Since this blog has a few purposes – healthcare/other news, health info for my family and descendants, a place for me to rant and rave, and a commentary on social norms with a plea at the end to “be kind” – it’s sometimes hard to choose what to write about.
I don’t want this blog to be overly negative. But sometimes, when I get to thinking about my life in relation to the rest of the world, and I come to the conclusion that I need to make changes, I guess I can sometimes be seen as a “Negative Nelly” (hey, I found that in an urban dictionary, so it’s not as old an expression as it seems). I hope this isn’t one of those times.
I read a lot of articles and blogs. I comment on a few in their comments sections. I do it to make a point about something, not to argue or berate someone. I usually never even look back to see if anyone responded to my comment, because I am not going to be suckered into an internet “war” – that, to me, is unproductive and a waste of time.
But I do read others’ comments from those who posted before I did, to see what they’re thinking in reaction to the initial article. And all I can think is…
…how hateful they all are. Mean, and angry. And if you call them on it, they scream. “It’s only the internet. Lighten up!” And then they call you names or swear at you.
I find that puzzling, because what they posted before that was a personal attack on someone – another poster, or a person in the news, or an actor, etc. Personal as in, “He’s ugly. He has no talent. She’s stupid. She’s a fool.” Or even, “Why doesn’t he/she just kill him/herself?”
Considering how much some people – especially young people – are hurt by cyber-bullying, to say things like that and then claim it’s harmless or has no effect is false. Otherwise, why did the person post it? They clearly posted it to make the other person feel bad. And that alarms me.
It also made me think of that old saw, “You are treated only as badly or as well as you allow.” And I think that is the biggest bunch of new-age crap, ever.
It should be stated as, “If someone is treating you badly, don’t allow further contact.” Because no one is responsible for bullying or treating others badly except for the person who is doing it.
See, this is what drives me ’round the bend about new-age adages: They make everything personal responsibility except how others act.
If you’re poor, it’s because you don’t want money badly enough.
If you’re ill, it’s because you don’t eat right or you can’t visualize your body as “well”.
If you’re born disabled, you chose that in another life.
If you’re battered, you did something to provoke it (ok that isn’t a new-age thing, but I threw that in to show how the other statements are just as ignorant).
Or, as someone tried to point out to me recently, if you are hurt by daily/monthly/yearly microaggression, it’s because you ‘let it get to you’. Completely missing the “water on stone” metaphor I wrote. And not addressing the problem, which is people’s treatment of the poor, in general.
I’m not sure what this kind of thinking does for anyone, except for well-off, healthy, insensitive people.
Aside #1: It also helps some sell their “cures” for poverty, illness, disability, sadness. Cha-ching!
It gets them off the hook because, hey, they can be sure they didn’t have a hand in any of it (even if they did), and they don’t need to help because it’s all karma anyway and who are they to interfere with the universe?
Well, aside from teaching/selling the secret of the week to a better life, they also have the side benefit of being smug about their own entitled life. They can give their less fortunate/wrongheaded/clearly unenlightened friends unsolicited advice that, because the new-age thinkers are so grossly insensitive, just serves to make their friend feel worse for talking to them.
This brings me (finally) to the subject of today’s post: The sometimes painful act of eliminating certain people from one’s life, because they consistently bring you down and hurt your feelings.
I have a friend I reconnected with awhile back, who is one of the best friends ever. He is supportive, he gives great advice/feedback not only about this blog but other things I ask him about, he and I can discuss things without arguing, we have a lot of fun emailing back and forth, and I know I can count on him when I really need him. I am sure he feels the same about me. We are good friends, and I am so glad for that.
He represents the standard by which I began to look at other people I considered “friends”. Not acquaintances, but actual friends with whom you share personal stuff and so on.
He is one of the very few of my “friends” who actually reads this blog. I put that in bold because, how hard of a requirement of friendship is it to read something once a week that takes just a few minutes? The time it takes for the usual “bathroom reading”? Even after I appeal for feedback in order to make this blog more interesting, they can’t even drop me a line or two to tell me why they don’t like it?
That is such a minimal test of friendship that I don’t even pause a second when I cut contact with them. Some probably don’t even notice or care – proving they weren’t friends to begin with.
Aside #2: Some actually have the gall to tell me they are “too busy to read it”. Yet they routinely post on Facebook, all day every day. And ask me what I think of their writing/artwork. I used to go to their links and give them encouragement, to show them I care about what they do, because that’s what friends do.
Everyone has disagreements… It’s part of being human. And it’s normal that you have major disagreements, even heated ones. I have them all the time, as you know. But that doesn’t mean you should stop treating each other with respect.
I’ve had to cut people loose too. It’s not pleasant, and I felt bad about it for years. But sometimes it gets to a point where it has to be done. Twenty plus years later, and I still think about the good times.
Personally, I think life is too short to spend a lot of time with anyone who can’t return in kind what you offer them. Which is why people I consider my friends are real friends… Even those I disagree with.
I agree. I’m not sure why some people have to get so personal when they argue with others. I guess it reminds me of something I used to ask couples in marriage counseling sessions: “Do you want to fix the relationship, or do you want to ‘be right’?” So many times people see arguments as win/lose situations, and they have to win at all costs, and the other person has to lose. They win the argument but at the cost of their friend’s/spouse’s feelings and trust.
Had either of these women shown any respect for me, I wouldn’t have had to make these decisions. I really don’t understand why some people think they have to right to make over another person in any way they see fit – that tells me they didn’t like me so much, after all.
You didn’t comment but I guess you know who the ‘great friend’ is lol.
Manners are important, indeed…
Currently dwelling withIn the clarified moments of my temporal reprieve from an assault by an extremely aggressive and wide-spread Stage 4, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer, some sage words spoken to me by my mother, many many years ago, come to mind when reading of encounters between those who have always understood, and those who never will…
“Never have a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent, that just represents rude behavior on YOUR part.”
Due to my father’s prolonged battle with, and early death from, Multiple Sclerosis, I learned at the age of 9 that declarations of both faith and reason signify nothing without the speaker embracing the consequences of the words they use, which is why my every encounter with human beings is always predicated on their deeds. When someone claims to be a vegetarian as they chomp down on a pork chop, they reveal either their ignorance of what the word means, a brain so defective as to not understand what the word means, or a soul so depraved as to know the difference, but willingly ignoring truth as they find profit and delight in deception and exploitation…the once-human and empathy-free creatures known as sociopaths.
Hence, my choice to never waste a moment of whatever remains of my life talking to, interacting with, and/or caring about the lives of these depraved and metastasized tumors that inflict, and revel in, massive suffering and pain upon sentient life-forms and human beings, a plague of diseased organisms that self-identify themselves as “Republicans”, “Christians”, “Conservatives” or “Patriots”.
It comes as no surprise, then, that my life-long “heros”, such as they are, have always included Cassandra of Troy, Prometheus, the smart-mouthed kid from the Emperor’s New Clothes, Helen Keller, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Albert Camus and poor ol’ Sisyphus, to whom I dedicate my newly-launched blog…Sisyphus on a Möbius Trip.
Whatever it takes, in the words of Camus, to “bear the absurd”.
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What a well-thought-out comment! I look forward to reading your blog.
A lot of thoughts and feelings ran through me as I read your words, and a lot of memories as well. I won’t go into them here; they need sorting first, at the very least. I am honored that you read my blog, and commented on it. But that completely fits with my memories of you – a kind and gentle person who was always nice to “the little sister”.
This is my second try to leave you a comment. Your site doesn’t seem to like me. My first try was very sincere about the fact I read your blog to keep up with how you are doing and how distressed I get hearing about the hardships, health issues, and deaths that have been afflicting those I care about from FC. I was reading about the 45th reunion of FC coming up and got to thinking about those who have passed from this life like Carol R and Ginny and others who have passed through my life like spectral images and the choices I have made. So I keep in touch by reading your blog and it is like a life preserver that keeps me connected to you, Michael, and Charlie. So I may not comment often but do enjoy keeping in touch when I’m able. Life seems to be a bit oppressive at times and I don’t want my negativity to effect you so I rely on sarcasm or stupid quips to relieve some of the pressure that builds up internally. Keep up the work on your blog and I want you to know what a sweet person I have always thought you are and know that I enjoy your monologues. Peace, love, and understanding.
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I don’t comment regularly on your blog but I do like to keep up with how you are doing. I have been distressed at the number of Falls Church folks that are dealing with hardships and severe illnesses, and deaths recently in my life. I get morose and don’t really like to communicate when I feel that way with people I care about (like you) because I don’t want to bring negativity into the mix so I try to stay positive. It is an effort sometimes. I tend to use sarcasm and stupid quips to give myself an outlet for what builds up inside. Reading about the 45th FC reunion got me thinking about Carol R. and others who have passed through my life like ethereal images and think about choices I have made in life. I do think fondly of you, Michael, and Charlie and I like to read the comments made on your page. I guess what I’m trying to say is keep up the good messages as I use this as a life preserver to grasp onto when my spirit is sinking. Peace, love, and understanding.
I just got both your comments for approval, just now. Not sure why WordPress is being so weird.
I understand about not communicating when you feel down – I am that way with the few friends I have in Northern Ireland, which I’m sure doesn’t sit well with them. Since I have been back in the states (2003), it’s been pretty much one heartache after another, with the exception of my kids and grandson, who were definitely worth coming back for. But, yeah, I hate to send them an email that starts out with a string of bad news. So, I do get what you’re saying.
I appreciate you telling me that you read my blog. It helps to know that others care. You, Charlie, and Michael all hold a special place in my heart, because you all have always treated me so kindly and with respect. I really regret not keeping up with you guys over the years, and there is no good excuse but just know I had my own reasons that had nothing to do with how terrific you all are.
I will always keep in mind that, even when you don’t comment, you do read my blog. Thank you so much for letting me know, brother.
It does appear that we live in toxic times, doesn’t it?