So, last week, actually, a….er, well, someone from the SDA group, was complaining about a friend who was suicidal. Said friend was trying to get help, but was placed on a waiting list. So, in the meantime, said aforementioned friend is calling my…er, well, ok fine it’s Joana.
I feel like I should mention here that, since canvassing, our relationship has slightly improved. Slightly. It’s more like, we don’t talk about it. Secretly, I distrust her, but that’s as far as that goes at this point. Canvassing Joana is almost a separate person from not canvassing Joana.
Anyway, so Joana’s complaining to me about how her suicidal friend calls her when she feels suicidal because she can’t get help right now. She was complaining about an hour and 7 minute phone call which, to me, is nothing to complain about. I mean, for me personally that’s a decent phone conversation.
Joana: and she called me yesterday too! And talked a lot! And she’s really clingy and won’t leave me alone and it’s so draining and bla bla bla….
You know how dramatic Joana can get.
White hot rage surged through my veins. Outwardly I was calm, offering Joana support if she needed it. But inside I was screaming at her: how dare you. How dare you talk this way about your friend! If a friend of mine was calling me instead of killing themselves (which, yes, has happened) I might feel a bit drained, but that would be NOTHING compared to how RELIEVED I would be that the person decided to CALL ME rather than kill themselves. I’d be so relieved, in fact, that I might not even mention it. How dare this woman feel anything but relieved that her friend is safe? How dare she talk about how “drained” she feels and talk about how “she can’t take it anymore.”
Because the truth is, I’ve been on both ends of those kinds of phone calls. I know what it’s like from the other end too.
And then it hits me, so much so that afterward I have to go cry: Is that what people think of me? I haven’t been suicidal lately (and if I was, I would lie about it on a public blog, but I’m not lying now, and if I was, I wouldn’t tell you) but I have been heavily depressed, lonely, and a member of the Frequent Crier Club.
When I can’t handle things sometimes, I call people.
Am I just a burden to these people? Do these people say behind my back, “ugh! This is the second hour long phone call I’ve had with her this week where she won’t stop crying!” When I have my bad moments in front of people, are they drained by me? Repulsed? Do they feel burdened? Am I just a burden to people?
Tell me. And tell me the truth. I promise I won’t start crying, and I’ll go away and not bother you anymore.