Emotional Blackmail and Cushing's

For those of you who know me personally, you probably know how hard the last month has been. If not let me give you a recap:

Two good friends of Mrs. Zebra and I broke up and one is living with us while they each figure out life without the other. The person staying with us is also chronically ill. She has fibromyalgia and severe migraines, among other things. We have a small sickie commune going on. Mrs Zebra and I both have been in and out of hospitals lately. I'm testing to confirm that the first surgery was not successful, and the last week, Mrs Zebra has been fighting a MRSA infection in her foot from an infected blister. Mix this with a new schedule with commuting the both of us that work, and it's not been exactly a restful time.
What you probably don't know is the other friend hadn't been taking this breakup kindly. He is also suffering from an illness, but I am not qualified to speak about it. Over the past month, he has been harassing our new housemate and to a lesser degree, both of us Zebras. But it's draining what little energy I have.

At first, I saw it as lashing out at her, and then us, for the break up and perceived "taking of sides". I won't get into details because it's not important. Suffice it to say that it's happening only from his end. But the threats on us keep happening. The calls at all hours, the text messages that say things like "well, you aren't answering right away, so I guess we aren't friends anymore" all hours, I mean the man doesn't get that I have a chronic illness, and have to rest or sleep every chance I get. Today, I realized he doesn't care.
This morning, we all were treated to a stressful morning where he was doing it again. He wasn't even letting me use the restroom or get dressed, which both can take considerable energy and time. And stress makes me worse. It makes me more sick. To have to worry about what kind of text message or phone call it is, makes me sick to my stomach.

You can't treat people this way. That's goes for anyone. You can't emotionally blackmail people into giving you attention and expect keep them around. It just doesn't happen. But to do it to people you know can't handle it, that takes either someone who really needs help, or is so beyond caring for people that it isn't worth the time or energy investment to find out.

And if you are reading this, and any of this rings a bell, here is a message straight to you: understanding goes both ways. I understand you are lonely and hurt, but a) its not my god damn fault, b) its not fair to take it out on sick people, and c) keeping it up isn't helping anybody. You have to understand that I don't have many friends because of this disease. People choose not to understand what's going on with me. They judge me for my lack of energy, my lack of social skills, my lack of money, my lack of anything else that makes them want to be friends. If you feel that you are one of these kinds of people, then I'm sorry but I cannot spend so much time and energy propping up your low self esteem if you wont or cant reciprocate. I just cant. I don't have the energy to properly take care of myself. If I spend energy on you, you have to do the same. You cannot expect to get positive results by emotionally blackmailing people, especially ones that are limping along as it is. And your actions have made us very worried about coming over. I'm not sure what you will do.

Now, if you feel you can properly give and take and handle an adult-like relationship with people, then not only will this work out, but I want to be that friend myself. I understand you are hurting. I understand that feeling, like sinking into a hole of worthlessness. I understand what its like to not have enough energy to wipe yourself in the bathroom, let alone get out of bed to do so. Understanding goes both ways. 

No one really wants to be alone all the time. And no one really has to. But lashing out isnt the answer, and for me, at least, I cant handle it. I'm too sick. And I don't have to. We can still be good friends. We can still work together. But that is really up to you. That's what we want. 

Specifically to our friend, you are a smart guy. One of the smartest I know. But I can only spend so much time trying to convince you to sober up from the funk you are in, and realize that. I'm too sick. And for that, I am sorry. 

The Emotionally Drained Weary Zebra


Lonnie said...

well, i remember when this first happened.
it is a VERY hard choice, to cut someone off, especially when you do care about them as a friend and fellow human, but, they cannot take and take and take, and expect there to be still more for people to give.
like all things in nature, nothing is in endless supply, if it isn't replenished. love and friendship is one of those things. no one gets to keep taking your love and kindness without nourishing you with the same.
it is OK to be hurt, it is even ok to lash out, WITHIN REASON! we all do it, we are human and flawed, but if we are a good and loving person and not selfish, then we care when we have hurt our friends, we say sorry we FIX it, we take care of our friends when they need care and understanding, this person is NOT a friend. they were once, and maybe one day they will be again. but it isn't you, or Mrs Zebra or your new housemate who killed this friendship, it is the emotional vampire who did. and only they can fix it.
if you can, just block their number and blacklist their texts so you won't see them. there are apps like Chomp SMS, that let you blacklist texts, and i know you probably know of some call apps that block certain numbers from even being able to leave a voicemail. you are NOT the bad guy for blocking this person. there is only one of your, and you cannot take care of anyone else, if you don't take care of YOU first (i know this is the pot calling the kettle black but it's obviously easier said then done)

The Weary Zebra said...

No, it really helps. I need to hear these things more and more. And its not just a friendship, but a person who is a good business partner. Its a double blow. I just hope I can find teh strength to do so.

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