Here I am again not sleeping because I can’t stop thinking. I’m supposed to go back to work on Tuesday, the 25th and I’m obviously getting more and more stressed out over that every day. Yay! I get to subject myself to veiled hostility and ridicule! I’m the “bad guy” so I’m not allowed to show anything other than remorse. I have to go out of my way to make sure that nobody is forced to deal with me so I’ll walk around with my eyes to the ground because I’m not worthy of anything other than being kicked like a bad dog. That’s how it feels.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I screwed up and hurt people and I do feel horrible for it. I always will. I’m not expecting anyone to forgive me. I’m not expecting anyone to care about or understand how I’ve felt for well over a year. And I knew, well over a year ago, that I would lose these people as friends if I talked to them about it. I had four options:
- Resolve to talk to them and, after finding a new job, actually talk to them with the understanding that they wouldn’t want anything to do with me after the conversation was over. I would walk away and never have any contact with them again.
- Find a new job and then walk away without talking to them and refusing all future contact.
- Kill myself.
- Say nothing and just let things go along as they had been, even if it was killing me inside a little more every day.
I spent over a year at war with myself. Looking back now, I’m not even sure that I actually felt what I thought I did but that doesn’t matter anymore. At the time, my thoughts and emotions were constantly conflicting and I had no idea what to do. It wore me down and I finally snapped.
Try to imagine that. For over a year, you’re keeping something bottled up and it’s making you question every aspect of your relationships with the people you’re closest to but you can’t talk to them about it because if you do, you will lose them forever and they will hate you. Then add the fact that you would need to find a new job because you work with one of those people. And THEN add that you would need to cut yourself off from most of the other people in your life because you have those people in common. It’s not a fun way to live. I have no idea how a “normal” person would handle it but I can tell you how someone with mental illness handles it. Not very well, that’s how.
No, all of that doesn’t make hurting people okay. But if it were possible to “erase” that night I got wasted and snapped, I don’t think I would. I would wish I hadn’t hurt them like I did, but I wouldn’t want to go back to how things were “before.” That would mean I’d still be in constant misery and I do NOT want to go back to that.
I kind of have to go back to some form of it when I go back to work, though. And I have to just let people think the worst of me and hate me because it feels like I’m not allowed to feel hurt by those I’ve hurt. I’m not allowed to be angry. I’m just supposed to let people kick me while I’m down. It doesn’t matter how many times I apologize because people are convinced I acted out of malice and “tried to ruin their lives.” No I didn’t. Besides, the only life that was ruined was my own. Within a day or two of me coming home from the hospital, I went on Facebook to see if anyone tried to contact me or anything (spoiler alert: nope) and the first post I saw was from one of these people. It was talking about how awesome her life is and how wonderful the people in her life are. That felt like a deliberate slap in the face to pay me back. I can’t remember the exact wording and I unfriended her and all of them shortly thereafter but it was phrased in such a way that I felt like I absolutely DESERVED to die. The response I got from her after I sent a horrible message to one of the others felt the same. I DESERVED TO DIE.
I have spent so much time questioning EVERYTHING that crosses my mind. And if I felt hurt by something they said, I immediately felt guilty because I’M the bad one. I’m wrong, they’re right, and if I at any time think otherwise, that just makes me even more horrible. It’s like I can’t even briefly consider that sometimes, maybe they were wrong too. I don’t know why I feel like I must cast them as perfect saints and cast myself as a demon but I do. Then that Facebook post and her email cross my mind and I think again that we all agree that I deserved to die for all of this.
Now I get to go back to work and be around one of them all day, every day, knowing that that is what they think of me. I am completely undeserving of anything other than contempt and if I try to behave otherwise, they must be right about how awful I am. If I wasn’t, I’d still have friends.