a plan.

So about the controlling part of this, I felt better. I was no longer at her beck and call, doing things that didn’t interest me much. I could see how I’d been buying into that, by not proposing my own agenda, and just going along with hers.

But when it came to actually talking, it was rough going. I felt uncomfortable, and instead of blaming myself as per usual, I paid more observant attention to what was actually happening.

First, she was extremely anxious after the movie to rush home, so we kind of jogged to the subway. I asked her if everything was OK – she said she wanted to get home fast and have an evening at home. So what else made me uncomfortable? Well, she doesn’t share much about herself. No problems or feelings. She started peppering me with questions, but didn’t actually want to discuss further anything I said – I’d say something, and then she’d throw out another unrelated question. It seemed like she wanted desperately to keep the conversations going, without saying anything about herself, and without taking in anything I said. So I couldn’t discuss anything I wanted to discuss, because she couldn’t listen and wasn’t actually interested. I’d ask her a few things, to which she only replied very briefly.

I concluded feelings and problems make this friend very uncomfortable. She needs to keep things very superficial. She doesn’t know how to discuss anything, so she tries to control interactions and people so she feels less anxious.

I used to be jealous of another friend, because she’s friends with E also, and I’d always imagined they had this great relationship, while I was not getting along well with E. I really felt it was my fault. For having issues, for mentioning my feelings, for being weird in general. This time, I didn’t think that. I felt sorry for this other friend instead, for having E as a friend who cannot really connect with people. This was a huge shift for me. I no longer blame myself for not having a good friendship with E.

It’s quite amazing when you suddenly see things so differently. It actually occurred to me that maybe E has changed towards me – maybe she’s decided I’m no longer a person she likes. But actually I don’t think so. I think I can suddenly see. Oh. This person does not connect with others. It’s not me. Wow.

Reminds me of someone important. Yep, my mom. The model of a woman who does not connect with people. That’s why E seemed familiar and safe to me.

This is not a venting bitchy post about a friend, though I realize it may come across that way. I’m trying to think about a relationship and how I’m changing in my view of what friendship might be. It might be better. It might be a good time. It might be a mutual give and take. It might not involve so much fear of judgement and so much withholding. I am not going to feel bad about this friendship not working out anymore. I don’t think there’s anything I can do. Except seek distance and look for others who are able to connect, and who want to be around me.

I’m not needing to end this friendship. Maybe I have it wrong. I don’t after all know the insides of E’s head. But if I can be around her once in a while, but not feel bad that we don’t connect well, that’s a big change. I’ll let it be her problem I think.

Art: 1892-94 panel painting by Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858-1924)