I got sucker punched by social media this morning.
I guess, more specifically, I was sucker punched by something—someone—from my past. But without social media, it might not have hit me so hard and taken my breath away like it did.
And I’m kind of wishing right now that this particular piece of my past had just stayed in my frickin’ past.
Usually, it’s those memory reminders that pop up in Facebook and make me a little nostalgic. Like when that memory of my son popped up of when he was only two years old and running circles around the kitchen with a bucket on his head. That video memory made me laugh and cry at the same time.
Sometimes we get lucky and they’re fun memories—and I get to remember the special evening that I spent with my best girlfriends in the city, going out to dinner and seeing Elizabeth Gilbert speak.
But this time was neither of those. This time, it wasn’t one of those “On this Day” memories at all. It was just a stupid, jerkface reminder of someone who decided that they didn’t want me in their life anymore.
And I have been in a funk all day because of it.
Now, usually, I can handle it when things like this come up. I remind myself that it’s their loss, because I can be kind of fun to have around. Or I remind myself that any rejection is the universe’s protection—a saying that often rings true with me.
For example, when I don’t get the job I want, I always know, without a doubt, that it’s because we either wouldn’t have been a good fit, or there is something better coming along. Or in this case, maybe this person wouldn’t have been good for me to have in my life anymore.
But this morning, all I felt was the stinging rejection.
And that sh*t hurts, no matter what their reason was.
It’s not an ego thing either…I checked in with that bitch because she and I have been having issues lately. And thankfully, this time, it has nothing to do with her.
Instead, it’s about realizing that I had this person in my life who made things a little more fun…but me and my sh*t show were apparently something they didn’t want in their life anymore.
And I hate that it still hurts.
Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt all the time. Usually, I can look in the mirror, straight into my eyes, see the loving soul in there, and wonder how this person could not want me in their life. Truly. I usually have trouble understanding it. Because I know how big my heart is and how deeply I love and care for the people in my life.
But this morning? Sucker punch, all the way.
It was like I put all my buttons on display and at the ready—and every single one of them got pushed. And pushed again. And then once again, just for good measure. (In fact, I think that “good enough” button was pushed over and over again in rapid succession…like a little boy trying to kill the zombie in a video game.)
How do we protect ourselves from that unexpected pain of surprise sucky memories popping up when we least expect it? Or can we?
Yes, I could get off social media, but I need to be on it for my job. Plus, I love it. Because Facebook. And connecting. Aside from the surprise sucky memories, I mean.
But the nice thing that happens when my buttons get pushed like this, is that I start to get curious.
Not right away. Because I have absolutely wallowed in my sad, little pity-party-for-one for almost 12 hours now.
But now, after processing a little, I can get curious and wonder why this is coming up for me in such a big way today.
I could wonder forever if this person and I are actually done in each other’s lives or not, but that’s not going to get me anywhere.
So, when I feel pain like this, I feel the urge to dig deeper. I want to know what the lesson is—what the heck is this hurt trying to teach me?
Is it that I really haven’t allowed myself to grieve this relationship? Or that, no matter how much or how little I understand why they did it, maybe I haven’t allowed myself to truly feel all the pain their rejection caused?
Or…was it just a little sign from the universe that I need to move on, once and for all?
No more wondering. No more guessing. No more hypothesizing.
Just move. The f*ck. On. For the love of God.
I wish I knew what this lesson was.
What I have realized after experiencing this is that I don’t think I’ve ever been ditched like that. In any way—romantically, or by a friend. Let alone in such a hurtful way.
But I certainly never expected it to happen at this stage of my life.
By someone I’ve known for so many years.
Someone I trusted implicitly. Someone who I never—in a million years—thought would hurt me.
So, even though I can’t bail from social media, I will still keep looking for the lesson.
Because I know there is one. Even if I don’t end up learning what it is for years.
And in the meantime, I will be comforted by my nine-year-old boy, who held my hand all the way home from school today.
For no other reason than perhaps he knew his mommy needed it today.
“Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.” ~ Mark Amend
Author: Christy Williams
Editor: Travis May