If you’ve been following my journey through the dissociative disorder known as depersonalization, thank you. Writing about it, and knowing it is being read about, has helped me cope a great deal, and that means a lot to me. Maybe my words are helping you understand what I’m going through, or maybe you’re going through depersonalization too and my words are helping you feel less alone. I hope they are helping someone. Read The Long Road
One of the side effects of the dissociative disorder known as depersonalisation, for me at least, has been the lack of finding enjoyment in many things I used to enjoy. This has been particularly disturbing for me, as, for those of you who know me can attest, it usually doesn’t take much to amuse me. That makes me sound rather simple, but, at one time, I would find enjoyment in something as simple as reading a book in my bedroom or listening to music while doodling on a piece of paper.
Yesterday, my counselor asked me point-blank about what I enjoy doing now. We had been speaking about my falling out of love with Star Trek (something that had been happening for a while, I must admit) while feeling so upset and then overwhelmingly relieved and happy that I was still able to continue portraying Ken Kato in Henglaar, M.D., which, to be honest, was one of the few remaining things I used to like doing that I still enjoy doing.
Today, at Careers Expo, I saw a high school student who appeared to be isolated from other students, anxious, and spending the Expo alone. The student started watching our students applying makeup at the far edge of our stand away from them.
I’ve been that kid and I’ve also not had the courage to help kids like that when I was that age due to the threat of being isolated when things seemed to be coming right for me in high school.
Well, geez, guys, thanks for all the positive feedback on social media about my last post. It was from the heart, all these emotions (and nostalgia) welling within me, and I’ve been waiting so long for the creative dam in my mind to burst. All your positive feedback helps tear that dam down. Thank you.
So I alluded to “shit” that’s been going down in my life, and it’s going to take more than one blog to get that all out. Where to start, though? What to write about?
Moving to New Zealand, I left behind a close circle of really good friends and a lot more friends who had touched my life in various ways.
Those who have moved to another country, giving up pretty much everything, know how this feels. Alienating in a way. Humbling in another. A bit powerless too.
For many years here, I was happy with the status quo. Noel was now my life. I slotted in with his friends and that was that.
But after my Grandpa died, I felt that making my own friends, and friends more my age, would be healthy. To be honest, I couldn’t go on being the social hermit any more; I felt it was ageing me too quick and killing me.
So Noel and I put an advert on a few Internet sites, like NZDating (yes, people meet friends there too… it’s not all dodgy slutty stuff), to meet some new friends.
Noel and I met both Adam and Dave O. on there, both of whom have become such wonderful friends who, to be honest, I don’t know what I’d do without.
But for every success there are probably ten failures.
One example was a few years back (around Christmas) a guy who seemed nice contacted us; he, like us, was looking for friends. As a part of that, we exchanged photos.
Do you know what he said?
Basically, I wasn’t good looking enough to be his friend.
Sorry, I didn’t realise friendship involved a beauty contest.
I didn’t realise I needed to be Marcus Schenkenberg or Brad Pitt to be a friend.
I didn’t realise friendship was purely based on how hot I was and how much my stunningness would reflect and enhance your own.
Friendship, to me, is obviously a totally different concept than it was for him.
But the story doesn’t end there!
Shopping for Christmas cards at Merivale Mall — and Noel had wandered off to look at CDs, I think — I bumped into this guy. He proceeded to say, yeah, maybe we should meet up and be friends. I retorted that I thought I wasn’t beautiful enough to be his friend, but he replied the picture didn’t do me justice.
Do you know what I told him?
Friendship, to me, means finding someone you have a connection and things in common with. Friends are there when you need them, during the good times and the bad, and lend an ear when you need someone to talk to. They give you advice, sometimes candidly, but that’s what you need to hear. And they add to your memories with good times, love and laughter.
So to those friends who touched my life in the US, thank you. For the friends who stood by me through thick and thin, you mean the world to me. The friends in New Zealand, the few and far between ones, thank you for standing by me, even in my darkest or stubbornest of hours. All those friends I’ve met on the journey through my life: you rock. I’ve lost contact with some friends, but they still deserve a thank you. And to the friends I have yet to meet… I look forward to it.
I didn’t realise how blessed with wonderful friends I am. And for that, I’m truly grateful.