If Facebook was real life.


I’m sitting in a group therapy session for people with complex PTSD and other problems caused by childhood trauma, telling the group about the chain of events that led to my becoming the family blacksheep.   Tears trickle down my cheeks as I relate how victimized I felt by my family.  The two people on either side of me reach out to touch my shoulders.   I feel the beginning of connection, of a sense of belonging and community I never had at home, or anyplace at all.    I feel safe in this place.  I feel like my secrets will never go beyond the confines of this room.   Outside, the world may be dangerous and unfriendly, swarming with treacherous and cold-hearted people who wish me ill, but inside these walls, I feel welcomed and loved.

Suddenly the door opens.   It’s my niece, who I’ve met exactly three times in my life.  I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl.   She’s armed with an album of photos of her latest vacation and the big party the extended family threw for her on the birth of her latest child.  I wasn’t invited to this party.   She walks over to me and starts shoving the the pictures in my face, making me look.    I politely shuffle through the stack, then hand them back to her.  I feel violated and envious.  “Do you like them?” she demands.  She won’t leave until I say I do.  Apparently satisfied, she leaves.

Then someone I barely know from an old job walks in the room.  He tells me his business has really started taking off and he’s raking in so much money he is having a custom vacation home built right on the beach.   He shows me pictures of the house-in-progress he and his gorgeous new wife are building.  “Oh, yes, and we just found out she’s pregnant–with twins!” he crows.  Finally, he leaves.   I turn toward the group, ready to apologize for the rude intrusion.

But I never have a chance, because then my daughter’s  BFF from her middle school days bursts through the door, crying and cussing because her babydaddy is back on drugs and hasn’t payed child support in over a year.    My polite but sympathetic nods constitute a “Like” and satisfied with that, she leaves.   My boundaries feel like they’re under siege by this point.  I turn back toward the group, but am interrupted again.

Some stranger walks in and shoves a piece of paper at me.  I look down at it,  It’s a test called  “Which Celebrity Pet Do You Look The Most Like?”  Annoyed, I crumple it up and toss it on the floor.

A guy I’ve never seen before but who calls me “Friend”  invites me to play a game.   He starts tossing game cards at me, which contain pictures of things like barrels of apples, litters of piglets, bushels of wheat, and clucking hens.

Stop, please!  I want this room to be my sanctuary again.   I feel inhibited and self conscious now, because at any moment some random person from my past, a random relative, someone from an old job, or an old classmate might invade the room again, crashing over my boundaries.  No place is safe.

I have one more visitor.    My mother enters the room, fixes me with a penetrating stare, and tells me she heard everything I said about her in this room before all the interruptions started.    I feel like the floor just dropped out from under me, leaving me stranded in mid-air.   I stare at my mother.  Her eyes are opaque and unreadable, but her small, knowing smirk tells me everything I need to know.

17 thoughts on “If Facebook was real life.

  1. Stay grounded Luckyotter. No face book participants have ever felt touch of a hand on their shoulder that let them know someone was really there beside them, despite their self manifested “friendships” and self manifested false “selves”. Your words reach out across the internet and cut through the fog to really reach others, because you are authentic, not trapped and filtered through some narcissistic bubble. We can really see you and we are really here, no matter how many likes you get, or do not. And as for your mother, what a false facade she is. You were not made in her image, so you can let your cradle fall without terror. Ah, what an exhilarating ride! The God who created you is surely catching you and showing you your true self, which is truly beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow great representation !!! Above all very true.. I used to praise and thought I could never live without FB .. Specially when all my best friends and all my family are all iver the world except here.. ( except my kids of course).. But lately and suddenly I got tired of FB, and barely returned.. I find it boring .. Thats it plain boring..
    Was great fun to read 😃😃 and have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s exactly what facebook feels like…
    Do you use Chrome? There’s an app called StayFocused, which lets you block websites…I block Facebook at all times except for a one hour window…It might help out.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. All you have to do is hit “delete” and all those problems go away. 😉 I know that is easier said than done but your post highlights one (of many) reasons why I choose to not have a Facebook page and all the distractions associated with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Role playing a la Oprah…And you get a role! And you get a role!…
    I scroll through most of the stuff posted by my “friends” and their friends, etc.. Mostly I just use it to keep up to date on local goings-on. It’s like a lot of other things that come thru the internet which I take with a pretty large grain of salt, no matter the source.


Comments are closed.