Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cut Loose

I was somewhat incredulous yesterday to find myself delinked from a Blog I had been reading and commenting on for almost 4 years. I got the strong message of “You are no longer welcome here.”

I can only take consolation in the fact that I stand with several other good people who have over the years suffered the same fate at the same person’s hand.

Lest this be considered gossip, I am reminded that it is a matter of public record. The message was sent to the world two weeks ago. Mine just arrived late.

To put a more positive spin on it, I got a note from a new friend just today saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” Her friendship is a welcome gift at a time when my feelings are quite hurt.


Blogger Pauline said...

Did you ask the person why you were cut? There's not much consolation in being one a number who were unceremoniously dumped. I like the closed door open window comment though. It usually happens that way.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- I did ask and the explanation made no sense to me. But this action no longer leaves any doubt about my status. So onwards and upwards!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Aileen said...

To be honest, I don't usually take the act of linking and delinking personally. For me, I have delinked people when they stop blogging regularly or when it's been a really long time since I've read their blog or commented on it (not because of my feelings towards the blog, just because of the time factor and my interests at the moment.)

That being said, delinking hurts in the blog world when it is accompanied by a conflict in the real world. For me, I have had minor issues with people (or what I thought were minor) and then the somehow passive-aggressive act of quiet delinking sent a much louder, harsher message. So I understand completely how you feel.

(I've even been guilty of being the perpetrator of passive-aggressive delinking once. Though in reality, it was to minimize my temptation to read his blog regularly, but he didn't know that.)

Just consider it a solid sign that the relationship is over and it's time to move on. I'm sure there is good reason for that.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Aileen beautifully stated almost everything I was thinking about as I read your post and has therefore saved me the trouble of wording it myself.

It is so wonderful to discover that someone has linked to you (especially when you are new to blogging) and when I have been 'cut loose' I am not too hurt because that has never happened with a friend. If it were, I think I would get the message loud and clear. There are indeed some amazing possibilities of passive/aggressive behavior to be had through blogging. But you are among friends here - that is certain.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Aileen -- You are so smart. I'm sure there is a great application of psychology at play in the world of Blogging. Maybe the topic for a good book?!

Gary -- You are so sweet. Yes, I do count you as my friend, even though we've only spent a few hours in each other's company. I always find such a positive uplifting attitude when I come to your Blog!

Now onwards and upwards as I hit the pavement to go canvass for Obama. Time is running short and his campaign can use all the energy I can muster!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some links can become loose but will never break. There's a great big world outside blogs. I love you. FL

1:09 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Aloha Barbara!

Having been a veteran of internet relationships over the years, I can say that the media creates a sense of intimacy that is sooooo addictive. This sense of knowing someone things that they would not necessarily share with superficial aquaintances... this accelerates relationships. I used to have a ratio in mind... four times the actual time spent... so... three months would be a year in a normal f2f relationship. Four years would be like sixteen years...and think how much people change over sixteen years...relationships wax and wane over that length of time.

When I've been cut from a site that I had lurkingly read for several years, I was sad. I have to admit, I enjoyed reading about the children that had been growing and the thoughts of the writer, even though I had never publicly commented, but I respect the author's decision to restrict the audience of his blog, I miss reading it.

I have enjoyed your comments on my blog, Barbara, and wouldn't think that anyone would object to your presence, but the world takes all kinds I suppose. It seems like the universe is peeling back people in your life that are not "net pluses". One way to reframe is that it leaves room for more positive and accepting friendships. We all deserve to have friends that are loving and positive.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

FL -- You are the best of the best! Let's see -- 54 years and counting, is that right?

Kelly -- You are infinitely wise when it comes to such topics. It all sounds so logical, but that doesn't keep my feelings from being hurt.

The irony is that in actuality nothing has changed in the Blog world. I can still read her Blog if I should choose to do so and she can read mine, albeit with a few more keystrokes to get there. The only change is that the world now has received the message that I am outside her circle of friends. This was a calculated and totally unnecessary hurt.

Personally I leave my links alone until I am fairly sure the person has quit Blogging or has no interest in my Blog any longer. I would never want to send a message of rejection to someone who was visiting my Blog with good intentions.

3:39 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

Are you talking about someone's personal blog, or more of a commercial blog run by an organization? If it's just someone's personal blog, I have to say, a lot of adults with blogs seem to regress to high school or even middle school behavior. Let's face it, blogging is often nothing more than obsessively self-centered graffiti. Do you really give a crap if someone throws you off their precious blog?

3:40 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

I may have misunderstood your post. I thought you meant you were banned from their blog. As for delinking, doesn't that usually happen because the person is no longer an active commenter? On the scale of things, it hardly ranks up there with suffering any kind of fate.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MC -- It was a personal Blog and I wasn't banned (as you can really only do with password protection), just uninvited.

I know this sounds like a disappointed 12-year-old who wasn't invited to someone's birthday party and maybe it's a girl thing, but I'm surprised to say this small but very deliberate action really hurt my feelings.

You guys just suck it up and move on when things like this happen, but girls tend to wallow in self-pity for at least a day or two before letting it go. That's just the way we are.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm sorry this happened, and that it has been hurtful. I can certainly understand how you'd feel that way. I can't pretend to understand the situation, only say that I'm sorry it's developed this way. :(

7:06 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- Thanks so much. This is one of those things that I will choose hard not to remember. I really don't have room for negative thoughts.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

An interesting counterpoint to this would be to post in full the five abusive emails you sent me during the last 24 hours of our friendship - it's tempting to put out there into the blogosphere all your viciousness - the blaming, shaming, insults, judgments and hatefulness.

But by doing that I would bring myself down to your level. What a person chooses to publish is a very accurate measure of character.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

In case anyone wants the whole sordid exchange, here it is:

Me: Why did you take me off your Blog Kin and Friends list?

Me: I think I'm losing my patience and my determination to make our friendship work. One day you say, "My relationship with you is too important to screw up again" and the next day you remove me from your link list. I simply can't comprehend that behavior. Maybe we are much more different than I ever thought.

You seem to have lost sight of the many ways you have hurt me over the course of the past 2 months, preferring to cling to your feelings of betrayal for which I have apologized multiple times. I want to be happy in my relationship with you and with all people. But my efforts at trying to make our friendship work seem to have failed miserably.

Me: Now I understand why people for the past week have been asking if you and I were doing OK -- multiple people, some of whom you don't even know. I reassured all of them that we were just fine, never realizing they knew something I didn't know. Sometimes it takes me a while...

Her: Please don't judge me. Nothing I've done in the last couple of months has been about hurting you. I have been trying to heal from what was a devastating experience for me. I know that for you it was no big deal. Let me say one more time: for me it was deeply hurtful. Some people heal quickly, others take more time.

Removing your blog from my list (something I did when I was very ill) has helped me let go of the fear I have that you're writing something awful about me again.

Me: It’s ironic that you conveyed a strong message through your Blog without having to write a post at all. Seems like the same thing you have been accusing me of. Am I wrong?

Her: I wouldn't say you're wrong. But it seems that you misunderstand every one of my motives. I removed your link from my list (along with several others) about two weeks ago.

Me: Believe me, removing me from your link list in no way inhibits what I might write. If you've noticed, I haven't written anything you wouldn't want to read since those 2 posts after you had hurt me so badly. You obviously know how to get to my Blog if you want to. In the future, you might want to recognize that having someone on your link list doesn't mean you ever have to click on that link. If that person is a regular reader and commenter, it is not such an obvious slight if you just leave an unused link in tact.

I can't imagine what else you might do to hurt me other than alienate our common friends from me. But if you stick to your non-gossip policy, that shouldn't happen.

Me: It seems you misunderstood my motives on the 2 posts in question as well. I guess we're even.

Me: I'm curious as to why you removed the others from your link list. Had they also done something to offend you and you were thereby punishing them? Or was it the more usual reason for removing someone, such as:

-- The person doesn't Blog any longer.
-- The person doesn't comment on your Blog any longer.

I still Blog every day, I read your Blog every day, and I often comment on what I read.

Let me get this straight -- Your motives are supposed to totally cancel out the pain I feel because of this and all the many other insults and offenses you have committed against me. Is that correct?

Maybe you haven't gotten the message about how deeply hurt I am and have been for the past two months. I have tried to put all that behind me, but you continue to offer me reasons to remember.

Me: I will NOT be publishing this post, but thought I would share it with you anyway.

[NOTE: I partially reneged on that statement, publishing the post above, a somewhat watered down version of this after receiving the final e-mail message officially closing the door.]

The Supreme Blogging Dis

I was somewhat surprised as I stared at my friend’s link list that I no longer found the name of my Blog. I looked again, but no, it was no longer there.

But perhaps I was even more surprised at my reaction, at how much this small act had affected me. I remember hearing another Blogger talk about her disappointment at being dropped from someone’s link list and thinking I was above such trivia, but apparently I am not.

It seemed reminiscent of the seventh grade at not being invited to the most popular girl’s birthday party. But the difference there was that I had never been that girl’s close friend.

I went over in my head the possible reasons I had ever used for dropping someone. They included things like the person no longer posting anything or the person no longer visiting my Blog. But never would I drop someone who was actively reading and writing.

So what does this action actually accomplish? It makes it slightly more difficult but not at all impossible for the person to access my Blog. More importantly, it says to the world, “Hey, this person is no longer considered one of my Blog Kin and Friends.”

Obviously people have noticed because all week I have been getting inquiries as to the status of my friendship with the dropper. In my state of ignorance, I have replied that we were doing just fine. One person said she had actually considered telling me when it happened a couple of weeks ago, but decided against it.

Just coming out of the High Holy Days, where I had hoped to clear the slate of problems with other people, I find that this one still remains. I have just about exhausted all my energy to fix it. I tried to be a good friend, but in the end the friendship was not sustainable.

Me: Sometimes my dreams are painfully honest. Here's the one I just had:

I was blithely writing away heartfelt comments in your Blog, not realizing you were standing behind me sniggering to your other commenters: "She doesn't know it, but she is no longer my friend. I waited until she thought we were on the road to recovery (inviting her to dinner or lunch) before pulling the rug out from under her. I wonder how long it will take her to figure it out?"

But then, this dream couldn't be true because you no longer gossip.

In reality, I guess you made it perfectly clear to anyone who was in doubt who the real aggressor was in our conflict. I didn't need to post a thing.

Her: I thought about it all night. This isn't working. It's time to abide by _____'s wisdom and let this go.

Be well, Barbara. Do not contact me again.

This is the last time I will mention anything to do with this conflict. It is officially over, although not resolved the way I wish it had been. And I am sorry.

9:44 AM  

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