Those who are live with an arsenal of defense mechanisms, whether they’re good at hiding them or not.
When people first fail you to help you, you get angry at them. But when the trend continues, you grow disheartened. You stop blaming them for failing and start blaming yourself for being unfixable. You stop sharing altogether what your problems are, until after they’re fixed. Then you smile, and say “but that’s done now.” That way, they don’t hold responsibility, and you don’t lose any friendships. But that doesn’t stop you from noticing the reality of it.
You decide that you don’t have friends. Rather, you have potential strangers in your life. People don’t like unhappy people, they don’t like negative energy. You withdraw, because if you can’t say anything good about your day, you stay inside and ignore their “how are you’s,” for “how are you?”
Instead of bridging connections, you build giant concrete walls with maybe a small door to emerge from to exchange goods and services. Placid smiles. Professionalism. “You’re such a hard worker.” You lose yourself in the things you do, doing things for other people, and go home to a laptop, a messy bed, and an emptiness in your stomach.
Sometimes those walls break down, and you’re vulnerable. You exchange protection for temporary happiness and self-doubt. Feelings go up and down, the erratic hopefulness eventually gets old. Because problems aren’t solved by people, especially those that don’t know your condition. Especially those you won’t let know because you’re afraid they’ll be chased away by uneasiness or uncomfortably bound by obligation.
There is no god to save you, only people who seem to not understand that it was them who destroyed your religion. You make google searches you’re ashamed of. You lose enthusiasm for the things you love. You quit things that hurt you, and you realize you have nothing left. Tears stop being therapeutic; they make your face raw as you lie there, replaying old conversations in your head.
“Snap out of it.”
“Stop being so sad.”
“You’re so negative.”
“You’re so mean.”
You whisper your apologies to your pillow and sometimes when you go to bed, you wish it could suffocate you and swallow you up before you can think anymore.