Well, we have finished packing stuff for tonight. So, we thought that we would do our yearly post on the academic year, and our thoughts. This isn’t going to be a review like I normally do. No final verdict. Just my thoughts. I feel so tired. Physically, mentally and emotionally, I am drained. Up front, this has been the worst year of my academic life. It feels like it has gone on forever. For real, this year feels like it has been an eternity. Part of me is so glad to see that it’s over. Another part of me wants to cry right now.
I’ll start at the beginning. This year didn’t start out well. A former best friend of mine got upset with me. As was typical with every time she was upset with me, she didn’t say anything. She just got mad, to herself, and then it led to some ugly repercussions when it finally did reach me. She didn’t want to see me around her work anymore. Since I was already not in the best place, with a new job that I was not particularly enjoying due to the late hours and the long commute, along with some pain that I was in at the time, I did what I had usually done – I blogged. Angry venting online is not anything approaching a good thing to do when one is mad with somebody. And I didn’t hold back. No names were mentioned, but it would take a blind hyena not to see who I was talking about. And she did see this post. But, again, she got mad and didn’t talk to me. She said nothing at all. Instead, I got the silent treatment.
The fall semester starts. I return to campus, living in the dorms again. I was already not in the best place, but the way I saw it, it could be worse. I started up with a REALLY full course load. Working the job I do, this didn’t mesh well. A couple of classes saw grades start to hemorrhage. I dropped them, and things evened out. Well, evened out better. For a while, they were even looking pretty good. I was feeling okay. One class was hurting, but I did manage to salvage that grade into something semi-respectable.
There was one really good thing that happened in the fall semester. It’s about 2 in the morning and I get a text from a different girly-mate of mine. She is at a bar down 5th and was ditched there. Her friend and their companions disappeared and she was alone. Scared, she reached out to me. The girl did everything right. She stayed in public, making sure that she was never alone anywhere. Downtown on a Friday night, with the drunks at full-tilt, this was NOT a safe place for a girl to be alone at. I headed out as fast as I could. I get to where she is and she runs to us. I felt like fucking Galahad, rescuing her from certain danger. That was awesome. We ended up going to McDonald’s for some fries. Her nerves were calmed and she was better. This girl and my’s friendship has never been stronger.
But back the former best friend. I got a new phone and could text as much as I liked. I hadn’t had that before. So, I was thinking that now I would have new avenues to reach out to people and have lots of great conversations. With some, that idea worked like a charm. However, this friend, was strangely silent. When we did talk, it was in the shortest and choppiest conversations I have ever had. Like she didn’t want to talk to me any more than I wanted to talk to her. This didn’t bode well. I’m not blind. Very quickly, I saw that something was wrong. So, on Facebook, I wrote her a message, confronting this issue. See, I was told by SOMEBODY ELSE (something that gets under my skin in ways you can’t believe) that she had a beef with me over a blog post. Which one? Well, I was curious, so I asked. I got a reply that set the stage for the fallout of our friendship, and the pain that I have been suffering for this entire spring semester. She told me that she was angry. She didn’t say why. She didn’t say what. Instead, she told me that she would get back with me. When she was not upset, because she wanted to talk rationally about this. Okay. Not the worst idea. However good in theory it was, the execution couldn’t have been worse.
Right before the final in a class that I wasn’t doing too well in, I check my Facebook page that morning. I see that I have lost a friend. Okay. I wasn’t too thoughtful of this, because sometimes people just moved on. I have plenty of fair-weather friends on Facebook who I gain and lose without much notice. It happens. But I look in my “Close Friends” page, and see that somebody who was there before is now not. It was her. A person who said that they cared for me so much, and that our friendship meant the world to her. This is four months after she told us that she would get back to us about what was bugging her. Four months, and instead of keeping her word, she throws us away. My response was measured. I wrote her a message asking her what had happened. As somebody who believed that I was in her inner circle of friends, I think I earned that. The reply I got was almost a point-for-point replica of a problem that she had had with me two years prior. She tells me that her boyfriend and her were having fights about me (even though the most I existed in her life was as a Facebook IM and an ever-decreasing number of text messages).
I knew that something wasn’t right. My gut-instinct is never wrong, and it wasn’t wrong here. So, I took a different tactic in my reply. Made that I just wanted my Scrabble partner back, and if we could keep things impersonal, that was fine. She replied with the truth – getting rid of me was the quickest and simplest solution to a problem she had. And this solution was to get rid of me. Naturally, I was pissed. I went back at her the angriest I have been in a long time. I made a rather fitting comparison between her and I cousin of mine who had also thrown me away for FAR less than I was worth. He had been a best friend to me as well. Both of them used me, liked me when I was around, but would then drop me without looking back. She and I got into a back-and-forth bit of arguing. She still claimed that her boyfriend and her were having fights about me. So, I asked a simple question (that I deserved an answer to) – what were the fights about? She told me that she didn’t know, and then told me not to ask. She said that that just made her mad. In hindsight, I should have pressed the attack. At least when she was mad, she was talking. Which is more than I could say for the rest of the time.
But, it was done. Here’s how it broke down. Since I won’t ever get to tell her, I guess I’ll tell you. Because I want you all to see as clearly as I do how she fucked up this entire situation. It started in August, with her getting mad at me. Instead of talking to me, like a friend, and saying that she was upset, she says nothing. Then, when this problem starts compounding on other problems (that I knew nothing about), and I hear from other people that she has a problem, she tells me to wait. Instead of not being rational. Instead of just getting upset and getting it out of her system, she tells us to wait. That she will talk to us and we will figure things out. Four months later, having said nothing to us, she then unfriends us and tells us that we have no place in her life, because her relationship with her boyfriend is threatened by us. Man, who are we to these people? Do I have a power that I wasn’t aware of? She did absolutely everything wrong. But you know what the worst thing was? You know what the most hurtful thing was? The most hurtful thing is that after doing all this damage, I don’t think that she would have ever, EVER talked to us again if we hadn’t have demanded an explanation. So, she also broke her promise. If there is an uglier way for a great friendship to die, I don’t know what it is. And the worst part of all of this is that this could have easily been avoided if she had just treated me like a friend and talked to me.
I go home for Christmas break. It wasn’t pleasant. At all. All of the Christmas spirit was literally sucked out of me. And with there being pretty much nobody to see out in the Valley, I felt oh so very alone out there. That whole affair, happening just a couple weeks before the holiday itself, ruined Christmas for me. Forever. I don’t even care about the holiday anymore. Next year, come Christmas Eve, I am staying at home, getting some sleep. But, as is usual whenever I am having problems – if I voice any discontent with this holiday, the mother-unit assumes that I am somehow insulting her. Yes, I can’t have my own problems. That would just be too much. In her mind, if I have problems, I should just shut up. That is much simpler.
However, there were two bright spots that made the end of break worth it. The first was seeing an old friend again. Her and I had spent almost no time together. We go out to the movies and after it is done, we got to talking. It was one of the best conversations of my life. She was loyal to our friendship. Even though we were very different people, she was loyal to it all the same. That made me feel very good.
Another thing that happened was something that felt pretty good at the time, and saved that break for me. Though it would become an issue. I found a girl who was interested in us, sexually. I decided to see where that would go. She was my Dom. I was her sub. It was…pleasant. Kind of. See, it started out great. But after a while, she was becoming more and more undependable. She would make plans with us, only to break them without telling us. I was quickly annoyed, and it ended about a month and a half after it started. After it was done, I felt even more lonely than I had before, because it was another reminder of how little I am wanted.
I get back to the dorms for the spring semester. This started on an even more sour note than the fall. Still emotionally beaten from losing a best friend, trying to wrap our minds around it, we were not very pleased to come back. Plus, another friend we had in Anchorage was almost totally absent from our lives. But that is part of a long story about her and her three-way relationship with a guy and girl that I won’t get into. Mostly because it’s none of you-all’s damn business.
Spring semester has beaten the shit out of us. Came so very close to breaking us. Our classes were hard as fuck, there was almost nobody to see and the gig I had going with the aforementioned Dom was hitting a dead-end. But it gets worse. See, there was this shrink that we were forced to go and talk to. Part of the effort to make me and me accept that we are not mentally healthy and need all kinds of super-duper support from shrinks. Yeah, fuck that.
But you see, this time was different. See, this shrink decided that he would do something for which I should sue the son of a bitch – reveal something that I specifically told him was in confidence. I signed a waver saying that his final report would be able to be viewed by the parentals. Included in this report is a secret that I have been carrying with me for a LONG time. So long now that it feels like an eternity. And not only did he mention it in his report, but when he was giving the Cliff notes version of the report to one of the parentals, he made sure to bring up that secret of mine to them. Twice. Fucking asshole. You have no idea how pissed I was at the time. I wanted to beat his head against his desk until he went limp. He made sure that the parental in question knew this secret. That was clearly the goal.
Now, nothing in my family stays a secret for long. Once one person knows, it is pretty much a guarantee that others will know. So now I was put into a position that I never wanted to be in – having to either wait for this to get out on its own or to talk to the person who this secret involved. I chose the latter. I cannot tell you how nervous I was bringing this up. My hands were shaking. But since the parental knew what, but not who, I didn’t want this person finding out from somebody else. Lord knows, I have seen very recently how well that turns out. So, I got this person to talk to me. And you know what, that conversation went so much better than I could have ever anticipated. Turns out, they had figured this out a long time ago. And this knowledge was doing harm to our friendship. By getting it out in the open, the two of us were able to put it behind us. I think. We have hardly spoken since then. I don’t regret my actions. But I do wonder if they are cool with me. I can’t tell you, for sure.
Classes kicking my ass, personal problems piling up and the residual pain of being betrayed and thrown away by yet-another person I held in my inner-most circle of friends. I was breaking. My supports were crumbling. I lost myself inside of Mass Effect for WAY longer than I should have. It was all I could do to not lose myself to despair.
The only truly good part of the spring semester came from the time I got to spend with a new friend of mine. Her and I have been growing on each other. It started out slow, as most things with me do. I am slow to trust. But as we got closer and closer, we found that we were kindred spirits. Every Friday night, we had a routine of going to IHOP and eating there. It was a nice way to finish up a week. We also had some nerd nights and just hanging out. It was a small comfort from what was overall kicking my ass. I am so glad that she and I found one-another.
Now, it is all said and done. The friend I rescued from the bar goes home tonight. I am driving her to the airport again. And now I kind of want to cry, because she is going to be leaving, never to return. I may never see her again, and it is hurting me. But I can’t say anything. I can’t say that I don’t want them to go. I can’t tell them that I just want them to stay. I don’t want to hurt her. I love her. And so I do the noble thing. I say nothing, to not hurt people. Good people hurt and what is their reward? Being the better person is fucking bullshit.
So much ugliness. So much pain. Given all this, you might thing that me and despair are pretty tight. But I am not despairing. The reason is simple – this is about as bad as it could be. I have hit rock-bottom. Nowhere left to go but up. I have hope for the future. It has to get better from here. Sure, things are going to be hard ahead, but for the moment, it’s done. And that is something to feel good about.
And who knows. Maybe this summer won’t be so bad. I do have a few people that I mean to see. I am going to be making the most of my cooking and baking talents, since I will have a kitchen again. It isn’t great, but this could get better. At least, that’s what I choose to believe.
Until next time, a quote,
“Times like these, you know who your real friends are. They’re not the ones running around, looking for an escape route. They’re the ones who stand at your side through the worst of it. Who never give up on you.” -Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 3