Running away from a friend

August 15, 2020 § Leave a comment

I went to my best friend’s place today evening, but came back quickly to be with my wife, who was actually looking forward to being on her own for a bit, without me around. At my friend’s place I made excuses like how I had to go get my son from his friend’s place, where I’d dropped him off in the morning. I was also despicable enough to lie to my friend, saying I didn’t want to expose his old parents to me, because I’d come from outside and also because my wife had been blowing her nose all day from her dust allergy which normally goes away after a while in the morning. My friend had brought his parents to his house for a few days.

After I came home, I felt intensely how much I would have actually liked to have stayed back at my friend’s place and spent more time with him. But I came back to be with my wife due to a deep seated fear that something bad will happen if I didn’t or even that I’d be punished in some way. This was viscerally connected to how my parents treated me while I was growing up. I recall once when I must have been 15, I’d come home from just the next door neighbour’s house — whose younger daughter I’d liked — late for the weekly ‘bhajans’ (devotional songs) session which happened to be that evening. My father lashed out at me with his words, saying I should have just stayed there are not bothered to come back.

Back to running away from my friend’s place this evening, my wife has a simpler, more direct, explanation versus the cheap psychology I’ve tried above. ‘You just didn’t want to be involved so you ran away’ she said. That assessment feels truer. I don’t even have the courage to tell my friend that this is what, in truth, I did. That I wasn’t worried about exposing his parents to me, but rather the other way round, which was about not wanting to be exposed to the pain his father — who is sick and struggling with heart disease — is going through and how that would have amped up my anxiety etc.

He reads my blog occasionally, and maybe he’ll read this and forgive me.

While I was there, I did get to go for a walk with him and had an interesting conversation about the following subject: compared to him, my problems are all in my head, largely. Whereas he has real, very stressful and emotionally painful problems, seeing his father deteriorate and worrying about how his old mother will manage his father, as it’s really not possible for them all to live together and he has to be there for his wife and their two little twins. I asked him where he gets his resilience whereas I’m a wreck. He spoke of some of his past experiences with a roommate in college who was a schizophreniac, and about a past girlfriend and also about his response to his upbringing.

I don’t want to write those details here, but here’s more cheap psychology: growing up, he also had a strong bond with his mum, which I think he still does. Me, I didn’t, and at one point, around the time I was 16, she rejected me completely for some time over a mistake I made with the same neighbour’s daughther. My life was never the same again.

#anxiety #depression #anxietyanddepression #friendship #emotionalstrength

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