All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Ruminations on friendship from a lonely, forgotten soul

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As per usual, my weekend has been subdued, quiet and uneventful. In fact, the only thing to happen of note was my date with Meadhbh on Saturday afternoon. After my Lego Batman fueled conversation with Audrey on Friday, Meadhbh opted to hunt fantastical creatures in Monster Hunter Tri, a Wii game that sees you play the part of a hunter tasked with ridding the environment of marauding creatures. We used to play it extensively back in 2013, and it is a game that marked a turning point in our relationship, as it symbolized the rebuilding of trust and friendship after Meadhbh’s abusive  phase. This came up in conversation on Saturday, with Meadhbh lamenting her years spent attacking me, though never once providing an explanation for why she had done it. She never has. It is just something I have to deal with, another complication in an already complicated relationship.

What my date with Meadhbh proved was twofold. Firstly, it proved to me that Meadhbh knows me better than anyone else. Audrey and Vanessa would disagree, of course, but Meadhbh can make my heart sing in ways they could only dream of. She has been part of my life for over twenty years, and as we talked on Saturday, we reminisced about various events and incidents that had defined our relationship. From the SNES gaming, self harming and school bullying teenage years, through to the supportive confident Meadhbh has become today. Secondly, my date with Meadhbh proved once and for all how lonely I have become. And although she says she understands, I don’t think even Meadhbh can grasp just how painful my isolation is.

For eight years now, save for a six month period in 2008, my only company has been my voices. I spend each and every day alone, isolated and ostracized from the world, and the people who populate it. Sure, there are people online who comment on my blog and extend friendship via the interwebs, and I love each and every one of them, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I am eternally alone. I miss having people text me. I miss having people phone me up just to see how I am. I miss meeting my friends at the pub for a lively trivia night. And I miss having someone to turn to when life gets me down. There is only so much my voices can do. Sure, they can offer a friendly ear and a supportive comment, but they cannot wrap their arms around my trembling body and hug the pain away. They cannot brush their hand over mine and whisper that everything will be alright. And they cannot slap me in the face and tell me to stop acting like a moron.

I miss my friends.

I miss Grace. I miss Samantha.

I miss Annie, Deborah and Rachel.

I even miss Kathy; before she became the emotionally abusive sociopathic narcissist she became.

Hostel Takeover (Impressionist Painting)

Myself, Grace, Kathy and others; proof that my friends did exist, once upon a time.

We had so many good times together. Times that, today, feel like distant long-ago dreams. Visions of serenity amidst a fog of chaos and pain. Annie and I spent so many wonderful days together in Canada; swimming in snake infested lakes, hiking mountainous regions and playing silly games whilst laying under a canvas roof. Deborah and I traveled Scotland together; exploring Stornoway, falling in love with Berneray and enacting movies amidst the Callanish Standing Stones. We used to stay up for hours, Deborah and I, just talking and smoking into oblivion. It was beautiful. And yet all these times; of Rachel slapping me in the face as we supped on whisky; of Grace and I performing an impromptu karaoke of Elephant Love Medley; of Samantha and I doing naughty (wonderful) things in a Glaswegian hotel, they are all but dreams now. Events that never happened. Events I have fabricated from the desolation of my own isolated imagination. The rampant fantasies of a lonely man lost to the world. Deep down I know they happened. Deep down I know I playfully spanked Samantha in an Adelaidian park, I know I used to sit in pubs and talk bollocks with Grace, I know Kathy and I would flirt our collective asses off with each other as we bent over a pool table. But those times, those moments and memories that make up my life, feel distant, deserted and wrong. They don’t feel like my memories. They feel like anything but.

It’s almost as if I need human contact to validate my life. To prove to myself that things actually happened. I need people around me to confirm that I do indeed exist. That things do happen to me. Because without that validation, without that confirmation, my life feels sterile, empty and hollow. I know the damage isolation has caused me. I know the devastation it has wrought on my life only too well. It has careened through everything, smashing its way through my existence with scant abandon, and now my isolation, my punishment, is slowly eating away at my memories. Turning them to dust. Turning them to dream. And I don’t know what to do about it. I know I need to make new friends. I know that would halt the chaos and be a profound turning point in my life. But how? How do I open myself up to other people? How do I trust again after the agony Kathy inflicted on me? After she turned our wonderful, unique friendship into her own manipulative, deceit filled lie?

The last time I opened myself up to someone was Diane, and she pissed it back in my face, flirting her way across Alice Springs, sleeping with random people on Christmas Day, embarking on dates whilst I sat alone in our unit. The time I opened myself up before that was Samantha, and although she didn’t turn it against me, although she loved me in her own unique way, she died, Samantha. She died. And I’ve never got over that betrayal. That loss. I don’t think I ever will. So how – how? – do I make new friends, how do I trust people again, after all the pain, heartache and betrayal I’ve experienced. How do I believe someone wants to be my friend. How do I know they’re not just pretending like Kathy was? Manipulating my emotions into believing I have someone who cares about me when all they want is for me to kill myself, as Kathy herself told me?

I want to make friends.

I want to part of something again.

I’ve just forgotten how.

And I don’t know what to do about it.

Meadhbh tells me I just need to put myself out there. That I need to embark on a series of random adventures that will see me come face to face with new people who will love me for who I am. I want to believe. But I don’t. I don’t see how anyone could like someone as broken, fucked up and worthless as me. Meadhbh tells me I’m not worthless, that I have a point, that I have a meaning, but I just don’t see it. The trauma of the abuse has crippled my ability to see myself as anything other than what Kathy informed me I was; useless, pathetic, selfish and worthless. The most unnecessary and repulsive human being to have ever lived. Meadhbh tells me I need to believe in myself, that no-one will ever love me until I love myself, and deep down I know she’s right. I’ve said the same things in the past. But how do I learn to love myself again when I cannot stand spending time with myself? When my day is a boring, monotonous routine of repetition? I try to shake it up. I try to do things differently. But it all feels wrong. It all feels pointless. I dunno. Maybe I’m just having a bad day. Maybe I’ve just been having one of those weekends where my brain runs away with itself; filling itself with all sorts of confusing, insecure flotsam and jetsam. Maybe spending time with Meadhbh made me miss my old friends so completely, so truly, that I’ve been unable to think of anything but their brilliant smiles, delightful wit and bizarre mentalities.

And now this post has descended into woe-is-me territory my mind is trying to convince me not to post it. People don’t want to read such navel gazing hyperbole, it says, people want to read inspiring motifs of wonderment and awesomeness! And it’s probably right, my mind, but I think it’s important to post this post all the same. It may not get much feedback. It may have no-one read it. But it would stand as testament to my current malaise. As proof that there was a time that I was loved; that I had friends; that I was someone people admired.

Like Audrey on Friday, I have agreed to date Meadhbh on a monthly basis. The third Saturday of every month, from 2pm-4pm, will be our time. We will do what she desires and talk about what she wants to talk about. I will spend time with my imaginary friend because I have no-one in reality to spend time with. For I am, as I will probably always be, a lonely, forgotten soul.

And on that note I will end for today, else I risk this post becoming even more bleak than it already is. Wishing you all a happy, friend-filled day! :)

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4 thoughts on “Ruminations on friendship from a lonely, forgotten soul

  1. I’m sorry life is so difficult for you at this point. I have a thought I’d like to share with you. There are many other people who need a friend too. Find a few and spend some time getting out of your head and being there for them. On the farthest edges are men and women who are homeless, homebound seniors with no one who cares, teens aging out of foster care who have never had anyone who cares who desperately need to find someone to shepherd them to adulthood; closer in, and emotionally a little more risky you could join a hiking club or other group and befriend the shy ones who hold back..draw them out, make them smile. What you will gain from all this, besides the human companionship you crave, is a way to love yourself more – which is the key to success in relationships. My two cents and i hope you don’t take it that I didn’t understand your pain. I do.

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    • I’ve actually done a little work with my support worker about some of the suggestions you have made in your comment. We have looked into mentoring teenagers who are lacking a support figure in their life, and this is something I am interested in pursuing once I am a little more stable in my depression/anxiety. We have also looked into various groups that run in the local area that may help me be more social and meet people. The problem is, the town I live in is quite small, and there are very few groups of any description, let alone those that operate in a genre I’m interested in. But I will keep searching, keep looking, because I hope to not be quite so alone for the rest of my life. That’s the plan, anyway! :)

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  2. Hi there Addy. I have most certainly read your post. Thank you for posting it. Honesty is always the best policy. Maybe your Social Worker could suggest ways that you could find and make friends. I am racking my brain to try to think of a way to make friends. I wish that I was the fount of all wisdom and could suggest what you could do. Alas I am not. Why don’t you ask God. The Book of James from the Bible Chapter one verse five, in the context of a passage that is about how trials of many kinds in fact make us stronger, says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Please note that the quote says that if one lacking wisdom asks God for it that “it will be given to him”. It does not say that he might receive the needed wisdom but very clearly and explicitly says “it will be given to him.”

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    • My support worker and I have done a lot of work about expanding my social situation. The problem is the town I live in is quite small, and there are few options available for social groups and socializing, unless you factor in the pub and drinking, which I’ve never been particularly fond of (and I’m not a drinker of alcohol anyway). There is a book group we have been looking at and we’re trying to find out how much it costs and when it meets at the moment. Other than this we haven’t found any other options, but I’m hoping something comes up, as I really don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. The social situation, in fact, is one of the primary reasons I’ve been thinking about moving back to the UK. Not only is my family there, but from memory, there were more options available for social groups and the like. But we’ll see how things go. I haven’t given up quite yet! :)

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