Being Able to be Wrong

Two weeks ago I hit a bit of a bump in the road. I’m not really ready to go into the details right now- the wound is still a bit raw. But for a few days around the start of the new year, I was in a bit of a funk.

What stood out during that time was when two former classmates reached out to see if I was okay. You see, I didn’t hear from anyone that I was close to in high school. Instead, I heard from two women who were acquaintances at best. And it humbled me beyond what I can probably put into words.

First, let me set the record straight: I am not one of those people who loved high school or considered it any high point in my life. On the contrary, I’ve often told people I couldn’t be paid enough to do those years over again. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends. I had a small group of friends, but that wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling awkward and like an outsider. I was bullied a lot in elementary and middle school, and while the bullying stopped by high school, that feeling of not really fitting in never went away. I suspect part of the reason I keep people away now goes back to how isolated I felt back then.

When Facebook began gaining popularity I was surprised by some of the friend requests I received. I couldn’t understand why someone who wanted nothing to do with me 15 years ago suddenly wanted to be my “friend” now. I accepted those requests, and figured that maybe some people needed a large number of Facebook friends to feel significant or validated in some way. Not wanting to share the ups and downs (and we’re talking a lot of downs) with people who ignored me at best, I began keeping many of my posts as vague as possible.

One of my favorite ways to keep a post vague was to just post some song lyrics. And that was what I did two weeks ago. I posted from the song “Moving On” by Asking Alexandria:
“I’ve never been so torn up in all of my life. I can’t believe I let myself break down… I’ve never felt so hopeless than I do tonight. No, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m moving on.”
Melodramatic? Maybe a little, but it was a pretty honest description of how I was feeling.

I didn’t expect anyone to notice my post, let alone comment. I needed to get my feelings out in some way and that was my only expectation. But to have two women offer me positive vibes and a shoulder to cry on, well it was huge for me because I instantly felt less alone.

It also made me rethink all of my assumptions about my former classmates. I realized that maybe it’s time to really put high school behind me and acknowledge that just as I’ve grown into a different person, so have the people I know. So to all of my Facebook friends, I offer my sincerest apologies if I ever silently judged you or your intentions. And I thank you for wanting to be in my life, regardless of how big or small of a role you play.

Yep, I Went There…

Like many other people, I have a Facebook account. I don’t post regularly, and when I do post, it’s usually song lyrics or something very vague (my mother hates it). As odd as it sounds now that I’m blogging, I’ve always preferred to keep my personal life private. There have been a few exception, of course. But the most notable exception was earlier this year, on February 10th, when I posted the following:

“In March of 1999, I was raped. It was about ten years before I could start to say that I was healing. During those early years, I did some things I’m not proud of, the worst being sabotaging a relationship with a man who loved me just because I didn’t know what else to do. As I look back on my relationships since then (one liar, two cheaters, and the very recent what-the-fuck-just-happened blindsiding), I can’t help but start to wonder if I’m doomed to spend the rest of my life paying for the actions of that person I once was.”

Well, no one could accuse me of being vague or cryptic then!

I bring this up for a number of reasons, and none of those reasons involve shock value.  The biggest reason that I’m writing about this is because it did have a huge impact on my life and there are things that have happened (and continue to happen) that really need to be explained in the context of this particular event in my life.  In fact, the original inspiration for Tales From Sick and Twisted (my novel-in-progress) came during those first few months when I realized that I was a different person because of this experience.  It was when I stopped trying to rationalize my trauma into nothing.  It was the sabotaging of that relationship.  So my novel would not have existed without this internal struggle.

While I will likely refer to this in a number of future posts, I will generally avoid detailing that night, mainly because it’s not the events themselves that are of consequence, but how I changed as a person, for better or worse, as a result.  In other words, the real story is found in the days, months and years that have passed since that night.  In general, here are the only things I consider relevant to any future posts or discussions:

  • It was date rape–I knew my attacker
  • While I did ultimately report it, I chose not to press charges
  • The Emergency Room visit was its own level of hell
  • It was the first and last time that I ignored my gut (generally referred to as the “Psychic Chick Sense”)
  • While I never thought I would post something on Facebook, I’ve never shied away from discussing it if the conversation was relevant (I consider this my personal form of advocacy)

I also want to add that I was humbled and felt immensely blessed by the outpouring of support that I received from my Facebook friends.  It was amazing because I didn’t expect anything.  It’s a tough topic and tough topics are hard to discuss.  In fact, my motivation for writing the post was a sudden need to put forth my own apology for some of my actions.  I know that I was dealing with my own pain, but even as I worked through my pain, I had never actually apologized for the pain I caused others during that time.  I expected my post to fade on the Facebook newsfeed, maybe seen by others, maybe just lost in the middle of other posts.  I wrote it for myself, to purge my own inner demons, and not for the purpose of eliciting any sort or response from others.  So when those responses flooded in, I was surprised, but I was (and I still remain) grateful.

So now that we’ve got that out there… how about those Orangemen?