Went out on Friday with my schizophrenic friend, mentioned previously here. We met in greenhouse-themed Botanist again, only I wasn’t drinking this time. J told me- if I understood this correctly- that he wasn’t actually schizophrenic. He’s worked in mental health in the past and knows the signs and habits of the condition. He’s picked up on the traits of the average schizophrenic person, mimicked them and basically got himself diagnosed with it so that he doesn’t have to work. Why he felt it safe to tell me this I don’t know.
Moments later, though, he seemed to backtrack, once again claiming that he has got said condition. Something is dodgy about this whether he’s schizo or not. He also told me that denying that you’ve got the condition is a sign that you do have it. Hence, he’s now trapped with that diagnosis.
In the past, I’ve met people who have opened up to me and told me all sorts. That they’ve been suicidal. That they have been massively depressed. That they’ve been sexually abused in the past, sometimes as a child, sometimes as an adult. Not to negate the seriousness of these situations, but most of these people turned out to be nutters and not good friends. Not trustworthy individuals.
I’m starting to realise, a little late, perhaps, that I’m actually a good judge of character. I can tell when someone’s a little suspicious in nature from little indicators, like J has shown. There have been plenty of other examples. Sometimes it’s taken years to come to head, others straight away. I need to ditch J. He’s on my Facebook, though, so he’ll be asking for nights out- mandates– and he’ll know when I’m free. I’ve also encouraged him to join other Meetup groups that I’m a part of.
A separate example:
I’m about to go on a mate’s stag do. I’ve known these guys for 6 years now. When I first started going out with them- ’09 maybe- they were going to shit chav bars dealing with common-as-shit women, and they couldn’t understand why I didn’t want anything to do with the girls that they were pulling. I told them pretty early on that I didn’t want to do what they were doing, but I still wanted their friendship and companionship, so I still hung out with them. I kept bringing up the idea of going to Manchester, and eventually we went to Love Train at The Ritz, a really cheesy disco night on a Wednesday.
We were all pretty hammered. We got a pre-booked minibus there and back. On the journey home, I said something. I have no idea what it was to this day.
Macko- a big black guy- leaned forward in his seat. “Pat, if you ever mention my daughter again, I’ll smash you.”
I thought, what?
“I’m not joking, don’t ever mention my daughter.”
I looked over at Johnny, who I knew a little better. He just looked at his fucking shoes. The minibus was quiet.
At that point, I made a mental note. Fuck Macko, Fuck Johnny, and fuck all of their friends. I’ll talk to OB- who introduced me to the group- the next day.
I then went home, woke up, went to work and forgot about it. The next day, OB phoned me about the night before. I was in the car with my mum and I was too tired to bring it up anyway.
Later that week a group night out picture appeared on Facebook featuring about 30 of us. “We look hot”, commented one girl. Macko commented underneath: “We all look hot except Pat who looks gay”. Johnny commented later “Yeah looking gay as piss there Pat!”
Again, I thought, fuck this group. I should have blocked every one of them right there and then, and spoken to OB the next time I saw him without any emotion. But I didn’t. I forgot. And I kept going out with OB and Macko and Johnny, and they introduced me to literally hundreds of people. I became part of the group, going to the same shit bars for years. In ’11 I got fed up of their shit and stopped talking to them after further shitty comments appeared on Facebook from other members of the group- not the three mentioned. I didn’t speak to them for 9 months.
Eventually, after sessions with a counsellor, I got back in touch with them. I still go on occasional nights out with them, and occasionally I still get shitty comments from them here and there. The last few nights out we’ve had, although few and far between, have been decent ones.
MW, a member of said group, has slagged me off both in person and over Facebook. Both before I got back in touch with them and after, I’ve dealt with his shitty comments. When colleagues and NHS practitioners hear of how they treat me, they all ask me, why are you mates with these people? I then have to defend the very group that repeatedly criticise me, explaining the good times that we have. I haven’t seen MW since June. I’m about to go on a stag do with him in a month, and word is he’s going to apologise (even though he can’t remember the insults).
The ball is permanently in their court from now on. My birthday is later this year- I’ll have a night out but I probably won’t invite them. They haven’t come to the last few birthday nights out when I did notify them. The stag do will be the decider, though- I won’t drink, I’ll enjoy myself, and provided no dumb shit happens, I’ll stay friends. But if there’s further bullshit from any of them, I’ll walk.
J won’t be getting an invitation either.
In conclusion, you don’t need to justify your actions to anyone. You don’t need a solid reason to think, no, I’m not going to give up my time for that person or these people. Trust your instincts- they’re probably right.