Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Because It's Long Enough to Deserve Its Own Post

[If you haven't been following along, please read the last post and the comments therein before reading this. Thanks much.]

Dear "Anonymous" commenter,

You find it amusing that I'm calling you out for using a pseudonym? Well, for one thing, I'd argue that you're using a non-name more than a pseudonym, but your point is taken. How about choosing something like, "Dave's roommate"? That still keeps your identity safe here in the world of the internet, since those here who do know you already know who you are, and those who don't also don't know who Dave is. I also like Justin's idea of sharing a picture, or even as much personal information as I've shared here. That would make it less amusing and more fair, yes?

Second, what you said in your original comment was not "truth" - it was opinion. You are fully entitled to your opinion, and as far as I'm concerned, you're even welcome to share it here (you've noticed I'm not deleting your comments). But I'll thank you to keep in mind that your opinion is subjective, unless you have, in fact, spoken to every male human being on the face of the planet (oh, and lesbians too!) and found that "psycho" - by which I must assume you mean depressed, since that's the only mental illness I have - really is a deal-breaker for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Then - and ONLY then - will I acknowledge what you've said as "truth." And since I've personally spoken to a number of men who flat-out dispute your comment, I think you'll have a tough time doing that.

Third, "none of these people know me"? Did you really just make the claim that none of the people who commented know me? Let's see: Natalie has known me for almost eight years now, Tpiglette's known me for only slightly less, Graham's known me for six, Tali's known me for five, and Justin's known me for a good seven years, a year-and-a-half of which we were seriously dating. The Kaiser's been a dear friend for almost a straight year, Aly's been around for almost two, and Franz is a high school acquaintance who became a friend also almost two years ago. Frankly, of I'm really going to be honest, I'd say the vast majority of those who left comments know me SIGNIFICANTLY better than you do. Your interactions with me have included 4 or 5 encounters over the past several years, NONE of which have been one-on-one, and NONE of which have involved conversation more intense than small talk about the weather or what was on TV. Dave knows me, yes. His sister knows me, yes. You? You do NOT know me, and frankly I'm insulted that you would claim to.

So you're all saying the same thing? "Get involved in activities." "Be optimistic." "Lace up your running shoes and start down the road to happiness, rather than continually talking about how rocky it is." Okay, you're working under some majorly incorrect assumptions here. First, while you're not directly stating it, you seem to be implying that all the people here who are giving me "pats on the back," as Dave put it, are not also suggesting - shock of all shocks! - the SAME THINGS YOU ARE. The fact that they give me unconditional love and support doesn't mean they're not suggesting ways for me to improve my life. However, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that maybe you weren't assuming that, so I'll move on.

The worse assumption here is that because I write about something, I'm doing nothing BUT write about that thing. That because I say, "You know, I've been finding it hard to get motivated lately, and I've been sleeping more than is healthy," I'm content to just lie in bed all day and not try to change those facts. In fact, you are completely wrong. By the time I wrote that post, I had already talked directly to multiple friends - you know, the people who KNOW me? - about how to make improvements to my schedule. By the time I wrote that post, I'd sent an email to friends saying, "Hey, anyone want to do something tonight?" I'd already gone out to see a play with Tpiglette. I'd already made plans to audition for a musical theater production nearby. I'd already gone for a long walk in the sunshine and gotten myself a manicure and pedicure to have a little me-time out and about in the community. So what, in all that, leads you to believe that I am NOT starting down the road to happiness? Talking about how rocky it is helps me get through it, and also - in my opinion - potentially helps others who are suffering the same types of rocky patches in their own lives. But when I write a post, that post is only one small slice of my life, so don't make the claim that writing it means I'm doing nothing to make my life better. Yet more proof that you really don't know me at all.

And lastly, "psycho" is a term generally reserved for maniacs who run after innocent people with knives and or drown small puppies. I think the vast majority of the world, when provided with a description of me and my symptoms, would NOT classify me as "psycho." Depressed? Yes. Emotionally unstable? Probably. But psycho? No. Norman Bates was psycho; I am not.

As for why being depressed is a deal-breaker? Yeah, that one you'll have to explain, because I have a lot of situational evidence around me that suggests that it's just not true. And since when did being depressed and unstable mean I'm incapable of being nice? Or even fun? Or even happy? You think I'm never happy? I'm never out with friends, laughing and socializing? I'm never donating my time and resources to other people in the hopes that I might help make their lives a little better? Well, sorry to say, but you're dead wrong. Think what you want, but it just ain't true. And frankly, people who are "nice, fun, and happy" but reek of insincerity? They are a deal-breaker for me.

That said, respond if you want - I don't care much either way. But if you do, I have to ask you this one question: WHY? Seriously, I don't understand why you're even here reading this blog. What do you care if I use my public space as a venting ground for my unhappiness? What do you care if I endure a little heartbreak? And after the cruel and cold-hearted attitude you did NOTHING to hide in your comments, I'm going to be hard-pressed to believe that you "just want the best" for me. I have nothing to do with you, or even anyone around you at this point, so why are you here? Dave I can understand, because he's been my friend almost as long as Natalie and Tpiglette have, and I know that he loves me even when he might be angry at me. But you? You are not my friend, and you never have been my friend. So if you're sticking around, I can only imagine it's for the drama and faux-limelight of being an internet troll for a while.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous, my previously stated invitation still stands.

Till tomorrow...

tpiglette said...

I can personally attest to all the details Lara mentioned here. She HAD already discussed these things with the people who are actually involved with her life, and she HAD already begun taking action to improve things as best she could.

And even if she hadn't yet (do YOU always immediately do everything you know you should/could do?), what's wrong with sharing on her blog what she's dealing with? She's not isolating herself, which is a huge step in the right direction.

You'll notice that support from others does in fact help her (and, you know, people in general) be "optimistic," "nice," "fun," and "happy." Or maybe you wouldn't notice that, since you're so intent on pulling Lara down.

Earlier this afternoon, Lara and I were in the car discussing the very assumptions you so kindly gave a spectacular show of in your next comment. We even mentioned that maybe you weren't actually making those assumptions and just said things that made it sound like that, leaving open the possibility of giving you the benefit of the doubt. Thanks to you, that possibility is clearly squashed now. (Ever heard of that? The "benefit of the doubt"? I hope for your own sake that people who don't know you very well don't always assume the worst to fill in the blanks that they don't know.)

I hope you can find it in yourself to stop harrassing Lara on her own blog, when, as she pointed out, there was no reason you needed to be here in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's telling him!

Personally, I'd like to point out that using words like "psycho", "unhinged", and "crazy" to describe depression or any other mental illness is really insensitive in addition to inaccurate. A person who uses such words possibly has a lot to learn about helping others -- or perhaps at some point in his life, even himself -- deal with depression or similar illnesses.

Dick Cavett, the '70's talk-show host, has a great blog on the NYT, and he occasionally discusses, with great insight, his own experiences with depression.

Anonymous said...

Lara, I don't "know" you in person, but I feel like I "know" you through the blogging/messages we have shared. I am deeply offended at anonymous' disrespect on this blog. I hope I never have the misfortune of having such a "friend" in my life.

I have been in a committed relationship for 13 years (married 11) to a man who loves me despite my flaws and weaknesses. I am freely willing to admit that during part of those years depression has been one of those weaknesses. I also am terrible at balancing a checkbook, staying on budget, and making it on time anywhere. Part of what makes our relationship work is that we are able to support each other. He takes care of the major shopping so I have less opportunity to screw up the budget and spend all the grocery money on a super cute handbag and makes sure the checkbook says what it's supposed to. I have made him a much more flexible person. He now understands that I am schedule challenged and it's made him a much more flexible person. He supports me during the times I am feeling blue and helps me see that I am a strong and worthwhile individual.

During the times my depression was the worst, I made some poor choices (we can discuss it in private if you want) and caused a lot of change in our lives. I thought at that time I was a horrible person and "crazy" but never "psycho". Now I know how common depression is and how hard it can be to overcome it. I know the coping strategies (walk in the sun, light shining on you, less stress, eating normally, less caffeine, no alcohol, etc.) and still feel a blue at times. I don't always do what I should to ward off the darkness, who does what they should all the time?

I have never been as honest on my own blog about my depression as you have been on yours and I feel now and have often thought in the past how much stronger of a person you are because of your willingness to share with us.

You do not deserve to be put down and harassed, but you deserve a big hug and a thank you for your willingness to share something so personal and honest with us. I appreciate your willingness to continue sharing when you are down and when you are up with us. I love that I can offer some support or an "Oh Lara" when you are down and celebrate with you when you have a good day. I take inspiration from your blog and your honesty.

I understand your desire to blog under a pseudonym because there really are crazy psycho people who can think they are really attached to your real life because you are so honest and share so much with the world and the issues surrounding your chosen profession.

Again Lara, please do not let the troll persuade you to change what you chose to post. I appreciate your honesty and the respectful way you blog about an issue that affects so many of us (even if you would never know it looking in from the outside).

This comment is much longer than I expected it to be, but I want you to know how much your honesty means to me. Again, thanks!

Mom101 said...

Here's all I'll say about this because I said what I had to say on the last post:

Don't give mean people, especially those who lash out like 12 year-olds and call it "helpful," your energy. You need it for yourself and they don't deserve it.

Moving on.

Lulu said...

I commented on the last post and I thought it appeared but now it is gone? So maybe I just imagined it?!

Anyway, firstly I am sorry to hear about your relationship. That sucks.

As for the annonymous commenter, they need to get a life, or focus on improving their own life instead of making others feel crappy.

Best of luck Lara, you deserve to be happy!

ALRO said...

i, for one, have never been approached by anyone named, Anonymous - and therefore - his comments were definitely HIS own opinion, - and i take this opportunity to disagree with his assessment of your state of mind.
I will say, tho', that we're giving him way too much "Internet-play" and probably feeding his need for 15 minutes of fame. (mommy didn't hug him enough as a child)

In any case, Tara, just keep your head up - and live day to day. Sometimes, shit happens. When it does something better, and more surprising always follows. That's the way life is.

Tandava said...

Well said, Lara. I vote that if this particular "Anonymous" comments here again, nobody responds to him. We've already let him drag us all into more negativity than we need. As Mom101 said, let's not give him any more energy. (I know *I* spent too much time yesterday resisting the urge to bring myself down to the level of flaming a flamer.) We know that you can spot blatant, pointless insults when they show up, and you know that the rest of us care about you. So it's all good.

Cate Subrosa said...

I'm a "psycho" by anonymous' definition and I have a fiancé who loves me very much and is happy to support me through thick and thin.

Oh dear, I bet he's gonna start trolling 'round at my place now...

Mrs. Chili said...

Don't poke the trolls. People who have nothing better to do than leave cruel and unhelpful comments don't deserve this kind of energy. Blow them off and move on. You KNOW who your friends are.

Anonymous said...

I'm with mom101. People like anonymous (I won't dignify it with a capital) cannot matter in our lives. Spend love and energy wisely. The reward is returned.

brooke said...

After reading Anonymous's comment, the thing that stuck out to me the most was the "or at least hide it better."

I guess I just don't see the value in hiding who you are in order to "snag" someone. The veneer will wear off eventually and who you really are will come out, no matter how diligently you try to restrain it. Not to mention that I firmly believe that all people have wounds and issues and flaws, and if someone is holding out for a person without any of that, they're going to be waiting a long time.

And if all I ever heard from people was "just do better," I think I would sink further. Sometimes you just need to be hugged and told that you're loved despite your wounds.

Anonymous said...

Well worded, Lara. It's not as if you're sitting around and talking about it, instead of acknowledging that you have some things to deal with. People just don't understand how much of an outlet a blog can be, if they don't have one themselves. (Or alternatively, if they just have their heads up their own backsides.)

To be blunt, it's good to know who your friends are. And the others are right, don't waste your time from now on. Just be you, and cut out those around you who aren't happy with that. they're not worth the time of day; it's the real ones who hang around.

(Sidenote: It HAS been almost two years, wow! Amazing stuff.)

Wolf Lover Girl said...

You go girl!!

~ Wolf Lover Girl

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to point out that while Anonymous' comments where definitely uncalledfor, rude, and antagonistically phrased, it has inspired a lot of thoughtful, serious debate. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume that's what the ultimate goal was - to inspire introspection and serious self-assessment. If he were nicer, instead of calling you 'psycho', he might have said something constructive like, 'have you considered seeking professional help and evaluation?' which I think is a very appropriate step for people with very serious problems (and whatever else is going on, breakups qualify as very serious problems!!!). with the support of all your friends (in person & internet equally) you will be strong enough to face the reality of your problems. good luck!

Anonymous said...

oh and PS - I am reading this book right now about how certain behaviors are indicators of serious anatomical problems in the brain, and how you can fix it with simple mental exercises and in more serious cases medicine. it is FASCINATING!! well worth the read if you're looking for something to do :)

Lara said...

WWEB - i sincerely appreciate your comment and the way it was phrased. i have no problem with people bringing up criticism or disagreement, so long as it's intended to be constructive. otherwise, there's no point in bringing it up, except to hurt people.

frankly, i think asking someone with a history of depression (or any mental illness, really), "have you seen your psychiatrist / therapist recently?" is not out of line. (well, maybe it is depending on the level of acquaintance between the asker and the askee, but in this case, i put it all over the internet, so any of my readers could ask it and i wouldn't find it out of place.) the answer is that yes, i have, and we came to a solution that we think is working. i'm also monitoring my emotions and actions carefully to determine if i will need to meet with her again soon. that's what being responsible is all about, and i do want to be responsible about my mental health.

thanks also for the book recommendation. i will keep it in mind for my next leisure reading - you know, after i read all the stuff for my english class curriculum! :-P

Jakki said...

AND now it is time to move on...although understanding the want to beat the shit out him/her physically, you have accomplished so much more with pen and paper. Let us now, let his/her persona gather dust as what usually happens with things of little importance...

Whats up for your 4th of July holiday??

nutmeg said...

So, I take it dating anonymous is out of the question.

For the record, I am one crazy-assed bitch and I found a man to love me and stand by me anyway.

As my mother always says, he's just jealous of you, Honey.

Ostrich, can I be your cheer leader?

Not that it matters, but I never really liked that batman anyway.

Dear anonymous,

You might want to read Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You really could use some help in that area.

And I am so happy you are going back to the classroom, Lara. Everything's gonna be alright.

Anonymous said...

The point of all of this was to try to shock you out of your misery. What I didn't understand - and do now - is that you like being miserable. Yeah, I know, I hate armchair psychoanalysis as much as anyone, but this is a direct quote:

"I'm a complainer. It's what I do."

The fact that you define yourself as such leads me to believe that you don't want to get better - that you need this drama. Without drama, without misery, you have nothing to complain about. If I had known that, I wouldn't have bothered.

I applaud you for seeing a therapist, but nobody can help you until you decide that you want to get better, and right now, it doesn't seem like you do.

Good luck.


flutter said...

You are good people, girl. None of us is perfect.

Major Bedhead said...

To anonymous: It's her blog. If she wants to complain, so what? Stop reading it if you don't like it.

I don't find her that much of a complainer. I find her to be someone who's working thru some serious shit and is putting it out there for the world to see. Some of the things she's written about her depression have resonated incredibly with me. Maybe that makes me a psycho or a whiner, too, but I don't think so.

And perhaps you need to take a lesson in tact. There are much more effective ways to word things than you have done over your last few comments. You're rude and arrogant and, frankly, an asshole.

So perhaps you should be the one getting over yourself and lacing up your running shoes and moving along down your oh-so-happy highway. Leave the rest of us complainers here to enjoy ourselves in our complainy misery.


Sorry, Lara, to poke the troll and keep this going. Hang in there. I know things suck right now but I know you're resourceful and don't seem to be given to wallowing.

Anonymous said...

this blogger seriously sounds like an annoying little cunt. do you realize how retarded you sound in those 8 paragraphs? your just life-support for a vagina now gtf back in the kitchen

Lara said...

ooh, i think i found my new tagline: "keeping vaginas alive since 1982." it has a catchy ring to it, no?

heading back to the kitchen now...

William said...

Here here! Can we expect pies associated with your kitchen exodus?

ALRO said...

@Lara: Now THAT was funny!
Excellent response.

Paulette Foley said...

Lara, I have just started reading your blog and found myself so caught up in your open and honest assessment of yourself and your life thus far, that I read for over an hour. I appreciate that fact that you are willing to talk about yourself and your issues. We all have them! Talking about them (not whining) can only help you and others who are reading and say "I've been there". Don't ever stop.

I believe all experiences in life are for a reason...even those we bring upon ourselves for one reason or another. I've discovered that some of my toughest experiences have helped me truly understand and relate to my high school students. Your willingness to be open shows me that you, too, will be able to use your experience in a positive way to help others.

Somewhere out there is a SUPERMAN for you (who needs Batman?)...just keep working on you and who you are and he will "leap over tall buildings" to find you.

Lara said...

will - no pie, but by god there will be pancakes!

Caffeinated Librarian said...

Holy crap, honey! You've had an incredibly crap-tastic couple of months. I have to say that Anon.'s comments on the previous post made me laugh - laughter is the only way to deal with someone who is so blindingly ignorant and yet so unaware that they're "showing their ass," as the saying goes.

Screw 'em (not literally of course). If you can't do depressed navel gazing after a break-up, then when the hell can you do it?! Breakups suck - always and forever. Nothing that you can do about that...but a good rant about it can make you feel a little better at least.

Wallowing in depression isn't good for you - I think that's something everyone can agree with. But there is a difference between wallowing and trying to talk it out of your system - which is what that whole "I'm a complainer. It's what I do" comment was about. Hell's bells, *I* know that and I've never met you?!

"Stop being so fucking crazy, or at least learn to hide it better" - in other words: sit down and shut up. 'Cause God forbid you express yourself. It doesn't matter what YOU feel, it's about not making other folks uncomfortable.

And come on - "Quit being depressed and miserable and unstable, and start being nice, fun, and happy..." - that's just Class-ic. Boy, if someone else had just thought about THAT sooner, I guess nobody would have to worry about taking antidepressants...they could just wake up one morning and decide to stop being depressed.

Amazing! Genius! I can't wait to hear what else Anon. knows that the rest of civilization hasn't figured out yet.


Sorry. End rant.