A longtime friend with OCD hung up on our relationship the other day and I heaved a sigh of relief.
I tried, I really did. But she is not only in a fragile state right now, she is in a dangerous state right now. There is paranoia and disordered thinking. There has been at least one stalking charge and some jail time served.
I can’t help her and I need to not beat myself up about that. I suppose the only people who can help her now are a psychiatrist really skilled in the latest medications and therapy professionals who won’t let her get away with making up stories about how everyone on the planet except her is responsible for her misery.
What I ended up saying, when bluntly confronted about why I hadn’t been in touch recently, was that my own child’s education, cum active OCD, is pretty much consuming all of my emotional resources right now. It truly is. I didn’t need to explain more than that. Anybody who was not in the midst of a fullscale psychotic episode would get that.
What I got back from her was a chillingly detailed list of my responsibilities, then and now.
When we last got together, my friend and I, my child was still home and I was working fulltime.
Now he is at college six states away and I am unemployed.
My friend’s statement was, paraphrased, “How dare you tell me you don’t have time for me when you are not even working right now and your child is gone?”
How disordered. I figured there was no chance she would get it. And the fact that she did not confirmed my decision. You can’t be friends forever in a one-way situation.
See, to me, there could be a part in there where some human understanding and kindness would insert itself and say, “You did the best you could to be a good friend to me for almost ten years. I am grateful for that.” But no, I get blasted with a “what have you done for me lately?” attitude.
Most scary of all were her last words before deleting me from her life, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” Somehow I suspect that that pithy phrase was never intended to cover the “at my worst” related to someone’s acute paranoid episodes in which she was jailed as a stalker.
There are some “at my worsts” that can truly only be handled by professional help. Trying to hand someone else a load of guilt over that is only further evidence of how far gone the person is and of how much help she needs.
I pray she gets it.