I feel like I’m back at school writing this blog, but i need to express myself. I recently realised that a former medical school peer removed me from his FB friends list. It took me 8 months to notice this and only after someone else had pointed it out, but I still feel hurt. I think the convention is to feel some sort of embarrassment and the motive for removal is to make me feel unworthy of their friendship whilst distancing themselves from me: a beacon of bad will and vibes that I have become (sarcasm) and I am about 4 stones heavier than I was when I had last seen this person (apparently my weight offended him, I was told by a 3rd party). In 1999, incidentally, we worked at the same hospital and I was his senior. He didn’t fail to be friendly then and use his familiarity with me then to his advantage.
Why was I removed AFTER we had bumped into each other in March 2013? After all, we’d been “friends” on FB for months before hand, we had chatted on FB, liked and commented on each other’s stuff and endured years of medical school prior to our FB friendship. I wasn’t intrusive or demanding. He was never rude to my face then or since. We met cordially, at least I did. I wasn’t rude or unfriendly. Was it my weight, my husband or my friend whom I introduced the bugger to? Does it matter which one because finding fault with any or all 3 is rather shallow and stupid?
My husband is a 6 ft 2 in tall policeman of Asian origin, my friend is half Italian and wheelchair bound but despite this she is one of the best people I know and we have been best friends since 2008. We have seen each other through hard time, insomnia and grief. My husband is my rock, he is better than I deserve and I’m lucky to have married the best man I had ever met. To think that someone bumped into me and met probably the two most important people in my life and then wanted to disassociate themselves from me does rankle me. Wouldn’t it rankle anyone?
We all judge on appearances I suppose but does everyone discriminate like this? I honestly feel like the most naive person to have ever walked the earth when I think back to this incident and my medical school days. I admit I totally read situations and people wrong and paid the price and withdrew myself. I never meant any offence to anyone but I was in hindsight having a bad time with my OCD. It saddens me but it seems I’m still doing it. I appreciate everyone has the right to choose their friends but is it right to use and discard friendships when they are no longer any practical use to you, your career or bank balance? The answer in this big bad world is probably yes. I’ve just been too naive and worn my heart on my sleeve.
It’s not in vogue to admit being rebuffed in social media but I admit my requests for friends on FB sometimes go ignored and I can’t think why, as from my memory we shared a friendship years ago, I didn’t see any reason for not reaching out to them but their recall may be completely different, so I move on. I appreciate and respect that everyone has a choice. I admit I have rejected a few friend requests too but they are usually of people I don’t know at all. My policy for friending people on FB is very loosey goosey, the more the merrier in my opinion, but I’m just naive that way and oblivious to what friending a sick old friend on FB can do to your life and career. Let’s hope bad luck isn’t catching and this individual has avoided getting virtual and actual cooties from me.
I don’t particularly care to live in a world where people are judged by their appearance, illness, friends, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or career choices, I was taught to do so is wrong, so quite frankly, to hell with the shallow bastards who think it’s ok to gossip about other peoples lives and find themselves superior. I must have been absent the day these reprobates were taken aside and told that they would never endure any discrimination or hardship and to discriminate against those that do because, what you perceive as, their misfortune is catching. However I was present to learn the value of true friendships and I am lucky to be counted as a friend by many who aren’t so shallow and pathetic, but wonderful and supportive.
I have been told countless times that I’m better off without “friends” who can’t like me for who I am and it’s exactly what I would advise someone else in my shoes. It’s just a crying shame that attitudes like this exist and we have to live with them alongside racism, homophobia and sexism.