My last companion in the mission-field, Chris, was one of my two favorite and most-beloved companions. While she and I had a familial companionship, worked hard, laughed often, and had amazing teaching experiences together in Germany, she was also the most trying of my ten companions.
Chris was Bi-polar but refused to take any of her medication. Bi-weekly, she would skate from one end of the mood spectrum to the opposite. It was hard for me to remember in which two-week-time-period we were.
In the up weeks, life was grand. It was serene and delightful. Chris serenaded me with her beautiful singing voice. She shared gospel insights with me. We worked harder than ever. She loved life and loved serving as a missionary, and with me.
In the down weeks, Chris often grabbed, pushed, and/or physically assaulted me. If it had all not been so pathetic, I may have laughed. Any thing that happened, in or out of the companionship, was "my" fault. She would often yell at me, telling me how much she HATED having a companion (me) who held a position of leadership. (I had been called as a District Leader the last third of my mission and had been a sister trainer for two-thirds of my mission.) Probably, her anger at me was a bi-product of her un-medicated Bi-polar disease. But, I, being a young twenty-two-year-old and she an old twenty-eight-year-old, did not know what she was talking about.
Her accusations and chaos caused a lot of introspection and soul-searching for me. I had not tried -ever- telling her what to do. I had responsibilities in the mission that were different from hers, but I did not feel I held any "position of leadership" over her. I told her that I had never asked for nor desired these callings, that I was simply and sincerely trying to do the best with what I had been asked to do.
My statements did not seem to satisfy her. If anything, they seemed to deepen her bitterness and anger towards me. I wish she were still alive (she committed suicide eight years after coming home from her mission) so that I could ask her about it all. Even now, hundreds of years later, I continue stuck in confusion over it.
Plus, I would like to see her again. I miss her. I love her a lot and hope that she is alright. I would love another chance to put my arms around her and tell her how much she means to me. I would try and convince her to take her medication so that she could be around longer.