Hell Summer was one of the bad ones. First, my best friend was going out of state, for three months until forever. I didn't know what the situation he was going into was like, and from what little I could piece together out of what he said, it sounded bad. Him sending me a letter in Klingon-language, saying that he was in Rura Pente and had a phaser and was planning to escape, was not very reassuring. I had a job from hell, I wasn't getting enough sleep, and then something went very wrong. I got sick, and my best friend tried to kill himself in the middle of a drug-induced psychotic breakdown -- without telling me what, actually, was going on. This led to the breakdown and collapse of my engagement, and my family was none too thrilled with me for being friends with my best friend to start with, and kept giving me helpful advice like, "Tell him to go to hell, then everything will be just fine."
It's seven years later, and I think I'm finally over the worst of it. I can tell the story without stuttering. I can have a friend announce that they are moving almost without panicking.
I can mention heroin with only a slight stutter. I can say 'Milly's name without weeping.
But when something unconsciously reminds me of that, my brain still goes into a bit of a tailspin. Ohmigod, I'm not going to lose another friend. I'll do anything, just not lose another friend. For those months, I thought I'd lost him. I knew he was going to die, and there was nothing I could do about it.
It influences my attitude on friendship. It influences my feelings about memory. When he lied to me, and told me something that he considered important, then had forgotten all about his lie a month later -- I panicked. No one should forget something evidently that integral to them.
Bad communication panics me. If there's no apparent reason for lack of communication, my brain makes one up. He doesn't care about me. He has a girlfriend. He's dead. He moved and forgot to tell me. He moved and didn't tell me on purpose. It isn't because I don't trust him. It's because I've been betrayed before, by someone I loved just as much, and even though he's given me no reason to doubt him, I still associate betrayal with love.
If I love someone, they'll turn out to be a psycho who will hurt me. If I give all of myself to someone, he'll twist it out of recognition. If I trust someone, he'll call me psycho and choose someone else who will hate me for loving him. If I love someone and they don't love me back, I'll turn into a psycho and they'll hate me and I'll deserve it.
Those aren't the middle-of-the-night fears. Those are the broad daylight fears. Those are the reasons why I marvel at Darkside actually being friends with me, actually being trustworthy, actually allowing me to love him even if he doesn't understand it. It never happened that way and stayed so, in my world. Me loving was a constant; me loving being a good thing -- never.