Very recently I was confronted on a Facebook post to my profile by someone who is my elder and in a sense played a part in raising me.
First and foremost, I was raised to respect my elders, and those that are family. This is not the first time this individual has posted grievance publicly on my Facebook, where anyone on either of our friends lists could see what was posted.
Secondly, as I may have stated previously, I do not like to engage in drama, nor do I like to air dirty laundry for everyone. So the fact that this person made public their personal feelings about how they feel they are being neglected by me angered me considerably.
The first time it happened, I tried to keep in mind the whole respect your elders thing. I addressed it politely while making my situation and my stance on the topic clear. I think I handled it well and seemed to diffuse the situation.
I am a single mother, working full time, and I have many responsibilites otherwise. Maybe I don’t make the time for others outside my immediate circle like I should. But I also make it clear what my life consists of, and in the name of remaining sane and semi rested to be able to adequately do everything I need to do, I pick what I devote my time to. My children, my brother, and my job come first. Always. And everyone who knows me at all understands that, and doesn’t think I love them any less because of it.
This person made this post several months ago however, and I politely addressed it, publicly, against my better judgement. In reality they were attacking me publicly and trying to make me feel guilty and embarrass me.
I do not feel guilty, nor am I embarrassed, for making my priorities known and adhering to them. I went about my life as I have been, working and taking care of my family. I began blogging about my life, and to me it’s a form of therapy I suppose. I publicly posted my blogs on Facebook with no shame. This is my story. Don’t read it if you don’t like it.
A post appeared from this individual yesterday afternoon while I was at work. Again publicly attacking me, claiming that I have forgotten this individuals existence.
This individual exited my life when I was young, by their choice. I do not necessarily fault them for their choice, but I think there were other alternatives. I took it upon myself to reach out to them first when I was 19, and having lost track of them again, I found them again when I was in my late twenties. Because I didn’t give them the attention they thought they deserved, they unfriended me a couple years ago and re-friended me a few months later.
I have family and those I care about on my Facebook for the purpose that I don’t always have time to include them in my day to day life. That is how I keep track of them, and my hope is that while I don’t always have the time to call or visit, they can in this way keep track of how myself and my children are doing. It’s the best I can offer with my crazy life.
This time I didn’t handle it so nicely. Do not judge me for the life I live, when you are not a saint. Do not publicly try to humiliate me. I am not a child, I am a grown woman. I reminded this person of the previous conversations, and the hectic life I have, and I was not necessarily nice. I am a pacifist, and I let people walk on me more than I should. But when you piss off someone like me, watch out. Because when the floodgates open, it releases a tidal wave and you best have a raft.
I made my point clear, that my priorities are my kids and my brother and my job. That while I remember this person’s existence, I also have to make sure the people reliant on me come first. I did not call this person out for the choices they made in their life, some that negatively impacted me. I firmly let them know where my priorities lie.
In turn, during the night while I slept, they came back once again publicly attacking me. Saying that I intentionally left them out of my “life story”, and that I am painting a picture of poor me my life was so hard. That they were no longer going to allow me to hurt them. And they unfriended me. This is what I woke up to. And I think I was justified in opening the flood gates.
I did not publicly address it this time. I privately messaged the person and told them exactly what I thought. I have not gotten to the part of my life where this person had an impact. I don’t know if I ever will, because I write what I am thinking and feeling. How I tell my story is my choice. As for the pity party I am supposedly engaging in, I don’t feel that is how I am portraying things. I did discuss it with Dorothy and Sophia to be sure that I wasn’t, because it is a possibility. They were in agreement that I am telling my story in a matter of fact way, often times being encouraging and showing humor as well. Dorothy made a valid point, as well. I have gone out of my way to include this individual in my life the same way I include everyone else. And because I didn’t do it to their standards, I am the bad guy. Communication is a two way street. And other than Facebook posts, this individual does not communicate with me otherwise.
Maybe someday I will have time to do all of the visiting and socializing I want. Maybe someday I can engage in hours long phone conversations with those I care about. Reality is that that time is not now. Right now I am doing what is best for me and the boys, to the best of my ability. That does include my writing, that does include a concert every once in a while. I am not obligated to sacrifice the things I do to keep myself at an even keel to stroke someone elses ego. Period, point blank. Just because I don’t visit or call doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means I’m living my life the best way I know how. And let’s just be honest, why don’t we? When I do have time for a long phone conversation or a visit with someone, if my immediate circle is taken care of, there are people I reach out to – and they are not this person. Because these are people that I know hold no judgement that it’s been a month or better since we talked. These are people that don’t make me feel guilty or that I am neglectful. They genuinely enjoy the time catching up with me and have no agenda. They genuinely care about me and my life. As I care about them and theirs. And on top of it all, I am an introvert! A busy introvert is not someone you go to for companionship!
I am sorry this person feels the way they do, and I am sorry they are not satisfied with how I am choosing to live my life. But I am happy, and proud of who I am. I am not on this planet to satisfy every being that crosses my path.
Let me just go ahead and hop down off of this here soap box.
Live your life. Do not be ashamed if you piss someone off making yourself a priority.