I tried to be her friend, really I did. At least this is what I told myself to assuage my own massive guilt. But the truth of the matter was is that when the going got tough, I bolted. I cut my own losses and chalked her up as a “lost cause.” I’ve felt guilty for years about this, as I know how badly I really fucked up.

In truth, I’d reached that pivotal point in my life where I realized that I had been heading down the wrong street (hell, I was in the wrong state) and I promptly bought myself a map and changed directions. She had not. Her bad decisions seemed to top each other in a frightening pattern of self destruction.

And I know self destruction.

Maybe it was self-preservation on my own part. Having dealt with pill-popping alcoholics for parents, I knew what a tricky situation that could be. I happen to be the only one in my family who confronts these situations and tries to make them right. Mainly because I have this vision of being at the funeral of someone that I loved very dearly and remarking that “I wish that I’d done something to help them.” But as you cannot help the dead save from letting them be, I was stuck wishing and wondering what could have been. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

I ran into her mother today (again), and recieved some devestating news. She was back in the hospital after another gruesome suicide attempt. And I realized that now it was my time to help. I’m done with excusing my inaction to my fears, I’m done with hiding behind my children and my (not really so) busy life, and now I must act. She had once been a good friend of mine, and now I will try like hell to be one to her.

This is where those of you who know her must help me. Get over the fact that you don’t know her as well as I do and buy a card. I’ll give you her address. Hell, if you send it to me, I will address it and stamp it and send it myself. She needs to know that people who knew her (however well it may or may not be) care about her. Period.

No one should ever, ever, ever feel as alone as she does now. No one.

(Is there anything else you can think of that I can do for her?)

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

10 Responses to And Night After Night, We Pretend It’s All Right

  • Pauline says:

    I don’t know who it is…but go visit? If you feel comfortable. If the hospital will let you? Don’t know. Just a thought. You are right, the more people she thinks care, the better.

  • becky says:

    Good idea. I’ll do that.

  • Chris says:

    I’m with Pauline. Pay her a visit (I met her once many years ago and I’m sure she could use a friend.)

  • becky says:

    I tried to see if she could have visitors, but it sounds as though since she’s on suicide watch she cannot. BUT, because our mental health system is AWESOME, she’s being discharged today or tomorrow.

    Riiiiiggggghhhhht.

  • Meg says:

    Becky – As one who has tried to be the saviour type one too many times… Do what you can, but don’t feel guilty that you couldn’t give any more than you did back then.

    Sometimes we need self-preservation when it comes to helping others. We can’t become embroiled in something that is wrong for us in order to rescue anyone. Often very troubled people will be what they are going to be regardless of the support we offer them.

  • becky says:

    Meg, you are 100% correct. I needed to get away because she couldn’t stop making bad decisions and I could no longer allow myself to get caught up in all of it. I’m not sure why I feel such tremendous guilt because I know that I made my decisions back then for a reason.

  • Karen says:

    WOW! That kind of hit home with me. Good luck. Just don’t feel hurt if your attempts to help are rejected. That’s what happened to me.

  • becky says:

    I’m gonna try and send a card and try to visit if possible…if it doesn’t work, at least it will assuage my guilt somewhat.

    This sounds to be more common than I had thought.

  • Kristin says:

    Becky – omg – I lost my cell phone and don’t have your #. Call me.

  • Kat says:

    There is this girl I used to be friends with and I loved her quite dearly. However, I was getting older and I had a family. She couldn’t understand what was so terrible about my husband being away (he was in Army Basic Training then) since I actually someone who loves me. She placed guilt upon guilt on me with every day that passed.

    I saw her heading down a bad path and WAS ACTIVELY trying to snatch her off of it…but she didn’t want to hear about it. She would just put me down because “my pain isn’t as much as yours”. She would threaten over and over with suicide. I really was heavily worried about her till I started to realize the state I was in. After I talked to other people about her, I realized she was taking advantage of how much I cared and would use it to make herself feel better.

    When she said she started to take pot, I couldn’t strain myself anymore with this girl. “Oh lookit me facebook I’m doing pot hehe!” So yeah…I ranted at her and stopped talking to her. You can ask my husband how much emotional weight she had me under…how hard I tried to be there for her. I’m sure she’s gone around and whined about how terrible I am, blah blah blah. Only those who know me and what I went through with her would know better.

    I am usually a very selfless person…and I make myself have tons of guilt over everything. I used this guilt for a long time to keep trying over and over…like a total idiot. When reality hit me, it hit very hard.

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