On Judgment.

The other day, I reblogged a post written by a friend of mine about her decision to end her marriage. It spoke to me not only because it was tragic and honest, but also because it mirrored my experience to an almost freakish degree. She is someone who made a terrible, hard, gross, humiliating, and ultimately good decision for herself and for the person she loved, and who is currently working through the fallout. I wouldn’t say she’s a hero (only because I’m drawing parallels here and I wouldn’t say that about myself), but she is brave. I know from experience how much courage it takes to make such an enormous change, imploding life as you know it, driven only by the hope that life will be more fulfilling when the dust settles.

In an effort I assume was an attempt to help her friends understand, she shared her post on Facebook, which was wonderful because she got a lot of support. Unfortunately, being open with a wider, more personal audience meant that she also got a bunch of blow back from people who had their fair share of opinions about how she is choosing to pursue happiness in her own life. I was terrified of facing a fire squad like this, so I didn’t share anything or make an announcement about the change in relationship status on my personal social media accounts. So, lucky for me, the only terrible insults lobbed at me were from a select few people close to the situation and mothers who didn’t know me at the school where I was teaching at the time.

As someone who spent a few years in college working in a phone room in a ticket office, I am well aware of what irate jerks are capable of saying when they are granted the anonymity of a phone call or the internet. However, reading the things people have said to this friend is just absolutely disgusting. These are people close to her who took the time to create WordPress profiles, simply in order to call her names and shame her for being honest with herself and those around her, and for refusing to spend her life in a relationship that was long past being healthy.

Obviously, cloaking yourself in ridiculous internet mystery and ripping someone down means you are a particularly miserable person in general. However, it also speaks to something else: namely, 1) you have been fortunate enough to never have had anything terrible, unexpected, and hugely transformative happen in your life, and have therefore never had to do any major soul-searching. Go you; or 2) you’ve had something like that happen, and you’ve just failed to internalize any of the lessons afforded to you by such an experience.

Either way, you aren’t qualified to have an opinion on someone else’s transformation. If you can’t see beyond your own face, you should probably keep your nose out of other people’s business.

Or, more simply put, before you accuse someone in pain of being a lying hypocrite, you should examine all the ways in which you are perfect and then shut your mouth.

How About No

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4 thoughts on “On Judgment.

  1. This post bothers me on all sorts of levels. I had read your friend’s post when you reposted it but when you posted this I had to go back and read the comments. I am so confused by all of it.

    1) I don’t understand why anyone feels the need to comment on anyone else’s relationship regardless of its state (happy, broken, etc) because unless it’s *your* relationship, you don’t know what’s going on it! Plain and simple. Plus, if it’s not your relationship, it doesn’t really affect you, so why comment?
    2) Why are people so angry about a divorce? 50% of marriages end in divorce. I don’t understand the need to lecture her about how vows are forever. They aren’t and they don’t need to be. Would this person prefer she (and her mate) be miserable for life? And if someone needs to believe that vows are forever, fine, just don’t marry her next! Marry someone who shares the belief that vows are more important than happiness and sanity. Ughhhh.
    3) Breakups are hard! And aren’t divorces essentially breakups on a much grander scale where you have to basically split the lives you’ve built together (friends, family, property, pets, obligations, etc.)? I don’t understand why people can’t see how hard of a decision that can be! Sorry if I’m wrong on this one, but it seems like it would be the worst break up imaginable.

    I should stop rambling, but to boil it down: why do people need to be trolls about a situation they aren’t a part of?!

    I’m sorry for both you and your friend.

  2. How did I just see this now? I love you for this. Thank you for being such a supportive friend during all of this (and all the time) – although I admit, it’s probably hard not to be that way since I’m pretty sure we are the same human from parallel universes that accidentally got smooshed (I just wanted to say “smooshed”) into the same one.

  3. Reblogged this on ..and still not ginger and commented:
    I stumbled upon this blog entry today – it’s a friend’s response, in a way, to an entry I had made awhile back regarding my choice to get a divorce – a choice that, because many felt it was abrupt and surprising, I wanted elaborate on and hopefully explain the feelings that ultimately led me there. Her post was really interesting for me to read because it managed to encapsulate my feelings at the time regarding some of the responses I got to my announcement; however, reading it three and a half months after the fact also did something else. It made me realize how little and how much has changed in my life since then.

    When I originally posted Apalapucia, I received a mass amount of support through texts, Facebook messages, and even some (few) directly on the blog itself. I should say, however, that I did not originally post the entry to gain support or attention, but merely as a way to address a very obvious change in my life that I was going through.

    Do I owe that to anyone? No. But it felt therapeutic and almost fair to, at a minimum, address something that everyone was curious and/or concerned about. It was a big deal – and I was tired of shutting everyone down and out.

    Not every response I received was supportive – and that is fair. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decision, but ultimately, it is my one life to live, and I have to live with myself during the whole thing… so I do feel that my opinion on the subject carries a bit more weight than anyone else’s. I apologize in advance if it offends someone that they can’t be the person to make all of my decisions for me, but I’ve spent too long playing that game.

    What my friend is referencing in this (her original) post were the not-so-supportive and maybe also not-so-unsupportive comments – almost all of which have either been deleted or were never approved in the first place. I am referring to the ones where people created accounts under “alidskehsfal@gmail.com” and “YoureASelfishBitch@yahoo.com” (no seriously – though “WatchingFromAfar” probably wins in creeptastic) in order to comment about how I am “delusional” (a word used several times under various accounts, leading me to make the HUGE jump that it was the same person), selfish, stupid, and whatever else that I can’t even vaguely remember. I’m pretty certain I failed God, I need an intervention, and I threw away a beautiful, perfect thing so carelessly.

    What most people didn’t see were the slue of comments that I never approved in the first place. This was weirdly a hard decision for me. I wanted to approve everything. I wanted to be fair to everyone’s voice. But ultimately, I had to deny some of the comments (not without looking up their IP address of course – assholes.).

    It isn’t that I didn’t approve them because they contained anything I wanted to hide or that I only wanted people to perceive that I was only receiving positive feedback for my choice- I didn’t approve them because there was nothing constructive (or remotely eloquent) about them. Saying, “I disagree. You made a promise, and you broke it” is one person’s opinion of both marriage and MY marriage. It’s a valid opinion, and my posting a public entry about my divorce is a place where someone is allowed to state that opinion. However, saying, “You’re a stupid, delusional whore. I’m watching you and I’m going to make sure you pay for what you’ve done. You’re not brave. You’re a dumb bitch,” while DEFINITELY someone’s opinion, is not a comment on my original sentiment… it’s closer to a note I’d find in my mailbox made completely of magazine clippings.

    My friend’s post brought me back to that week. The week I sat in a hollow apartment in Los Angeles alone. The place was filled with furniture – with books and photos and clothes and things, but it was empty. There were no experiences that warmed it; there was no love. It was cold and unfamiliar. It was never home. I reached out through the internet to all my friends and family miles away to finally express that I was coming back. I was finding my way home again. Not through a literal move back to Arizona, but rather, I had made a decision to put myself first before I lost her completely – and that decision had ripples. It would impact others. I felt my friends and family deserved something, even if it answered nothing. So I put myself out there – the amalgam of feelings that ran through my brain and wove themselves into some sort of rubber band ball – not all related, but contributing to a bigger whole.

    I remember how my heart sunk the first time I read the awful things people began to say to me. I often try to let things roll off my shoulders – if vulnerability is a character, then I am Chandler Bing – but it was hard to not think to myself, “what if I am an awful person?”

    If someone says something enough, you may actually start to believe them.

    I say so much and so little has changed since her post because it has. Right now… I am just so, so happy. I woke up happy; I am confident I will go to sleep that way. If I told myself 6 months ago how happy I would be today – I genuinely, genuinely would not believe her. I wouldn’t even believe her if she said “eh, you’ll be pretty content.” I don’t mean that every moment is a song-and-dance number, but today, I just feel like a happy and whole human being.

    I say so little has changed because assholes still exist. That hollow space in LA will always be a vacant hole in my memory of things that just weren’t, but wanted to be. So little has changed because regardless of that, I still completely believe in love, in marriage, in forever. So little has changed because despite the years I fell apart and lost myself – despite not recognizing the person in the mirror, I have somehow found myself back together and as if the time was never lost nor occurred. Like coming out of hibernation.

    My friend’s post was a simple rant. But it reminded me of so much – of that day, of those feelings, of those idiots, of my sanity and insanity, and finally, of the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded loons who will support your madness through good times, bad times, and social media storms.

  4. Pingback: Re: On Judgment. | ..and still not ginger

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