Recently, a couple of friends did something which hurt me.
I felt I could adequately understand their point of view about the matters we were discussing. But they didn’t appear to be making much of an effort to understand my perspective. For them, it was easy to write off everything I said or believed merely because a few days ago I received a provisional diagnosis of drug-induced psychosis.
I mean, their position isn’t totally unreasonable, right? How can you believe anything a mad person says? They’re mentally ill!
But I’m disappointed they couldn’t be a little more open-minded and look beyond labels. Is it possible that someone can have psychosis and still talk sense, at least some of the time? Let’s try to break down some of the stigma around mental illness.
My friends have cut me off now – they won’t talk to me. That feels hurtful… but I’m not resentful.
I’m retaining my power to choose how I want external events to affect me. And I believe they were doing the best they could at the time and didn’t mean to hurt me.
At this point, I don’t know if the friendships are permanently ruined. I don’t know if my friends will talk to me ever again. I hope they do. I want to treat this as a learning experience for all of us. We can grow stronger from this, if we choose to do so.
In an ideal world, they would apologise to me for jumping to conclusions. They would say sorry for calling me less intelligent than usual simply because I blogged about beliefs which were contrary to their (rigid) understanding of the world.
They would apologise for the rudeness of trying to do two things at once when I was talking to them about matters very dear to my heart. They would say sorry for allowing me to take sole responsibility for a misunderstanding, which, if I’m honest, I still feel was much more their fault than mine.
They would recognise that they used the word psychosis as an excuse to believe they knew what was best for me more than I did myself. They’d say sorry for disempowering me this way.
Ideally, they would show some humility and admit they were wrong...
… and I would admit to my own mistakes and failings too.
I’ve been tempted to use any means possible to get in touch with them and try to reason with them. I want them to understand me, see my point of view.
But I fear that would come across as overly forceful and only make things worse. Oh look, here’s the psychotic guy back again, trying to make us believe his delusions.
So, instead, I’ve decided to accept the apology I never received. This is for my own benefit – it helps me to feel compassion and forgiveness for my friends. It eliminates any traces of bitterness or resentment from my heart. It helps me move on.
I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. I can’t make my friends listen to me. Instead, I’ll just hope that in time they’ll try to get in touch and we can have a reasonable, adult, respectful discussion about all of this.