A Friend Forgotten
Last night we got a surprise visit from a friend we’d not seen in over a year. It was totally unexpected and we were simultaneously happy and shocked…and confused. When he called and said he’d be here in 10 minutes, I got excited and frantically tried to fix myself up a bit (we were wearing our pajamas). It was then that I realized I didn’t know how to look or how to act or what to say. I searched my brain for some memories of this guy, and part of me was certain that he and I were good friends, and had spent a great deal of time together in the past. But I hadn’t seen him in so long, I couldn’t remember the specifics of our relationship. I couldn’t remember when we’d last seen or talked to him. I couldn’t remember if we drank together, or if he drank at all. I couldn’t remember which K(s) he knew. I couldn’t remember if I usually hugged him when I saw him. I couldn’t remember anything except for the fact that he was at one time a very dear friend of ours. You can’t imagine how frustrating the situation was. He was on his way to see me and Husband, and I wasn’t even sure what we were supposed to say or not say. We absolutely could not remember if he knew our secret-that we have a serious mental disorder. There’s no way he knows we’re DID; we’ve never told any of our friends about that. But does he know we see a shrink? That we can’t get a job because we receive Disability payments for mental illness? That we take handfuls of antipsychotics and antidepressants and anxiety meds? Has he ever seen us have a freakout/meltdown/”episode”? I couldn’t answer any of these questions, plus I had a hundred more questions which needed answers before he arrived. Needless to say, I went into the situation blind as a bat. I knew nearly nothing about this person, this guy who was my good friend. I can’t even describe how this made me feel. All the voices in my head were trying to help me, direct me, advise me…but I didn’t know which one(s) to listen to. Some of the K’s lie to me, so I can’t even trust my own selves.
We thought at one point that I might be able to break the ice by smoking a joint with everyone (The Hippie K’s idea I think) but then we were terrified to offer because we were unable to recall if he was a smoker or not. We were so worried about offending him or saying something inappropriate or just flat-out looking stupid. Lucky for me he was tired and therefore didn’t stay very late. Still, that was an ungodly long, frustrating, embarrassing, and panic-inducing 3 hours we spent with him. I think we tried to be cool and nonchalant but not sure we succeeded. Should’ve gotten drunk to coverup the crazies. Damn.
We’re not sure how long he’ll be in town. He travels for his job and is often away from home for months at a time. He only gets a few hours notice before he has to leave. My point is, I have no idea whether or not we’ll get to hang out with him again. He called me this morning and we made plans for tonight but I had to cancel due to the mentals. It’s been a very difficult day for us and I just didn’t have the energy to get dressed, much less go out and be social and fun. So. I might not get another chance to hang out with him. Part(s) of me are relieved to be honest. But then other parts are urging us to put forth an effort and get close to him again. Talk to him. Laugh with him. Trust him? (that’s unlikely)
Is it worth the trouble to try and get to know him all over again? Should we attempt to be a good friend, to call, to text him? Seems like a lot of work for someone we know will leave town again soon. We just keep telling ourselves “A good friend is cheaper than therapy.”