Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"A Real Person, A Lot Like You"

A few weeks ago, one of my biological father's sons sent me a private message on The Facebook essentially cursing me out for 1- being mean to his dad, 2- not allowing his dad to be a grandfather to my daughters and 3- not being a good sister. It was very jarring to read his drunken rant first thing in the morning, especially because, besides the validity of his accusation that I was not being a good sister, he was directing his anger at me without knowing the real story.

I mean, hell, even I don't know the real story- that's something that Mami and my biological father will probably take with them to their graves. All I know is what I experienced growing up: Knowing who my father was, attending his family's events, but having him pretty much disregard my existence (unless he had an audience in which case he's try to act like the doting, misunderstood dad done wrong. BOOOOO, negro, BOOOOO!). That was my reality. I'm not remembering it wrong and it's not, as my brother said, something I was told. That was real.

But the point of THIS post (because I don't want to get bogged down in the details of our exchange; he wrote me a private message so I'll not put all of our dirty laundry out there) is that his note, which I read early in the morning, set the tone for the rest of my day and week. Plain and simple, it hurt my feelings; I even cried a little bit. Not because he and I have this loving relationship or anything-I barely know the kid-but because this scathing note attacked me, my character and confirmed the someone out there didn't like me. ME! It was a slap in the face to the person I try to be every day.

And although he swiftly apologized for coming at me all wrong, the bad feelings had already taken root, all because he took to his phone or computer and decided that telling me how much he hates me would fill some void in his life. Which brings me to this:

I witnessed a pretty nasty exchange on The Facebook yesterday among some Penzo cousins, and although I initially gobbled up the drama unfolding before me, I was saddened at the underlying hurt that was hidden in the mean and nasty words being hurled electronically.

We really have to watch what we write, whether it be to strangers or family. This machine we're depending on for communication is not a buffer for meanness, it's an accelerant.

The next time you get infused with a dose of keyboard courage, please, stop and think: what is this going to do to the LIVING, BREATHING, FLESH-AND-BONE PERSON on the receiving end. I'll be sure to do the same.

*smooches...refusing to fall prey to Big Brother and his ilk*
the Rise of the Machines has already started...don't let it get you!