Depression: "Did you notice that your dad has called again? And as usual he didn't bother to leave a message. So it cannot be that important, right? Why return his call? You told him before that you are having a tough time and that you would call. He never listens. You told him before that you cannot talk to him when you are in this state. (MY state, hehe) He just doesn't take you seriously. It is all about him and his needs, isn't it? You are perfectly right not to call him back and to be bitter about your weird relationship. It will never be the way you want and need it to be. So why bother?"
Sane self: "My dad does what he can. He worries about me - he even told me so in his own, awkward way. He may not have been the best dad - actually he was not dad material to begin with - but it was not his fault and it was not his intention. And he is trying. That he keeps calling me even when I tell him he shouldn't actually means a lot to me."
D: "Oh really?! Isn't it pathetic that your old dad is the only man who calls you "my darling girl"? Doesn't that make you cringe? Admit it already!"
S: "So what! At least someone calls me darling. There must be gazillions of people who are yearning to hear these words from their mom or dad. I belonged to them for almost all my life and now I get to hear them."
My phone rings and I almost drop the pan I was about to set on the cooker. I answer the call and hear the voice of my oldest friend from school. We never see each other despite living in the same city but we stay in touch. Mostly she is the one who calls if I have not contacted her in a while. I tell her that I am just cooking dinner and will call her back.
D: "So she keeps calling you - I wonder why. Do you remember how many times you have mentioned that you two could meet up and she never took you up on it? Maybe she just calls to calm her conscience. Or maybe to be a good Christian - you know she is a believer. Isn't that actually ridiculous? Why would someone like you who is a confirmed atheist keep up with a Christian, and a Catholic of all things? Can you even take her seriously? I don't buy that she is really interested in you. If she honestly liked you as a friend she would love to meet with you once in a while."
S: "Who knows why she doesn't want to meet. Maybe I should ask her - I never did. I was too shy. But I remember that she told me once that she was afraid to drive in the dark. And some time later that she was afraid to drive in a neighbourhood that she wasn't familiar with. Maybe that has gotten worse? I will call her back and I will try to overcome my shyness and anxiousness and ask her. I am grateful that we are still friends. I always liked her, I love talking to her and she is my only remaining connection to my childhood."
D: "Well, have it your way. I don't have to remind you that you don't have any talent for friendship. People ALWAYS let you down. But as I said: Have it your way. You will see what comes of it. Apropos of friendship - I heard you talking to this friend who you met in the rehab clinic two years ago. Are you honestly still keeping up with the likes of her? She is not exactly your intellectual equal, is she?"
S: "She may not have an academic title but she is wise where it counts. She is listening to me when I am crying too hard to be even coherent and she is not giving up on me. Or on life, for that matter. She went through much of the same horrible stuff in her childhood as I did but she has resolved not to become a bitter old hag. And most times, we actually find lots of things to laugh about, and I am looking forward to seeing her again soon. Are you done yet?"
D: "Let me see....what about this internet crap that you seem to spend so much time with lately? You really call that "friendship", connecting on Facebook with people you haven't even met? I find that pathetic if not pathological. What does your infamous therapist have to say about it?"
S: "You won't believe it but I even asked her the same question. Know what she said? Even if the connection is via the internet, the people are real, aren't they? When I am down in the dumps, sometimes connecting to them is all I can manage. And I am glad that I found such friends. So far, they haven't let me down once, they "get" me, and I don't feel like I have to go through all of this shit on my own. Not to forget: they are, each in her own way, some tough cookies, and I am prowd I may call them my friends. So there."
Me: "Well done, S! Thank you."
S: *Grins and feels somewhat triumphant*
D: *Sniffs and retires to her corner (for now)*