The pen is mightier than the sword.

I have had pen-friends since I was 12 years old.

Some have become very good friends and some are well on the way to being in that category.  As is the nature of this hobby, some pals don’t last the distance; they lose interest or things happen to them that cause them to stop writing to you.  I have had pals that only wrote to me because they wanted me to send them things all the time, which I didn’t appreciate and I stopped writing to them.

At the moment, I have about 25 pals in the UK and around the world that I write to on a regular basis and it is always interesting to learn about the countries/towns they live in and what their lives are like.  Some are not that interested in what I get up to, they are more focused on my thoughts about certain subjects, others love to know what I have been up to, places I have visited and certainly about the restaurants I go to when I lunch with my sister and one of our cousins every six weeks or so, and when I talk about the dishes we have, they tell me they are salivating!

However, imagine my surprise yesterday when I received a letter from a pal telling me off about something I did or did not do! 

Let me recap…

Last autumn, I went through a low patch and I wrote about it in this post.  As is my want when I get like this, I retreat into myself until I have sorted my head out and can then resume my position in the human race.  In addition, I most certainly was not in a place to write my usual letters and they soon piled up, especially as I hate to burden people with my problems.  I felt better soon afterwards but even with Christmas fast approaching, I had not really contacted anyone and hardly sent any Christmas cards.

I don’t have to work between Christmas and New Year so, for two days, I knuckled down and cleared the backlog.  I think that in total I wrote about 20 letters and in each one I apologised and explained why they had not heard from me for such a long time.

On the whole, those that have replied have been understanding and glad that I am feeling better, and certainly appreciative that when not in the mood, the last thing you want to do is to write about how jolly a time you are having when you feel like shit!

Apart from this person yesterday.

She told me that she could not relate to what I was writing, told me that I should have sent her a card to let her know I was OK so that she would not have worried!  Said that it was horrible that I let her wait and wonder why I didn’t write to her, that she was busy as well but that she would still have written to me, and how would I have liked it if she had done the same thing to me and I had not heard from her, and that I should treat people like I would like to be treated, and I should have thought about her feelings and that I should not have sent her the letter I did so as to piss her off.  And on, and on, and on… *sigh*

Hold on a moment there love!  Let’s go back a bit here. 

Firstly, if you had not written to me for a long time, I would have assumed that you were busy and had not found the time (this is a hobby remember, not a job), and if the silence was much longer than I would have expected to be normal, then I probably would have sent you a card asking how you were and hoping all was OK.  Perhaps you could have done the same for me?  Small thought there, if you were so concerned?

Secondly, and probably more importantly, it is not the fact that I did not give a monkey’s left testicle about you and your feelings, and that I could not be arsed to find the time, it was because, I was not in a position where I could write you a letter telling you about what I had been up to as it would have only lasted a couple of paragraphs!  I could, however, have bombarded you with how low I was feeling, how shit everything was for me at that time, how I did not want to talk to anyone, how I had to drag myself into work etc, but we have only been writing to each other about a year, and don’t know each other that well yet, and I did not think it fair that I do that to you.

The ball is in my court as to whether I reply or not and I don’t know if I will yet.  I don’t really want to write another letter explaining myself and apologising, but aside from that, if someone can be so dismissive to the problems of others when they are having an emotional situation, even after explanations are given, then perhaps they are not the sort of person I want to be writing to.

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An emotional rollercoaster

I hate emotions.  I hate them with a passion.  They have ruled and ruined my life in equal measure and I hate the power they wield over me.

Today has been unbelievably shit for me.  Last night I had a knock back that I was not expecting and I have been so taken by surprise by how much it has affected me that all I have eaten today is one sandwich and a coffee at the hospital with mum.  Normally when I am feeling under pressure or stressed, I devour everything in sight, and it certainly was that way when dad died.  I would have given those Americans who enter eating contests a right run for their money!  Eat my dust!  Well I would love to dear, but you have already eaten it, that sort of thing…

To not have confidence in your looks is something I have battled with all my life, I will always battle with it and it is with certainty that this demon will be joining me in the afterlife.  I always joke that my sister looks like mum and I have dad’s looks, which worked OK on him but look pants on me!

So, what brought me to this situation?  Well, I have alot of penfriends and some I am closer to than others but one chap had passed from letters to emails and it was fun because we were establishing a friendship that had gone beyond the stilted:

“So, tell me your favourite colour”

“Purple”

“Do you eat meat?”

(I had to think carefully before I answered that one…!) “Yes, love it”  Read into that what you want to sunshine!

And on like that.  He does not live in England so the chances of us meeting would not be any moment now, but I would have liked to have met him sometime in the future.  In addition, I was enjoying the fun you experience when a friendship starts, that includes similar humour, likes, dislikes.  He talked about his divorce and the pain he went through when his ex-wife cheated on him, passed on fun stories about his children and I would talk about my cat’s Elvis impressions!  We found other things in common and our conversations flowed.  Great, no awkward silences, which would be rather difficult to experience in a letter, but don’t you hate those anyway?

So, we pootled on for a few months, back and forth with our funny little quips, innuendos, jokes and thoughts about our lives etc, and I began to really look forward to his emails, and I assumed the opposite.  This was until the dreaded moment when he asked me to send him a picture of myself.  *Groan*, OK…

We never talked about Facebook or Twitter, funnily enough, and as I did not invite him to `friend’ me on either site I assumed that he had never bothered to find me otherwise why ask what I look like?  Likewise I did not think of looking for him; I guess we had too much to talk about already so why bother?

Then came the question of which photo to send; my FB one or my Twitter one, because they are the least offensive recent ones of me.  In the meantime, he had sent a couple of himself and he was (still is) a handsome guy, with a lovely open smile, friendly eyes and a bit of stubble (I do LOVE stubble!), the second one was of him goofing around with his kids, making faces and that made me laugh.  Even if he had been less than that I would not have dismissed him as I have never gone out with people purely based on their looks, well, you should have seen my ex husband!

So, back to the photo, which one do I send?  Well, I could not decide so as he had sent me two, I did the same and attached both FB & Twitter profile photos to my reply email, pressed send and hoped for the best.

Nothing.

A week went by.

Nothing.

OK…  I remembered that he sometimes travelled for his work so assumed that he was away on business.  I was wrong.

I got an email from him last night and I knew something was up from the tone, so I stopped reading it after the first few lines and exited that email account, fearing something was not right.  Had I offended him?  I checked what I had sent him previously and could not see anything that he could be pissed off about.  So what was it?

I knew I would have to read it so I did and he was cold and distant and amongst other things said, and I quote:

“You are not what I expected.  In fact, Jesus, what a face! I would go around with a bag over my head if I looked like you!  I don’t think I could ever consider having a relationship with that!  LOL!!!!”

Yes, that LOL had four exclamation marks at the end.  Is this a joke?  No, no joke, I re-read the email and it was clear that this was his opinion of me.

I got that at about 10:00 last night and I have to admit I was floored, there had never been any mention of taking our friendship any further, I never expected that, I have NEVER had success in that department and doubt I ever will, I thought that this was just a bloody good friendship and I was really enjoying it.

Well, roll up ladies and gentlemen, take your seats for the whitest of white knuckle rides on the new and improved Emotional Rollercoaster.  Any takers?  No?  Just me then…

Oh my fucking hell, and what a ride; I screeched round the corner of ‘he’s joking right?’.  Passed the bend of ‘fucking cunt! Just wait until I reply to that piece of shit!’  Had my vulnerability totally drenched sailing through the water feature and so on and so on.  Battling extreme anger and tears, I tweeted something just before 11pm and again just after and went to bed, promising to myself that I would deal with it in the morning.

And I did do.  Still seesawing between my nuclear fall out of anger, tears, tears, anger, I let anger win, went into headmistress mode and emailed him telling him EXACTLY what I thought of him, told him how unnecessarily cruel he had been and how his words had been totally out-of-order and incredibly hurtful.  NO FUCKING GOLD STAR FOR YOU!  MUST TRY HARDER, NOT EVEN GIVING YOU A 1/10 FOR GETTING YOUR NAME RIGHT, SHITHEAD!

I then, added his email address to my blocked senders list, so hopefully no future rubbish from him will get through and got on with my day, still feeling like shit and trying to keep the tears at bay, wanting to disappear and lick my wounds, which is why I was silent on Twitter until about 4pm today.  That and being in a hospital for most of it with mum, made it more difficult anyway.

Now, I can have the piss taken out of me as much as the next person and enjoy a good-natured banter with men and women as long as there is no cruelty and malice there.  However, I don’t think anyone has the right to be that nasty and think they can get away with it, not to me, not anymore, I have put up with too much of that in the past.  And before any of you say it; this is not a made up story, this happened to me yesterday and this is partly how I am dealing with it.  I don’t find it easy to talk to people about my problems so I sort them out on my own or, I will use this avenue to express myself as it may help someone who is going through the same crap.

I have to say that the picture on my Twitter profile now is not the one that I sent to this person.  I did not want to see that and be reminded of this so have changed it.

I just want to add this postscript to my sister and mother who I know will read this.  This subject is not up for discussion; I do not want to talk about it so do not ever mention it.  This is how I have chosen to deal with it and I consider the matter closed, thank you.