18 May, 2013

An Open Letter to Friends and Family

Dear people who love me and/or care about me,
I love and/or care about you too. Though I rarely see you in person, the relationship we have – as family members, friends, or work acquaintances – means the world to me. Facebook has been such a blessing to me, enabling me to be so much more in touch with people who would otherwise just be on the Christmas card list…or would have lost contact with many moons ago. I get to see the weddings, the babies, the kids, the proms and graduations… all the happy moments I’d otherwise miss out on.
Mostly, I use Facebook to post day-to-day little blurbs about work or school, rarely using it to discuss bigger issues. Most of you don’t know why I don’t have kids. Or what I want to be when (if) I grow up. Do you know what’s up between me and my Dad? (really…do you? If you do, would you please tell ME?) It’s not that these things are a secret… it’s just that I think they require a treatment more in-depth than the 2-3 sentences my average Facebook status contains.
That’s why we are here. Welcome to my blog. It’s not much, especially not for the past 6 months, but it’s where I go to tell my tales, plan my future, and oftentimes vent about things that are upsetting me. But sometimes the really big issues don’t fit in this space either. Sometimes the words don’t come. Or the words would hurt someone else. So the words stay in my head, or are whispered to someone else. Anyway, I have brought you all here today because I have something to tell you. It still feels like the blog isn't the right venue, but I just can't do this one-on-one.
Scott and I are separated.
We have been since January. I haven’t told a lot of people, but since some of you are putting the pieces together on your own I thought now is probably as good a time as any to pull the Band-Aid off. I’m not going to discuss the details here. You are welcome to ask questions, but I reserve the right to not answer. Based on the questions and comments I’ve gotten so far, I’m including a proactive “FAQ/C” section below. I’ll be adding to it over the next few days if needed.
Why didn’t you say anything sooner? Lots of reasons, really. Among them:
I wanted things to stabilize between Scott and me…
I know how judgmental I am and wasn’t ready to be judged by other people…
I couldn’t figure out how to make such a big pronouncement (and surprisingly “announcing break-up on Facebook” doesn’t really yield a lot of good Google search results).
OK, but why didn’t you tell ME sooner? I told people who needed to know for various reasons (such as Florida vacations that involved staying at the house I wasn’t living in at the time) and people I needed to know. I don’t think I told more than 4 or 5 people outside of those I see every day. If you are feeling left out or hurt, please consider the last time we confided anything in each other.
This news makes me feel . I appreciate that you care, but at this time I have enough feelings of my own to deal with. I can’t really process yours as well. Thank you for sharing, and I regret that I am unable to help you through this difficult time.
Your decisions and actions are hurtful to Scott. Thank you for looking out for him. Please allow me also to thank you on his behalf. At this point, my relationship with Scott is between me and Scott. I am aware that actions have consequences, but hopeful that he will always have a place in my life.
Your decisions and actions are hurtful to God. Thank you for looking out for Him. Please allow me also to thank you on His behalf. At this point, my relationship with God is between me and God. I am aware that actions have consequences, but hopeful that He will always have a place in my life.
Do I have to un-friend Scott on ? Of course not! Neither of us is asking anyone to pick sides. Besides, I’m guessing if we did make you choose one of us, you’d choose him.
What happened? Someday maybe I’ll look back on this whole situation with clarity and be able to adequately explain. Maybe at that time I’ll share what I figure out. Honestly though, that is likely to be a conversation between me and a professional paid to listen to me and keep my personal stuff in confidence.
Wow…that really sucks. Yes…yes it does.
What’s next? There’s a good reason I decided to throw myself into academics for the next two semesters. “An idle mind… something something something,” right? After that, I guess we’ll see.
What do you need? I have to admit, every time someone has asked me this or offered a room to sleep in or a shoulder to cry on, it has surprised and humbled me. Like I said, I have spent a lot of time over the years judging other people, so the people who have offered to prop me up have shown me how I should have behaved all along, and certainly how I hope to be in the future. Right now, I don’t need anything. But thank you for asking. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
If you’re still reading, thank you. 800+ words later, I guess you must care! Nothing about this situation has been easy. I realize I’m not really in a position to ask for sympathy, and I honestly don’t expect it or really need it. However, I respectfully request that you understand that this wasn’t done to you and isn’t about you. If your first reaction to this letter is any of the first five I outlined above, please don’t share it with me. And if you do, please don’t be upset if you don’t get the response you hoped for.
But enough about me…what do YOU think of me? Just kidding…I don’t want to know!

1 comment:

mamajoy said...

well said