Dear Mesmerizing Meg: Although my friend and I used to be close, in the final year of school our group began to get up and leave whenever she’d sit with us. At lunchtime she was alone, and at birthday parties, we’d leave her all alone at the table even though she said she felt humiliated and begged for us to stay. We once invited her over but locked her outside and started laughing at her. It was just our group’s norm and funny… I don’t know.
But after meeting her last week, she told me that during the same time her best friend also told her she was worthless, mocked/laughed at her, and called her fat. At the same time another close friend blocked her that whole year, cropped her from all her pics and said she was embarrassing.
It’s not my fault but she said she locked herself in the bathroom cubicles and cried all lunch and in the final months of school everything became numb so she began self-harming. She had apparently developed clinical depression with extreme social anxiety, stopped going to uni classes the next year and dropped out. She then had to go on medication for months before recovering and starting over.
I just feel guilty hearing this, should I apologise?
Kind querent: No, you shouldn’t apologize. You should grovel. And then, you should do a major, life-altering favor for this person in order to atone. Give her a “karmic gift,” meaning you’ll do any one thing she wants (within reason, obviously). And then, you should donate about a hundred dollars to a charity that tries to eradicate bullying. And then, you should do some major soul-searching about peer pressure, meanness, bullying, friends, and personal responsibility. You should write a ten-page paper on why your actions were wrong. Do all that, and then get back to me.
Dear Mesmerizing Meg: What can I say to some people who try to tell me that ADHD and the medications doctors use to treat it are fake? Unfortunately these people never knew children who have ADHD, and never saw how these ADHD medications saved the lives of ADHD children.
Kind querent: I’d say this: “Fair enough. Would you like to spend one weekend with my son? I won’t pack his meds, and we’ll see how you fare.” (I do a variant of this when people tell me I should go off my meds. I’m schizophrenic, and usually the threat of a weekend with me, but without my meds, scares them straight.)
Dear Mesmerizing Meg: How do you stop depersonalization/derealization? I honestly started feeling this way about 6 months ago out of nowhere. I see people saying it can be because of traumatic moments and it’s your brain protecting you from the pain. The thing is, I dont remember anything traumatic. I remember that my long distance boyfriend visited me, and it felt so unreal that I got lightheaded sometimes because I was so excited. Then once he left, I started feeling it A LOT. But not because of excitement. I dont necessarily feel sad at all most of the time. I just dread not ever feeling real. I always feel lightheaded and question what reality is. I dont want medicine that will make me feel nothing. I want medicine that will help me feel something. I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to feel normal. To not constantly feel so absent and disconnected to everyone and everything. Sometimes I’ll talk to my family and I think to myself, who are these people? I’m in tears writing this because i need to get out of this. I can’t live like this forever, i want to feel again. Even if its sadness, i want to feel present. Please help me.
Kind querent: Please seek out professional help. I don’t necessarily think you need medication, but you do need someone to help you figure out what happened when your boyfriend visited. Just to be on the safe side, don’t visit him (or have him visit you) again until you’ve gotten to the heart of this. We can’t be 100% certain that he’s safe to be around, because something’s missing from your memory.
It’s also possible that you’re at war with yourself–that on some level, you’re crazy in love with him but you know he’s not all that into you. These are guesses. You were excited to see him, but you’ve disconnected ever since then. It might be a way for you to protect yourself from the reality that he’s playing games with you. Again, just a guess. And that’s one of the better scenarios here. I’d urge you to find a counselor or therapist with whom you can speak right away.