Ever had one of those epiphanies and ask yourself why you put up with the same shit for so many years?
I had it happen to me at the end of last week. Staring right at me on my computer screen. Right there. In the comments awaiting moderation on this very site.
There was a nice, little nasty-gram comment that struck me as odd b/c it wasn’t spammy; it didn’t contain any links and the email address looked legit. I ask you to provide an email address (that is never published) when making a comment for security purposes. Quack email addresses get sent to SPAM and those without email addresses can’t comment. Sometimes there are lots to wade through and I miss some, but I had just cleared comments out so I only had 2 comments to moderate. I didn’t recognize this email address though and the person made up a fake name “All your friends.”
Curious about it, I looked up the IP Address (as anyone can do). It was a mundane reaction as I wasn’t expecting to find anything. I saw where the IP address was located and after a super ah-ha moment (meaning I only know one person who works at this place), I knew who it was.
As in, I know this person. Or loser, as my husband and friends said.
Yup. My first nasty comment was from someone I know. How fun, right?
My website is getting good traction these days – I LOVE YOU GUYS – but let’s keep it real. Until I gain more readership (which will happen) the vast majority of people who are reading this know me in some capacity, either having met me or knowing me virtually. Internet trolls are usually total strangers.
So this one was a fun one. Trolls that you know.
This one made me smirk and say, “Finally. VALIDATION!”
You see, I have plenty of supportive, wonderful friends in my life. This person really wasn’t one of them. I sucked up instinctive feelings and pushed aside obvious actions over the years for the sake of remaining affable.
I had something staring me right in the face late last week that said– Forget ’em.
It’s funny, I had a conversation with a close guy friend of mine maybe over a decade ago, but the memory is very vivid. I was confiding in him that one of my friends had hurt my feelings and it was hard to push past them. He told me something that has stuck with me to this day. The gist of it basically went like this:
Look, Caroline, snap out of it, you turd.
Look, Caroline, friends aren’t always going to be perfect or say the right things and they may even be mean unintentionally, but at the end of the day, it’s the guys that are waiting out in the parking lot to defend you when someone is picking a fight with you, that are your real friends.
While I think this is a very masculine way of saying, your real friends are loyal, I got what he was saying and it held true after the absurd comment was left on my blog. (Which you can find if you look through, it’s not tough.) Support came from texts and calls, a comment back and even encouragement on Facebook.
I have a great support system. With or without nasty comments left on my blog.
I realize writing about this event is bringing more unnecessary attention to it and I want you to know the reason I chose to write about it is because I know the struggle is real. In a world filled with just the highlights of the “good life” on Facebook and balancing out what real friendships mean, you have no room or obligation to keep people around who aren’t supportive. I’m not talking blowing-hot-air-up-your-ass supportive, either. True friends give it to you straight when necessary. Not under a fake name and not without a shred of credibility to hold their stance.
That’s what gets me about leaving a stupid comment under the guise of a fake name, why take the time? You don’t like me but are still coming here to read and watch what I do? (Hi. Hello. I’m sure you’re reading this.)
I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t like me? Move on. It took me far too many years to embrace that. Sometimes it’s still a struggle in my people-pleasing head. But, it’s true.
Make no apologies for who you are. Learn, grow from mistakes, evolve as a friend or wife or sister, fill your heart with experiences, apologize when necessary, but don’t ask for forgiveness for being your unique self.
And more importantly don’t waste my time and yours by putting up this charade masked in friendship. Time is valuable and I’m spending it on genuine relationships.
So put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.