Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On being a project

I'm trying to deal with the understanding I've come to that a friend of mine simply considers me a project - someone to support because I have bipolar. And that hurts.

I've always considered her one of my best friends, feeling her love and care. She has been there as someone I can talk to - someone who wants to learn about my disorder (which I value). I've always talked about how important it is to have a support network. And yet, when a friendship is simply built on a person's struggle with a disorder, something seems to be wrong. I want to be her friend too - to be a support for her - yet she doesn't often allow it. She talks little about her own needs. It is a very unbalanced friendship.

So hard to find a balance in a friendship.

I have another friend who is there for me - I know partly because she knows I'm often a needy person. Her support for me has been huge and has helped me become strong and to grow and accomplish things. But she has also let me into her life, telling me about the things she's doing and the things she's reading and thinking. She talks about the things she wants to do. Our friendship is not simply built on her caring for the bipolar me.

Yet I care a lot about this person who has been considering me a project. We have to try to turn this friendship around. It needs to be a me for her relationship as much as it is a her for me relationship. God grant us the wisdom and the ability to do that.

It hurts to simply be considered somebody's project.

9 comments:

Jena said...

Oh, Marja. That is such a tough position to be in. I would be really hurt too if I were you. I think God will give you wisdom on how to deal with the situation. Maybe he will have a few things to teach you and her both about friendship through this hardship.

marja said...

I talked to my counselor about this today and she thinks I may have it wrong - that I may not be as much of a project as I think she is. I do know she genuinely cares about me. And I need that.

Vorpalblade said...

oh Marja how i wished you lived in the UK. I have just found this blog. I am a practising Christian Bipolar (and BPD & PTSD) sufferer. I am soon to be joining a "Mind & Soul" group at a neighbouring church with a view to opening one up at my place of worship. It's seems to be along the lines of your work. I'm pretty much on my way to bed now but will definitely be reading your blog tomorrow! I will also be checking out your book when I make my April book order on Amazon (yes i order every month, my one vice, i love to learn, what can i say!) I went through a few years of hating God for reasons probably obvious on my own blog, but I have seen the light now in recent years and am working hard on my love of the great big teddy bear in the Sky ;)

Peace

Bladey

marja said...

Hi Bladey, Welcome to my blog. I'm hoping you'll find something helpful here.

If you'd like to learn more about my Living Room group you should check out the website at www.livingroomsupport.org. There are manuals there which you can download. Perhaps some ideas you might find helpful.

- marja

Nancie said...

Dear Marja,

I am praying for you. My heart goes out to you in this situation. It is not easy to find a balance in a friendship. But thank God for giving you supportive friends and those whom you could mutually encourage one another.

Perhaps your friend is just someone who doesn't open up easily. So it may not be she considers you as a project. I have such friends as well. Some people may be able to give but not able to receive. They don't share their life and struggles easily. But we can continue to pray for them and commit them to God.

May God continue to grant you wisdom in this friendship. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have posted a very encouraging video on my blog. Come over and see it, if you can. Take care.

Love,
Nancie

marja said...

I think you're right, Nancie. My counselor told me pretty well the same thing. It doesn't mean she can't be a wonderful friend for me. After getting together with her yesterday, I didn't get the feeling I was a project for her - at least I don't think she considers me that. She's just so very good at drawing me out and she isn't as easily drawn out.

I'll go to your blog and look at the video, Nancie. Thanks for visiting.

Love, marja

Vorpalblade said...

thank marja, will go look.

Vorpalblade said...

I've had many people come into my life thinking and wanting to make me better. They have all abandoned me in the end when they realise tht they can't.

Nowadays I don't really let anyone in. Safest way for me, sadly. It leads to a lonely existence.

marja said...

Bladey: I find it hard to understand how people can survive such loneliness as you must have. I need my friends so much, but yes, I've been experiencing some rejection too. And that, from someone who meant a lot to me. It's painful.