i don’t remember exactly how it happened or what was said, but i remember i violated the most important rule for parents on facebook: if you are so lucky as to be confirmed as your child’s friend you may not comment–nay, you cannot even look–at your child’s posts.
i did. i looked and i even commented. something parental, along the lines of “i think you shouldn’t”
my sons erupted in a baffling and quick comment and reply i was awash in tears. until eastman called me and said everything was just for show. “if you win an argument on facebook, you’ve already lost,” he said.
i was reminded of his wisdom, forged upon his twenty years on this planet, last night as i logged on. there are many support groups on facebook, one for every supportable human condition. i am a member of several associated with agoraphobia. i joined all of these early this year, after i started my facebook new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends. last year, i resolved to meet all 325 of my facebook friends, no matter where in the world they might be. by the end of the year i had met 290–and had discovered that about ten percent were spambots, in prison, were hopscotching the world in such a way that we could not meet, or had some reason they didn’t want to meet me. including being dead.
i still consider myself agoraphobic. meaning i am terrified to leave the house. the problem is that my house now includes the world.
every morning i wake up and the first thing i say to myself is “this is the day that the Lord has made. i will be happy and grateful” and then i quickly think of ten things that i am grateful for. before i think of things that make me stay in bed and say fuggeddaboudit!
does that make me religious? i don’t think of myself as particularly so. but without this ritual i would probably fall into a former habit of refusing to get out of bed at all.
last night, i observed on facebook two groups devoted to the support of people with agoraphobia. the two groups devolved into–well, i won’t put to fine a point on it–a bitchfest of accusations of members and admins (administrators) being non-agas — not particularly agoraphobic. one woman was outed as a non-aga because she had recently been able to get out of the house. even holding down a job. she was still the administrator of a support group on facebook devoted to agoraphobics but she was badmouthed by a few members of another group. defriending. blocking. barring from the group. closing the formerly open group. posting, more posting and still more posting. and cut and pasting slanderous posts and reposts. and j’accuse. lots of j’accuse.
the adminstrator (and facebook friend of mine) of one group deactivated her account, taking down (inadvertently or not) many photos beloved by the group as a whole. she reactivated her account and the photos were reposted a few hours later. i think someone won the argument. but i think whoever won has lost.
i’m not sure i’m entitled to be in any of the support groups for agoraphobics and other housebound people on facebook. i was someone who was housebound. i could be someone who is housebound tomorrow. every day i wake up with the decision and every day i am unsure whether i can do it. mostly i do. some days i can’t. but every day i start with this
i am with the majority of the group members of the support groups i am part of: we need to be supportive of whatever we are, wherever we are in life. we struggle, we figure it out, we forgive ourselves, we forgive other people.