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While deep in pain, I wanted to delete social media. All social media – personal and professional. Including this blog.
And I almost did.
Delete social media and my blog?
I did something that brutally hurt a friend. A best friend. I made selfish choices and handled everything about the situation very poorly. She ended the friendship.
I process through writing. So I wrote. I was deep in shame, regret, grief, heartbreak, anxiety, and a whole lot of other big, yucky feelings. While I didn’t say exactly what happened, I made several social media posts indicating I was dealing with some heavy stuff and struggling to be okay. This was my way of trying to keep from drowning in the wreckage.
I was just about to go to bed around 1 a.m. one night when I saw a comment on my Rambling Rach Facebook page. It was from someone who knew the situation and was defending the person I hurt. By attacking me. This wasn’t the first public attack (though it was the first by this particular person). It cut deep.
My post, which was originally shared on Instagram, said:
Just a reminder that social media is just a glimpse of the story. And so is real life.
Take this photo from a few days ago. I’d been up crying until 3 am the night before. I thought about cancelling breakfast plans with a friend because my hair was greasy and I didn’t have the energy to wash it. Instead I threw on a sparkly headband, sunglasses, lipgloss, a cute dress, and flip flops and went anyway. I’ve posted beach bikini pics and new dress night out pics recently. I was in a dark place then, too. That’s the thing – you can be in a dark place while still trying to force yourself to move through it.
I’ve been blogging, writing articles, and posting on social media about my private life for over a decade. Some of you have followed me for most of that time, having never met me in person. Others know me both online and off. I’ve written about adoption, trauma, mental health, body image, motherhood, divorce, struggling to figure out who I am/what I want, and more. I do this so others don’t feel so alone like I have in these struggles. I do it because being told I help feels good. I do it because writing is how I process. And again, I do it because the validation feels really freaking good.
But lately people telling me they’re inspired by my bravery, strength, honesty, and authenticity feels wrong. I feel like a fraud. Yes, sometimes I’m those things. But often I’m a big, toxic, codependent mess. I get so caught up in my own latest crisis I make selfish choices that hurt people I love. I’ve been a wrecking ball in the lives of people who mean so much to me.
And I’m so done. But declaring “done” doesn’t mean anything without the work. I’ve increased my therapy sessions and am really doing some hard self-reflection.
I’ve deleted variations of this post for days. I don’t want to seem attention seeking or like I’m crying out for sympathy. But, ya know what? Craving attention and sympathy is pretty human. And I am a human. A human on a journey to be better, do better, and feel better. If I help you feel better about yourself and it lifts us both, that’s a win for both of us, right? So I’m sending this out in hopes it reaches the people who need it. ❤️
The comment said they were tired of the “poor me” posts and my vague booking attempts for “ass pats” and “you’re doing the best you can” comments. It went on to give specifics of the situation. If you know me or my writing, you know I don’t hold much back. However, this situation simply isn’t only mine to share. I think it’s important for me to protect the privacy of the person I hurt. So I deleted the comment. Actually, I deleted the whole post.
And I almost deleted social media completely, right down to this blog and the years of posts here. I was so worried the person was right and felt like a wrecking ball in the lives of those I love. It’s not melodramatic to say I hated myself at that time. This comment came about six weeks into hating myself.
The post I made was an effort to pull myself out of a deep shame and depression spiral.
The comment was pretty harsh, as were others left on my Facebook page during those weeks. There was name-calling and hopes that I have a horrible life. But my main concern was that they were right that I was doing something that caused more pain to the person I hurt.
So I was about to delete social media and the entire blog, while sobbing at 3 a.m. believing these public comments that I’m pathetic and trash when I got an unexpected text. Unexpected because it was the middle of the night and this isn’t a person I regularly hear from. We’ve known each other since sixth grade and he works overnight at a hospital. He said:
“Read your Instagram. I am also human. Feelings. Your words help both those of us that feel hard and those of us who struggle with recognizing and processing feelings like me. Your words are helpful. You help other folks that can’t be as open as you are. Everyone feels some or all of what you talk about. The vast majority don’t share. Your sharing is validation. It was a good post. Keep posting.”
And so he saved this blog.
I decided not to delete social media. I’m still trying to find the balance in what I share and I think that line will constantly need to be evaluated for as long as I write. I’m trying to move forward and figure a whole bunch of stuff out. I still hate myself sometimes – and hate what I did to this person I love all the time. There’s still guilt, shame, grief, and heartbreak. Sometimes I still agree with the commenter that I’m a pathetic trash person.
But I’m working through it. Trying to find my path again. Going to therapy. Doing the work.
And I’m still taking you along with me because I know I’m not the only one who fucks up and feels like their world is completely shattered.
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