I try not to swear too much on this blog. But there’s really no other word for it.
On Friday, a friend messaged me irate to see that I had given out details of her personal life on the blog. That not only had I not asked her permission, I had very stupidly (I was rushing when I edited the spending diary, but that’s no excuse) even used her real name in the last one.
And she was absolutely right to be furious. It was unconscionable.
My only explanation — not excuse or justification, there are none of those — is that after blogging for 12 years about the intimate and (sometimes literally) gory details of my life, I genuinely forget that most people have boundaries. I talk in depth about things like MRSA boils and the blow-by-blow accounts of the actual miscarriages and the emotional pain they caused — all without compunction.
So as stupid as it sounds, I forget that most people care what gets shared about them, especially with strangers on the Internet. Because of course they do.
So just because none of you know and will never meet her doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to share her life with you. Hers is not my story to tell, let alone broadcast the most painful parts of it.
I guess there is one second explanation (but again, is in no way an excuse) is that I got very wrapped up in the emotional rollercoaster that was going on. It brought back some past things for me. So naturally — “naturally” — I vented here. Because that’s what I do.
But that’s what I can do when it’s my life. Not someone else’s. I had no right to do that.
And I’m at the point in my mental health where I can’t blame emotional issues as though I couldn’t fight against them or was unaware of what was going on.
On some level, I recognized that I was too wrapped up in everything and staking too much of my own mental health on the situation. So I should’ve taken a step back. I should’ve said I needed a break. She even suggested it at one point, and we did actually both de-escalate how much we discussed it.
But I should’ve stepped back before that. I knew she had other friends. Though as one of two people in her life she told about any part of it, I also knew she was loath to tell anyone else. So with that and talking things through just being a big part of many days (which is what my spending diaries recount) and, of course, probably ego (“She chose me out of everyone!”) and the aforementioned issues from my past, I didn’t say I needed to create emotional space. Instead, despite knowing that clearly she wanted to keep this utterly private, I mentioned it here.
The last spending diary notwithstanding, I think I kept it pretty vague in earlier references to a friend with relationship issues. (I don’t know that she even saw those, but if you’re going to admit to a fuckup, admit to the whole fuckup.) Still, when going through and editing it all out — she understandably demanded that all references to the relationship and just her in general be removed from here — I did see places where I probably could’ve just left details out at all.
Again, I think I was trying to explain why someone else’s breakup was such a big part so my life, but I could have just said, “I talked more to my friend who’s going through some heavy relationship crap. It’s a huge part of my life by proxy right now. Sometimes it’s hard on me.” And in most cases I didn’t offer any form of detail, but there were posts where a couple of unnecessary details were in there. And that was horrible of me.
So yeah I should have recognized that this wasn’t okay and, if necessary, backed away from the situation, rather than let any part of it out on the virtual page for strangers to read. That is inexcusable.
Especially the last spending diary (now redacted, obviously) where I offered far too much detail to properly convey the ludicrousness of her ex’s move-out. Because it was mind-boggling, but also because I was angry at him yet again hurting her. But those things were not mine to tell.
I guess it also didn’t occur to me how stupid and awful spilling those particular details was because the whole time I saw her, she was furious. So I didn’t realize that sadness would obviously come later, that she would consider it, as she said in the angry message, probably the most upsetting/stressful day of her life.
But knowing her — and talking to her even intermittently in the days following — I really, really should have known.
So while I don’t know that I necessarily agree that, as she told me, I shared the most intimate details of her life and relationship, I do know that even without that extreme a view, what I did was horrible. And of course, I don’t get to dictate how someone feels. She feels the information I shared was intimate and a betrayal. Thus that’s reality.
I messaged her to let her know I’d done everything she asked, like returning her house keys and picking up mine, plus removing her entirely from the blog, and I added that I’d had her taken off as a referral of mine on a cash back site, so I wouldn’t receive any bonuses moving forward. And of course I sent a long apology which said that I understood there was no excuse for what I’d done — I explained the obliviousness issue but said that obviously it wasn’t an excuse — and that I knew there was no coming back from it. But unfortunately, she blocked me before I sent it. So she’ll never see it. I guess since I didn’t dispute anything she said, it’s moot.
So yeah, because of my thoughtlessness and carelessness, I have lost the person I was closest to for the last three years. Who supported me and sat with me through rough patches (which I’m quite sure she didn’t vent about to strangers) and messaged with me nearly every day.
But it gets worse.
On Saturday morning, I left a message in the group chat that I wouldn’t make it to that night’s event. (Obviously, I was trying to give her space, though I didn’t specify that.) Three hours later, the message still showed as sent but not delivered. So I spent the weekend thinking my friends had sided with her.
I’ve since heard from one person in the group who saw an Instagram post that not blocked in the group and as far as she knows, no one actually knows what’s going on.
So I don’t know what’s happening. I filled o. That person and they and the others can decide how to handle that information. I don’t see how she will agree to be at anything I’m at, so I don’t know that the ultimate situation won’t still be getting ousted from the group.
I want to be clear that this post isn’t to garner sympathy. I made my bed and now need to lie in it. This post instead is because:
- Everyone deserves to know about just how badly I acted
- Obviously the guilt of how much I hurt her and the loss of my closest friend is taking a huge toll on my mental health.
The latter means that I genuinely can’t find any way to not talk about the situation. I’ll have to say why I’m struggling, and if I simply say a friendship ended, you might feel that I was wronged. That’s not the case.
But to update you on the bed I’m lying in:
I’ll be calling my psychiatrist first thing today (Monday) and explaining that this is an emergency. Because it is.
When I first thought my whole group disowned me without a word — that I had two friends left in the city — I had a couple of hours where off and on my brain told me that if the people I cared most about in my life hated me, life wasn’t worth living. That at least 70% of the reason I was so happy in life was because of those friendships, and was the remaining percentage really enough?
I know that might sound dramatic. But that’s absolutely what I thought and felt whenever I wasn’t actively distracting myself. By the evening, the feeling was no longer coming at me full-blown. But I still heard am occasional faint whisper. And I don’t know if/when the volume will get loud again.
So I will make sure the psychiatrist sees me ASAP, and thankfully medication affects me usually no more than three days later (usually only one to two). Because I know I will get through this, but I honestly don’t know how.
What I do feel is that everyone I was closest to in the city no longer wants anything to do with me. That they clearly have decided I’m a horrible person, unworthy of even the fraction of a percent of the benefit of the doubt. And could four people who know me so well really be wrong?
Again, I can’t stress this enough: This post isn’t seeking sympathy. I don’t mention the suicidal ideation for attention or so that you’ll overlook my egregious error in judgment. I’m saying it because this is where I recount my life — though obviously more carefully now, when referring to other people — and right now a big part of my life is this pain and guilt.
But also to be clear: No one needs worry about me hurting myself. The pain may make me think about it, may make it tempting, but I also promise you that I do know the pain won’t go on forever. And that by the end of the week I will probably have a better balance of brain chemicals to banish — or at least greatly decrease — the thoughts.
So please don’t let the mention of those thoughts detract from the awfulness of what I’ve done or make you think that I believe my guilt should make it all okay and I should be forgiven.
I’m just updating you because… this is going to be a rocky time for me for a while. And you all should understand why — and how my I dug my own grave here.
Again, please don’t tell anecdotes about friends eventually forgiving you or vice versa. Hope will kill me right now. As far as I’m concerned, my friends are lost for good.
But if you’re worried, know that I haven’t given up on ever having friends again.l, even if I am indeed ousted from the group. When I’m more stable, I’ll start going to MeetUp events and see if I can find anyone I like. There’s also apparently an app by a dating app company that is specifically for finding friends. So I’ll try that too.