Posted: 26 Aug 2012 04:32 PM PDT
It's been brought to my attention that a pub acquaintance of mine is bi-polar. I'm not close with *P*, although I enjoy her a lot when I see her at the gigs.
She's been paying all sort of attention to my FB page in the past couple months. I noticed some quirkiness about her, and concern in the fact she seemed to be airing her laundry about mutual friends on her wall. Made me wonder if she truly understood how fb works. (she's only been on for a few months). Nonetheless, she's attached herself to me lately.
A couple pub friends contacted me in the last 36 hrs to inform me of some recent *P* antics of late. Upon picking up my jaw off the floor, learning of the violent outbreaks, assaults on some of friends, (one being on a very pregnant wife of her main obsession), pending court dates resulting from charges being pressed from establishments we frequent, and lastly a recent short stay in the hospital over the July long weekend. Needless to say, I'm shocked.
Shocked and saddened more so by her so-called-friends. Aside from her bestfriend, who is educated/trained to deal with mental illness, he's gone to the police himself to see if he could do anything. Unfortunately until she hurts herself or another, there is nothing they can do. He's informed a few of us, it's best if we keep our distance and be thankful she does not have our addresses! (sounding a little like Crazy C?). It's worse. It's more like single white female I'm learning. :(
People have bailed on her. No one is staying strong for her, banning together to get her some help, or back on her meds. They've abandoned her. Okay the pregnant friend and the main source of her obsession, have reason to be wary and stay away. But the rest? It got me to thinking how wrong I was, how things looked. I was always lead to believe she was a close friend of many of these people. I was wrong.
I'm sad for her. I decided that I would offer an ear and just be someone she could lean on from a distance (only cos I live 2 hours by bus away). Only to learn she's blocked me from fb last night. We weren't "friends", but acquaintances. Should she reach out to me, I will be of what assistance I can, and tell her what others are afraid to say to her with as much kindess and open heart as I can.
I had to run this past a few friends. They reminded me, not everyone has had the exposure to mental illness that I have. They may not know how to communicate with her, , or even how to react. Hense they've appeared to abandon her. Mostly due to being unsure and/or scared. Fair enough. I need to give them the benefit of doubt, as much as I do her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to insert myself where I don't belong, until I'm asked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In other news.....
I'm hoping injecting myself into a public situation, and actions, will have changed the course of a young life forever.
On my way home from the hospital for a small procedure (just stomach stuff, I'm good), waiting for the bus at a skytrain, I'm sat beside a young girl looking miffed, and a young boy (about 14 yrs of age) pacing, muttering words as he passed us. I took out an earbud to hear what he was saying. Was he was talking to me, to her, to us etc?? It appeared he was talking to her. Verbally abusing her. I struck up a small conversation with this girl, asking what this was about, and the things he was saying to her was verbal abuse. She had called him an asshole for something douchy he did earlier. He'd been verbally berating her since.
He yelled at me to mind my own business. Laughing at him there wasn't a chance in hell, as this clearly wasn't a private conversation and that he's berating her in public. Embarrassed, a single tear falling down her face, that said it all.
As he passed us again, I got up, linked my arm with his, smiling and said HI! Taking control of the laps he'd been doing. Looking at me in utter shock, swearing at me to take my hands off him, calling me all sorts of names. I held his arm tighter, signally him to listen, continued to walk with him. I had words with him. Asking him all sort of questions how he'd feel if a guy spoke to his mum or sister this way etc. He said he'd kill them. Smirking at him, I told him how being a stranger, I'd like to kick his ass for his poor behaviour. He started to calm down alittle realizing I was serious, and much stronger than him as I still had a strong grip on his arm as we're walking in laps. In the mean time we'd attracted a small crowd of on-lookers who were witness to commotion earlier. When I was done having words, I told him to go stand over the other way, by the bus they were waiting for.
Sat beside his g/f again, giving her the best advise I could. Begging her not to get on a bus with him, that I'd wait with her if she called someone to come get her, or wait for a different bus etc, anything, just not to get on a bus with him, otherwise she was telling him this behaviour was okay, and that she thought it was okay to be treated this way.
She lightly cried, mentioning she broke up with him etc, and he just wouldn't stop. I explained as kindly and sternly as I could that what he was doing is verbal abuse, and he's so young. Imagine how much worse this will get as he gets older.
He's pacing in front of us again, although a little further away this time, still in ear shot. I told her if she was serious about putting an end to this, to call his parents and inform them of how he's talking too, treating her etc. Not expecting her to do it now, it was food for thought; a moment later she picked up her phone and called his Mum!!!
...."Hi Mrs Blah Blah"....she starts. He charges over to her (I put myself between them, and a few people have walked closer to us sensing this might get ugly) screaming at her in shock "Are you calling my mum? You dumb fucking bitch"... I had to contain my laughter when she stood up with conviction, gave him the finger, and walked away!!!
With the small crowd we'd drawn, he knew better than to follow her. He got on a bus a few moments later, muttering all sorts of curses at himself, her, me, and whoever he felt deserved it. I tailed behind her to be sure she got on a train. She smiled shyly, with a wave that said thank you.
Wondering if I had done the right thing, or if I'd made it worse. Called up LC immediately explaining what happened, and my actions. LC said I probably changed the course of that girls life forever, and maybe his too.
People are too afraid to get involved anymore. I realized, that it was everything that LC had been thru, what her girls will probably go thru as a result of their abusive father, that caused me to react the way I did and get involved. Now, had they been adults, would I have done the same thing? I'm not sure. Knowing this kid couldn't physically harm him, it seemed okay. Pick your battles right?
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