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2003-01-14 - 12:11 p.m.

I haven't really written much day-to-day stuff since Christmas. Well, I briefly mentioned New Year's Eve but I'll say some more about it now. Actually going back to the day before (ie Dec 30th), it was my first day off and Jane had time off work and was looking for something to do, so she ended up coming over to my place. I think that was significant, in that there wasn't any plans made other than that she come over- it's definitely a girlfriend kind of thing to do in a way. So I made her listen to some of my music, we went and had late lunch/ early dinner at a cafe, and then I drove her home. I wasn't planning on staying (mainly because I wanted to be well rested for New Year's Eve) but then we had more Annie issues that night...

She rang me while I was in Jane's room, not particularly confrontational, starting with small talk before revealing that the reason she was calling was she didn't think it was a good idea for her to come to Jane's tomorrow night, what did I think? In other words she was once again asking us to prove we were still her friends. She ended up talking to both of us, and things seemed okay, with the exception that she said to both of us that it didn't feel like we were friends anymore. I thought we had it sorted out but she rang back and she had snapped into a very hostile mood- basically telling us that we didn't care and she would rather we were just honest and fuck off if we didn't want to be her friends, rather than sticking around and pretending.

This is the point at which to some extent you have to separate what Annie is actually saying from the situation. This is the point at which you either acccept or reject that you are friends with someone with a mental illness and that it's not going to be easy, but is it worth it? It was worth not simply hanging up on Annie that night because once she had vented all her hostility the real problem became obvious- her Mum was sick and she was scared shitless- her father died when she was 10. It takes something like this for both Jane and I to instantly put aside how hurtful it is hearing her say those things about us, how much it feels like sometimes it's pointless staying friends with her when she doesn't recognise it, and simply be there for her in the only way we know how.

Jane was instantly telling Annie that she would go with her to her Mum's place on the weekend, it would all be okay, she doesn't have to do this alone. And Annie was not about to question why someone who is allegedly no longer her friend would want to do that. By the end of it we had convinced Annie to come over the following evening for New Year's drinks- we were all friends, it was okay. It was also about 1am by this time and I decided to stay over.

So the next day I went home for a few ours before heading back to Jane's house. We started drinking at about 4pm. Carl and his flatmate dropped by at about 5-ish, and were gone by the time Annie and her friend Amanda arrived. Everything was uncannily fine. Jane and Annie were back to how they used to be. Annie and I were too, sorta, except things are different from my point of view now because I'm not in love with her- I love her but I'm not in love with her. I gave her her Christmas present, we were all getting along great, and before we knew it it was after 11pm and we decided we'd better get to a pub before midnight. And Annie and Amanda came, which was awesome because Annie has a major social phobia, especially concerning certain groups of people, some of who were present at said pub.

Midnight came and went, Annie and Amanda left, and Jane and I hung out in the beer garden with Carl and his friends. We ended up at the remains of a party in Vaucluse, where Jane and I had a not-uncommon state of things talk as I mention a few entries ago.

New Year's Day was a lazy day, not getting out of bed until after 2pm, watching music videos on pay TV, getting back to my own place at about 6pm. The next day was spent catching up with my friend Lisa during the day and my friend Krys at night. Krys I mentioned once before- at one point the closest friendship with a member of the opposite sex I had ever encountered, which led inevitably to me developing blurred feelings for her. She lives in Melbourne now and we're making a habit of catching up at least once a year, which is nice.

After the night on the phone to Annie, I wanted to help out too- though I wasn't sure exactly how. I ended up offering to drive her and Jane to her Mum's place, just as my way of showing I was still there for her. I left Friday night free for this purpose, and when it turned out that they were going on Saturday morning, I told Annie I'd drop by and visit her Friday night in any case. It was just like all the other times I've come by her place and sat on the edge of her bed holding her hand and listening to her when she needed me. There was no suspicion on her part that I in fact didn't care and was more interested in Jane or anything like that, and on my part the fact that I was interested in Jane now and was finally able to see Annie simply (or perhaps not so simply) as a friend who I love dearly didn't change anything.

I was tossing up whether or not to stay with Jane that night. On one hand I wanted to show Annie that I could still come in just to catch up with her, and it wasn't on the way to something else, but on the other hand I had to be back in there at 10am the next day to drive them to Campbelltown, and I didn't fancy the idea of going home. So I told Annie straight that I was probably going to stay at Jane's that night and it was all fine.

Unfortunately things aren't that simple. I briefly mentioned Mark, a friend of Jane's who Annie doesn't want anything to do with, which makes it difficult for Jane who holds both Annie and Mark very close to her heart. She was to spend Saturday with Annie, so she decided to go out with Mark on Friday night, and I went along. To most people this would be reasonable, even if this was someone you intensely disliked- because it shows that both of them still mean a lot to her. But Annie isn't most people, and the fact that Jane spent Friday night with Mark seemed to detract from the fact that on Saturday Jane was being the wonderfully supportive friend to Annie that she always has been.

As I said, Annie is mentally ill. She can get delusional. When I questioned how it could be that she thought Jane didn't give a shit despite coming all the way out there with her, she said she was only there because I was. Annie and I were okay, Annie and Jane were not. But it had been Jane who was the first to drop all her frustrations and apprehensions and suggest to Annie that she spend the weekend with her. Can you imagine how hard it is to hear Annie say that if Jane cared she could try to show it by actually being there and not leaving her to rot, when the fact that Jane is right there is clear for all to see?

It didn't make it easier that Annie had off-handedly asked Jane if she wanted to come over on Friday night, seeing as I would be there anyway. Jane declined, rightly thinking I might value some time alone with Annie- and said she hadn't made any plans for the night. When she decided to go out with Mark it was seen as lying about her plans (she wasn't, she made those plans later), and choosing Mark over her. Furthermore she questioned why if Jane considered her a friend she would go out with Mark and myself but not invite her. The fact that Annie would not go out somewhere with Mark if he was the last person on Earth was lost on her. It's an insult to how well we know Annie to ask her if she'd like to go out with us and Mark.

That Saturday was just so emotionally draining, because until then I was really optimistic that everything was okay, after New Year's Eve. Things were okay with Annie and I, but I felt so sad for Jane to think that she had sacrificed her weekend to be there for Annie yet it meant nothing to her. Then as the week progressed Annie decided that we weren't okay either, before doing a backflip and saying "let's just stay friends and forget about all the external crap", and then going on to bitch about Jane to me for a day, saying things I knew were lies, but I wanted to try to be impartial and listen.

Right now things are okay with Jane and Annie, but you just don't know how long it will last. All you need is to throw Mark into the picture and suddenly it's clear that Jane doesn't care and so why should Annie bother?

All I want is for Annie to get better, and for me to be around when she is. It is for that reason that no matter how hard she tries, I'm not going to let her push me away.

 

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