They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals. I say only that an abandoned child never forgets. — Mario Balotelli
I first started hearing voices when I was 12 years old, directly after I was in swim team. One showed up first, constantly criticizing everything I did. Then a couple more joined in.
They told me I was stupid and I said they were wrong. They told me I needed to obey them and I said no. They told me I was worthless and I said I was not sure.
They sneered and yelled and screamed and argued with each other. I became more and more afraid. I wanted to ask for help, but I couldn’t. Not after swim team.
They said my friends did not care about me. They said I was the only one trying to hold up these wilting relationships, that my friends would not notice if I disappeared and stopped reaching out.
I got fed up and desperate. I said no, no, my friends cared. They would notice if I disappeared. They would reach out.
The voices said, prove it.
I retreated from social life. I stopped reaching out to my friends. And I waited. And waited.
A day passed. Two. A week. A month. Six months.
I waited while the twisted pain inside of me grew and swallowed me whole. I waited while the months turned into years.
I made new friends, ones I kept at arm’s length, ones that I liked but did not trust. Most of whom lost contact quickly. One new friend stayed, but she had so little in common with me that we barely interacted. Another old friend technically did not leave, but we were not very close and she only was in the United States for a week or two every other year.
Six years passed before I would have what could be called a close friend. And even then, I was afraid of being abandoned again.
My trust in friendship was broken.
Post 19 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)
This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.
For the whole series, follow this link.