Responding to a former friend’s betrayal

Most Sundays, I attend a weekly secular gathering called Houston Oasis. I go to take pictures for them to use in their marketing. It’s a lot of fun, and I feel like the people really appreciate it. It’s also built up my photography skills a lot. I would go with my girlfriend and her two sons, the older of which has Asperger’s Syndrome like me and their mother.

A few weeks ago, they announced a fundraising campaign, and my girlfriend posted some concerns she had about it on the group’s private Facebook group. Discussion followed, and it was all fine and dandy.

Then a member of the board, Alexis, posted something on her wall basically saying that she was upset about something (she didn’t say exactly what) and she wanted to post something passive aggressive about it. Because that in itself wasn’t passive aggressive. Despite the fact that we’ve had Alexis and her husband over for dinner several times and thought she was a good friend, my girlfriend thought it was about her, so she asked in a comment to it if it was about her. After a bit of prodding, she got a private message that took us completely by surprise. For your reading pleasure, here it is with my rebuttals.

Michelle, I want to explain what happened yesterday from my personal point of view. I was feeling frustrated and wanted to share that frustration without going into detail with friends, so I made a vague post to facebook. If I had responded to your question of “What’s it about?” that would obviously defeat the purpose of not posting details, so I chose not to respond to your question.

Judging by the rest of this message, you were more than just frustrated. You were angry. Decisions made in anger are rarely wise ones, and I’m surprised you think that you can defend posting vague, passive-aggressive things about someone on your friends list. You know how that makes you look, don’t you?

I am under no obligation to explain everything I post to you or anyone else. You then publically demanded an answer, asking if I was annoyed with you.

But it was about her. It turns out that she was actually completely justified in suspecting that it was about her, and she called you out on it. Nobody likes being called out when they’re being idiots, but adults accept it and take it in stride.

Honestly, this is completely unacceptable behavior for an adult.

This from a person who posted something vague to publicly complain about a friend without her knowing it. That’s a nice glass house you’ve got there.

I gave no indication that the post was about you, yet you chose to assume it was and make yourself a victim.

It was about her, and she was the victim! Like I said, you just don’t like your bad behavior being called out, so now you’re projecting your immaturity on her.

Josh and you then both privately messaged me, neither of you apologized, and honestly Josh had no reason to get involved what so ever, you and I are both grown adults.

(I’m Josh. Hi!) My private message read as follows: “I hope everything is all right with you. Michelle didn’t mean to pry.” If you had read it carefully, you would have read it as an apology. At the time, I didn’t think it necessarily was about her, so I thought it was a little inappropriate for her to press so hard for an answer as to whether or not it was about her. I totally had a reason to get involved, because I considered you a friend, and I care about my girlfriend. She is a grown adult, but you are clearly not.

Furthermore, you then once again acted the victim by saying I had hurt your feelings.

Umm you were hurting her feelings, and you’re doing it right now. Do you even care about other people’s feelings? I think you might be some kind of psychopath.

You asked if I was annoyed with you and I am under no obligation to explain why I am frustrated, but you are clearly choosing to make MY post about YOUR hurt feelings.

Alexis, your post was about her. And you’re explaining why you’re frustrated right now. You posted what you posted so that she would see it and be hurt by it, and that’s why you sent her this message. She’s not merely “acting” the victim. She is the victim of your passive aggressiveness and now your direct aggressiveness.

Since you clearly must know why I am frustrated.

Well, she thought you were her friend and she cared about you, so of course she wanted to know. You could have just said that you didn’t want to talk about it.

Yes, I am frustrated with you. Honestly, I found your post regarding the Oasis fundraising campaign offensive on a personal level.

It wasn’t offensive or directed at you personally. You took it personally when you shouldn’t have. All she said was that she wasn’t sure it was the best idea to start pressuring people to donate more than they already do.

Considering that I put in 15-20 hours a week into Houston Oasis, [Alexis’s husband] easily puts in 5-10 hours a week, and I’m assuming Josh puts in roughly the same, not to mention the countless other hours put into podcasts, organization, and childcare.

This is beside the point, but here’s what I think you’re saying. Since you put more time into Oasis than you believe Michelle does, you think that means that she has no right to criticize it.

The fact that you took this as a personal attack on you and jumped to conclusions without bothering to talk to anyone makes me feel that you want to get as much out of Oasis without giving a damn about the effort anyone else puts in.

That’s an idiotic assumption, not to mention completely out of line. You’re trying to make your outrage into everyone’s outrage. Only you are outraged, Alexis, and you have no good reason to be. Nobody else was offended, because they didn’t have a huge chip on their shoulders. Nobody else is pretending to be her friend and secretly hating her. Everyone else is a decent person.

As a whole and individually, I have felt that we’ve bent over backward to accommodate you.

There you go again presuming to speak for people other than just yourself. You haven’t bent over backward for anyone. Everything you do is for yourself. You volunteer at Oasis for your own ego, and when it’s bruised by someone questioning an Oasis program, you react like a child.

There is a special one on one person in the childcare room every single week for your son. I personally spent 4 or 5 hours one night talking with you and Josh after it came to light that many people were avoiding family friendly happy hour because of you and your kids, and trying to find a reasonable solution.

And we really appreciated all of that. It further cemented my commitment to Oasis, but I guess my contribution doesn’t cover that. Michelle’s older son, as I said before, is on the autism spectrum. He’s high functioning, but he’s had behavior challenges. We addressed the problem, and now he’s much better. Many people acknowledged it. The situation was resolved. Now you’re dragging it up again just to hurt my girlfriend’s feelings, and I don’t appreciate that.

Not to mention how hard we have tried to work with you and [girlfriend’s aspie son] after he has repeatedly injured another child.

That’s an exaggeration. There was some hitting and kicking, and we addressed it. He lost TV for a month. He learned his lesson. Again, you’re only bringing this up to make my girlfriend feel guilty.

In short, I feel Oasis and I bend over backwards for you.

“Oasis and I” You do not speak for Oasis, Alexis. You’re on the board of directors, but this is all you. In fact, this conduct goes against two sections of the code of conduct. You should know better.

I feel you make no effort to reciprocate and then have the nerve to criticize when an organization I put so much of myself into says “here are the facts.”

Your feelings are an idiot. They must have constructed that horrible sentence. Your ego was bruised, so now you’re lashing out like a little kid. That’s all there is to this.

I recognize you have the right to feel how you feel,

No you don’t.

but I have the right to be offended by it.

Again, no you don’t. If you had thought about it for two seconds, you would have realized that you are being totally irrational. My girlfriend didn’t say anything offensive, so you shouldn’t be offended.

I have tried to be your friend, but I don’tappreciate you taking a situation like this and trying to turn it around on me to once again, view yourself as the victim.

She is the victim. You are a bully. We thought you were our friend, but you clearly never were. You were just storing up things to use against her. You’re not a good friend, Alexis.

It is a behavior I have seen repeatedly from you and I am tired of dealing with it. I will continue to be civil with you, however I can no longer deal with the continued repeated drama and victimization you bring.

I don’t think you know what it means to be civil. Bringing up qualms with a program that Oasis is doing is not drama. It’s something every member has a right to do.

If you have an issue with MY feelings, please discuss this situation with me. This is a personal matter between two adults, you and me, and does not need to be posted on the Oasis facebook group. This is not a group issue, this is a you and me issue.

Why don’t you want it posted on Oasis’s Facebook group? Because it makes you look bad? I agree that it does, and that’s why I’m posting it here. It is a group issue, Alexis, because you are a member of the board of directors. You are saying all of this on behalf of Oasis, and you are wrong to do that. That’s why I am going to ensure that other members of the board see it and take appropriate action.

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If anyone wants to read Alexis’s message without my commentary, I’ll post it below.

“Michelle, I want to explain what happened yesterday from my personal point of view. I was feeling frustrated and wanted to share that frustration without going into detail with friends, so I made a vague post to facebook. If I had responded to your question of “What’s it about?” that would obviously defeat the purpose of not posting details, so I chose not to respond to your question. I am under no obligation to explain everything I post to you or anyone else. You then publically demanded an answer, asking if I was annoyed with you. Honestly, this is completely unacceptable behavior for an adult. I gave no indication that the post was about you, yet you chose to assume it was and make yourself a victim. Josh and you then both privately messaged me, neither of you apologized, and honestly Josh had no reason to get involved what so ever, you and I are both grown adults. Furthermore, you then once again acted the victim by saying I had hurt your feelings. You asked if I was annoyed with you and I am under no obligation to explain why I am frustrated, but you are clearly choosing to make MY post about YOUR hurt feelings. Since you clearly must know why I am frustrated. Yes, I am frustrated with you. Honestly, I found your post regarding the Oasis fundraising campaign offensive on a personal level. Considering that I put in 15-20 hours a week into Houston Oasis, Gosha easily puts in 5-10 hours a week, and I’m assuming Josh puts in roughly the same, not to mention the countless other hours put into podcasts, organization, and childcare. The fact that you took this as a personal attack on you and jumped to conclusions without bothering to talk to anyone makes me feel that you want to get as much out of Oasis without giving a damn about the effort anyone else puts in. As a whole and individually, I have felt that we’ve bent over backward to accommodate you. There is a special one on one person in the childcare room every single week for your son. I personally spent 4 or 5 hours one night talking with you and Josh after it came to light that many people were avoiding family friendly happy hour because of you and your kids, and trying to find a reasonable solution. Not to mention how hard we have tried to work with you and Isaac after he has repeatedly injured another child. In short, I feel Oasis and I bend over backwards for you. I feel you make no effort to reciprocate and then have the nerve to criticize when an organization I put so much of myself into says “here are the facts.” I recognize you have the right to feel how you feel, but I have the right to be offended by it. I have tried to be your friend, but I don’t appreciate you taking a situation like this and trying to turn it around on me to once again, view yourself as the victim. It is a behavior I have seen repeatedly from you and I am tired of dealing with it. I will continue to be civil with you, however I can no longer deal with the continued repeated drama and victimization you bring. If you have an issue with MY feelings, please discuss this situation with me. This is a personal matter between two adults, you and me, and does not need to be posted on the Oasis facebook group. This is not a group issue, this is a you and me issue.”

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