Thomas Dolby singing “I Love You Goodbye” from Astronauts and Heretics,one of my all-time favorite albums.
Yesterday I woke up bright and perky only to find a bummer of a Facebook message in my in-box. It was from someone I had been virtual friends with for the past year. She lives with bipolar disorder, and for months I encouraged her from afar with tweets and Facebook messages, sometimes on a daily basis. I took time to cheer her up by attaching photos of her favorite rock band U2 that I knew she’d enjoy.
She messaged me, “As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you’re not on my FB or Twitter anymore. You have done nothing. I tend to take things too personally when I shouldn’t and just cut people off. I am struggling quite a bit right now. I’m just backing off of everything at the moment. I’m not expecting forgiveness or even friendship. I just felt the need to explain.”
First thought: F*ck this!
Following thoughts: I knew all along she has been mentally unstable. I need to be compassionate and not take one bit of this personally!
I wrote her back a brief message and wished her well. I added that I’d be open for re-connecting in the future. (As I typed that line, a tiny red flag popped up in my people-pleasing brain and I thought, Whhhaaaat? You don’t want to be friends with this person! Ever! But I didn’t delete that line like I should’ve.)
I called a wonderful friend and she was willing to hash it out. She gave me tons of good advice, namely to let the whole thing go and it wasn’t about me. Because of that key conversation I was able to actually stop thinking about it the rest of the day. I thanked my lucky stars for this friend.
This morning half-awake, the aggravating Pisces/uber-sensitive part of me started ruminating about what happened the day before with the unfriending. I realized I DID take her actions personally – I wasn’t a robot, dammit! I had been kind to this person.
The fact that I woke up upset by this crap is not good for me. Sometimes we can’t predict another person’s toxic behavior and how it’ll affect us – I know I can’t. After mulling it over, I decided to block her on Facebook and Twitter so in the unlikely event she wants to be in touch again, I don’t get triggered down the line. It may sound selfish, but I would never feel safe with her after this, and let’s face it -s he’s “just” a virtual friend who lives thousands of miles away. I’ve never even heard her voice.
There’s no happy way to end this post, so I won’t even try. But I’m going to go work out because I know it will make me feel better!