Friday, June 03, 2011

Burning bridges

Dr. Jones has been a reader of mine in the past, so I shouldn't be surprised that he wanted me to include the whole correspondence, so that his side of the story could be told in full:

So, let me just make sure I understand you correctly; my FB friend does something rude, so you unfriend me?

You know, I really shouldn't care about stupid things like this, but things like this bother me on principle because they're so stupid, and I guess I don't like loose ends. So...

What she did may have been inappropriate. And my response was simply to correct an erroneous assumption of yours (that she was not my secretary) and inform you that I had no involvement. I'm not sure where you got "snippy" from that- you know very well that email or text is a very poor conveyor of tone. But since you brought up being snippy, I will point out that you would do well to employ some diplomacy in your own approach- it will serve you well in avoiding burning bridges like the one you just burned here. You could have sent me a message on Facebook stating something like: "Hey, Jones, one of your Facebook friends contacted me about helping her win some contest.. I don't know her and I really would rather not be cold-contacted by strangers. Perhaps you could ask her to please not contact me any more?". Or, you could have sent her a message saying the same thing. But instead, you chose to lash out at ME, publicly, on my wall: "Please tell your secretary that she shouldn't write to strangers". Doesn't that sound snippy to you? It sure does to me.

I also can't help but notice that your reply here above was all about you, you, you. I'm genuinely sorry your life sucks, or that you feel it does, but none of that is relevant to me, and it doesn't give you license to treat others poorly. In the several years that I have "known" you, and known about your condition and your struggles, I have been nothing but nice and nonjudgmental to you- given you info on a few potential dates that I knew personally, and sent you medication samples when you needed them. And in return you unfriend me without explanation, for something I didn't even do. . I hope you don't treat all your relationships so cheaply.

Look, I'm a grownup, and this isn't high school, and I'm not going to waste any more time on Facebook drama. so good luck, God bless, and Happy Birthday. I hope things improve for you.

Of course he's right, but I can't help how I feel. Yes, right now it's all about me, because I'm in pain.

Right now my life is an open wound. My personal life has been a huge disaster. My professional life was a punishment. I don't want to live. I recognize that I overreacted to your friend's unsolicited contact, but I couldn't help it. If a friend of mine contacted my friends on Facebook, didn't explain who she was, and asked them for a favor, I'd read them the riot act and apologize to the people she contacted.

That somewhat mollified him:

I am sorry for the way you feel. I recognize that you have a lot to deal with, and you are struggling with pain. I do hope that things improve for you. I hope your birthday marks a better year for you.

And if you must blog about this, you should really post the rest of the messages, so that the reader gets more than one side of the story.

I didn't respond right away for two reasons: one, I couldn't, since I was busy working in the field/out of the office, and two, this gave me time to formulate a more even-tempered response.


  1. Pearl Buck said "We can't help how we feel, we can help how we behave." Or something close to that. Life does suck lots and from some much more than others. Not reacting immediately and not sweating the small stuff does help and yes I know how hard that can be when you feel your life has turned you into one big boil. Know I keep all good thoughts for you AND know that I try to say what needs saying, not what you or others always like hearing. You could meet your mate tomorrow, get the job of your dream or win the lottery and I hope all three for you. Stay strong.

  2. At this point, I'm clinging to the fact that I didn't attack the wig-winner, no matter how angry at her I was, because I knew it was irrational. Dr. Jones probably deserved better, too.

  3. Bad behavior is bad behavior; kudos for recognizing it in yourself. I'm glad to see that you didn't blame your ill-tempered reaction on your illness. I have a family member with mental health issues who is prone to lash out in a more severe fashion than you did here. This person usually gets a pass for her bad behavior, and it makes me angry.

  4. I really admire your courage and honesty in blogging about this! I pray you'll be feeling better soon.