Monday, April 13, 2009

A Message a Long Time Coming

So any of you who have read this blog for at least a few months know of my emotional angst over my childhood tormentors locating me on Facebook. I made the mistake of asking Annie's older brother - a truly nice guy - her whereabouts (I know, I will admit it - honestly hoping she was a boozing homeless woman somewhere. I am glad to hear this is not the case, though). Her brother told Annie about my inquiry and took this to mean I would now like to be her friend. Wrong assumption.

The contact I have long dreaded was made yeasterday - Easter of all days. Jodi M. I will let my reply to her "Friend Request" speak for itself. This is the actual message I sent her. By hitting the send button, I think I am finally free of the demons. Or at lest starting to be...

Jodi -

You have got to be kidding me. Do you have any idea how much in therapy you, Erin and Annie have cost me over the years? You three made a sport out of making my life absolutely miserable for at least three years, and I hope it gave you at least as much pleasure as it did me pain.

It has been over 20 years now, so I suppose I should let it go. And I think I can actually say that with this e-mail and the ability to say my peace as an adult, I will. You three - and I have always thought of you as the ringleader - changed me profoundly, for better or worse. I'm still not sure, twenty years later, whether to thank you for that or not.

I am many things these days - a busy mom to a three-and-a-half year-old boy, a happy wife and what I consider to be a successful woman. What I am not, and can't imagine how you figure I could be, is your friend.

I wish you no harm. In fact, I wish you well. I also wish you, Annie and Erin would just leave me alone.

Chris Zimmer

3 comments:

Bass Is Life said...

Chris

While my experience differs from yours, I can certainly understand your emotion on this. In high school, I had a close friend. We played in bands together, hung out together. I considered him my best friend. At the same time, I was dating a girl for about a year. She was really my first love. And then one night I had a party - a backyard kegger. He was there, as was my girlfriend and a bunch of other people. At one point, I was looking around for my girlfriend and couldn't find her, so I took a walk to the front of the house. There he was making out with my girlfriend, her pinned to the hood of my car. Needless to say, he was no longer my best friend. I didn't speak to him after that.

This was probably 28 years ago. He recently friended me on FB and I accepted it with trepidation. Last week he sent me a note, saying that I had a part in who he is today. I wasn't sure how to respond to this. 28 years had passed. The girl is now just a couple of pictures jammed into a box in the basement somewhere. And yet, my anger returned. I did eventually answer him, in a civil but not terribly personal matter.

It's interesting. We all go through these things that make us who we are. Maybe I should thank him. Who knows what would be different about me if he hadn't betrayed my friendship in that manner. And yet, those old feelings returned in an instant, just by seeing his name in my inbox.

Maybe it is closure that is needed. The girl and I continued our relationship, eventually going our separate ways as people who aren't meant to be together do. We remained friendly for a while, but eventually that friendship was no longer necessary for either of us. But he and I never had closure. And we likely never will.

I hope this brings you some amount of closure.

-tom

smarmygal said...

Tom -

Thank you for sharing your own story. This most certainly gave me the closure I have been searching for.

Ironically, my mom and I were just discussing this exact person yesterday afternoon. I was telling her that there was really nothing left for me to do, as I didn't want to contact Jodi and pick a fight and, I believe, Jodi will have to answer to a higher power one day anyway. This was almost a gift. The only thing left I COULD do - Jodi presented me with an opportunity to tell her how I felt in a mature way.

I guess I should have thanked her. But, you know, htere is still the teeniest piece of that 12 year old somewhere in me ;)

Thanks again, Tom!

Jenny Penny said...

So, I just saw this blog entry last night, and I felt like standing up and applauding after I read it. I don't know why. It might have something to do with the burgeoning girl politics I'm already seeing in Elizabeth's school life. It might have to do with a sense of justice about it. It might have to do with how much I just love it when people tell the truth, say it like it is. At any rate, I have to ask: Did she happen to write a message to accompany her friend request? How weird to just try to friend someone you tormented, without so much as a "You need not accept this request, but I hope you'll accept my apologies for the miserable way I behaved as a kid." Minimum!