Sometimes I think my life would be perfect if it weren't for other people.
I should clarify that, shouldn't I?
I don't mean my friends. I depend on my friends for my sanity. If it weren't for Amy and Danielle supporting me these last ten years, I would have sold my children to the gypsies ages ago.
Still, there are those people who make life difficult, the ones we do our best to avoid, the ones who prove to us we're not half as charitable as we thought we were.
Andrew is one of these people.
I met Andrew my senior year in high school. He was a sophomore, a friend of my younger brother's. He thought I was cool. He developed a crush on me. We got to be friends, and over the years stayed friends, but it was always an uneven friendship. I didn't do much to encourage it, Andrew would not be discouraged.
In his late teens, Andrew was diagnosed as being severely bipolar. Over the years, he's made several suicide attempts, has gone through tons of electroshock therapy, and has stayed highly medicated. When he's manic, he takes to the phone. My brother, who shares my wariness when it comes to Andrew's attentions, now screens all his calls. If you pick up when Andrew calls, he will keep calling back every night until you tell him to stop.
I get a call from Andrew every couple of months. Sometimes he's in good shape, sometimes he's not. I keep the calls short, but try to be friendly and sympathetic. He's had a hard life and he needs friends. Nonetheless, after I get a call from him, I tend to screen calls for the next few days, just in case he goes on a bender.
The latest thing: Facebook. A few weeks ago, I signed up on Facebook, on a whim. Andrew found me there. Andrew, it turns out, is one of those people who lives on Facebook. And he is so happy to have me there, so he can send me his poems and deep, philosophical thoughts and maniacal musings. Constantly. Recently, he befriended my mother, who really does not need his mania (some of which can be quite profane) in her life.
I'm thinking about getting off Facebook.
What do you do about the Andrews in your life? I don't know, I honestly don't. I live in fear he's going to show up on my doorstep one day. He wouldn't harm a fly, so it's not that kind of fear. It's more the fear of that much craziness too near to my children, the fear of not being able to get rid of him.
So Andrew is difficult. And I have other difficult people, too, people who my life would be easier without. But they won't go away, and I don't know how to deal with them. Do you? If so, let me know. I'm at a loss.
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