Things Your Dark-Era Friend Doesn't Want You to Know (shhhhhhhhh.....)
Tuesday, April 09, 2019
**Below is my opinion. Just that. One of those "wanna say it out loud, but kind of can't. So we blog**
--THE DARK ERA
OK so it started a few years ago. Your friend, spouse, partner, or whoever it was were who they were. You knew them. You ate meals with them. They were part of your life. Life was OK if not great (ups and downs, yada yada), but nothing was wrong per-se. Thennnnnnn.......
Something major happened in their life (break up, financial setback). Whatever. They shook it off. Then it was something else (job-loss, eviction). They scrambled but persisted. Then a loved one or close friend passed away. They had some days that were better than others, but hey don't we all. More bad stuff happened. And then MORE bad stuff happened.
They became distant and it kind of scared you. You thought it was temporary, but it persisted. When something really good happened in their life you were vexed that they didn't seem to share your joy. You share your past times of trouble in an attempt to empathize, but it only makes them more distant.
You mentally try to write it off as them being depressed, but no. This is different. Calling it a sense hopelessness would be nice but it doesn't even seem that good (in that state, there is at least a presumption of possible hope). They're functional in the loosest possible sense.....but not really. They're "there".....but not really. Despite them still being in your life, you find yourself missing them.
I refer to the above descent as a "Dark Era"
--THE JOYS OF BLOGGING
One of the blessings and curses of blogging for me is that of redemption. When facing a situation involving someone who is a negative force off-line, I can blog about it anonymously.
Sure, I can't do anything about it ... but when I basically talk about that person while blogging, I can sleep at night knowing that someone in their shoes might be able to hear someone else in their life saying what I'm saying to them.
At least maybe something can come of it.
--WHAT YOUR DARK-ERA FRIEND WON'T TELL YOU
* They don't want to be a burden to you... When they were "talking about it", there was still a sense that the friendship was acceptable (or at least tolerable). They saw your frustration when they started to fall and realized that it was best to cut, push away and hope for a better tomorrow down the road. They don't want to drag you down with them.
* They get that you want them to smile again... Everyone, including them in the past, has experienced that person where it was always bad news and dark clouds. They don't want to be that person to you. They were forcing the smile for awhile, but then life finally ground it off of them. They got tired of faking it. They don't want to be a burden to you.
* Your telling them how to feel is a low-class move... When your friend invariably starts to verbalize the expectation that something bad is going to happen and that things will never get better, you will feel the need to tell them not to think/feel that way. You'll want to tell them that tomorrow will be better. You'll want to point out how their attitude will affect their success and lead to bad things. They'll want to point out that you are invalidating them. But they won't. They don't want to be a burden to you.
* Your religion is bad and you should feel bad.... If church/God has been part of your and their life and identity, you will see religious precepts as being a source of comfort:
-talking about "it" with a priest/pastor
-spending time in the word or in prayer
-quoting passages that have been a source of comfort to you/them
Whether you believe it or not you're taking a cheap-shot at their faith when you do this. You're kicking them when they're down. They may or may not get this, but religion itself builds this mentality. They know not to bother responding.
* They likely don't love you any more or less... Harsh as this sounds, they can't afford you. They may have friends with whom they have been able to maintain a friendship with. If they thought that either you could be there for them or they could in some way be there for you, they probably would still be making the effort to maintain the friendship (or at least not completely blocking you out). They understand your frustration and sense of helplessness with the situation. They just don't want to be a burden to you.
--NO GOOD ANSWERS
Would love to give you the magic wand or words to to make things better for your friend and friendship, but if I had those then this blog likely wouldn't be written in its current state.
Someday I hope to be able to write a blog about how to get through one's dark era of life or how to be a good friend/spouse/partner on that situation. I'm out of answers though.....
.... and have been so for a long time now.
- TD Out.