Opening Up and Letting In

9 07 2011

This happened a few weeks back, but for some reason, it refuses to leave my memory and my mind. So I figured I might as well get it out.

Here goes.

In my latest “major depressive episode,” with my therapist being largely unavailable, I decided to “open up” to my best friend of 13 years. This person has been with me through thick and thin: engagement, break up, marriage, divorce and of course the never-ending series of job changes. She already knows I have been seeing therapists for the better part of my life. I resorted to her and asked her to help me through this. This time I decided I would hide nothing. I would let her in on my thoughts and fears. I would let her in on my dark dark thought processes. And so I did. I daringly let her in on my religious OCPD, how I ceaselessly obsess about right and wrong and how I am emotionally and socially less than 5 years old. Oh, and she was able to figure out that I don’t really have a definition for “friendship.” I will not go into her reaction to this. Suffice it to say she was shocked and tried very hard to hide it.

So one day a few weeks back, I decided to get out and not leave me prey to myself at home. In my car, it was me driving, this friend in the passenger’s seat and a third in the back seat. Because we were rather late, my good friend had given me directions to an alternate route to get to our destination. So I started on my way. And as the lady in the back seat tried to make conversation, my good friend very nervously went, “Wait, I can’t concentrate with you now. I need to concentrate on the road. I am too tense and scared. I am not sure of the directions I gave her (me) and I know how she thinks. I don’t want to make a mistake . . . Trust me. You don’t know what will happen.”

She was literally unable to engage in any conversation or get her attention off the road until we practically arrived. Throughout the trip, she kept saying, “I think you take a right here, but I am not sure. Left here, but not sure. S***. I think we should have gone the other way. . . .”

Our third friend kept trying to calm her down and she would say, “You don’t know what will happen if she takes the wrong road. Trust me.”

I had managed to make her so tense around me and actually afraid of my reaction. I had transferred a small part of my everyday tension on to her and it was more than she could deal with. Knowing how tense and how rigidly perfectionistic I am, she didn’t want to put herself in the precarious position of having made a mistake, and this is my best friend.

How did I feel having made her feel like this?






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