Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coming out of the closet

More than a year after my crazy-girl diagnosis, I finally told some of my work friends (previously, K., my school-BFF, has been the only one who knew).

It was funny, because a few (and by "a few," I mean 10 or so) of us went out after work today (it's already been a tough week, with TWO teachers very suddenly and mysteriously being put on "administrative leave" and a near school-wide lockdown due to a very hostile and bitter non-custodial parent). The subject of J., my former friend from That Night, came up. "Is she still seeing that cop?" I innocently and casually asked.

"Yeah, as far as I know," V. said.

"It's been a while," A. added. "How long has it been?"

"Since last July," I said immediately and very matter-of-factly.

"That's right!" A. said. "Who was it that she got in that fight with?" Then, with a horrified look, she clapped her hand over her mouth. "Oh shit, it was YOU," she said to me. She glared at her drink. "Stupid alcohol."

So at this point, of course, I knew that J. had shared at least some of That Night with our coworkers.

"Jen," V. said to me. "I've been DYING to ask. We heard the story, but that SO doesn't sound like you. What's your side?"

(Note: I know that some of you may find this hard to believe, but here in Florida, I'm known as the easy-going, joke-cracking, laid-back, always-smiling one. Tears of a clown, bitches. Tears of a clown.)

I sighed and decided, To hell with it. I've been in treatment long enough that while I sure don't want to share it with everyone I meet, I'm also done being ashamed of it.

"Well," I started. "The events themselves are probably true enough. But there's more to it." So I pulled my chair over to their part of the table (I mean, I didn't want to broadcast it to EVERYONE) and told them everything.

"Wow," V. said. " that you're on the medicine, how do you FEEL?"

"Oh my God," I said. "It's like night and day. I can't believe I waited so long."

"Well there you go," she told me. "And plus, if it makes you feel any better....J. doesn't hang out with ANYONE anymore. So don't take it personally. We invite her out all the time and she never comes out."

And you know, it DID make me feel better. After trying to lay low last year, I've tried to reach out more to J. this year, making casual "hey, you want to join us after work?" invitations, and she never takes me up on it. I felt, of course, like she was specifically rebuffing me, but apparently she does that to EVERYONE now.

I just hope my revelation doesn't come back to bite me in the ass (we do have a rather gossipy school). But I felt comfortable enough to tell them--plus, I had to defend my honor. Yes, I got drunk, tried to beat up my boyfriend and best friend and ended up in the back of a cop car--but dammit, I had a GOOD REASON!! LOL. And even though A. and V. had heard about the incident, they never treated ME any differently, which is cool. So hopefully, telling them the "why" of everything will only further clarify things in their minds. We'll see.


Nik said...

It's cool that they didn't treat you any differently and I don't think they'll start now. The sad thing is that you probably will come in contact with some people who do change towards you, but that's actually a good thing for you, cuz you get to weed the assholes out and you'll know who your true friends are. You've come quite a long ways since that incident.

Renee said...

I'll bet that was quite liberating, huh? You have come a long way since then, and I know I speak for all of us when I say how proud I am of you!

I think it's good that you've waited this long to tell people about it, so that they can see how normal (lololol, okay, maybe not NORMAL, but not crazy) you are :-)

anna said...

I think it's great that you opened up, and it's also obviously great that they all took it well. They know you - they love you - a diagnosis whouldn't change that a bit.

Do you know you're my 3rd friend with BP? All the coolest people are doing it these days.

But what do I know, I always thought you were fun, laid-back, joke cracking Jen, too :)

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renee said...

"All the coolest people are doing it these days" LMAO, Anna :-)