I’ve spoken on this blog, and with one of my closest friends, about how we never know a person’s back story. This holds especially true on the internet. We only get glimpses of people. I believe I approach my blog and Twitter with a great deal of candor, yet there are still chunks of my life that are private due in part to people’s ability to be cruel. One thing holds true, especially in the social media age – great anger stems from great pain.
It had me thinking of my own circumstances. My mother basically spent my senior year of high school dying before my very eyes. My friends were at football games, prom and the mall. My life was about home health nurses and hospital visits. Once I was older, I went through a rather tumultuous divorce. A few years after that, I lost everything I’d ever known. Knowing that type of hurt and pain still did not give me carte blanche to punish others.
I’ll call a spade a spade here: many people go to the internet, and specifically look for a site or persona that gets their goat and wait for the opportunity to pounce on something. Have you ever seen the comments on Youtube? Their are people that will take time out of their day to watch the video of an artist that they hate, only to rip him or her to shreds. Because Justin Bieber is an easier target than, say addressing their mother’s harsh criticism of their life choices, a bad relationship or just generalized loneliness.
I’m not exempt. There are times where I am more critical or acerbic than is warranted, and I have to check myself and address the real issue. I’m a human being that hurts like anyone else, and I don’t always deal with it properly. Thankfully, even when I don’t have the ability to see when the ugliness is escaping, my friends and family will check me. I have two Shauns in my life (one is a blood sister, the other, as good as one) and both of them have this hilarious way of saying, “WHAT is your problem?” It makes me get myself together, or at least share with them and lighten my burden.
I’m not saying that when you are going through pain, you should “smile, though your heart is breaking.” Feel what you feel. Share those feelings in a safe space. However, we don’t have the right to use our own personal misery as a projectile weapon. Hard times don’t give you the right to be rancid. If I consider you friend, my door, arms, ears, email, phone and IM window are as good as yours. If you feel you can’t talk it out, back off from people briefly. Not in isolation, but take a few quiet moments with your own thoughts to better help you articulate your pain. Read a book. Take a walk. Don’t be one of “those” people. It’s ugly, and it looks ugly on you. “Hurt people, hurt people.” G’on and get you some healing.