If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said my current state of depression was triggered by the sustained overstimulation I experienced throughout the month of May. I had no idea it had anything to do with BC Maven until I was on the floor sobbing.

I’ve been mainlining The Vampire Diaries on Netflix the past few weeks. That’s why I haven’t posted; I have done almost nothing other than watch this show. Seriously. I’ve gone through five full seasons in two weeks.

My favorite thing about the show is Damon. I’m not usually one to go for the bad boy, even one with eyes like Ian Somerhalder’s. Damon does horrible things and everyone hates him, but he totally owns it and I like that. He is totally himself and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. Plus, good snark will get me every time.

Eventually Damon has friends, even an epic love, but he doesn’t change his essential self. He still does bad things, people know this about him, but they love him anyway. I think it comes down to his motivation: love. He will literally do anything for the very, very small circle of people he loves.

Which brings me to Alaric. The friendship between Damon and Alaric is my favorite relationship on the show. Damon has lied to Alaric. He killed Alaric’s wife as he watched (though Damon didn’t know he was there). Hell, Damon even killed Alaric a couple of times. But they got past all that and formed a deep bond.

When Alaric died for real (oops, spoiler, but he does show up again), and everyone gathered to remember the dead, Damon refused to participate. Instead, he went to Alaric’s grave and mocked the others aloud. And pointed out the birthdate on the headstone was wrong. But Alaric knew what he meant. His response, though Damon couldn’t hear it, was, “I miss you, too, buddy.”

Damon doesn’t show his emotions. I don’t mean the general, everyday emotions, I’m talking about the deeper ones. In the world of the show, vampires can actually turn off their emotions, so most of the time Damon pretends he doesn’t have any. He does and he knows it, but he doesn’t want other people to know it.

I can turn off my emotions. I’ve done it so long and pushed them so deep that I used to think I didn’t have any. At the same time, I would wish I didn’t care so much what people thought of me. I know those two statements are diametrically opposed, that they cancel each other out, but that doesn’t make them any less true.

I don’t know if that’s an autism trait or a me trait. Or maybe it’s how everyone is and I just think too much. The therapist who diagnosed me mentioned this wavering between feeling nothing and feeling too much is common among autistic women. I looked for research on that, but couldn’t find anything. Either I just haven’t hit on the right string of search words or I now have a topic for a dissertation I have no intention of writing.

I have a couple of things to talk to BC Maven’s husband about. Have had for months, but I’ve been dragging my feet. I thought it was because I was busy and overwhelmed. I am, but that’s not the reason. I think about her a lot. Things we talked about or things I would talk to her about now. But I don’t think about her death. I’m not in denial; I know she’s dead. I just don’t think about the fact that she’s dead. Her husband is a great guy and I really want to support him in dealing with life after her, but contacting him is not something I did when she was alive: I talked to her.

Contacting him instead means that I can’t contact her, which makes me think about why I can’t contact her and I’ve already said I don’t want to do that.

And then I couldn’t not think about it anymore.

Since I’ve watched five seasons of The Vampire Diaries in two+ weeks, I knew I was depressed. Yesterday I got a text from an old friend I haven’t seen in years. She was in town for the night and wanted to meet to catch up. The thought of talking about what’s going on in my life and of listening to what’s going on in hers filled me with dread. Not because I don’t want to see her. I’d love nothing more than to hang out with my friend. But I’m not in a place where I can hang out with anyone really, especially not if I need to be engaged. So I told her that I wish I could, which is the absolute truth. Sparky pointed out that I could have told her why and she would have understood. I have no doubt about that, but it would have required me to say more in explanation and I just couldn’t.

The text made me think about the fact that I haven’t shared certain things in my life lately with anyone beyond Sparky. I’ve thought about posting to one of the Facebook groups I talk to about such things, but I haven’t. I think I would have if I had been able to share them with BC Maven first. I teared up at that thought. I walked a few feet, telling myself that I wasn’t going to cry; I haven’t since she’s been gone. But I couldn’t seem to hold it back anymore and crumbled to the floor and let loose.

I’m not sure how long I sat there sobbing. What I do know is that my mind was divided. The part controlling my body had gone off the deep end and there was no way to stop until it was finished. There was another part, though, that was detached, but not fully because it was taunting the crying part of me. “Stop it,” it said. “There’s nobody here, so just cut out the show. You’re not fooling anyone.”

I couldn’t allow myself to admit that my emotions were real, apparently, but at least I allowed myself a release. Watching the relationship between Damon and Alaric allowed me to do that much.

I still talk to BC Maven. Not making fun of her mourners or about my feelings; mainly snarky asides. She knows what I mean.