I am not having a happy holiday season. I got sick with what appeared to be a cold on December 6th. It’s the 20th, and I am still not better. I had a glimmer of hope when my doctor agreed to call in an antibiotic prescription. I gave the medical assistant the pharmacy’s number, but she never called it in. You can’t get it touch with anyone or leave messages, so the best I can hope for is to get help on Monday. If I don’t, I will likely be sick for Christmas Eve, Christmas, my birthday, and maybe even NYE.
Earlier today, during an online conversation about health care, where I attempted to humanise the benefits the ACA has for those the insurance companies refuse to help, despite medical need, by telling my very personal story—someone wrote, “Alayna seems to get her fair share of partying in, so she must be OK.”
When I elaborated on my story and said it was wrong to judge people based on photographs put up on Facebook, I started to be accused of being a drunk, and was told that I was ill because of my own bad choices (completely false.). The person painted me as a crazy, liberal alcoholic, and when I mentioned that the friend whose page this discussion was on warned me that this person was a troll who didn’t like liberals, I then got yelled at for repeating something someone said in private. Because it’s OK to think those things about someone, to warn your friends about them, but not to say it out loud or defend other friends who are being maligned. This friend said “He didn’t want to get involved” in the conversation.
Sadly, those who don’t like you enough to get involved..well, they just don’t like you enough, and that’s that. In my world, when someone is being mistreated, you say something. It’s amazing, the number of people who choose to look the other way, or call out those who are being bullied…rather than those who are doing the bullying.
Words hurt, and I cried a lot. Just once, I’d like to talk with people who are on my wavelength, respect my intelligence, and don’t result to personal attacks. When I lived in NYC, I was the kind of girl with a lot of guy friends…and some of them got into fights defending my honour. It’s been a long time since someone has come along and said “Alayna is an awesome person, and you have no right to say those things about someone you don’t know”. Honestly, I miss that.
Two weeks ago, there was another internet debate where people were rough on me, and there was no one to stand up for me. It feels incredibly lonely.
I read an interesting article recently about sociopaths, empaths, and apaths. The premise is that, even in logical arguments, empaths (about 30% of the population) tend to get bullied by those with sociopathic tendencies (according to the article, about 20% of the population) because they refuse to keep quiet when they feel someone is being treated unfairly.
Most of the world falls into the “apath” category, people who don’t want to get involved, who want everything to be peaceful, and want to avoid negativity. So, it’s hard to see people just lashing out at you and judging you, and knowing there’s nobody who is going to vocally say “Making those statements about a friend isn’t cool for anyone to do”. is very hard. If you noticed, your friends made judgments about me and my personal life long after I’d left the conversation. I had no more to say…they are the ones who felt entitled to judge me. I didn’t make personal remarks about their lifestyle or their choices. It hurts when you realise people inherently don’t care whether you are sick or well, alive or dead, after you had the guts to put yourself out there and be honest and vulnerable.
The last thing I need is to feel there’s one more person whom I’ve met that doesn’t give a crap if I am alive or not, and will think, “Well, it’s her own fault.” That’s exactly how I feel right now. Words hurt people greatly.
Now even The Guy I Am Currently Dating is yelling at me and speaking to me in a voice that suggests everything I say is wrong or annoying. From the moment he got here, he kept talking to me in this very hurtful voice that said “I’m tired and you’re annoying.” When someone is crying and hurt because of a bad day and a lot of disappointment, the last thing they need is more reminders of how lonely life can be when you’re almost middle-aged, broke, and single. So, screw December. I’ve spent most of my time alone wrapping presents and mailing Xmas cards with thoughtful messages and trying to be a thoughtful person. I’ve missed two weeks of fun stuff that I planned for those around me, and nobody has hugged me or come anywhere near me during that time. My Xmas trees both have burned out lights. The only time I’ve heard from my family is that my uncle has cancer, and my mother wants to talk to me from the nursing home, but she’s deaf. My friends are too busy to return something as basic as “hello” once I’m not really needed anymore, leading me to realise I only like people who find me disposable. I think this might be the loneliest I’ve ever felt, but talking about it just gets me yelled at and asking for the physical proximity of another person I’ve dated for 5 years gets an angry, “Fine, I’ll just get it over with and get sick.” I feel so amazingly loved and cherished. I guess when you’re not married, “In sickness and in health” becomes “In sickness, as long as I can stay far away from you that you don’t get me or my mother sick.”
I did my part for a happy holiday season, but it seems incredibly one-sided. Wake me up when it’s 2014 and I can figure out what to do with my life and how to be one of those sweet, pretty girls everyone just loves and wants to be around and how to find one of those relationships where someone totally wants to live together after a year because you’re that freaking awesome and not disposable in any way. I have concluded those girls have it much, much easier. I have never, ever been one of those girls. I look at them, and so many of them are plain, ordinary, kind of unexceptional, uncomplicated women…and yet, people love them because they are so “nice”, and they don’t end up with people in relationships that are going nowhere for years and years, because when you’re that adorable nobody wants to let you go. (Meanwhile, I spent 2 years with a guy who was planning how our relationship would work when he met the right girl and got married, 2 years with another who told me I wasn’t witty and after 2 hours, the veneer of charm that makes people like me wears thing, and 5 years with a guy whose mother lives with him and enjoys saying the most hurtful things to me possible, like pointing out that we’ll never live together or get married because he just “settled” for me–and so far, I haven’t seen indications to the contrary.)
One day, I will be so fucking sweet and adorable and unopinionated that you just can’t stand it. I will, of course, discontinue expressing all my feelings and modestly avoid attention in a ladylike way that is approved of by all.
It’s obviously just not today.