Friends Who Said they had your Back

Taken from a piece I posted last week.

You hear a song that takes you back
To some long forgotten night
And friends who said they had your back
But they just turned and ran and let you fight

Of which I have been reminded over the last couple of days. Last night I was driving home from work and listening to music. An oldie I haven’t heard for some time came on and suddenly I discovered I was crying. Not massive sobbing crying; just tears running down my face. This was unexpected and unwelcome. Unexpected because that, apparently inappropriate, tearfulness hasn’t happened for a long time. Unwelcome because of the implications for my depressive and PTSD state. In a way I can understand why it happened. I can remember a particular occasion listening to this song in great detail and those feelings would have caused upset. But that was in the past and this is now. As i say my memory of the occasion is very detailed. I am both blessed and cursed with a good memory. It can be a blessing. I have been able to cruise through exams that rely mainly on memory with minimal effort and little revision. That’s not a bad thing (apart from the tendency to encourage laziness!). My autobiographical memory is more of a curse. It is often not good to remember episodes from the past in such detail. It means you remember words, phrases, nuances and a whole raft of other things you might prefer to forget. Most of all it makes the memory so strong and immediate you can be overcome by the emotions relevant to that time. and so last night’s tears.

There is a second part to the lines above. The bit about friends who had your back. This does relate directly to my memories of that occasion listening to that song but it relates to so much more. It links in directly to my PTSD. I have described in more detail why that is in an earlier piece on this blog. It relates to the fact that in my job we rely very much on people “having our back” but on the night it failed to happen. Because of a breakdown in systems we were very much on our own. That in turn taps into my long standing difficulties with abandonment. I know now that in part this goes back to something very early in childhood; before a time I can even remember. I think that partly accounts for my trouble with dealing with the end of relationships, especially those where the end feels like abandonment.

An old friend, more than friend, recently told me that there was a phase when they deliberately hurt me. That is hard to process on many levels. Primarily because it feels like someone you might expect to protect you has done the opposite. I have a better understanding now of the process in that instance which makes it possible to forgive. It still hurts. Forgiveness doesn’t always remove pain. When I was more naive I believed it would.

I still struggle to come to terms with times in the past when I feel friends have let me down. There have been occasions when I practically feel a betrayal because of it. It knocks on into the present. I am hyper sensitive to situations and see it as a disappointment when often it is just people going about there lives. It requires hard work to keep it in perspective at times; I frequently don’t.


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