It happened. Your mom’s on facebook. Cue panic-attack, deleting anything incriminating and enabling blocking options so fast your fingers shoot out flames & smoke. When this happened to me several months back, it was even more of a shock, because somehow, my mother became Facebook-friends with me before I had the chance to accept her friendship. You know that helpful little link below your Facebook photo albums that says “Email this link to share album with people who aren’t on facebook” ? Did you know that if you click on that handy little Facebook link, you are essentially inviting moms, grandmas, et al to be your friend on facebook??
Tough lesson for this black sheep of the family to learn.
My mother & I have been “facebook friends” for several months now. And although she’s not on facebook often, and I’ve blocked my mother from so many random things I’ve lost track; my mother is out there, sporadically stalking me… just when I think she’s given up on the whole facebook thing, there’s a snippy comment about a picture, or a snide/defensive remark on a status update that turns my typically fun & positive time on facebook into a stressful experience.
There have been days where these judgmental facebook comments from my mother have made me want to hit another handy little “Remove from Friends” link. But I stuck it out. Accepted the fact that everyone’s mom is on facebook and it’s just a part of life now. I could still speak freely on twitter & my blog; two places my mother is not aware of (at least I think… ha!)But it wasn’t a snide comment written on my wall that led me to unfriending my mom on facebook. It was deeper than that, and it wasn’t just one reason for removing this toxic “friend” from my newsfeed. I got into a pretty nasty fight with my mother over the phone yesterday. As I’ve stated in past posts, my mother is not the most positive person in the world. And when a negative person like that infects your life, seeking out your bad qualities, judging you for what you believe in, how you dress, where you go, who you are acquainted with, how you raise your kids, what you eat, what you drink, etc, it’s not easy to live your life as freely as you’re meant to live!!
But the added bonus to this recent conversation were the lies my mother believed about me and the lies she was spreading. Lying doesn’t bode well with me. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m a generally honest person, sometimes to my determent. Since my mother is extremely closed-minded & doesn’t listen very well, it’s very challenging to tell her otherwise. My mother will absolutely judge a book by it’s cover in a heartbeat, and once her mind is made up, there is not a heck of a lot you can do about it. The phone call went from bad to worse quickly. I can usually hold my own when I am being attacked by a difficult person. I lower my voice, I talk strongly and honestly, unwaivering. I know they want me to break down, but that typically gives me more strength to not give them what they want. Well, this week has been emotionally draining, and yesterday, a nerve was hit. When my mother went off on a temper tantrum, demanding things be done her way (reminding me of a certain 6 yr old that resides in my home!) I officially lost it. Within 30 seconds, I rambled off how she’s never supported me, never said a positive thing to my face without a backhanded comment attached, only sees me as a bad seed and that I don’t have the time or energy for toxic people like her in my life anymore. There was swearing, there were tears. My strength went out the window, but I think my mother actually listened because I heard a few gasps escape from her Catholic lips which translated to “My daughter said fuck! There’s no hope for her!” Then, I hit the END button on my iPhone as HARD as I could… and it didn’t take. So I hit it 5 more times until the screen finally went gray, then threw it across my bed. Oh how I miss old-school phones you could slam down so hard the reverb from the bell would ring. A couple hours later, after getting support from the hubs, calming down & putting things into perspective about unfriending my mom “a break from your mom is genius, not to mention vital for all of our sanities’ sake!” Gotta love the supportive hubs! I logged onto facebook and saw my mother commented on my sister’s status update. Seeing that just got my blood boiling again.
So I went to my mom’s facebook page, scrolled down to the handy little Remove as Friend link and I hit that link so hard it cried. I felt like Dr Evil when he would hit a button to send his henchmen south. “When I get angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die!”
Do I regret unfriending my mom on facebook today? Nope. The only thing I regret is not unfriending her sooner. I looked up the definition of a friend and it validated my decision:
And seeing that last half of the definition especially made me realize just how important it is to keep your life free of toxic friendships. In fact, today, I will be removing more toxic or negative facebook friends from my life, because it does feel incredibly cleansing. Why waste our time or energy with people who bring us down? I know I can’t eliminate my mother from my life completely (is there an app for that?) but I’m doing what I can to keep my life as positive & drama-free as I can.
Have you had to unfriend people, virtually on facebook or in reality? I feel there may be more to this post in the future… comment below with your stories or email me.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend full of GOOD friends, beer and cheer.