What Friends?

I can’t breathe. This paranoia is suffocating me. Smothering me. And it’s all because of something that may not even be a big deal; I’m a terrible judge of such matters. See, I have serious memory problems. Dissociative amnesia.  I can’t remember things from week to week unless I write them down, leave notes for myself.  I also have a terrible short-term memory; I can’t retain new information. Plus I tend to twist things around in my mind, and I get the facts all distorted.

I always take everything personally, and I always expect the worst. It’s just the way I’m wired. I’ve been let down so often in my life that I’ve come to expect it. And people have disappointed me so many times that I can’t trust anyone anymore and I’ve actually gotten used to people screwing me over. So it should come as no surprise that I’m now suspicious of my friends. Yes, my actual, real-life friends. I don’t see or hear from them much anymore, so I’ve convinced myself that they hate me now and are all against me. Talking about me behind my back. Or, worse, that I did (and can’t remember) something horrible or offensive or outrageous and humiliating….maybe they don’t want to be around me anymore. Maybe I upset them. Maybe I pissed them off. Maybe I deserve their wrath. I certainly can’t ask them about any of this; that would make me seem even crazier! So I will quietly obsess over this, turning things over and over in my mind, imagining the worst possible scenarios.

My first clue that something was amiss was MySpace. Yes, I realize that no one uses MySpace anymore…but the other day we were bored and so I checked out K’s old page. That’s when I found out that one of my favorite friends on the planet has UNfriended me.  This cut me to the bone.  True, I haven’t actually seen her in about 3 years now. But I thought we were still good friends. We used to hang out, but then she moved to the next state and I haven’t seen her since.  The emails we used to frequently exchange stopped suddenly.  I tacked it up to her being busy. But now that I see she’s unfriended me,  I have come to the conclusion that she simply has cut me out of her life.  I believe I know the reason too.  She’s friends with my ex-boyfriend, and he absolutely hates me.  I broke his heart, you see,  and he tried for over a year to get me back and I refused, so I caused him some humiliation and (I assume) some emotional suffering.  I don’t blame him for hating me; Kellie was a real bitch to him.  But to think that now, after 4 years, that he’s talking shit about me to my other friends…well, that is almost too much to bear.  I’m living in a different city now, so I suppose it really shouldn’t matter anymore, but yet it does matter.  It matters a great deal to us. I hate the thought that rumors are being spread about me.  I hate the idea that people may be hearing negative things about me, that I may be seen in a bad light.  I don’t know why our reputation is so important to me, but it is.  I am very picky about my friends, and it is so hard for me to trust anyone enough to get close to them, and so once I do befriend someone, it means something to me. It’s special. And now my beloved girlfriend has cut me out of her life. I’m brokenhearted.  Can’t help but wonder how many other friends have heard these terrible stories from my ex and have also decided that I’m a bad person.  I wonder if all my old friends in my old city hate me now?  I was popular there once. Now I could be the object of speculation and ridicule. I just don’t know how to handle this. Should I email one of my friends and ask them about the rumors?  Should I make an effort to defend myself?  I had very good reasons for rejecting that boyfriend, and since I didn’t love him as he did me I thought I was doing him a favor by setting him free. Damn. When I think about the dirt he has on me, it makes me cringe. We dated for 2 years. He knows a lot of shit about me. Bad shit. (sigh) Why would my friends all abandon me like this? He must be saying horrible things.  It feels like there’s a knife in my back.  I suppose this is my karma for treating that ex-boyfriend so badly. I guess he gets the last laugh.  If he wants to tell everyone I’m on disability for mental illness, there’s nothing I can do. I guess my dirty little secret is out of the bag. I suppose I shouldn’t make any plans to visit that city again… (sigh)

In the city in which I now reside, the paranoia is just as strong.  My real-life friends, with whom I used to socialize with, or at the very least chat with online or text or call….well, they’ve all but disappeared. I told myself it had to do with life, things happened, things like weddings and babies and new jobs. And so they drifted.  Our friends are probably just really busy with their everyday lives.  It probably has absolutely nothing to do with us.  Yet I can’t help but wonder….what are the odds that all of our friends would suddenly disappear at roughly the same time?  Granted, we don’t have that many friends, but more than we can count on one hand, and they’ve all but vanished.

My best girlfriend seems to only text me now if she wants a Xanax.  And my other best friend must certainly be angry with K, for she hung out with us several days ago and we’ve not heard a peep from her since.  She used to call several times a day.  There’s some memory at the back of my brain, itching to be uncovered.  I can’t recall much of anything about the recent past, for a variety of reasons…. but I seem to think that K did something wrong. Something that offended or upset our friend.  I can’t remember now what K said, but I can see this picture in my head of my friend’s face, and she is not pleased.  She looks disappointed.  I wonder what we did… Damn.  Maybe it’s safer if we just hang out alone.  That way I can’t hurt anyone but myself.