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Year of the Party

"Year of the Party" is what Brian called this year, back when he told me he isn't required to take the medication anymore. Tim told me the medication would take about a month or so to wear off. Then he'll be unreachable.

He quit school - the "vibe" and "psychic vampires" were getting to him. He said he wanted to get out before he associated me (I work there) with that feeling, too. He had an art show at a local gallery. I bought one of his drawings. Things seemed to be okay, but I could tell something was wrong. Off.

We'd planned all week to get together at my house for lunch and a movie, like we usually do on Saturdays. When his usual show-up time rolled around, he was nowhere, and he didn't answer my text. Luckily he answered my call, and he said things just need to cool off. I figured something was wrong. I felt bad, but not hurt. I let him have his space.

A week later, he texted, asking for a ride to the store and his sister's house, and home. I said okay. The whole ride was tense - he was fidgety, wouldn't look at me, and barely talked, even when I tried to talk to him. I felt angry and I told him when I dropped him off, "Brian, you know I'll drop anything and come help you - I'll give you rides if you need them, but as a friend." He asked what's wrong. I said I was hurt that he wouldn't talk to me. He gave an annoyed growl, and got out. No thank you, no goodbye. That's it. I wished I hadn't said anything. When I parked the car, I sat there for ten minutes bawling my eyes out. I cried the rest of the night. I was so upset. I texted him and we just let stuff out - I explained how I felt really used, and I just wanted to talk, and that he's still my best friend, and he said I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm sucking his energy and we need to take a break. But we kept texting until we reached the end of it. And this time when he said it wasn't my fault, I believed him. I felt satisfied, but empty.

This weekend, during a snow storm, I texted him - "I hope you're safe and warm." He responded that he is. I know it's not much, but it's something. I honestly wasn't expecting a response at all, and having him respond just meant so much to me. It meant he still wants us to be friends, and he wanted to let me know that. Last time we took a break, he didn't respond to my texts for a month.

But today...

I woke up at 8:30 and saw a new FB message request from one of the baristas at Java's:

"Hey Fawn - This is Sarah from Javas. So sorry to reach out to you like this but I'm not sure who to contact and I think you are close with him - Brian is in Java's and we cannot have him in here and I do NOT want to call authorities. He is out of control though. Any insight?"

I said I didn't know, that this is my first year with him, and that I'd try to get a hold of Tim or his sister. I texted Tim as soon as I got the message, but with no reply. I'm reluctant to talk to his sister, because I remember him saying he could no longer trust her. I don't know, though...

I'm taking it surprisingly well (I guess, because I know it's not me this time). I was weepy this morning, because I was so worried, but everyone has been through this before, and they have told me in the past, it'll happen, he's still in there somewhere, and we just have to wait til the party's over.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2016 05:14 pm (UTC)
When somebody goes off their meds, which is what it sounds like you're describing here, then I think it is quite appropriate for the authorities to be informed so that they can intervene in a way that friends and family usually can not?
Feb. 15th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
Seconded. Sounds like going to the authorities would be doing him a favor, even if he wouldn't currently agree.

Be safe!
Feb. 16th, 2016 12:22 am (UTC)
He's been off them before, but I didn't personally know him then. For the last year, he was court-ordered to take the shot every month. Then they decided to let him stop taking them. No idea why.
I guess this is how he used to be, and he's been on off for the last 18 years (I've known of him the whole time, but never saw the out-of-control side of him). I don't know if he just needs some time to balance out or what... I've been trying to get a hold of someone who knows this side of him.
Feb. 16th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
Obviously I don't know you or your situation or your relationship with this chap. But I'll ask you the question my therapist would ask, which is, do you really want to be involved in this much unendurable chaos?

(Because there's a point at which, yes, people who are severely mentally ill have problems they will struggle to control, but, what you've described there about the rudeness in the car, the blaming you for sucking energy, not responding to your texts for a month, sounds awful close to the behaviour of an abuser.)
Feb. 18th, 2016 02:52 pm (UTC)
I talked to some of his friends. They're gonna get a hold of one of the cops who knows him and try to handle it right. I also talked to people at the cafe - it turned out that Monday's situation was all a misunderstanding - an accident happened, and he got blamed for it for being in proximity.
Feb. 18th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
That's good, sounds like it's getting sorted out without exploding into being Your Problem (tm).
Feb. 18th, 2016 05:28 pm (UTC)
Now I just have to figure out how to delicately draw the line on visiting me at work. I'm lucky the school's on winter recess, because I've had to walk him into the hall twice already).
Feb. 19th, 2016 01:52 pm (UTC)
They have pretty strict rules here on people entering schools, gotta sign in and have a good reason.
Feb. 19th, 2016 02:16 pm (UTC)
We have a private campus, but I work in the part where new students without credentials flock, so there's no sign-in required. It feels weird, but I've actually been practicing how to break it to him.
Feb. 15th, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC)
i hope things start to look up *hugs* :(
Feb. 16th, 2016 12:22 am (UTC)
Many thanks *hugs*
Feb. 16th, 2016 02:02 am (UTC)
*Hugs* It has to be so impossibly difficult to watch happen; I hope the situation will improve soon.
Feb. 18th, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you! I hope so too. I worry about him too much.
Feb. 17th, 2016 01:45 pm (UTC)
It's so hard to surrender control in a situation like this. I know you wish you hadn't said anything, but your feelings are valid too and you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells around him, meds or no. You did the right thing by telling him how you felt in the car. His mental illness isn't only his burden to endure and he should at least be made aware, even if he doesn't "handle" it well.
Feb. 18th, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
He came back to apologize yesterday, but I have a feeling I'll see that side of him again before the illness takes him completely.
But yeah, all while it was happening, I struggled in my mind with that exact idea - how valid my feelings are to him, if they're valid enough to me to be worth expressing right now, and I thought of what our friend Tim said - that I can tell him to bend a little for me, and that it's hard for him to understand, but he'll eventually learn to take my feelings into consideration. So I blurted it out. It felt good, but bad, but I've been working on being brave enough to speak up when I need to for the past year, so I think it's progress.
Feb. 19th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
Oh fuck ... I kept hoping that he would - for any reason - stay on his meds. Fuck :(
Feb. 22nd, 2016 02:56 pm (UTC)
I wish he'd stayed on them for me. He went on a stronger dose because he knew he'd hurt me back in the fall. But he likes to think he's in control of his own mind, even though he's out of control.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )