Friend or Foe?

Protecting myself from the onslaught of outside influences that disrupt a body worn out by PTSD fatigue failed. An innocent on-line video chat with a ‘friend’ (friend? or foe) caused a restlessness so great a double dose of sleep medication was needed, a huge disappointment after several nights of good sleep. 2AM? Dam, fucking god.

“We’re taking a trip next week after full immunity from the virus kicks in,” I mention to her, adding, “This trip is a big deal for us because we are such homebodies due to how hard travel is for me.”

She already knows this, but disconnected from anything not revolving around her, or anything deeper than a sheen of dust, she launches in to all her trips which are endless. She has no trouble with sleeping, traveling, or much of anything as she seemingly breezes through life.

Two weeks here, two months there, and gobs of camping trips planned for the summer including a week with all the kids and grand-kids. Continuing on with her self inflating banter she shares her exhilarating Easter with all the family… knowing I can’t yet be with mine, not bothering to ask anyway. I should share in her joy, not feel my face smushed in it.

First at most things that everybody needs but have to wait for, her and husband were vaccinated months ago. She always kept babysitting her grand-daughter and seeing her daughter. No way as isolated as me, but that’s OK, we all make our own choices. But couldn’t you be a little more sensitive towards my predicament?

Trips aren’t easily doable for me, and she has known that for years. My system cannot handle it. She has no understanding or compassion, just her, her, her. My body has gone through a life-time of cortisol spurts meant for fast reaction to dangerous situations. But unprocessed traumas in a body react to everyday things as dangerous spurting out chemicals causing fight or flight reactions. It has depleted supplies causing chronic drains on energy.

And I must respect that, yet often don’t because I’m so sensitive to others needs, more than my own. She needed companionship but I wasn’t ready for her. When dealing with her- carefulness is required, and more energy than what was available yesterday.

After a second long, albeit glorious bike ride, what was needed was quiet and rest. No talking, movement or anything until energy returned. But in trying to be a good friend, and already not getting back to her after she called on my birthday, I felt obliged.

You have to be prepared for her barbs, honey coated with cloying sweetness making them doubly dangerous and damaging. You don’t even know you’re bleeding until afterwards. Why keep a friend like that? Losing so my many over the years due to my inability to trust and set boundaries might explain why.

Samuel says you don’t stop picking roses because of the thorns. Not true, sometimes that’s exactly the right thing to do, or at least put on gloves, which in her case is putting on some armor. I wish now I had the good sense to do what my body needed, not try to be a good friend when already feeling a resentment to talk to someone I did not have the energy to deal with. Bad for both of us. She left me feeling down, alone, and guilt ridden.

Today’s grogginess calls for rest. Rest and more thought about investing in my needs, listening, then following the wisdom, even if it isn’t what another needs, asks for, or wants. That is so hard for me. The blame is mine, not yet learning that my needs are very much different than most people I know. Yearning for it not to be so, trying to do what others do then failing, fighting what is… that’s not working. My body is unique with severe challenges made worse when not given the care necessary to function at its best.

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