David Brider (davidbrider) wrote,
David Brider
davidbrider

This has been far too long coming.

Three years ago, somebody upset me very very badly, and now, three years on, it still hurts whenever I think of that person's unpleasantness towards me.

I'm not going to name names, but to briefly explain what happened:

It was summer 2007. The summer of Potter. I'd met the person in question - and okay, I'll be blunt, the person was female - at a party, and got to know her a little bit in the weeks running up to the Sectus convention. Unfortunately, whilst at the convention, I developed something of a crush on her, stuck with her for around half of the convention, and unfortunately upset her a bit by doing so on the Sunday morning, but on the other hand for most of the time we seemed to get on well - the Saturday evening at the ball was particularly enjoyable, ceilidhing and chatting about life, the universe, and Equus, and we parted company on the Sunday afternoon on what I thought were good terms, having confessed to having a crush on her - which seemed to clear the air between us, not to mention being a heck of a weight off my mind.

(Oh, and just to make one thing perfectly clear at this point: I'm a one-person guy, and that person is Sarah, and there's no way now, and never has been any way, that I'd ever cheat on her. Having a crush on someone doesn't change that.)

Back home and back to normality on the Monday evening, I decided to give her a call for a post-Sectus chat, but got through to her voice mail and left her a message.

On the Tuesday evening, having not heard back from her, I called her again. Got the voice mail again. Left a message again.

Later that evening, I was feeling at a particularly low ebb - it didn't help that Sarah was off to America on business for a few weeks, and I wasn't particularly looking forward to the enforced separation. So feeling the need of some company I texted a few friends asking if any of them wanted to chat, meet up, etc. This person was amongst those people. In hindsight, that may or may not have been a mistake.

The following Sunday evening, after rather a busy weekend and having had rather a busy weekend, I texted her again to ask her how she was.

The following Wednesday - i.e. a week and a half after the end of the convention - having still not heard from her in any way, shape, or form, and by now somewhat concerned for her wellbeing, I dropped her an email to see how she was doing.

To this she responded, saying (IIRC - unfortunately all of my emails from this period are on my, temporarily defunct, iMac) that she didn't really have the time to pursue new friendships and she'd appreciate it if I'd give her a bit of space. I thought that was a bit of a shame, but fair enough. I rattled off a quick "OK". I'd have been quite happy to have just left it that, but unfortunately it was not to be.

The next day (we're now on Thursday) she sent me another email; again I don't recall the exact wording, but amongst other things, she said interacting with me was bad for her state of mind/mental health; that she found some statements I'd made in comments left in other people's LJs to be offensive; that she considered my attempts to communicate with her to be borderline harassment; and that basically she'd like me out of her life. She removed me from he LJ and Facebook Friends' lists, and banned me from commenting on her LJ.

This, I must confess, left me rather reeling. Whilst it could be said that my communications with her had been a tad over-eager (particularly a 'phone message and a text on the same day), accusing me of harassment seemed rather strong, particularly as I'd had no reason to think she wouldn't have wanted to hear from me. I emailed her again (maybe a mistake, maybe not?) asking her exactly what the problem was, and apologising for any unintended upset I'd caused her, and she replied saying that if I didn't know what the problem was, I never would, or words to that effect.

Our paths crossed again a couple of weeks later at a screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the IMAX cinema in London. I deliberately avoided too much direct communication with her, not wishing to exacerbate matters, but when we did exchange words they seemed reasonably friendly, and encouraged by that I emailed her again, hoping that the earlier stuff could be forgiven and forgotten. However, it wasn't to be - in her reply she explained that she was being civil because she didn't want to create any sort of public scene, but she certainly wasn't being friendly; she didn't even consider me to have ever been a friend (which particularly stung - we may not have got to know each other particularly well, but we'd certainly been on good terms. Indeed, checking back I found it was her who'd added me on Facebook. Strange behaviour towards someone you don't think of as a friend...).

I can't remember exactly how things panned out after that. I know that at some point I sent her a text, apologising repeatedly for having caused her any upset. That backfired - over the following few days, at least two mutual friends removed me from their LJ lists, and also followed suit with the whole banning me from commenting thing. I've no idea what she'd been saying about to me to other folks, but it obviously didn't portray me in the most favourable light.

I know that, in the couple of months or so following Sectus, I penned a couple of letters to her which remained unsent, just to get my head straight about what had happened. I guess knowing they wouldn't be sent made it easier to say stuff that I wouldn't otherwise have said. Other than that, I don't honestly recall sending her any other email or text that I haven't already mentioned (although in fairness, a lot of what happened during that period I've quite deliberately tried to forget). I know that one day in mid-September, I was composing a draft of an email (this may have been in the immediate aftermath of the text I mentioned in the preceding paragraph), when I received an email from her saying, pretty much, to leave her and her friends alone, and if I made any other attempted to communicate with her she'd contact the police and do me for harassment.

There ends the bulk of the story. We met (or at least were in the same physical space) on one more occasion, a T00by pre-Christmas gathering that December, but there was no contact between us. And I'll admit, I emailed her occasionally - on subsequent Christmasses, mainly, in the vague hope that the season of goodwill could be an opportunity to forgive and forget. I can only assume that she's set her mailbox to automatically delete my emails, as I've had no police at the door charging me with harassment.

If I'm honest, I no longer hold any realistic hope of the two of us ever being friends again, if indeed we ever were. But I find her reactions towards me to be confusing and unpleasant. I may well have upset her - but if I did, it was entirely accidental, and I've apologised repeatedly. She, on the other hand, upset me deliberately, as far as I can tell, and I can only describe her words and actions as spiteful and malicious. I'd love for her to forgive me for upsetting her, and to apologise for hurting me. I doubt it will ever happen.

Trouble is, I'm not very good at dealing with my emotions. I've sat on this for three years now, and it's just festered and caused me a lot of unhappiness. I feel a heck of a lot better for just getting it off my chest like this. Bearing in mind that this all started at around the time I was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Citalopram - I can't help but feel that it hasn't actually helped my depression over the years. It's not unlike the situation with Jane, my ex-wife. If we'd parted company on good terms (like I said, that first email would have been an ideal point of closure) I'd have been able to cope a lot better. But because she then chose to extend it with animosity and nastiness towards me, whilst simultaneously cutting off any means by which I could communicate with her, that's left a lot of stuff unresolved. I'm a big fan of closure. Sarah keeps pointing out to me that in the real world, we don't always get closure. That doesn't help.

So in the absence of real closure, I've just let it fester, and haven't had any real way of dealing with the situation. But I've decided that that's not a good position to be in. If it's exacerbating my depression, then I've got to do something. Just talking about this publicly for the first time in three years is, I hope, going to help. Bottom line is, the way she treated me was just not acceptable. End of. I wouldn't treat my worst enemy like that. Not that I have a worst enemy. But you know what I mean.

FWIW, I'm aware that there are some people on my Flist who know the person in question (and as it's a public post, anyone can actually read it). It shouldn't be too difficult to put two and two together and work out who I'm talking about. I'd be very interested to know what her side of events was, and what she's said about me (I imagine a lot of it was none too flattering). If you'd like to forward on my best wishes to her, and tell her that as far as I'm concerned, I'm open to any communication from her (although an apology certainly wouldn't go amiss...), that would certainly be appreciated. If anyone fancies doing a bit of peace brokering between us, that also would be good; I'm not sure it would necessarily achieve anything at this late remove, but who knows? Anyway, any mutual friends, your next move is entirely up to you. If you want to defriend me, consider this a defriending amnesty. I'll be disappointed, but I'll understand.
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