What Lies Beneath

On the surface today was a good day. I had the day off from work, for one thing. Away from that oppressive and depressing atmosphere. I got to spend the day in the Sun's school, with my friends Fat Lady and the OneHalf of the Married Couple, and Lilac Blue. It's kinda scary how close we've gotten over the past two years, how dependent and trusting I've become of them.

I have a small collection of really good friends... but sometimes you ebb and flow with your friends. My best friend, M (she has always had the most amazing hair) who I love dearly hasn't been heard from at all, lately. I haven't been great about keeping in touch with her either but I did call her a few weeks ago right at the precise moment that I remembered I missed her. I haven't heard back. I hope she's OK and I hope that I remember to call her. Sometimes I forget that time has passed because I think about her all the time. Same with Homegirl. Years went by when we didn't speak. When she was overseas months would go by. Lately, I've been talking to her more frequently. Then there's Shoefly, and I see her often because she lives near me. Not that that negates the love, but what I mean is she's a big support system for me and I try to remember not to take that for granted. Because there's a lot of things in my life I wouldn't be able to handle if it weren't for her. One thing that my best friends have in common is they don't get fed up with me when I don't call. I appreciate that. I talk to them in my head all the time so sometimes more time has gone by than I realize. Besides I always feel guilty about taking the time for phone calls--I'm obsessive and can only do one thing at a time. When I'm on the phone I tend not to do anything else.

I tend to "compartmentalize" my friendships. Certain friends I'm more comfortable talking about the Deep Dark Secrets with than others. One friend is the one I can allow to comfort me. She's the one who has seen me cry; the one I tend to call when I'm at my darkest. One friend I would never go to for comfort. She's actually seen me cry only because I was beyond hiding that particular day, but generally she's the one that keeps me strong. I don't often tell her the DDSs cuz she's not all that comforting. Another friend can make me laugh. And all of them I genuinely enjoy being around.

It's funny... I didn't discover "girlfriends" until I broke up with Jersey Boy. I had Homegirl and the other friend all my teen aged years, but when we "broke up" I gave up on girlfriends and mainly made my close friendships with whoever the Boyfriend-at-the-time was. And my boyfriends generally lasted a few years each. But boyfriends come and go, and after Jersey Boy I couldn't date anyone for two years, and the girlfriends came to my aid and held me down. Then IFKALP came along, but thank God I had learned by that point not to throw my friends over for him. That's one thing I can say for myself during that time. And it caused a lot of grief between IFKALP and I, because he didn't like any of my friends.

The Professor, my sister, is definitely my best friend. But she's also my sister--the one person in the world who knows all the facets of my personality, and so sometimes I need to shield myself from her. It's uncomfortable to be that exposed. I know she knows what's under there, but I need to protect it nonetheless. Yeah, weird. What can I say.

I have a whole collection of online friends, that I met virtually. Some of them have become "real-life" friends, too. I value my online friends tremendously. Because most of them I'll never meet, they were some of the first people I felt comfortable revealing the DeepDarkSecrets to. My online friends helped me gain the confidence I needed to make real-life friends.

So all these words to lead up to the fact that the newest addition of friends to my collection--Fat Lady and LilacBlue and OneHalf has quickly become essential to me. And in going back to work full time, my time with them has become extremely limited (even though we mainly ended up hanging out in and around the school, before peeling off to our various part time or odd-time jobs--we didn't do an awful lot of "hanging out" outside of school initially) and I miss them.

We were at the school today because it was the day we had set aside for our annual Teacher Appreciation Lunch. Last year, Fat Lady and I were still "fresh", having all served our first term as PA officers. This year has kicked our asses, in addition to the stresses of work and life. So we hadn't done much advanced planning or gift-shopping for the luncheon, like we did last year. But we managed to pull off a really nice luncheon for our teacher friends. We ordered Indian food, the Fat Lady brought decorating supplies; LilacBlue (being the youngest of our bunch) didn't grumble too much about being sent to the store several times because she was least affected by running up and down the 5 flights of stairs to our school; and OneHalf helped with decorating and set-up and whatever else. Another momparent came, brought more decorating supplies and her good nature, and within an hour we had transformed the 4/5 room into "Cafe India." We gave each teacher/para/librarian/special services/art/music teacher a nice small slingpak with our school logo on it, and inside a t-shirt. They seemed to be appreciative and very hapy. Which is cool, cuz they deserve it. Our school is blessed with a great assortment of teachers.

So that portion of the day was fun and kept me busy. I had a "moment" when I checked my email and saw one from my lawyer. She hadn't heard from IFKALP or his new lawyer as to the status of his trip up here on the weekend. And despite the fact that I've given him all the information about the Sun's weekend activities (tournament on Sunday, violin concert on Monday.) and even scanned the fliers and sent them to him, the ONE piece of information I want from him--where will he be staying with the Sun when he gets here--he has yet to cough up.

But underneath the surface of a pretty good day, the darkness is swirling. The voices aren't even really saying much. But all the obsessiveness has returned full force. I hate feeling this way. I'm trying to shake it. The voices have actually been pretty helpful, reminding me that there are certain things I want and deserve, reminding me of certain facts I know to be true. They tell me "deep breaths", and "steady" and "it will pass". And I know they are right, and I managed to get through the evening without succumbing to Need, but it's hard. "Depression is Anger Turned Inward" and I know why I'm angry inside. I know that some of the voices are raging, screaming that they are not being given what they need. I know too, that it's useless to be angry about something you *knew* wasn't going to be, but it's hard not to be. I know that I am angry at myself, furious because I know that I can't let anything go and that I shouldn't start something I couldn't possibly finish. Furious that I gave in. I wish I had held on to myself, kept myself locked in. No, it's not better that I didn't. It really isn't better, because it takes me so long to regain myself. And I'm angry at myself that this is what I am... but yet... this is what I am and I know I can only change but so much.

And so now all I can do is just ride these feelings out, hope that something else will catch my attention. There are million other things I know I should think about, but I can't bring myself to focus on any of them. But I'm trying.


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