Sunday / January 22 / 2012
In receipt of bonafide hate mail
Twenty simple seconds can wound someone beyond repair. As quickly and powerfully as you can communicate your undying love and admiration for another, you can cripple someone with harsh, hateful words.
I found myself on the receiving end of such vicious cruelty not long ago.
Sitting at my office desk, I paused to read a Facebook email from someone I hadn’t heard from in 23 years. Someone I went to high school with, but hadn’t known very well. Her email began with the question of whether or not I ever think of Tina and Dan and how their children would look.
“Of course I do,” I thought to myself. I read on with a soft smile, preparing for this girl to reminisce with me about the good times we shared as classmates with Tina and Dan.
I could not have been more mistaken. As I continued to read, my mouth opened and I began to tremble, tears falling swiftly down my face. My body froze in horror.
I realized I was holding my breath.
I’ve made such progress being back home in New York, processing through the many aspects of the car accident. It’s been a very healthy, heartfelt process. In that process, I’ve opened my heart and emotions in new ways — which is really good — but as I had just discovered, also makes me a lot more vulnerable.
This was a bonafide piece of hate mail. A true, I-hope-you-die-and-burn-in-hell kinda thing. Very personal. Very ugly.
Parts of me knew I should be able to brush this off with, “she had no right to say those things and she’s a horrible person for saying them“. And I do believe those things. But what she said affected me nonetheless. I physically shook when I read it.
I pressed into the family that loves me beyond measure. Want to know what they said?…
- Remember, you have many friends and family, who love you and even though it was a bad body blow to you, she must have mega hate and bitterness problems.
- This girl is the one in a million that has no class or heart. I know you graduated together, but please remember all the many other Facebook friends you have from home, who don’t have this bitterness.
- Too many people know the real heart you have and the pain you live with every day — so don’t let this bitter woman get to you.
- Copious modifications of, “I love you!” (always with the exclamation point — even the ones that were texted.)
Less than twenty simple seconds later, I was wrapped in love.
One thing she said that is correct: I am happier than she. Not just because of the way she’s chosen to live her life in lonely bitterness, but rather, my son tells me, “…because of how radiant your love is of life and all things good.” My prayer is that one day she will choose to find such happiness for herself.