And I'm ruminating over it. I've been talking to myself in the car and I'm going to spend my precious therapy time talking about it.
You may have already read about the e-mail that I received yesterday over at Steatopygia. If you haven't, go read that first please.
I am not a confrontational person, generally. I don't know if this is my nature or not, but it was definitely not encouraged in my family of origin. It was somewhat dangerous. So I did not take lightly the idea of responding to this e-mail. I knew the sender would be defensive and uncomfortable. I'd hoped it would make her think...and recognize that such things are not just not funny, but actually hurtful.
She responded back to me, as I had anticipated, but was she said was not at all anticipated. "Almost as soon as I sent this out, I regretted that I'd sent it to you." Now, let's clarify...I know that she wasn't being mean in saying this, so I sense that she knew I would take umbrage or be hurt by it and she regretted causing that reaction. But, if you know that something could cause pain to one of your friends, why would you send it out to anyone? Why would you find it funny? (Okay, I know that this last is a complex question and we often find things funny that completely horrify us under different circumstances, but this was a piece of e-mail spam!)
So I responded back: "I know this wasn't maliciously done. I was just trying to "raise awareness" as the Berkeley-ites might say."
And she wrote back...I can't quote exactly because I have to admit that I saw read, but the jist of it was that she is aware of issues of difference (she used her autistic son and her gay son as evidence of this) and basically, she doesn't need to have her awareness raised. And then she raised the issue of "choice," as well (which I'd never brought up) and said that she supposed obesity wasn't a choice either.
Wha! First, I don't care if the person in the picture is on 12 different meds that caused her to be obese, or if she "chose" to be so by deliberately overeating...that should not excuse ridiculing her or people like her. Why can't people get that? Second, clearly she is aware of issues of difference, but she doesn't get what it feels like.
Her last line of her e-mail was "Now let's just drop it." Um, okay, but I can't. I'm left feeling angry and I don't know what to do with this. This particular, co-worker (former friend?) is transferring to another unit in about 2 weeks. And I'm left trying to figure out what to do. It's complicated by the fact that she is the one involved in the "Holiday Party Kerfuffle" of a couple of weeks ago. I was very hurt by that and the reaction I got was surprise that I was hurt by it. It left me feeling completely out of the loop.
Well, now that I've blogged about this, I can go eat breakfast and spend an hour telling my therapist. What a fun morning this will be.