I think everyone has looked up a former lover, childhood friend, or long lost family member using the Internet. It is an amazing tool to use to connect to those who we lost touch with over the course of our lives, or even the ability to find those we have wronged in some way in order to try and make things right. I know that I have used the Internet for these purposes. In the last few years I have found people, written letters and told people things I felt I should have told them. I have also looked up old friends, my nieces (I am estranged from my family), and more than a few ex-girlfriends. What got me thinking about all this is the many people who have come back into my life in one sneaky way or another after I have evicted them. The dark side to the Internet I guess.
When I look for someone from my past I guess for the most part I am just curious as to how they are doing. I don’t have ill intentions, and I am not out to bookmark their FB page and stalk them. I look, think to myself, “Glad they are doing well” and move on. The other difference, is that these people don’t know that I have seen them. If I don’t owe them a letter or something – I just look and leave and it isn’t something that is done with the intent to hurt them, to give me reasons to talk trash about them, or use their information in harmful ways.
In the last few years I have cut ties with several “toxic” people in my life. Some of them aren’t bad people – they are just people who don’t share my goals of becoming better. Or they are people who have hurt me so deeply that I no longer wish to associate with them and they were too stuck to understand why I was hurt, or to look for a solution with me. So I got rid of them.
With the Internet however, you can’t get rid of people like the good ole days, especially when you have a blog and public Facebook page. You unfriend someone, and two seconds later you have a new friend request from the person you just deleted. Many of the people I have abandoned for my own mental health have come out of the Internet void to “like” my Tolerant People FB page. They won’t talk to me, but they won’t go away either. So I figured I would write about it. Maybe being the subject of my blog will either get them to talk sensibly, or go away.
Now it would be one thing if they were liking my page and writing because they find it interesting or helpful. I feel if that were the case though they wouldn’t remain silent. Silence to me equals stalking. I feel like these people are keeping tabs on me for whatever reason, I am sure they are talking shit about me to the mutual friends we used to have (I know this because they did this when we were “friends” so I am going to assume they haven’t changed). I could be wrong about that – but again, if I am wrong in that line of thinking, then why be silent?
I guess what I really want to know is this: What is the purpose of stalking someone over the Internet? What purpose does it serve for you? Do you miss me? Do you have a burning unanswered question that you are looking for an answer to? If you can’t stand me – why like my blog and FB page? I could always block them, but there is a part of me hopes that despite the fact that we are no longer friends – maybe my page and blog offer something to them and maybe they detach the fact that it is MY words they are reading. I don’t know. I just don’t get it.
So for all my Internet stalkers, I am going to answer some questions just for you. Some questions I feel I may have left unanswered and therefore you might be searching for those answers by quietly stalking me. So here are five reasons I have removed you from my life. These aren’t the same for everyone – but if the shoe fits go ahead and lace it up and wear it.
1. You are a gossip. See I often have friends from all walks of life, and for some stupid reason I try to bring those people together. This has failed me over and over again, and I have FINALLY learned that some people just don’t mix and I certainly can’t force it. I used to have a large group of friends that I hung out with – and through several instances of drama, people talking about me behind my back, lies, and manipulation – I removed myself from the equation. That was five years ago. You guys can stop talking about me now. Move on with your lives. I certainly have. I don’t think about you. I don’t miss you. I also don’t really care about what you have to say about me. Go forth and make your lives better instead of trying to find shit on me. I certainly have plenty of shit to find, but you are no longer a part of the problem or part of the solution. If you all would spend more time working on why you feel the need to cling to me in silence – you have your own soul searching to do. If you want to talk to me send me a message. Otherwise – for the love of God move on.
2. You hurt me in some way and refuse to listen to why; so I stopped trying to force it. People do things to hurt us all the time. I have plenty of people who have hurt me deeply and are still a part of my life. the difference is that I was able to have those hard conversations with those people. I have expressed my feelings and they have expressed theirs and we have moved on. That is how grown-ups do it. If you are curious as to why I “suddenly” stopped talking to you – ask me. I will say this though – don’t ask if you don’t want the answer. Stalking me online isn’t going to give you any closure as to why you are no longer in my life.
3. You are a negative person. Now I am not judging here, I am just saying that everything out of your mouth is negative “oh poor me” BS that you have absolutely no intention of changing. You are content in your misery – and I am trying to live a more positive life. Your constant negativity is squashing my attempts at maintaining a positive attitude. This may be selfish on my part, but worrying about you and playing Negative Nancy with you was keeping me stuck. I simply had to move on. If you fall in this category, I do still love you – I just can’t handle you anymore on a regular basis. Of course none of you guys are asking why either – you just silently watch my life from afar. I hope you learn something from it actually. I am much happier now and you could be too if you just let go of the negativity and start working on finding the good and nourishing that instead of all that is wrong with the world.
4. You stopped liking me when I started to drink less. This is a big one. Obviously as an alcoholic I have many many alcoholic friends (yes – you are alcoholics). Now I really don’t care if you choose to drink yourself into oblivion everyday. In fact I used to love doing that with you. It is quite honestly the basis of our friendship. When I started to drink less, you started to talk shit (see item 1). Rather than support me because I was killing myself and trying to make a positive change, you decided to talk among yourselves about “how I am not the same person.” You are right. I am not the same person. I am a person who finally found some value in my life and no longer feel the need to spend everyday in a drunken stupor. This isn’t your fault really – we just no longer have anything in common. Instead of talking about me – you guys can feel free to drink yourself into oblivion and I will feel free to not do that anymore. The disconnect there is huge and one that isn’t easily combined to mend friendships. Our friendship was based solely on alcohol and until we find something else – I no longer fit in your life and you no longer fit in mine. Again – you fall into the category of people I still love, but simply can’t be around anymore and you are simply not capable of having this conversation so I left.
5. You lie. If there is one thing that bothers me most about people it is the need to lie. Now everyone does it. I do it. Usually though, it is to protect myself from some unpleasant thing (like hiding alcohol from Stephanie when I was first trying to quit drinking). There was a functional purpose behind the lie – to protect myself. So I don’t fault anyone for lies in general. What I do find fault in is when you start making shit up about me and spreading it around like you are stuck in Jr. High. Again, I don’t understand what purpose it serves for you to spread lies about someone who no longer associates with you. Not only do you continue to lie about me, you continue to have the need to find things to discuss about me (true or not). If you are reading this blog – you don’t need to make stuff up. I have plenty to talk about that is quite true.
So there. Sorry for the long blog post, but it is kind of a letter to my stalkers. I kept things quite general, because I believe that all of us has at least a few people that fit into one or more of these categories. I am just in a place in my life where childish drama, lies, manipulation, negative people, and drunks no longer serve a purpose for me. Whether I love and care for you or not – I had to take control of my own life. In order to do that I had to make changes. So some of you are gone because you are jerks and some of you are gone because I needed to move forward and you weren’t ready or willing to move with me.
Now go stalk someone else or say something to me. Too easy?