Monday, January 14, 2008

Be careful what you create

I will preface this post by saying it is completely okay for you to laugh about this situation. I know you'll be laughing at my expense and I totally understand. It's funny, and I may be the only person on the planet who would be able to have these kinds of odds.

A few days ago a close friend was the first to let me know that an ex-boyfriend of mine that she is connected to on Facebook had changed his profile and had come out. When he and I broke up it was very sudden and without any kind of warning. He called me up on a Sunday morning on his way to a baseball game and declared "I just can't do this anymore." No reason, no nothing. He actually said that giving explanations for his actions isn't his "forte". And he said all of this with the emotion of a rock, after only weeks before we had talked about getting married. We were very much in love, or at least I was.

I was left stunned and heartbroken. I physically hurt from the news and had a tough time eating or sleeping for months afterwards. In time I created my own closure, with the help of amazing friends and family, turned my attention to other things, and was slowly able to put myself back together. I began to date again and have had relationships since. Though I in no way wanted anything to do with my ex again, there was a small piece of me that would always be confused about what happened and why.

With his announcement to the world that he was gay, I finally had an answer that made sense. At first I was confused and then angry, sad. I felt betrayed and lied to. I was hurt deeply, again. I knew he was a coward given the way he broke up with me, though this new news put everything in perspective. He must have been going through something terrible and he felt he couldn't trust me with the truth. I never really knew him at all, and the amazing man I fell in love with was never really who he was. I moved through these emotions pretty quickly since it has been a long time since we've even talked to one another much less dated.

I was against contacting him, and then found through the encouragement of a few friends that sending him an email expressing how I felt would be good for both of us. I sat down and wrote him an email, and rewrote it a hundred times. I wanted to communicate that I was disappointed in the way that he came out, though wanted to make sure he knew that he had been a precious part of my life and that I wished him well now that he had come to terms with a difficult situation. Beautiful, right? Wrong.

Less than a minute after I looked up his email address (as I have removed every shred of him from my life including pictures, gifts, and contact info) and sent off my well-crafted message, I get a snarky three-liner back saying this is all just an accident and in the weeks since he's posted this change no one else has told him about the mistake. He clicked the wrong box under "relationships". He's sure this new news doesn't make anything better, but he does hope I'm well. I am so glad I could be of service to someone so undeserving of me doing anything for him! mother always said "no good deed goes unpunished."

If he had been in front of me, I would have kicked him in the teeth - and I'm a pacifist. I was so angry that I had felt such empathy for the difficult time he was going through. He's not going through any difficulty at all - he just doesn't know how to use Facebook. I never imaged that would be the case since if he's anything he's detail-oriented and a technology whiz, or at least he was when I knew him.

The flip side is that even after being hurt by someone, I still had the ability to be empathic toward him. My wide array of emotions is sometimes a downfall, though most of the time it is a blessing. I live a fuller life because of my ability to emotionally connect with other. I'd much prefer to be a person who occasionally gets burned by feeling too much than be a person who has the emotional maturity of a robot without a forte for communication.

Facebook and other social networking tools are terrific ways to keep up with people and share information. A word to the wise: before spending an ounce of energy reacting to anything posted about anyone, make sure it's factual. The last thing you want to do is lay your heart on the line due to someone else's inability to click the correct box. Good grief! And now at least, I'm laughing with you....

1 comment:

Janet said...

Facebook - reuniting fine women with assholes around the globe!

Checked the wrong box, my arse! ;)