Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

File this under "I Hate That"

Have you ever been a target?

Most of us, I think, have at some point in our lives. But the kind of meanness that is experienced in the schoolyards and locker rooms and playgrounds of our youth, are often a distant if still vivid memory by the time we become adults. Because by then, we can generally be relied upon to resolve conflict in a more civilized and constructive manner.

But not all of us.

A couple years back, I became a target. The things that were said and done to me were vicious and unrelenting. The details do not matter, so I won't recount them here. But it was a very illuminating experience for me in terms of human behavior. I learned a lot about myself and I learned a lot about other people. I eventually realized that it really wasn't about me. It was about having such deep and profound hurt, disappointment and bitterness that it simply boiled over and scalded the most convenient and accessible scapegoat. Hurting me felt good, because it masked their own hurt.

It's disturbing, but understandable, I suppose. We human beings do not like to hurt.

So anyway, I consoled myself with the fact that these people were either mentally unbalanced, desperately unhappy or both. But I never really knew for sure. I decided to put the episode behind me, because I have too many positive influences in my life to allow myself to be dragged down by such antipathy and negativity.

But now and again, I wondered about those people. What could be so awful that it caused such terribly unkind behavior? What could cause someone such anguish that they were compelled to lash out at others in such a cruel and vindictive way? I knew I would never know.

But sometimes, things come full circle. Sometimes, the universe bestows a gift upon us. Sometimes, something happens to make me believe in "karma" or "kismet" or "fate" or whatever you want to call it. I wouldn't go so far as to call it divine retribution, but some of you might.

Recently, quite by accident, I found out what was causing a particular person who had been involved in the whole sordid mess, such profound personal torment.

I expected to be happy. I expected to feel vindicated. I expected to revel in the validation that I had been right and that this person really was a sick, bitter, unhappy, emotionally wrecked person.

But none of those things happened. Instead, I just felt bad. Sad. Sorry for them. I coul not enjoy the knowledge. I could not enjoy their pain.

I hate that.

I always wondered if I would ever be able to forgive those people for the way they treated me, or if I would always carry a small shard of resentment.

Now I know.

(please excuse the fantastically self-indulgent nature of this post. I resolved a long time ago not to dwell on this issue, but sometimes it rears it's ugly head unbidden. I feel somewhat cleansed now, knowing that I don't have to harbor the bitterness forever.)

14 Comments:

  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Wow, I can't say I have ever been the target of such nastiness (well, not since school days), but it would do a number on me. No one deserves that kind of torment.

     
  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger BethGo said…

    I've been there myself only mine happened about a year ago. I learned first hand the ramifications of angering the queen bee. That debacle has been the catalyst for a lot of change in my life. Mostly good change.
    I wish that some of my former friends were still my friends. I really miss some of them. But really, it's good to know where I stand now.
    Anyway, thanks for your post. It's a good one.

     
  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger J. Denae said…

    I recently reconnected with someone who targeted me about 10 years ago. I expected to keep her at a distance, but she was apologetic and admitted that she treated me badly because of her own insecurity. I don't know that we'll ever be "best friends" but we do have lunch frequently and so far it's been nice. I think the thing that was most surprising to me is the fact that I have grown past the hurt and I do actually forgive her. It made me feel good about myself to know that I have that capacity.

     
  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger Jamie said…

    Hello. Just wanted to say that I like your post, your site and your "stupid remarks". I'll be back.

    Also, I was attacked by bloggy nastiness today for the first time. It is obviously nothing compared to the nastiness you describe in your post, but nastiness nonetheless.

    If I spent half as much time dwelling on the compliments as I do on the shit.....

    Jamie

     
  • At 12:56 AM, Blogger Mamma said…

    Recently had a similar situation. Found out the woman who I thought took away something very special to me (a looooong time ago) was suffering from severe depression. My first reaction was to cry for her. I was so shocked by my reaction. I just felt so sorry for her. Life's weird.

     
  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi BA. I remember all that, and I was probably one of the people who was hurting you. I didn't do it because I was mentally unbalanced, particularly unhappy or in the middle of any crisis in my life. I did it because I perceived you to be the mean one - the vindictive one, the person who hurt people I cared about - the one who called people names, the one who threatened others and the one who had the power. My perceptions are not all that wrong - but my behavior was. And I apologise. After all these years, I can now, finally feel some remourse for my part in that entire fiasco. I could have had the class to walk away - but no - I chose to take as many shots as I could before leaving. I think had I taken the time to realize that there it was a human being I was talking about - I would have stopped myself - because rightly or wrongly - although we disagreed, I typically don't like to hurt people's feelings - although I have sometimes a clumsy way of showing it. And if I had remembered that you did, indeed have feelings, I wouldn't have participated to the extent that I did.

    I won't discount your theory that we were all a mob of people with problems - maybe some of us were - but I expect a great many of us thought we were in the right - and that we were defending ourselves from you. Perspective is a funny thing - the view is different from every side.

    I wish you peace and I wish you well. I also wish for you, to at some point in the future, accept your own part in that whole sordid affair, instead of seeing yourself solely as the victim. There are very few pure victims on the internet.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. You sound happy, content and fulfilled. I am very truly happy for you. We knew each other for a long time. It makes me warm to think that people I "know" are thriving and getting the best out of life.


    Van

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    That IS the way it goes!

    You are not a bitter person full of hate, so of course that is not what you feel when you hear the details.

    (If this relates to the situation you told me about... details, BA!)

     
  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger jen said…

    i don't see this as self indulgent...you were threatened. it doesn't exit your system lightly.

    forgiveness...talk about standing closest to god..it's the one most often discussed and hardest to truly achieve.

    lovely post.

    ps. your comment my way about the Just Posts made me smile...especially since your Habla Engles has been shared already as part of the March roundtable..:)

     
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger jen said…

    shared by someone else, I mean - it'll be featured in the Roundtable on the 10th (am i making any sense)

    heading off now.

     
  • At 4:34 AM, Blogger leah said…

    This post was pointed out to me, so I decided to swing by and read it.

    I'm sorry you're still hurting after so long. I admit it took me a while to come to terms with the strong of events that led, among other things, to the loss of the Cafe. :(

    I moved on long ago, though. And I bear no one any ill will. Life is just too short for that.

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Marie said…

    BA- it is just sad that any of it happened. I feel sad that some persons don't feel it is wrong to be so cruel to a fellow human being. I have experienced some of the negativity that went your way- but certainly not the same amount and i know that it felt horrible for me, I can only imagine what you went through.

    I love reading your blog and glad to see Van comment here.

    Marie

     
  • At 10:27 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    "I could not enjoy their pain". Bravo!

     
  • At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that was a sad time in many of our lives. No, I don't think any of us were unhinged or mentally unstable. Angry yes, for sure.

    For my part in it, I apologize. I am not in the habit of hurting people.

    As for happy, yes I am happy, very happy with my life right now. I have managed to come through a severe depression (unrelated to *the past*) and am finally feeling good again about life. You might be interested to know we have again added to our family, this time a 15yo girl. She is quite wonderful with lots of issues, lol.

    Best Wishes (Pooka)

    Louise.

     
  • At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear BA,
    Earlier this year I also was the target of people whose cruelty surpassed all my imagination. It had a devastating impact on my health (I had a breakdown) and on my finances (i had to leave the job) to name just two of the repercussions from the situation. I also still do not know the detail of what sparked what was effectively an attack on my character and reputation. What i do know is this: it was a situation in which i had alredy endured two years of private pain and which called for compassion, understanding and honest talking from all parties concerned and for a win-win resolution. It was a situation were there were no victims or rather, we were all victims and perpetrators at the same time and which required everyone to look at themselves and their behaviour with honesty. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Although i understood then the part i played in the unfolding of the events (my own behaviour was not above reproach) and that to variant degrees we were all acting out our stuff, no-one was interested in my side of the story or at looking at what they were doing themselves. It was as if we were all fighting for our survival but someone had to perish. Everybody sided against me, i was seen as the one that needed punishing and punishment was meted out. I was isolated, without support and not strong enough to defend myself so i chose to leave the job to protect my health in the long run. Before i could get better i nearly lost my life to suicide. Months have passed and i am in a much better place than i was and getting better each day. The changes in my life have been a good thing and even if i still do not understand why it all happened i am learning to forgive. This, i admit, is a challenging task.

    I want to respond to Van's comments in the following way:
    "you say that after of these years you now feel some remorse for your part in the fiasco and that you were not unbalanced/mentally unhealthy or in a crisis - i wonder why it has taken you all these years to feel remorse or to consider that the recipient of your nastiness was a person with feelings - of course she has feelings, she is a human being like you! even the dog that you could have been kicking has feelings!!. Balance implies the acknowldgement that there are several sides to a story, several perspectives as you put it, and that this is taken into account when dealing with people (which incidentally also implies their feelings about the situation) - anything less than this acknowledgement is 'unbalanced/mentally unhealthy and a problem'.

    After all this time you offer a vague apology and patronising well wishes - the recipient of your nastiness does not need your well wishes because they will get on and grow from the experience regardless of wheather you wish them well or not - after all this time, it is too late for apologies, because there is nothing that you can say that will ever change what happened and the pain it caused - if you really were sorry for the part you played, it would be more honest of you to say that whichever way you acted at the time you did not care how hurt she was because, in the righteuosness of your perspective that she was the one at fault,you believed that she deserved everything she got!

    If i were the recipient of your nastiness then and of your apology now, i would be hurt by you all over again because your apology does not sound genuine and unconditional - i would not expect you to feel what i felt because you are not me but i would need to hear you say that you recognise that your behaviour impacted on others, that you have learnt from what you did and are using it to grow and become a better person - this would allow me to extend my humanity to you and see you as a fellow human who struggles and makes mistakes just like me"

    BA, it was very brave of you to open yourself up to the comments of others. Thank you for helping me feel less alone with the experience and for enabling me to talk about it.
    best of luck with your journey

     

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