Saturday, November 3, 2012

Not my finest hour...

I did something, you guys.  Something bad. 

Do you remember the post where I ranted about a relative who puts weird pics of himself on facebook all the time?

If that relative were in a Bond film, his character's name would be Creepy Galore, but let's call him Jason in this post, since that's a bit more respectful.  'Jason' is also nowhere close to his actual name, so his anonymity and my butt are both covered. 

Please understand me- when I say he's creepy, I mean the serious, disturbing kind of creepy, not the cute, haha-that-guy's-so-weird-but-it's-funny, kind of creepy.  Christina can vouch for me (Right, Chris?) -she's seen a few pictures.  In addition to all the I'm-too-sexy photos he posts of himself (and they really are always of himself...  Taken by him, of him- he's never standing with a group of friends.  Or a single friend), he's always going off on these really strange rants on fb that make absolutely no sense.  He also will post stuff on his wall, then comment on his own status 10-15 times, even though no one else has commented.  And if you do dare to leave a comment that even remotely disagrees with or challenges his wacky views, God help you.  He'll become offended and unload on you. 

And... well, that's probably all the more detail I should provide.  I will say he's never broken any laws that I know of, and I have no concrete proof that he is anything other than misguided and kooky, but I don't trust or like this man very much at all.  We'll just say that my dislike for this him has only grown stronger with each year I've known him, and leave it with that.

So, there's the back story, okay?  Everything you need to know about him, before I...  No, wait.  Here's one more little detail:  He's slow.  As in, mentally.  Not eating-the-paste slow, just slow enough that you would see something's a little off.  I know there are better terms than slow, but let's not turn this into a discussion of pc terminology right now.  I don't know what the proper term is for his specific disability or condition, so we're going to settle for 'slow,' okay?  He's slow enough that it causes you to wonder...  Is all the weird crap because he just doesn't know any better and is unable to determine what is socially/morally appropriate, or is it because he's truly disturbed and bordering on crazy?  Is it a combo of both?  I dunno.  But the dude is off.

So...  I was saying I did something.  Let's get to it.  About a month ago, something happened that upset Jason quite a bit.  Initially, he had an understandable reason for being upset, due to a misunderstanding; a case of mistaken identity, really.  He felt picked on, but he was mistaken about who was doing the picking and who the intended "pickee" was supposed to be.  The basic gist of the thing is this: Someone in the family was playing what they thought was a harmless, funny joke on my kid, and Jason was pulled into it.  The problem?  He didn't realize he was part of a joke.  He took the situation seriously (and I want to make clear that the joke wasn't meant to be a mean one- there were no cruel intentions, only stupid, short-sighted ones.  Unfortunately, the jokester didn't realize that involving a person with Jason's intellectual shortcomings in any joke sort of automatically makes it mean.  It was a misguided attempt to be funny, involving the wrong guy, and it turned into this big, overblown, ridiculous Thing that was, unfortunately dumped in my kid's lap). 

Since Jason did not understand that he was part of a "joke," he became upset and said some weird, jerky, hostile-ish things (in a facebook message) to my kid.  I stepped in (feeling nervous that my child was even on Jason's radar) and tried to clear up the misunderstanding and stick up for my child a little- who really was an innocent bystander in the whole thing, with no idea what Jason was even ranting about at first, and was therefore pretty freaked out by his message.  Since Jason is in his twenties and my kid is barely into his teens, I felt it was appropriate to step in on his behalf.  I told Jason the whole thing was a joke played on both him and my kid and tried to explain all the details of the whole mess as clearly as I could.  But Jason continued to rant weird and insulting nonsense.  So much so, that when I first read his responses to my explanation (alone in the dark in the middle of the night), they felt mildly threatening to me.  His word choices seemed a little too aggressive and more ominous than the situation called for. 

So I became afraid.

I do not especially like feeling afraid, in case you couldn't just deduce that on your own.  Or threatened.  Even mildly.

Feeling afraid kinda makes me mad.

And, although you probably can't imagine this, I'm not as much fun when I'm mad.

So what did I do, alone there in the dark, with my angry, fear-filled fingers flexing over my keyboard?  Did I push the fear aside to give reason and intellect a chance to guide my thoughts and words?  Did I try to determine whether or not Jason had the rational capacity to understand the "clear" explanation I tried to provide?  Did I remind myself that he's probably had a lifetime of being picked on, due to his intellectual abilities and is possibly a little defensive?  Did I pray about it and ask for guidance before I acted?

Did I at least pause for just a second? 

No.  Not quite.

I let that fear enter in and fill me completely.  I began seeing visions of creepy adults lurking outside waiting for my kid and me.  Jason's face became the face of Heath Ledger as the Joker in my mind (which is not too far out in left field, since Jason has posted sinister, Joker-ish looking photos of himself).

In my distorted little vision of the future, Jason's threats were real; he intended to harm us.  Now, keep in mind- he did not actually threaten me.  Or my kid.  In any way.  My late-night perceptions were colored by every single negative thought I've ever had about Jason.  The threat was only a perceived one- in the head of a lunatic fat chick.  Hey, that rhymes.  Luna-TIC, fat CHICK.  Catchy.   

Anyhoosie...  Fear was having so much fun skipping around in my head that he invited his friend, Impulse, to join him and together, they did a little dance upon my fingers as they hovered over my keyboard.  They tapped out quite the b**chy little response to Jason.  Yessiree, they did.

Because I was afraid, I allowed myself to say almost everything I've ever thought about Jason... to Jason.  Well, except for the weirdo pictures...  I didn't mention the pictures.  But I told him how creepy, paranoid and crazy I think he is.  Over and over, in fact.  I told him how deeply I believe he needs help and I hope he gets it (but, you know... not in the kind, "I'm concerned about you" way, but the sarcastic, high and mighty, "you're a loser" way).  I told him it would be best if he didn't speak to my kid again and I'd also be just fine if he never spoke to me again, either... 

The lovely, sentiments I expressed may have been truthful (in my own mind, anyway), and in that moment, they were deeply, sincerely felt.  But?  They were wildly, grossly, horribly incommensurate to his original comments to me.  Something akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water, then running over the baby with the car afterwards, just for good measure. 

I ripped into a person who is probably only a hop, skip and jump above being legally declared retarded.  I ripped and I ripped... And then I ripped some more.  People go to Hell for such things, do they not?

My kid read my message to Jason (after it was sent) (and he read it because the whole conversation took place on his fb wall, not because I was so proud of it I wanted to share it) and he said, "Wow, Mom...  That's...  Just...  You were sooo mean to him.  Why did you say that?  His message was weird, but yours was...  You just...  You waaaay overreacted, Mom.  You took it way too far."

Well, great.  Nothing like making your kid proud, huh?  He looked at me like I was the playground bully who pushed the nerdy fat kid off the swings and into the mud.

Then?  To make it soooo much worse?  I didn't even have the grapes to speak to Jason on the phone to attempt patching things up.  My husband did that. 

So, what do you think, guys?  Am I a horrible, Hell-bound heathen?  Am I a gutless wonder/pansy/candya** for not talking to him directly after throwing such a fit?  I mean, he is family (on the hub's side- not mine, but still...).  Should I have apologized? 

Yeah.  I should have apologized.

I don't believe I was wrong to be upset by what Jason said to my son or to me.  I don't feel guilty for having suspicions and "concerns" about Jason.  I know I'm not wrong to feel apprehensive and distrustful- maybe even a little afraid, especially as he relates to my kids.  Cuz the dude is just. not. right.  I think I have valid reasons not to like him.

So... Why do I feel so awful? 


Kate Gj. said...

Well, because I know you in real life, I know your heart. And what a good one it is. I think momma bear just kicked in and your initial instincts took over. Why you feel so awful is because you are a good person and you don't like that you hurt someone (no matter how creepy he is) and that your kids saw it.

I honestly think it might eat at you for a while (again because I know your heart) and as tough as it might be I think it might be good to consider calling or sending a note that offers an apology. I think you'll feel better afterwards and shows T (I'm assuming it's that son) how we all make mistakes and say things that we don't feel good about but that we can try to make things right by talking about it.

Guilt and feeling bad is powerful and super unhealthy and I think will not work well with your fibro (to me our mental health and physical health go hand in hand.)

(I can't lie, I'm really wishing I could have read the whole conversation. It sounds entertaining). :)

Don't beat yourself up. I don't think a pass to Hell is that easy. You've got that part covered with your politics (sorry, couldn't resist.) :)

Love you!!!

Michelle said...

Ha! I adore you, Kate! Thanks for the encouraging words (except, you know, for that last part).

necessarygrace said...

Yep, I can verify the photos were creepy. And if that dude was posting even semi-threatening stuff on my son's FB wall, I'd be creeped. And upset. And probably start ranting. I can even imagine how my heart would pound as I started typing my rant out. So I can absolutely imagine and understand how and why you did what you did.
That said... Did you delete it off the wall? (I'm pretty sure you can) Even if he's read it, it would be good to delete it so people can't keep going there and reading it. And yes, you should probably apologize to him. I understand your reluctance, given that it may one day turn out he's a serial killer, but it doesn't hurt to seek peace. That said, I'd also suggest your son either unfriend or hide him, so that sort of thing can't happen again.
Sorry your family got sucked into the whole mess - hope the original "trickster" learned a lesson too.

ps... hope things are okay with the hubs as well?