Sunday, October 23, 2011

As usual, Gloria Chang gets me.

My good friend Gloria Chang sent me an email after I posted about my aunt Luba asking me to just forgive my mother and my sister already.

My experience has been that quite often the phrase "You should forgive" could just as well be replaced by the phrase "I don't particularly want to engage with your pain." People don't like seeing others in conflict, particularly when their own behavior may be implicated. In such cases "You should forgive" is a distancing mechanism, a means of keeping comfortable.

There is a time and a place to speak of forgiveness. There is such a thing as speaking of it too soon. Perhaps we should call it the f-word. :-) I like how you laid it all out for your aunt, who now has a choice to make.

My prayer for you is for peace, but not in the wishy-washy sense that would gloss over the genuine difficulties you face. I pray for you peace-with-justice. Meanwhile, I want you to know that I am here for you.

I'm not sure what Aunt Luba is thinking right now, but Gloria's right. I answered her:

Thank you so much for understanding and validating what I'm going through. My family has always pushed me to accept how my sister treats me, and now they want me to swallow and forget how my life was distorted. Thank you for agreeing with me that they are trying to oversimplify, and that I was correct in explaining why I'm still so upset. And yeah -- they want to distance themselves from my pain while pushing me to swallow and deny it.

Thank you for wishing me peace and healing. I need to find it somehow. 

Ironically, my sense of forgiveness has been challenged twice today. A friend of mine took a public disagreement on her status update as the opportunity to launch a very personal attack on me being single at my age. I told her that I found her tactics hurtful and I'd essentially been cured of commenting on her updates. Her response? "Yes!!!" So I defriended her.

Then I realized that Alona is LinkedIn to Ivan the Terrible. Before the holiday I posted,

don't Google your ex-boyfriend unless you have an appetite for regrets

Not about Ivan the Terrible -- about a man I've never blogged about, since he was part of my life well over 10 years ago. I can't remember what made me think of him, but I Googled him and he's working as a Senior VP at a hedge fund. I experienced some moments of regret. Alona commented,

And why do you think he's so successful? Just because he has a new job?

She obviously was talking about another ex, since the ex I Googled had been at his lofty post for a few years. But then I thought -- how does Alona know what Ivan the Terrible is up to?

I looked at his Linkedin profile again. He's not at a hedge fund! He's at a tech firm that works with the financial services industry. I have never heard of 'em so not sure how big they are. So not sure why you think he is at a hedge fund. And even if he were, being at a hedge fund is no great shakes these days. Lots of 'em going under, or laying people off. So appearances are not always what they seem! Chag sameach; hope to see you over yom tov--and hope you are feeling better. 

First I was just disappointed that Ivan had escaped from the job that made him miserable, with a boss who screamed at him routinely. So I looked him up on LinkedIn. And discovered that Alona is one of his connections. Why? I asked her.

I am still connected to him on LinkedIn for tachlis reasons. He may have connections that could be helpful. He has never asked me for anything professionally and obviously I would not go out of my way to help him. He cannot see my connections and given he doesn't have a business LinkedIn account I cannot readily be helpful to him. Not even sure how to unlink someone. I am sorry if it bothers you! I am still connected to my jerky ex-boss for similar tachlis reasons.

Loyalty matters to me. It's one thing to keep in touch with the boss that laid you off, and another to be connected to a man who led me on, put me in the hospital, and broke my heart. So the thought of Alona being connected to Ivan the Terrible in the hopes that he could be of assistance to her infuriates me. Because that would require her to be of assistance to him, were he to ask.

If you would expect him to help you out, he would expect you to help him out. It's not that hard to delete a contact.
Then I started wondering:

Have you been in touch with him since we broke up????

Has Alona been giving Ivan updates on how I've been doing? To salve his wounded conscience? I know he called her after he dumped me to let her know I'd be needing support. Have they spoken about me since then? She would have no right to talk to him about me -- and even more so to keep it from me.

Of course not. Alona called to assure me that her last conversation with Ivan was around the time we broke up. And that having him in her contacts helps her because she has premium LinkedIn and can see his contacts and his contacts' contacts. (She also reminded me that she connected with him at my request, when I was trying to help him find another job.)
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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