Monday, July 27, 2009

Friends? How many of us have them?

I'll admit, I know a lot of people. I travel in many circles and acquaintances abound. But the people that KNOW ME HAVE TO LOVE ME because of this crazy bipolar. One time I'm up, the next I'm down and it can be tough when I am in a new situation, or a new city.

Do you tell people you suffer from bipolar?

RARELY do I. Why? The stigma of having a mental illness. Facing the ridicule. The sly, glib and ignorant comments. I don't need that and I don't want it. I have worked so hard to maintain most of my balance and sometimes, I have off-kilter days. During those times, I avoid people-yes, I've read that it is not the best thing to do, but it is all I have got to control my rage when these same people piss me off. But, like a volcano, it is unpredictable...

When I deal with ignorant people and they say dumb stuff or treat me poorly, my body negatively responds to that. Depending on the comment made, like if it is about work, I will try to educate. If it has nothing to do about work, I choose not to educate. If it is anything personal, I shut it down immediately. I choose to leave and have nothing to do with these people because I do not know them well enough to maintain my sanity. And I will NOT let them disturb that about me. Actually, that is the latest development. Some would say, it is running away--I would call it "I have too much on my plate at this time and I do not need that..."

When does this issue arise? Well let me explain how it was before I incorporated that mentality. Prior to my medical accident in 2003, I would try to prove to people that I was smart enough, good enough, and I liked me (just like in the SNL skit by former actor, Senator Al Franken). After my medical accident and not really knowing what happened to me, while being in recovery, I asked what is the point "proving" anything to anyone? What do I have to prove? If these people do not appreciate all the attributes and qualities of who I am, what I am and what I stand for after what I have created for them, then they are at a loss, they choose to be stupid, they are unappreciative and they have the problem. I have ZERO to prove! I have not committed a crime, I have NOT intentionally hurt anyone with malice and I have NOT tried to go out of my way to subjugated anybody because it is well within my means to do so. Those are NOT the values I uphold as my guiding principles. I choose different principles and those are entrenched in my life's experience and I know I have something to share and say about them!

It took at least 5 years for me to get to that point. So, the dead weight that once burdened me with spiritual vampires sucking out my life's energy from me suddenly makes my circle of friends very small. And most of those friends live at a distance. What is ironic is I have one close male friend, my husband, but I can only share concepts that need can relate to, such as ESPN, cartoons, and technophile stuff. So our conversations are limited unless it is something serious, like the usual serious stuff marriages discuss. I have other friends who are men where I reside, but they truly act like boys sometimes, getting raunchy, discussing sexual conquests and proclivities, and gossiping maliciously. Men ironically tend to do that, rarely around women. And if a woman wants to "hang out" with the boys, she will not want to feministically question their logic on their discussions if she wants to learn more...

The female friends I have had since I was a child. Those friends will not change, EVER! I will have them for the rest of my life. Like sisters they will remain. Other social networks help, but the physical calling and contacting cannot replace what social media provides. And while I abundantly use social media, the full social dimensions of somebody poorly describes a person even with a picture. Sure one can tell some aspects of how someone thinks through the current web 2.0 platforms we currently use today. But, thoughts are NOT behaviors or mannerisms or appearances, or facial movements that allows the fullest flavor of having friends. So, while nice to connect with people on social media, it is only ONE aspect to the totality of that human being. And all of users, including myself, must NOT forget that!

One way to make friends is by joining groups. Especially when you are new to a city. In late 2003/2004 I was new the Seattle Area. My husband had to fortunate luck of not really caring about who his friends were. Men like him tend to be that way. So, in essence, his buddies were his drinking buddies who got into vicarious situations. That had to be cut because I was not going deal with that early in our marriage. He changed. Some of his buddies were married, and I tried to befriend these women, but they were vile toward me, like competitors. Why? I will never know and do I want to know? What made me write "I HATE SEATTLE" is this, "crabs in a barrel mentality" or competition when there is no competition. I may be bipolar crazy, but these women are NO competition against me. Just by my mere presence I outcompete them, if they are that insecure! So, I told my husband I am not being a part of his group of friends. I know that hurt him so, but after that vicarious situation, he began to understand that. Besides, I could have upgraded that game at that time with these women, if they wanted competition. Dumbasses! Those tactics I learned in Texas...

Ironically, the female friends I have had to cut from "Team Dr. Gina" are the ones that harmed and defiled my space so much that I could not possibly allow them into my life. It is not just that they constantly challenged every waking move I made, it was on the roughest, foggiest and harshest mind terrain these old biddies could conjure! What was going on in their minds about me was perverted and I do not really want to know. The values they were telling me where not the values I felt I was displaying and it was unfair, unrealistic and outright ugly. I would create wonders before their eyes and get ready for the emotional defeatism I felt due to the harsh, demeaning criticism I received. I cried in a corner for days and while I could talk to one of my closest friends of all, my mother, since she was not there, I was unable to fully explained to her accurately what happened on any forms of communication.

Last year, I thought I could successfully handle a very tough assignment for a group I hold dear into my heart. I did handle it, quite successfully and learned how to get a tough activity organized. But the way I was treated by my committee members and yelled at when I was the chairman of this committee, what inexcusable... At that time in my life, I had just made the toughest worklife decision I could ever make, my job caused me so much mental strife, I gained excessive weight, I was evil to people that had done nothing to me-like the grocery store clerk, and I felt accused of something I had not even started yet. The worse thing about this job was, the physical symptoms of my medical accident start reappearing: breakthough menstrual cycle bleeding and the scariest one, I would go to use the restroom and sit, then the walls spun, the dizziness had come back and I was told not to drive. Old mania habits that I had not controlled in a long time came back, ie misplaning experiments, disorganization, lack of focus, stress. I saw where I was going and what I would become if I had continued along that path and I did not like it. So I left. I simply packed my "bags" and left. Rarely have I looked back and be remorseful regarding that decision, because, it surely would have caused me a chronic illness.

But back to the group I held dear, after I encountered that, I took a one month break from all of that lunacy. While the outcome turned out to be more than stellar, I needed a break. Then one month became two, then three and then I decided hey, this feels pretty good! Well, they summarily kicked me out of the group! Of course, their rules. But I wrote a very harsh letter with emotional damaged and I let it go... I miss them from time to time, but I am FREE from the psychological torture to my soul!

There was another group I was a part of, and really, decisions could not be made in a timely manner. I had to leave that group.

There was another group of women that could not get organized, left that group.

See the pattern? I am leaving groups and I guess that is now incorporated in my psyche now since I had not done it before. I finish what I start, but I don't play the BS game. Don't should on me. DO IT! If you want to make something happen, bring it into being!

Now, I am embarking upon another group, and I am fearful because I do not know these women, they seem nice, and well-meaning, but... The difference is, they are not... No, I am in a different place and more receptive and open-minded.

I just had to leave another group because I don't need to be spoken harshy by anyone who is NOT paying me or NOT a customer. If we are collaborators they we speak to each other civilly, I deserve that much. I did what I was asked, but I cut that negativity from me because I am not playing with ignoramouses about me anymore. If they choose not to learn about me, fine. But don't be upset when I start to make my moves and you are not on the bandwagon, because you will get refused!

I have a long memory. Unfortunately, for the bad ways people treated me. I taught myself as a form of self-soothing, "if you can't beat them, join them. If you can't join them, leave..." I have joined plenty and not I am leaving. I can take my toys elsewhere and play in a different sandbox. I don't need to play with silliness anymore. It is now ALL about my business: The Ariafya Universe and if folks come to me with anything other than to propel my business to its peak...