Can I get a quorum?

After yet another grueling, yet useless seminar, wherein one of the other interns bashed me and no one said anything in my defense, I headed home with my fresh, organic, locally grown vegetables and let the tears fall. I know my life is good, I do. But these Tuesday meetings are seriously sucking the life out of me. It’s a good thing my CSA pickup is on Tuesdays, because at least I can look forward to that.

Depression is not new to me, nor is the scenario that is playing out with the interns. In a nutshell, there is a person who gets picked on whom I defend. That is kind of my way in the world and most of the time it works for me. In this scenario, of course it isn’t my “job,” so I try to keep my mouth shut and limit myself to supportive comments to the picked on person. However, once in a while it gets to be too much for me and I speak up. This has played out several times. Meanwhile there is a third person who, from time to time, points out that I am being mean to the person doing the picking. This has also played out several times.

Here’s the part that got to me today: when all these roles get talked about (and they do, we’re psychologists, for fuck’s sake) everyone says something nice, everyone get’s a little pat on the back, except me. No one ever points out that my behavior, while not always polite, is useful. No one ever defends me, although I defend the picked on. Meanwhile, while I defend that person, that person defends the picker! The third person, stirring the pot, never gets called on anything.

That’s a pretty big nutshell, huh? Here’s the thing, in a smaller nutshell. No one stands up for me. Not even me. Not that that would help matters. I’m pretty sure if I stood up for myself in this situation, I would just look worse. It isn’t like the person has asked me to speak up for them. I know I would be better off if I kept my mouth shut (like I said, that isn’t new for me).

That does not change the fact that I feel quite alone whenever this happens, there I am, waving in the breeze, hung out on the line, an easy target. I’m already lonely, you know? I don’t really need the beat down on top of that to remind me that no one is on my side.

Of course I didn’t come here to make friends. I knew I was probably only going to be here a year. But the part that gets me is that while we aren’t friends, I feel like I try to treat people as if we were. I try to be kind and supportive. And people are totally ok with that, right? As long as they don’t have to do anything for me in return.

I know I have to make it through the rest of the year and probably none of this is going to change. After all, I’ve been lonely a long time, right? What’s four more months?


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kelly Merchant on May 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    😦 What a tough night. You know, I was JUST having this conversation TODAY with a girlfriend and I was saying that I am learning through life that in order to maintain happiness and have control over it, I have to go to MYSELF to find happiness, not rely on other people. This friend of mine is religious and says that she too has found that people on a whole can be pretty disappointing and that she has learned to rely solely on God. Its incredibly hard to do this given that we are such emotional beings and care so much on what others think of us.

    Anyway, in four months will you be heading back to MN? I hope so – as I can say myself that I cherish your friendship and you’ve got so many that care for you back here. You are not alone 🙂


  2. Thanks so much Kelly. I almost wish I was coming back! I miss the choir and my bff like crazy! But I’m not, I’m heading out to San Francisco. Hopefully for more than a year!


  3. Posted by Kelly Merchant on May 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awwwww – poor us 😦 Another internship in San Fran? I’ve heard great things about that place!!


  4. You are sweet. I will definitely miss y’all! I am off to a postdoc in San Fran. I think it will be a great experience. I’ll be working with kids who have trauma…It’s just the last step on the journey to the doctorate.


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