Sunday, October 4, 2009

Misunderstood

I'm having a hard time saying what I want, or need, to say right now.  That doesn't change the fact that I need to say it and staring at a blinking cursor isn't helping it get out.  I'm feeling a bit, well, hurt.  There, I said it.  It's out.  Now, maybe, I can explain it.

Over the last week, I've been having some issues with some friends.  Apparently, several friends from high school, who I had become friends with on Facebook, take exception to my lifestyle.  They don't like that I'm childfree, that I don't appreciate organized religion, and that I'm liberal.  I had a very minor run in with one of them after I mentioned that I was going to do some housekeeping on Facebook (she asked if I was removing "mombies and fundies"), in which I felt attacked without provocation.  I later removed her (along with everyone else I went to high school with and some of my old WoW friends) from my Facebook.  I needed to clean it up and get some of my privacy back.  I suppose that even though I blog, and put myself out there, I still need somewhere I can go where I'm not completely exposed.  Apparently blogging makes me self-righteous and diluted.

Shortly there after, I got a not-all-together unexpected letter from her, in which she a lot of hurtful things.  She said hating moms is the same thing as being racist and that because I wanted a baby when I was 18, that I'm not childfree. I got the impression she believes I'm a basket case who's using the childfree label to account for some sort of psychological issue.  I've been called a lot of things for choosing to be childfree, but a lying, racist, headcase has never been one of them.  Sadly, while she leveled accusations against me for something she inferred (that I consider her and her sister breeder mombies, neither of which are true), she showed just as much intolerance for my lifestyle as she accused me of having for hers.  The email was peppered with compliments, she called me smart more than once, said she admired me for being able to put my unpopular opinions out there, but the overall tone of the email was incredibly hostile.  I emailed her back, explained my side of the issue as carefully and honestly as I could, but haven't heard anything yet.  It would appear, on further reading, that she feels sorry for me for not having kids.  I hope to hear back from her because I really don't want her to misunderstand me.  If she wants to hate my lifestyle, I want it to be because she actually hates my lifestyle, not because he misunderstands it or infers something horribly wrong about my feelings and beliefs.

It's funny, actually, because the email suggested that I'd write about this here, which is honestly not something I had intended to do.  I was going to keep it private, but decided against it after seeing something today that changed my mind.

While browsing around the net, I came across a blog started by one of the friends I removed from my Facebook -- previously mentioned friend's sister.  She and I had been writing back and forth for a few months via facebook, so I felt we were on really good terms.  I read through her blog until I came upon the first one, posted in August, in which she calls me a "liberal, child-having, lazy...uh... friend?"  She didn't use my name, but the context is clear and here I thought we were on good terms.  She had emailed me a few times, expressed interest in my blogs, said she felt I was a good writer.  The emails between us were always very cordial, in fact, friendly and when I removed her from my Facebook, it wasn't without a great deal of regret.  The only reason I removed her, to be truthful, is that I felt I couldn't remove the others without doing so.  She and I even maintained a friendly, if somewhat sporadic, correspondence on Facebook after she wrote that in August.

I suppose, in addition to being hurt, I'm a bit surprised that she smiled to my face (so to speak) after saying such hurtful things.  If she didn't want anything further to do with me, she should have said so.  We're all adults, it would have likely hurt my feelings, but not nearly as much as finding this does.  I really want honesty and to be understood, not to be called names and have hurtful accusations leveled against me.

Sometimes, we grow apart, and the gap widens, until we're standing on opposite banks, looking toward something we don't even recognize anymore.  We reach the point of no return, when the only emotions that can breech the gap are the painful, hateful, hurtful ones.  I just wish I understood why what they think is bothering me so much.  Maybe, it's because before all this I still considered them friends.  Even though in the past we've had some issues, I still want them to see me for what I really am and to think I'm, like I do, that I'm a good person, something they clearly don't.  I suppose it's the people from the past, the ones you care about despite yourself, that are most capable of hurting you.  I know people I've met since I've been an adult, people that know me now, who don't have nearly this much power to hurt me.

It bothers me to be judged and misunderstood, especially be people who have no business judging me.  In light of it all, there are a few facts that remain eternally true.  The first is that I'm comfortable, if not completely happy, with my life and who I am.  I like being childfree and though there are some childfree people who're hateful, I'm not generally one of them -- contrary to popular beliefs, I don't hate moms, I just dislike children.  I have a lot of insecurities, that doesn't mean that having a baby can fix them, especially considering that I've never met a mother without insecurities of her own.  I may amount to nothing, yet, but I'm only 31 years old and not having a "traditional" career doesn't make me less.  I'm still working on my BA, it's taken me a long time, but I've overcome a lot of hurdles to get where I am and I'm proud of myself.  I may be overweight, but that doesn't make me lazy.  I may not be completely financially stable, but that doesn't mean I'm trash.  I may suffer from depression, but that doesn't make me a headcase.  I may not like organized religion, that doesn't make me an immoral heathen.   Finally, and this one is important, I do not need, nor do I want, your pity.