Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Slap in the Face

I always seem to think that the CFS community is just one big happy supportive family.  Once in a while I get a taste of reality.

The first time this happened was a couple of years ago when I was new to the community and I had someone hating on me for using the term "CFS" to describe my illness.  She was insisting that if I didn't call it ME I didn't have a real illness.  Um, I'm still wicked sick no matter what the heck you call it.  I cut off all contact with her so I didn't have to listen to the vitriol anymore.  I'm too sick to be dealing with people like that.  To misquote the Blues Brothers "she was on a mission from God" so it was a complete waste of my very limited energy to interact with her.

Today was another reminder that people in the CFS community aren't always that friendly or supportive.  About two years ago I met someone through the CFS blogs.  She wrote her own blog and I got to know her through that.  When she became bedridden and unable to read anymore I sent her a bible on CD since I knew that was important to her.  She loved it and thanked me for the gift.  The months roll on and she recovers.  She goes out into the world and leaves the CFS community behind.  This is as it should be.  I hope all of us are that lucky.  We kept in touch on Facebook and I heard all about her adventures out in the big wide world.  I admit I was slightly jealous but again, this is as it should be.

Well then the election gets going and we are on opposite sides of the aisle.   No biggie we both said.  We could still be friends even though we have different political views and we even went so far as to agree that some healthy discourse would be good.  We could explore the issues from both sides.  We could learn from each other.  We had a couple of heated discussions and I decided in the best interest of our friendship to hide her Facebook posts.  This would reduce my temptation to start arguing various points with her since we obviously had some deep philosophical differences that were influencing our politics.  I made sure I didn't post just political stuff since I still have other interests not just politics and I didn't want to alienate all of my friends by becoming myopic.  I was never sure if she hid my posts as well since she never commented much on my posts even prior to the election but I wouldn't be at all surprised.

I kept checking her page once in a while to keep tabs on her and to see if she was posting anything besides political items and the answer was no.  In fact as the election drew near her posts got more and more desperate.  She was making comments like she was heartsick or nauseous or crying because of the liberals and how we were ruining the country.  So I checked up on her last night after Romney lost.  I was kind of worried and a bit morbidly curious if she would have a complete meltdown.  Instead she was in denial.  Along with Fox news she was waiting for all the Ohio counts to come in.  Romney couldn't possibly have lost.

So today I went to check on her again.  Not only had she defriended me but completely blocked me so I could no longer see her page or message her.  This is someone I supported through the worst of her illness.  Someone I worried about and checked up on if I didn't see posts for a while.  Someone I exchanged recipes with.  Someone I had never met but sent gifts to because she was in need.  I know I shouldn't expect anything in return but holy crap!  Really!?!

This is what a God fearing Christian republican does to someone just because they are a liberal democrat?   What in hell??  This is such a slap in the face!  Such an FU!  When did behavior like this become acceptable?  It certainly isn't Christian.  Do the republicans condone this?  Do they encourage it?  Screw the democrats and their evil liberal ways!  Don't associate with THOSE people! Apparently she pitched a whole bunch of people out of her Facebook account today.  She claimed it was due to the CFSers no longer being active on FB.  I wonder if she is so angry and upset about Romney loosing she is now taking it out on her friends.  She is getting rid of anyone that is a democrat.  What a sad way to be.  I feel sorry for her that her world has become that narrow.  That tiny.  Her mindset is so small that she can't possibly accept views that contradict her own.

So now I'm thinking about things.  Things such as, should I send presents to people I don't know?  Should I make friends on the internet?  Should I trust the CFS community?  But when I think about it, I've met some wonderful people online.  I've met some wonderful people in the CFS community.  I don't want to stop helping people just because a few people have atrocious manners.  I should give without expectation.

As someone told me after my altercation with the vitriolic ME person, "if they were sour grapes before they got sick they will be sour grapes after they get sick."  There is nothing magical about being a CFS patient that makes us supportive understanding friends.  We might share CFS in common but sometimes that just isn't enough to make a friendship.  So I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm licking my wounds.  But tomorrow is another day.  There are lots of cool people out in the world that I still haven't met.  Maybe some of them would even like to meet me.


  1. Baffled,

    I know I'm a little late in commenting on this post, but I wanted to say that it completely hits home. I've had the same types of experiences. For the most part, the CFS community is great and people are supportive of one another, but every once in a while you meet a total anomaly who just doesn't seem to get it. I'll never forget the freak who started cross-examining me on my reproductive choices in a group chat one time. I guess it shouldn't surprise me because there are socially inept people in all cross-sections of society, so why should the CFS community be different? But it still surprised me because I expect better from people who understand the frustrations of CFS.

    As for your ex-friend...I just can't understand how people can get so bent out of shape over politics that they abandon friendships over it. But it seems to happen all the time. It's sad, isn't it. It's gotten to the point where I'm reluctant to discuss my political views with anyone because the dialogue has become so hateful and emotionally charged. I'm sorry to hear that, but I hope it doesn't prevent you from continuing to reach out to new people on the internet. I still believe it's worth it, despite the mishaps.

  2. I don't think I'll ever stop discussing politics. It is a subject that interests me intensely. It is a shame that some people take it so very personally. I love discussing it and learn so much from people that don't share my view. This past election has been exceptionally contentious.

    In a weird way I'm learning about people and friendships through my online interactions. Since I'm a severe introvert this is good for me, skills that I need to learn myself. People move in and out of our lives. It is a natural ebb and flow. If we were all the same it would be very very boring.

  3. There are lots of crappy people out there and for those who aren't generally scrappy it seems like politics bring out the worst in all of us. I can barely have a political discussion with my own husband because of some key issues we disagree on. All I can say is move on and don't let her represent everyone. As for friendships online, I've met some of the people I consider my best friends online, but I rarely exchange gifts with them. It just feels awkward to me. Some are closer friends and we are able to get together in person, even if rarely. With those we are more likely to exchange a gift when we see each other.