Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I May Have Made A Mistake

I signed up for Facebook yesterday.

I was just perusing Jaime's account and wanted to check up on the Indian Brook summer camp 70th reunion. It's the camp that I went to as a child and then worked at for 14 years. It's the place that made so much of 'me' who I am. especially the parts that I really like.

There were all these posts of people that were talking about their time there and coming back for the reunion. I must have recognized or known at least 80% of the folk on there and those that I didn't were talking about things that I knew and loved. I got all twitchy and energized remembering that time in my life and the importance that place held.

There were fellow campers, fellow staff members, women that I had mentored, women that had mentored me, even a few ex-girlfriends on there as well.
I wanted to connect to that.

Without even thinking about it I opened up an account.

It was so easy. And then it started. I had friend requests and joined groups and was getting email notifications.  They were mostly from people that I'm in touch with regularly now anyway but then there started to be friend requests from folks that I haven't talked to in months or even years.

I'm not talking about hundreds but more than 30 and then it hit me.
I'm different.

I'm so different and I don't even know where to start telling people that.

I tell myself this story of how Facebook connections go and it's either just checking in, or, the random exclamations of the mundane or even remarkable,
"wow, so great to hear from you. What have you been up to?"

I can't handle either right now.
And while I'm not deactivating my account right away, I can't do it. I don't live there anymore.
There's very little that's mundane in my day to day. There are regular occurrences for sure but each one is directly attached to my different life.

Our school program is an 'early intervention program'. Each meal is... well, a tube feeding not a meal. Each spit up, each barf, each runny nose, they're all attached to Simon's condition. His heart failure. Cardiomyopathy.

How do I let folks know that? That I am attached. I am umbilically corded to Simon and his heart that is still working too hard/dependent on drugs to keep him the happy good looking kid that you see in pictures.

How do I let folks that I'm reconnecting with know in a short sentence/ paragraph that my life is one of the lives that doesn't even enter in their thinking when they wonder "Oooh, I wonder what she's been up to?"

Do they even wonder at all? Maybe that's just another story I tell myself right now.
In general it's not a good time to dip my toes into a pool that I can't swim in but certainly not this week. Simon's been sick with some kinda crazy post-nasal drip. For most of us it's no fun, for Simon it's even worse given that he's a boy that doesn't swallow much more than saliva anyway. For that last 48+ hours he's been spontaneously  gagging and retching to the point of his eyes watering and face turning purple. This is alternated with some wicked coughing fits that are accompanied by a cry that can only be translated as "What?! What is this shit?! You cruel cruel world!!"

All day.
All night.
At least once every two hours but more like every 15 minutes. Sucks.

Simple math:
Very rough days and nights with Simon + reconnecting to a past and people from a million lifetimes ago= a truly messed up head/heart for Laura Fitch.

Jaime got the brunt of it last night when Simon was having a fit and I couldn't even be in the same room  as him. I did have a good cry on the couch though.

So where to go from here. I want to be connected to all those people and that place AND I don't think I could feel farther away from the person I was when I was last in touch.
AND I can't even imagine how to start sharing who I am now....especially on Facebook where it feels like for the most part, it's so surface.  Not really surface I guess but something so much faster and impersonal than what I think I can handle right now, with so many people. So very many.

How ironic from someone that used to stand up in front of hundreds of people leading camp songs/ workshops/and assemblies and now spends so much time solo (mit the little man) and wants connection.

Am I a wuss? I kinda feel like one. "Yeah, Laura Fitch was on Facebook for like a minute but she couldn't handle it."

Still, there's this guy to spend time with:

"Moms, I'm starting my own secret society"

"First order of business...more time with men for me!"  (please see next set of photos)

Somewhere there is a fundamentalist having a heart attack

"Sure I love Texas G'Pa, you eat alligators there right?"

"It's a Grandpa and PopPop Sandwich,
who wouldn't be happy to be the filling in that?"


dk said...

I think Facebook has a similar affect on a lot of us. When I signed up, I got a flurry of friend requests from my high school classmates, and it was really difficult - in high school I was horribly depressed and in an awful abusive relationship - now I'm...well, lots of other things. It's hard to find the balance between sharing a little bit about where I'm at now, and keeping some things to myself due to the weirdly public nature of the internet.

I've found that it's worth it for me - for every request I get from friends of my exboyfriend who, back in the 90's, gave him tips on how to hit me without visible bruising but now are married with kids and seem to have no recollection of our shared past, there's a best friend from 8th grade who tracked me down. But I can totally understand how the sudden influx of your past can be too overwhelming when your present is still so ______ (I have no idea what to say: intense? difficult? all of the above?). I was happy to see your face on there today, but understand if it's not where you're at.

Jen said...

How bout connecting them to this last post? For a start...
Or you can just ignore all the question for a while and be a FB lurker...seems to be perfectly acceptable etiquette for FB. Although obviously the situation for you is way more intense than for most/many/all of us, I think it's very similar, as Devon says, to be overwhelmed and a little dizzi-ed by the onslaught of "HIIIIII" from all and sundry. On the other hand, it can be really nice to have the genuine caring come your way. And you always do have the choice of reading one at a time (if you can resist)
Love you sis.
Light is coming.

Laurie said...

Hey Laura, don't sweat the FB stuff. It can be fun at times but it can feel like pressure too. Like to be witty and clever and it's really just a game. I like the friends suggestion to be a "lurker" or a voyeur. Read your wall when you feel like but don't feel you have to participate. Or bag the whole thing. You've got better things to do.
Take care of your little boy, and yourself too.
laurie n.

Holyoke Home said...

Thank you so much for this post. Sending you love, love and love.

And more love.

Polly said...

Do what you just did. Post the link on Facebook. Your not a wuss, unless it's something we are competing at and I win. Off to recess duty.

Terra said...

I signed up for FB originally because my club moved its website there and I was an officer, so I felt obligated. Along the way, I reconnected with a bunch of friends from high school and college. One of those friends had not been particularly close to me - we were in the same group, but we didn't visit each other. Since we reconnected, we've gotten to be a lot closer. But it is strange. Here are people I left 17 years ago and I'm having to make peace with liking them but not liking the things they have done or they believe in. On top of that, my brother, who's been missing for 14 years, finally turned up on FB and so I've gotten to see pictures of my niece, who I've never met before. Yet my mother also joined FB and I eventually had to ban her. It's been a real roller coaster. In short, it's what you choose to make of it. Good things can happen and bad things too. You don't have to be very open about your life. You are not obligated to giving of yourself to anyone from your past, especially if you had rather give the time and attention to your wife and child. I hope you stay on FB, but if you don't - I totally get that. It can be more trouble than it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Some of us F&W types are happy lurking in the background and sending you energy to deal with your current life with or without facebook. Do what feels right to you and don't agonize over it too much. We will love you no matter what.

All my love, Julie Lane

annie/winks said...

And some of us are lurking on your blog already and don't feel like we need FB to know a little about what's making your world rock (in so many ways). As always, I am thinking of you in your journey and wishing your lovely fam the strength you need to get through each minute. It's a good thing he's so darned cute...

Maria said...

FB is whatever you want it to be. I love that it helps me keep in mind people I have cared about in the past but would never have otherwise crossed paths with again. I agree that many of us tend to present only the surface, the shiny happy version of ourselves and our families, but most of us have changed and (speaking for myself here) lived through worlds of experience, joyful and tragic, since we last met up.