As a result of my last hospitalisation I discovered what it meant to lose control and I was terrified of myself. I became drunk with the intention of passing time because I just couldn’t survive another day of fighting my own head, and then I lost control over my darkness and very nearly never came out again.
After being afraid for myself, the next most important thing for me were my housemates A and B. They are the only two friends that I had ever had in my life and I was terrified of losing them. I understand my family cares about me, but I’ve never been afraid of losing them – but never really featured in my life. I could never trust them with my true self, and even now it is taking a long time for me to even feel comfortable being in the same room as them. But my housemates, my housemates, had seen me through the lowest period of my life and not once did they judge me. They have been extremely caring toward me and I have been incredibly moved by their resilience during this awkward time.
When I returned home I was so scared that I would lose their trust, and they would give up on me. That they would find me too hard to deal with or talk to, and that they would shut me out of their lives forever. But Housemate A didn’t give up. I knew she was angry at me, and I was glad that she could tell me how she felt. I understand she has her own issues, and that she requires her own space. I understand that there is a difference between feeling lonely and wanting to be left alone – I have lived my entire life inside my head and I understand that people need time to process their life. Even though I had scared her Housemate A allowed me to be her friend, and I have the upmost respect for her as a person.
However I didn’t hear from my other housemate until a week after the incident. I didn’t receive any emails, text messages, or phone calls. She was housesitting for her parents and wasn’t at home when I went crazy and took a drug overdose. She felt that other people could care for me better than she could. She had to focus on her own problems.
At first I thought she was upset that I had had another downturn and didn’t ask for any help, and she probably was. I understood if she needed her own space, and I never offered to talk to her about the incident. I had already shown given her the link to my blog and explained that she was welcome to read anything she wanted, but I wasn’t going to force my problems onto her.
As the weeks wore on and I began to see more and more of Housemate B it became clear that she didn’t want to talk to me. Every time I spoke to her it was like talking to a brick wall. I didn’t remember anything that happened when I overdosed and I have no idea whether or not I said anything to upset her. I was worried that I had offended her somehow. She didn’t appear to be defensive around my other housemate, she seemed bright and chirpy. However whenever she spoke to me it seemed like such a big effort to ask how her day was.
On Wednesday she informed me that she is moving out after Christmas. I thought it was probably for the best, but it didn’t explain why she wasn’t talking to me. I mentioned to her that she hadn’t spoken to me since I had gotten out of hospital and she didn’t reply. I asked her if she was ok, and she said she was just tired.
I was very worried about her. She seemed very depressed, she wouldn’t talk to me, and she was going to move out of the house and live by herself. I’ve spent my entire life fighting things on my own and I know how hard that is. I was worried that she her health was getting worse, or that something had happened to her family, or something.
This is the only person that I wanted to talk to after I attempted to commit suicide. This was the person that had stopped me from killing myself and she wouldn’t tell me what was going on. I didn’t know if it was a problem with me, or anything. She was one of my first ever friends, and yet something had happened which meant she didn’t feel comfortable around me. I was devastated. I didn’t know how to help her.
Finally I wrote her a brief letter asking her why she wasn’t talking to me. I wanted to make sure she was ok. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do to help her. I cared about her and she didn’t trust me.
She replied and explained to me that she was under a lot of stress, and that she was trying to help her family and her friends and didn’t have the capacity to help me. I didn’t want her help, I wanted to help her. She saw my constant questioning as an invasion of her privacy, and I was so sad. I was so angry with myself for making her feel uncomfortable. She thought that unless she told me everything about her I wouldn’t be satisfied that she was ok, and she didn’t want me in her personal space. Truth is I just needed to know if she wanted my help. She didn’t even speak to me after I nearly died of an overdose, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
After reading her letter I went to her room and tried to apologise to her face to face. I was so sorry that I had upset her, but at the same time I was angry because she never even spoke to me after I had nearly died. She saw this as a further invasion of her privacy. She had her own issues to deal with and I was not one of her priorities.
During the argument that followed I broke down and I yelled that she never even spoke to me after I had nearly died. She yelled back and told me that I had my entire family to support me. I found that notion so utterly offensive I laughed. My family stood by as I battled with suicidal thoughts throughout my teenage years. They could never tell what the difference was between the real me and the mask I put on to make things easier for everybody else. I had always put the serenity of the family unit above my own emotional needs as I trained myself to fill my empty core with the pain of loneliness.
How can my family support me now when they had ignored my needs for the past twelve years? I didn’t trust them. The only people I trusted were my two housemates, and yet I wasn’t one of her priorities. She only confided in a select group and I wasn’t allowed to help her. I really cared about her and yet she didn’t give me the courtesy of telling me how she felt.
The parallel of my relationship with my family and my relationship with my housemate is blatantly obvious. My family cares about me, but I don’t trust them enough to tell them how I feel. I care about my housemate, but she doesn’t trust me enough to tell me how she feels. She can’t understand how important a support she was to me, or maybe I imagined support that was never there in the first place.
If there is one thing I have learned from this failed friendship it is that I cannot trust other people. No what who they are, or how much you care about them they will prioritise your needs according to their own and eventually you will lose out. I cannot trust myself because beneath my quiet exterior there is a wealth of pain that has built up over the past twelve years of my life. The only thing I can do is trust in God. God is the only thing that will never fail me.
It’s so sad that it has taken me twelve years of agony to realise that, but hopefully I won’t be required to relearn that lesson during my lifetime.
As far as privacy goes I couldn’t care less anymore. I know the pain of holding something inside that you should let go. As far as I’m concerned I want to become transparent to the world. I’ve tried to live a segregated life before and I know it doesn’t work. Resilience was never my strength, it was my survival mechanism. Vulnerability is my strength, and if somebody asks me how I feel I won’t hold back.
Last night I stayed up until two in the morning writing my housemate a letter explaining the development of my depression and how much her support had meant to me over that time. I explained how much it hurt to see her shut me out without telling me why, and how much I wanted to help her in any way that I could.
Truth is I am proud of the person she is. She has struggled with depression and her health problems and only thinks of other people. I really do respect her privacy, but I also worry about her when she looks sad and won’t let me know what is going on.
Verbal communication was never my strong point and I find it difficult to start ordinary conversations let alone touchy feely ones. I had hoped the letter would help her understand the way that her aloofness made me worry about her, and I left the letter on the kitchen table along with her Christmas present.
However when I woke up this morning the letter was unopened. She had written on it that she didn’t have the emotional energy to read it. She didn’t even have the courtesy to at least take the letter so she could read it when later when she felt that she was ready to deal with the situation. But you know what? That’s ok. I am taking the word confide out of my vocabulary, and from now on I’m just going to tell everybody how I feel. Whether she chooses to listen is her problem.
I can’t rely on other people to help me. It’s all down to me and me alone.
I will put my trust in God, and I will not push people away from me anymore. I will not shut anybody out of my life. I’ve learnt my lesson. I’m so tired of destroying everything that I touch.
I just want to build something. I want to build a friendship. I want to build up trust with other people, and help people out as much as I can. If I can’t help people I’ll let them know why, and I will recognise that there is a limit to how much people can take. I am so thankful that I have had people that have stood by me, but the only way that I can help them is to rely on God so that I don’t need to rely on them anymore.
I only wish I could explain to Housemate B how amazing it is to have nobody to trust but God.