To the Women Who Hurt Me:
I'm terrified to write this because I'm afraid that one of you might actually see it. But I want you to know that your actions made me cry for days. I sobbed. I lost so many friends because none of you could look past your lust for drama to see what was really going on. You couldn’t see that I was hurting deeply. You didn’t want to see it.
When I first joined that parenting forum, I didn’t realize how much time I would invest in anonymous friends. We bonded over shared parenting failures and triumphs, and I thought I had found “my people.”
We became friends outside of that forum, talking and texting daily. I relied on you heavily during my darkest depressions when I felt alone and unnoticed by my family and friends. You weren’t just people behind a screen. You were people I related to, and people about whom I truly cared.
It still hurts – thinking about the day that you all turned against me. You've spent so much time offering support and love to each other and you once helped me through some very difficult times. You listened to my new-mom freak outs and you comforted me as I struggled through postpartum depression. You helped me cope during my husband's hospitalization and you talked me through a panic attack.
I listened as you shared some of the deepest and most intimate details of your life, and I shared parts of my life that I couldn't bring myself to talk about with anyone in person. Little did I know that months later, you would those details as a way to gossip about me.
You called me dramatic. You called me annoying. You called me an attention whore. You said there must be something wrong with me. You picked apart my life and my marriage. You made me feel like a horrible mother – all because I needed a break from the group once I realized I was compromising my privacy by sharing so much with all of you. Because I did what was best for me and what was best for my family, you decided that I deserved to be ripped apart.
I truly hate to think that I might have ever unintentionally hurt a fellow human being the way that you hurt me. I think back on the two years I spent online and I hope I never caused someone the pain that you caused me.
I still think about you and hope that you're doing well. But I’m honestly glad that we are no longer friends. The true you came out that day; the you that attacks people who don’t fit into your group, the you that seeks drama at all costs, and the you that doesn’t care how your comments might affect someone else.
I have to say thank you, though. What you did made me a better person. It made me more compassionate and kinder. It made me look at situations from different perspectives. You made me realize that being gracious and caring, regardless of the situation, is always worth it. I just hope that someday you can come to that realization yourself.
It takes a village!
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