darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
A year ago, my oldest friend called me from her home on the east coast to say that "they" were tapping her phone and intercepting her emails, and that I probably shouldn't email her for a while.

So I didn't email, and she didn't call, and to be honest, I was glad about it. Our conversations had become stranger over the years until they were nothing but one-sided diatribes about the weird stuff people were doing to her, the men who were secretly in love with her, and the unique talents that made her so eminently employable if only people weren't so intimidated by her.

Her email address, when I finally tried it eight months later, no longer existed. I thought about tracking her down but never got around to it. Though I felt strange not knowing what had become of her, those bizarrely boring phone calls had become the whole of our relationship, and I didn't miss them at all.

She called me this afternoon from a number right across the river.

Her persecutors drove her from the east coast and harried her all the way across the United States, causing electrical shorts and flat tires in her car, interfering with her Kindle, tapping her mobile phone, and hacking her laptop whenever she got online. The story involved uranium mining and billionaires, bugs and taps and cameras.

I'm not a psychiatrist and god knows I'm aware of the hazards of labels. But the more I google, the more "delusional disorder" seems to fit her case--at least, it gives me something to pin my frustration on. If your good friend really was the object of persecution (not to mention romantic longings and glamorous corporate recruitment), she would be the most interesting friend in the world. You'd meet secretly and she'd show you some of the evidence--you know, the bug she found in her house, the screenshot of her rapidly-self-wiping hard drive, the recording of the wire-tapped phone call...And she'd probably have that amazing job by now. And a really impressive lover. And probably would have written that book, too--the one about all her amazing experiences.

But other people's delusions are boring, especially if you don't share them. She's back in town and I'm trying to figure out how to tell her that I can't take part in her stories anymore.

Mind you, if she shows me actual proof, this could get really interesting!

(no subject)

24/10/12 23:22 (UTC)
tehomet: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] tehomet
Crikey.

I'm trying to figure out how to tell her that I can't take part in her stories anymore.

The quickest way might be that you refuse to talk with or meet her unless it's in the presence of some professional help.

The poor lady. D:

(no subject)

24/10/12 23:46 (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] twistedchick
I'd agree that you shouldn't meet her alone; if there isn't a professional whom you'd trust, be sure that there's a neutral third person who can witness whatever happens. ::speaking from experience of other people's nonsanity::

(no subject)

24/10/12 23:48 (UTC)
tehomet: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] tehomet
I didn't break her and I can't fix her, so all that's left is to hope there's help for her.

Yes, indeed.

Please be careful!

<3

(no subject)

25/10/12 00:12 (UTC)
dine: (chairofbowlies - ink_stain)
Posted by [personal profile] dine
wow, that's gotta be tough. I hope when you do meet up in person, it isn't too uncomfortable for anyone

(no subject)

25/10/12 02:32 (UTC)
twasadark: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] twasadark
Yikes! Having a brother who is schizophrenic, this sort of paranoia is rather familiar to me. Is she getting help? Sounds like she really needs it!

(no subject)

25/10/12 07:27 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Kosh (completely non-human alien)  from B5 with the words 'we are all Kosh'. (B5 - we are all Kosh)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
Quite probably if she really was being persecuted by unknown organisations she'd just be dead by now, and not in possession of an interesting and glamourous life at all. I daresay it's easy enough for a billionaire to order a hit on someone slightly more serious than flat tyres.

(no subject)

25/10/12 09:43 (UTC)
kis: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kis
Oh dear, that sounds awful. The worst bit for me would be the lack of a point you could connect on. If she's living in such a strange world in her head, almost nothing you say will penetrate.

(no subject)

26/10/12 01:55 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
limiting the subject matter of our friendship to simple real-world things

But why? When the friendship offers nothing for you, it's not much of a friendship. This sounds like an incredibly sad story, but not one that you can write an ending for.

I think your relief during the past year speaks for yourself.

If it were me, I would be tempted to tell her that the forces arrayed against her are too frightening for me to risk continuing a close friendship, but that I wish her well.

(no subject)

26/10/12 01:56 (UTC)
cookiemom6067: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] cookiemom6067
Sorry - that anon comment was me.

(no subject)

26/10/12 10:57 (UTC)
kis: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kis
There comes a point where you have to think about your own sanity.

(no subject)

25/10/12 11:54 (UTC)
ravurian: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ravurian
I find the whole idea - in the abstract - very interesting: a synthesis of story, driven by the desire for narrative coherency, with few distinctions between the source of information and its direct relevance to your experience. By which I mean, the gradual erosion of distinction between information derived from personal experience, and information derived from media (books, TV shows, films, the news, etc), so that it becomes to all intents and purposes a contextual whole, of which you are a constituent part. It's the equivalent of someone hacking your database and merging files, or taking up your painstakingly typewritten manuscript and not only shuffling it, but inserting pages of other novels at random points. Or that's how it seems. She's living the novel of her life.

In the abstract, it's interesting. In the specific, highly unnerving.

(no subject)

25/10/12 13:32 (UTC)
starfishchick: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] starfishchick
Whoa, sounds intense.

(no subject)

25/10/12 15:34 (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] amaliedageek
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. If you aren't already reading, may I commend Captain Awkward to you? And I support everyone who says that if you meet in person, have witnesses and let it be someplace you can leave easily.

(no subject)

25/10/12 22:27 (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] amaliedageek
You're quite welcome! It's one of the few places where I'll read the comments, as they are helpful and closely moderated to keep asshats from wrecking the joint.

For example, this:

You don’t have to be friends with anyone. You are allowed to end a friendship at any time for any reason or no reason. What I got from your letter is that, basically, you have a long history with this person and that makes you feel guilty for not wanting to be her friend anymore, but you don’t want to be her friend anymore. You haven’t liked her or enjoyed her company for a few years, you avoid situations where you have to see her, and you don’t call/text her back. That all says to me that you don’t want to be her friend, and that’s okay.

[...] I just want to say, among all the other things the Captain has said, you can give yourself permission not to like this person. You can give yourself permission to feel relieved that she’s ending your friendship. Not liking someone doesn’t make you a bad person, even if the person you don’t like is hurting. You don’t have to feel guilty about that.


. . . struck me as perhaps being relevant to this present situation.

(no subject)

25/10/12 22:30 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
So very relevant, yes. And I didn't see that comment.

Again, thank you.

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darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
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