for more than 25 years I have had a friend named "C".
I met her when she was in what I didn't realize was to be the first of many "crisis" - she was in fact being stalked by an ex-boyfriend. In all fairness, seriously stalked - as in coming out of her apartment to find the nearby bus shelter plastered with 100s of posters begging her to take him back, as in driving down a street, coming to a stop sign and having him leap on the front of her car, as in an average of 125+ messages a day on her phone ... and this was way back when stalking was not considered an issue. When the one being stalked was inevitably considered "hysterical", "over-reactive" ...
I got involved becuase that's what I do - get involved. Got in touch with a wonderful feminist on the local paper. Got her help. Got a cop who took her seriously - and after time, it worked - the psycho stopped stalking and her case was in fact one that was used to bolster Ontario's subsequent anti-stalking law.
But in hindsight, the 'stalking' was indicative of what I eventually learned to understand was the chaos of her life.
She is, was, when all was said and done, unbalanced; in time I came to believe to my soul unbalanced in the sense of chemical imbalance, as in bipolar. Several counsellors (to my knowledge she has been seeing a succession of psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists, doctors for more than 30 years) actually highly recommended drug therapy - which she rejected outright and was insensed at the very thought.
For the reality is that it is NEVER EVER HER FAULT. It is and remains ALWAYS someone's else's FAULT.
She is, in her opinion, painfully honest, straightforward and a wonderful person. She doesn't understand how again and again she is betrayed, neglected, rejected and hurt.
She is, in truth, one of the most narcissitic, self-absorbed, delusional individuals I've ever known.
Not that I haven't loved and cared about her - recognizing both her pyschosis AND sometimes her innate sweetness.
But it palls after awhile. She is so invariably high maintenance. You have to double-think everything you say to her, watch every word, and most of all- FOLLOW HER RULES or how she feels she should, deserves, MSUT be treated.
The psychosis, imbalance, whatever the hell you want to call it has been getting definitely worse. And in so doing, she has becoming increasingly strident, increasingly demanding, increasingly intolerant of what she perceives as any "breech" of protocal with respect to how she is treated. It has been incredibly wearing.
Two years ago when my own life became unbearably bleak and I entered a pit, I realized that after 20+ years of support, I simply had nothing left in me to give to her. I told her that upfront. Told her I was going through the Inferno and dying with it and I couldn't balance her out anymore. Ostensibly, becuase in her delusion she maintains she is a caring, nurturing human being - she pulled back, "gave me my space", but through it all I sensed the increasing anger in her at my withdrawal.
Several times we touched base (keeping in mind, that previous to this "break"- I actually moved her in and got her back on her feet after a HUGE psychotic break - she spent almost 8 months in my home - with no strings, tons of support, no charge for anything and lashings of food and love and ALWAYS an ear and sympathy) and met occasionally for supper or lunch.
I maintained my distance; was honest with her that I was trying to rebuild my own life. Further, I found my sympathy was rapidly dispersing as she screwed up relationship after relationship, left jobs in a huff, accused "friends" of betrayal and not living up to HER standards. 25 years of the same pattern gets (at some point) very stale indeed.
So I got the letter last week. The terse, accusatory brief missive which basically dismissed me out of her life.
Because we had arranged to meet for dinner on a Friday night. And I emailed Friday morning, early - about arrangements - when and what time. Apparently, that was a faux pas. I SHOULD have contacted her my PHONE at least three days previous - otherwise I was being "rude and inconsiderate" - and in my email I had mentioned I had been having some hard times - and was told I had NO idea what "real" issues were.
Regardless, there is a part of me that is sad that this rather symbiotic relationship is done, becuase I'll worry about her you know - I will. Another HUGE part of me is glad if I never ever have to deal with her again. And feeling guilty for feeling glad.