A really good mate of mine started to write a blog of her own. It is about her experiences with trauma and victimisation. I wanted to say "childhood trauma" but truly, that is an assumption I cannot make. Like many others, I was lucky enough to have what would be considered a normal childhood; the stories she has told me about hers make me wonder how she survived it all. Sometimes, I think she wonders about that as well.
Truly, I have always admired her strength and courage when facing the world. For those who have experienced extreme self-hatred, you may understand what I mean when I say there is an unspoken connection with others who have as well. Not to sound presumptuous or anything of the like, but it does sometimes make people stand out differently. Like when you meet a lot of new people for the first time (in this case, freshers week at the University of Edinburgh, where I was not only new to the program but also the country) and right away you can tell there is something different about a certain person. That is how it was for me when I met this mate of mine, way back in September (spend two semesters in Halls with freshers and even nine months will seem like forever). Right away, I knew that she was someone I wanted to be friends with, or as I prefer to phrase it, have in my life. At the time I could not have explained why; likely I would have said it was because she seemed quirky and interesting. But as we got to know each other more, it all began to make sense. Out of all my mates here in Edinburgh (and they are all amazing), she is the one who I feel can understand me. When I feel like my world has come undone - first example I can think of is related to my OCD and feeling like I lost all control - I know that I can go to her and she will understand it.
The incident I am referring to happened back in January. I had finally gotten my room organised the way I wanted and found a place I liked for my little whiteboard. Some of my mates were up in my room drinking, so I went to go let her know where we were in case she wanted to join us. When I got back, they had messed things up a bit - but most of all, my whiteboard was down. I knew none of them had intended to cause me any distress and when they saw I was upset they tried to fix things and make it better. I just grabbed a bottle of vodka and sat drinking alone in the pantry for about 20 minutes. Upon returning to my room I saw they had attempted to put things back in place and were all very apologetic; all I could say to them was "No, you don't understand. You just don't understand," over and over again. I wanted to tell them what was going on, but I simply could not. So, I went to her room, walked in, and simply said, "I've lost all control. My room, it's gone. He took down my whiteboard. I've lost all control." Instead of scoffing at the ridiculousness of my statement or simply trying to reassure me that no one meant to hurt me, she calmly said, "It's okay. You can get the control back," and talked me through it. And indeed, I did.
The next day I went and talked to my mates about what had happened and tried to explain the situation. I do not think any of them really understood what I was saying, which I figured would happen, so I made sure to emphasise that if anything like that were to happen again, to go ask her what was going on because quite likely she would know. Me saying over and over "You don't understand" was my way of trying to tell them that they really did not understand and I was incapable of explaining at the time. But with her, I do not need to explain it. I can just say what is going on, and I know she understands and will try to help me.
She is one of the best mates I could ever hope for. My best mate is back home, and she can never be replaced in my life. But here, this mate I have been going on about, she is a best mate in a different way. Honestly, I do not think I could have developed and matured as much as I like to think I have over these past few months if it was not for her. We both have issues with people and social interactions from time to time, but I know she will always be honest and upfront with me, and only wants to help. Whether she knows it or not, I am eternally grateful for the night she tackled me in the corridor to make sure I listened to what she had to say. Sure, that is not the typical bonding experience, but it definitely was an important one.
The purpose of this post was to share her blog with hopes that someone else may benefit from her experiences - and to share a bit about why I am so lucky to have her in my life. My best mate back home once said to me, "Two falling people cannot save each other." This is true; they cannot. But two damaged people, now that is a different story altogether. They may not save each other, but they can share and teach, and maybe one day help heal. She was the first one to ever say to me, "It doesn't matter why
Damaged people are the most dangerous because they know how to survive.