This blog post was inspired in part by what I’ve been thinking about going on in my life all week, and in part by Persona 4: Your Affection – a fanmade Persona 4 visual novel.
What I mean by that is primarily the neutral ends to each of the routes – the “Acceptance” ends…because those are about friendship.
In each of the routes, the Persona users have to confront their shadows again. For those of you who don’t know Persona 4 – a shadow is representative of the person’s deepest, darkest, innermost, primarily negative, thoughts and feelings. And in this fanmade visual novel, the shadows are often talking about the fear of abandonment by friends, and that if your friends truly knew you, they wouldn’t accept the real you. They would abandon you for thinking the way that you do because you’re a gross and terrible person. That’s an oversimplification, but it’s the gist. (The shadows in the actual game say similar things about abandonment too…what would you do if your innermost thoughts, the thoughts you’ve had that you’re least proud of, were on display for all to see?)
And…I’ve been thinking a lot about my friendships and abandonment this week in particular.
I know for a fact my friends would leave me if I talked about my innermost thoughts. If I talked about my depression and anxiety and my problems. My boyfriend left me because he couldn’t handle it. A long while later, I had a breakdown and a freakout and sent some of my friends a text that said something along the lines of, “You’re still my friends, right?” and I got called emotionally manipulative for that. (Was I being emotionally manipulative?) Another friend told me a little while after that that I had changed, and fallen behind because of my illness, that I wasn’t able to read social situations anymore.
And when it comes down to it…I was revealing my truest self to them. My dirtiest, ugliest thoughts and fears….and they rejected me. I don’t talk to anyone about my depression anymore. Well, I talk to my therapist, but I don’t have that support network I once (thought that I) had.
I can talk about my ex to some people – about how that still hurts me, and I feel depressed about that. People understand that. But they don’t seem to understand my illness. It makes them uncomfortable. And it makes them want to leave.
If any of my friends saw my shadow, I’m not sure our friendship would survive. And that scares me. I wish I could have someone that I could talk about anything with…like in fiction. Like in this visual novel. Everyone has someone. But right now, I don’t.