I just spent two hours writing a blog post that I will never publish. It was an angry post that ranged in tone from red-hot fury to frost-blue sarcasm.
It was called “Open Letter to An Idiot” and it was not nice. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I used twenty-seven different synonyms for “idiot” and I droped the f-bomb thirteen times.
You see, I have just learned that some of my “friends” are annoyed by my behavior in recent years. I put the quotation marks around the word friend because there are people involved who obviously have no idea what the word means.
I have talked too much about my car accident and about my lingering issues with pain. I understand that now, and I wish I had been more stoic about it. I am, after all, not the only person to undergo a traumatic event. And let’s face it, there are a lot of people dealing with worse pain. I’m embarrassed when I look back at some of my whining and I wonder that I haven’t lost more friends because of my constant complaining.
The night of my accident, I wasn’t thinking about getting sympathy or attention. I was thinking that the sky had that funny green-yellow color that sometimes comes with tornado weather. I was thinking that my children and I were going to die. Later, when the storm was over and they were wheeling me around from ambulance to ambulance, I stared up at the violets, oranges and indigoes of the sunset sky and wondered if I would ever walk again.
Afterward, I guess I should have moved on better than I did.
My angry and unpublishable blog post was prompted by a conversation that took place on Facebook yesterday between people that I had thought of as my friends. They discussed my accident and my recovery at great lengths, and made quite a few jokes at my expense. Apparently, these chums of mine decided to advance the theory that my accident never really took place.
I am lazy, they decided. They called me an attention whore and speculated that I made up the whole thing as a way of getting sympathy and finding a way to get out of working for the rest of my life. They voiced the opinion that I need to STFU.
Look, people are going to gossip. I can accept that. Hell, I’ve been caught gossiping a few times. More than a few, if I’m going to be perfectly honest. But I can’t even comprehend saying the kind of spiteful, vicious things these people said. And right out there on Facebook, in a public forum for all the world to see!
In a conversation that showed up in my newsfeed. On my page, where I could read every poisonous word they said.
I attacked them in my blog. I lashed out at them . . . and I did the same thing I was accusing them of doing: I mocked them in a public forum for all the world to see.
But I won’t publish that post because I want to be a better person than they are.
I know I’ve talked about my accident too much and I’m trying to stop. Really, I am. I realize that I can never heal as long as I keep dwelling on it. It’s a hard lesson that I am constantly re-learning; for example, I recently shared a few details about it with a new friend, and regretted it almost immediately. It’s part of my past, and it should have stayed there. I dumped far too much on him when I should have kept it to myself, and I am afraid that I have done irreparable damage to a budding friendship.
I’ve whined a lot lately about pain because it’s aggravated by cold weather – and since Michigan is in the grip of something called a “polar vortex”, it’s really cold here. I have had to go out into that frigid weather to shovel snow off the steps, and the combination of cold and overuse of shoulder/neck muscles has left me with a level of pain that is nearly blinding in its intensity.
Still, I should have been more considerate of others who are worse off. I know that nobody wants to see a long string of negative, whiny, aww-poor-me status updates; I should have just put on the big girl panties and kept it to myself.
But to mock me? To claim that I was never really hurt, to say that my accident never happened, to say that I am “milking” a disability claim because I am too lazy to go back to work? That takes a special kind of person. The kind of person I hope to never be. The kind of person who cannot be my friend. Not now, not ever.
Because this happened.
That’s Todd, holding my head. Rey taking the picture. Dave in the yellow coat. Not a clue who the arm or butt belong to –Mitch, Brian, JC? — but the fact remains that it happened, and they were there. And so was I.
The “friends” who are mocking me and suggesting that it never happened? They weren’t there. Not at the scene, not in the aftermath, and certainly not now.