Last night I spent my first Friday night in months sober. I woke up early feeling wonderful and if it hadn’t been for the fact that some of our water pipes had frozen this would have been a perfect morning but even the frozen pipes aren’t going to get me down right now. Over the last 6 months my drinking had intensified to the point where I was pretty much drunk every weekend including Sundays which naturally makes for a hell of a day on Monday. I always try not to drink on work nights but Sundays just drag, they are so boring. I think thought when (and if) I go back to drinking I am going to exclude Sundays (unless I’m off on Monday).
It’s not like drinking too much is new to me but I feel like my drinking has escalated to a point where I question my ability to stop. The problem is I like drinking and despite the fact that I am not drinking at the moment I can’t say for sure “yet” that I have determined that I will never drink again. This “New Year” resolution of stopping the alcohol (unless I’m attending an event) has become an annual ritual and every year (this being my 4th iteration) I stop drinking. I have quit in the past for many months and won’t even drink at events despite ribbing from my friends telling me stuff like “The mail has come, it’s an EVENT!” or “The sun is shining, its and EVENT!” as they try to encourage me to imbibe. Some would question friends that would purposely encourage a person to break their resolution but I don’t really believe that anyone I know is a true friend. I have found that most people are two face liars that can’t be trusted, but I digress.
Regardless of people urging me to go against my resolve and principles I persisted and didn’t drink until I felt like I was ready to drink. This year (prior to realizing that I truly do have a problem – See “Bottom“) I had planned to stop drinking as I usually do but knew that I would start again on February 15 when I go on my cruise with my new husband and a friend (okay may there is one person I consider a friend, but I believe that even he talks about me when I’m not around, but he’s the closest thing to a real friend one can have). So despite knowing that I want to and need to quit (probably forever BUT I’M NOT SAYING THAT YET) I just can’t say what’s going to happen on that cruise. Who knows I may just jump overboard and be done with everything. Except that seems like a scary way to die.
I was off for nine days over the holiday season and I got drunk every single night while I was off and instead of returning to work feeling refreshed and healthy I returned my first day suffering anxiety and angst. My first day back at work I was miserable (and what’s ironic about the misery I was feeling was that I had already determined to quit drinking two days prior to the New Year). But I think that the misery I was feeling went beyond just the drinking but was also due to the sorrow I was feeling for a drunken reaction to a friends criticism of one of my Facebook postings. (No, not Rasputin whom I wrote about in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner“, sober or drunk Rasputin proved to be a person that I do not want to get to know, a total jerk, despite my initial positive feelings about him he has judged and tried me without knowing me so I will return the favor.) I am talking about Elbe, a lesbian who I thought was a dear friend. Again my perception of what a friend is continues to be true, two face liars that can’t be trusted.
I met Elbe through the social group I have mentioned in previous posts and despite being a loud, forceful and intimidating personality I liked her. I will go beyond that and say I adored her and she and I and her partner and my partner were on our way to forming a wonderful friendship that I felt would last for years but one night after (I don’t know 6-8 vodkas) I reacted to her 2nd public criticism of me in a way that is out of character for me (at least when sober). It’s sad that this happened but I think that if what happened helps to bring me out of the foggy world of inebriation then perhaps the loss of this friend was a good thing.
Several weeks back I was online and I saw a strange posting from a man saying “I think I might be pregnant”. Okay an odd thing for a man to say but what the heck. I ignored it as I really couldn’t think of a funny way to respond. Then later that day I saw another post from a friend saying “I quit my job”. This one surprised me, I was shocked that this lady would quit her job and saw that by the responses she received I wasn’t the only one that was shocked. After a long list of responses she said “This is a joke”. Okay an odd sense of humor, I didn’t get what was funny about it, but whatever. I ignored it.
The next day I came home from work and there was another odd posting, this one from my former boss, a woman whom I have an unbelievable amount of respect, an executive type, very classy, a hard worker, health fanatic who always eats the right things. Her posting read “I slipped in vomit at McDonald’s”. People responded “What were YOU doing in McDonald’s” and other similar responses because of her health habits McDonalds is someplace she would never custom. I responded “Yuck” resulting in a private message from her that read “This is a joke, by responding you need to post one of the following to fool your friends…” and there was a long list that read everything from “I think I might be pregnant”, “I quit my job” and “I slipped in vomit in McDonald’s” among others. Now I understood why I had been seeing all these weird postings from people lately.
Okay, this wasn’t my “favorite” games/pranks/jokes, whatever you want to call it but I thought I’d play along, especially since someone so honorable and respectable as my former boss had participated. As a matter of fact she told me later that her boss, a CEO of a huge corporation posted the same thing that I was about to post, the posting that led to the first attack on my from Elbe.
One of the options was “Where can I find used sex toys”. Almost everyone that responded did so humorously, they thought the comment was funny and I couldn’t wait to get them with the same instant message my former boss had sent me telling them they were caught in a joke and would have to post from the options. I assumed those people who didn’t like it ignored it. Elbe, however chose not to ignore it and posted “This is disgusting”. Okay I was really good friends with Elbe so I assumed she was kidding and even if she did find it disgusting she made her point. So I did as the game required and since she responded I sent her a personal message…”This is a joke, by responding you need to post one of the following to fool your friends…” To which she responded back by private message that she didn’t like the game and wouldn’t play. Okay. DONE right? NOPE… she then chose to publicly embarrass me by going to my original posting of the game, the same one that had been posted by several people over the last few days and instead of making a broad statement about all the people who were playing she told me again that this was disgusting, that no one liked the game and that I should be ashamed of myself for playing such a game that had no business being on Facebook. Instead of letting it go she chose to publicly berate me personally and really hurt my feelings. What was really stupid is that other people, including other friends of hers were playing the same game the very next day but do you think she responded to them in the way she responded to me? NOPE. Again, another person to whom I’m nice and cared about simply found it so easy to ATTACK ME! EMBARRASS ME! MAKE ME OUT A FOOL! I was PISSED… but I let it go.
My feelings were so hurt, but I didn’t say anything, I just felt betrayed by this friend who could have just let it go but instead decided to be mean and publicly admonish and punish me for participating in a joke that its seemed half the Facebook world was playing. I just deleted the posting that said “Where can I find used sex toys”. I was sure this would satisfy my friend Elbe.
After I deleted the post my former boss who had got me on the joke asked me about the response I got from people, particularly from Elbe and I told her that I had been reprimanded by someone I thought of as a friend so I deleted it. She told me that she too was planning on deleting her “Vomit” post because she didn’t like all the responses she was getting, although none were as severe as the response I got. She told me what was really ironic is that her boss, the head of a large international corporation had posted the same thing I had posted, the “Where can I find used sex toys”. So Elbe had successfully made me feel ashamed for participating in a game that hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world were playing as if I had created the game.
I wrote about this at in my blog post “Waning Traditions…” which was totally inspired by Elbe’s attack on me. Further I was so hurt I canceled a dinner that we had planned with Elbe and her partner and another couple. I was so depressed by Elbe’s making me feel bad that I actually told my partner I can’t do anything right and to just take down our Christmas tree (I know, I was being overly dramatic, another negative trait about me, I have SO MANY) I told him that I had lost whatever little Christmas spirit I was starting to acquire. (Now mind you I tend to go over the deep end, especially when publicly embarrassed of attacked) so I even told my partner to let his sister know that I would not be attending her Christmas brunch for me my Christmas was over thanks to Elbe’s reaction to a Facebook post. YES… I did feel this way. I remember my cheeks burning with embarrassment. Elbe had no idea how her berating me in front of all my friends had hurt my feelings.
Again maybe its my personality that is weak or maybe I am so evil I deserve to be attacked by people I thought liked me or someone whom I had liked (See “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?“). For some reason no matter how hard I try, no matter what I do to make friends they always find it easy to demean and hurt me and I in turn respond in kind. I should learn to let things go but instead I let my anger snowball and end up doing even more damage and then I really look like the bad guy.
So I was sore for about a week after Elbe’s public post, I limited my postings on Facebook and was just pretty much in a funk, I just felt like everyone of Facebook was thinking the worst of me. Another week passed and Christmas was approaching. I still didn’t want to participate in the holiday and not just because of Elbe but because over the last few years my non-belief in a god or any other religion makes the whole “reason for the season” thing seem pretty absurd. However I decided that I can’t take out my embarrassment on my sister-in-law and further alienate myself in my new family (I have recently married my partner of 32 years) over a prudish lesbian that can’t take a joke.
I remember driving to my sister-in-law’s house that day and knowing that Elbe and her partner (or I should say wife because they too were recently married) were going to be there. I told a friend that was going with us that seeing Elbe for the first time since her post was going to be awkward but seeing Elbe wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It seemed like our little disagreement was over and even though I was still miffed about her reaction I decided it was time to move forward.
There was one conversation though that I found totally out of character for this new “prudish” Elbe. She told me about the “wonderful prank” she played on her neighbor’s by altering their Christmas display. She crept over to her neighbor’s house where there were three lighted reindeer on their front lawn and put one reindeer on top of another so the deer appeared to be in a “humping” position. She thought it would be funny to make the deer look like they were having sex. A display for all to see, anyone enjoying a leisurely holiday drive that morning would certainly get a kick out of her adult humor, parents and their alike, perhaps the 4 year old would ask “Mommy what’s that deer doing to the other deer?” She laughed as she told me that she succeeded in accidentally “breaking” one of the deer resulting in one of them being decapitated. Okay I found her actions a little immature for a lady in her 50’s, especially a 50 year old that shamed me for mention sex toys on Facebook but as to not embarrass her I gave a half-hearted laugh and by the end of the day I hugged her good-bye and said that I looked forward to seeing her soon. DONE! YAY!
Two days later I was drinking and on Facebook (see “Bottom“) and watching “Are You Being Served” on TV. If anyone had ever watched this old British show from the 1970’s they would know that some of the funniest lines were Mrs. Slocomb’s “Pussy” jokes which can be found at the link I just posted or seen nearly every single day on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and hearing one of her funny lines about her “Pussy” while my cat simultaneously jumped through the window meowing for a major petting I thought it would be funny to post the following, since it had been raining and my purring cat was soaking wet (perhaps in retrospect my posting was out of line but the drinks and having just hearing something similar on broadcast TV I really didn’t think anything about it being offensive, I thought it would be funny) I posted “My pussy is so demanding always wanting to be rubbed, nothing worse than rubbing a wet pussy” then “and Yes I am talking about my cat Socks”. If you ever pet a wet animal then you know that its pretty disgusting as your hands get matted in wet hair.
My posting received some fun responses, another friend started talking about her pussy, and putting in parenthesis “my cat Otto” and other such fun responses. I’m sure some people were turned off by my humor and simply ignored it but do you think my supposed friend Elbe would give me the same respect? The woman the desecrates peoples lawn ornaments on a holy day to put animals in a sexual position? NO! Again she attacked me for the second time in less than a month.
Rather than ignore my posting or marking the button that Facebook offers “I don’t want to see this” or even sending me a private message my friend posted “This is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen! This has no place on Facebook! Keep your filthy SEX talk private!” I didn’t see this post right away, it was probably several drinks into my evening when I saw it and when I did read it I saw RED! I was so angry! How could someone who was my friend berate me not once but twice in less than a month. I retaliated and being drunk (ashamedly) I responded with a lot of “F” bombs. My first response was to tell her she was too “high-strung” for me and what I should have done at that point was deleted her as a friend but instead I continued to let loose of the “F” bombs like a mad man. Now anyone that knows me knows that I rarely use the “F” word but I did my fair share this night. I remember despite being drunk I was so hurt and embarrassed. And I did do some childish name calling, I said she was a “Prude” and “High-Strung” and even referred to her as a “Nut-Case”. Then ultimately I said “She is dead to me”. This was just not a good thing and I knew as I was doing it that I would not be happy with myself in the morning but the alcohol and my anger had full control of my actions at this point, not that this is an excuse for my behavior anymore than a drunk driver can blame the alcohol, I really can’t blame the alcohol for responding when I should have turned off my laptop and gone to bed. I know that if I hadn’t been drinking I would have done the same thing but not to the extremes, I would have told her that if she has a problem with me she should keep it private rather than publicly attack me but I was totally uninhibited because of the amount of alcohol I had consumed that night.
What I found the most infuriating is that my “prudish” friend Elbe who found it so critical to attack me had posted that she “loves Christmas because Santa CUMS“. Can you believe this? Admonishing me for the world to see for making a sexual reference for which similar things could be heard daily on Public Television or BBC yet she posts such a derogatory term as “CUMS” and its okay! This is also the same woman who on Christmas morning told me how she vandalized her neighbor’s display and set up a pornographic scene for all to see, children and adults alike ornamental and festive reindeer copulating in a front lawn. Really, who was she to judge me so harshly to all our mutual friends when her actions were far more extreme than my posting, perhaps my post was in poor taste, but didn’t deserve a public reprimanding for her offensive posts and actions?
Many of my friends came to my defense that night and agreed that Elbe was out of line and you know if I had handled the whole situation better Elbe would have been the only one to appear to be an ass but I turned out to be a bigger nutcase and a bigger ass than Elbe was because I didn’t let it go and I’m ashamed of it now. I was proud of my family and friends that defended me and told me I should simply delete her as a friend and I am now ashamed of my actions. I went to bed that night a slobbering, filthy, shameful drunk who would wake up the next morning feeling miserable about the way I responded.
The next morning as I had anticipated I was even more deeply ashamed than I thought I would be. I reviewed my postings and thought “God… what a jerk you were” and I edited my postings, I deleted the “F” bombs and the references to my friend being a “nutcase” but my feelings in general were still the same so I left everything else the way it was. Later that day I received a text from Elbe’s wife she said that she knew that Elbe and I had had a heated discussion the night before and that it had done damage to our friendship and as such she wanted to meet for coffee to discuss what had happened. I agreed, I wanted to apologize in person to Elbe but I also wanted to let her know that she too was wrong for treating me like a child and that because of our different sensibilities we could and should no longer be Facebook friends. Later Elbe’s wife canceled the coffee saying that Elbe was still far too upset to which I responded, “Okay, lets let it go, we don’t have to be friends anymore.” Elbe’s wife never responded so I figured she agreed and our friendship had ended, something I was used to, losing friends over the years, what were two more?
A few days passed and still feeling bad about my behavior and knowing that our friendship (if it would ever be called that again) would never be the same that it had been prior to Facebook debacle I sent Elbe an email telling her we had many mutual friends and that I would like to hand her an “olive branch” so that we could at least be civil to each other when and if we saw he other again. I also told her that we could never be Facebook friends again. I expected a “cold” response from her but I never expected her to exaggerate my actions from that night. She responded telling me that true, we could never be friends again (not even civil), that I had called her a “Fucking Bitch” and a “Fucking Hore”. Now I had never used either of these words in my posting. I may have said she was being a “Bitch” but I never called her a “Fucking Bitch” and as for “Fucking Hore” I know how to spell HORE…it is W H O R E and I do not spell it wrong. Even if I would have called her a “Fucking Whore” (not “HORE”) I would think that someone who was so offended by it would learn how to spell the word correctly simply by having been so offended. I realized that Elbe was now exaggerating this whole exchange to make me seem even more of a monster than I will admit to being. She told me that she felt I had “bullied” her and that I was NEVER to contact her again. Okay. Done. Friendship over…
Now back to the original reason for this posting, despite this being a horrid public exchange between two adults the interaction proved to show that our friendship was not to great of a friendship to begin with but more importantly it caused me to question how much I drink and realize that perhaps beyond my annual resolution to quit drinking that maybe there is a bigger problem here and that I have lost control. Now I am sorry for the loss of Elbe’s friendship but I’m not sorry for the lesson learned here and my attempt (now 7 days in) to once again adhere to my self-promise to not drink unless there is an event. Hopefully when it comes time for my cruise I will have convinced myself that this problem can’t be ignored and that I should stop permanently and maybe it is a solution that deserves permanence or maybe I’m over reacting I don’t know… whatever I would like to say…
Thank you Elbe for our time as friends and for helping realize what the alcohol was doing to me, I wish you well.