I’ve joined a group for sufferers of Histrionic Personality Disorder
Although I do no have an official diagnosis (diagnosis will take time), I joined a facebook group for HPD suffers. Whereas I, up until this point, befriended all kinds of people in groups and on TikTok relating to Borderline Personality Disorder in order to see if I could find correlations between their behaviors and Inari’s behavior from my book (and found tons and tons of colleations)… I never really stopped and looked inward at myself. I can already tell that I, personally, relate to Histrionic personalities more than anyone in any other group.
They seem to be in agreement that fulfilment in life, happiness, requires positive external stimulus, and many/most of them seek such stimulus to the point where they tend to “put off” their friends and family. The HPD group is somewhere where they can seek attention and stimulus without being judged. My first impressions of this group I joined are positive and relatable. If someone in the HPD group posts a “selfie”, I understand that their motivation isn’t narcissism or greed… it is entirely about trying to get back to ground level… as being without positive stimulus for too long, leads to dramatic feelings of emptiness.
These people seem to speak my language… they talk to me using similar terms, conversing with similar patterns. For example if I go onto the group and tell them about how “I sing Karaoke”… someone will reply with “I also like karaoke!”. How is this significant? Well… interestingly, I have met people over the years who would be offended if I replied “I also like karaoke!”. They’d be like… “how dare you try to take over my conversation about liking karaoke and turn attention toward yourself!”…. as if I was trying to steal the spotlight from their original statement. In my mind I was just doing what came naturally… I was sharing my perspective of something, hoping it would be relatable… certainly, not consciously trying to steal attention away from the original topic. But you could imagine other scenarios where maybe someone is telling a story, and a histrionic person subconsciously steamrolls the conversation away from the other person…. I never intended any malice whenever I did such a thing… but I always figured that the way you relate to people is by sharing similar stories of your own experiences with them…. there are times, however, when people just want you to listen… and not share relations.
One full year into the “discard” phase of my relationship with my former “best friend”… a year of the most brutal silence, not a peep or syllable uttered…. I have now begun to understand that my emotional state is not normal and I have a complete inability to turn off the “drama faucet” in my brain and that I use drama, as a means to feel like I matter, hoping to find some positive attention by calling out my own personal suffering through a megaphone…but have found that it doesn’t really seem to work. As an INFJ(T) personality type, I am principled, yet unrelatable…. and the only way to achieve positive social interaction, is generally through positive, relatable, presentation of self.
Therefore, since December of 2021, I have been on a mission to bring out my best and most-confident self. I sing Karaoke 7 nights a week. I was always told growing up that I had an amazing voice. My teachers wanted me to go on “star search”, Ed McMahon’s 80’s version of American Idol. For 3.5 minutes at a time, I feel like I matter when I sing. Right now it is the only time I feel like I matter.
However, when I walk off the stage and out of the spotlight…. I immediately hunch over in a corner… having completely lost all of my confidence… suddenly, I’m just another person in a room… and I don’t know how to navigate this room and make friends as a “normal” person. On the great nights I’ll “blow the roof” off the club and people will go wild for my performance… but there are nights when people don’t pay any attention at all because they’re just too busy hanging out with their friends who are far more “abercrombie” than I am …. a weird, nerdy, queer man.
You’d think I’d be mostly healed by now. It’s been a year since I’ve heard from Inari. Her “silent treatment” of me has been punishing, consistent, and brutal… as she clearly sought to punish me for leaving her cult, and didn’t even look over her shoulder so much as to verify that I, her “best friend”, was still living. If she cared about me as much as she claimed to over the years, she would have been unable to resist reaching out to me at some point during the year. God knows that I tried like hell to reach back in every way possible…. I groveled and apologized… when that didn’t work I, begged for understanding and compromise… when that didn’t work my sadness turned to anger… alcoholism… alternating between drunk and sober messages full of apologies… “I’m sorry, but my recovery is not linear”, I said…. eventually, I informed her that I was going to “publish” the book she read 10 years earlier…. and after maybe 9 months of silence from her, I sent her a final email with just a subject… “some ‘friend’ you are”.
Despite my chaotic emotional state, I never once threatened her with violence, like men are known to do. She had a boyfriend once who shattered her car window, then dragged her out of her car by her hair… I, of course, never asked how much provocation was required to inspire him to do such a thing… because violence of that nature is inexcusable in my eyes anyway… so that wouldn’t have mattered. But I’m quite positive that she did something to push him to the edge… probably just for the sport of it…. or because she thought that violent men were sexy. During one of our final conversations she expressed worry that my mental state would lead to violence… and to that I simply replied, “what the fuck, Inari…. I’m not a violent person… do you know me at all? I’m sure you’d respect me more if I were a violent person… to you I’m just a pussy… and pussies, to you, are just a turn-off.”
I suppose the mere fact that I was able to stop reaching out to her means that I’m at least taking a few steps down a path of healing…. one thing is for certain, I am definitely doing “better” now… than I was 1 year ago… when I was stumbling half-blind through the streets of Minneapolis, looking to destroy whatever got in my path…. but still.. in 2022, with inflation, all of my disposable income now goes towards buying drinks in Karaoke bars 7 nights a week… and this is a slow-bleed… a destructive path that I am still on. I was a very casual drinker before… now I’m emotionally dependent upon Alcohol, thankfully not physically dependent (yet).
I hope that by joining up with other HPD sufferers we can support each other… because we understand each other…. I can already tell that their brains work similarly to mine… having a community where my brain feels “normal” is important.