Monday, July 08, 2013

Obsessing and cyberstalking

I'm the one who's doing both.

My best friend from high school, Judy, was unusually close to her older sister. I spent a lot of time with the woman over the years, too, and while my relationship with Big Sis wasn't always smooth I always admired her. Therefore I was sad to learn that she had suffered a massive heart attack and was being kept alive by machines until she was strong enough to endure hours of surgery.

I learned this completely by accident. Judy and I haven't spoken in 25 years. The story of our rift is complicated. If you feel like reading it, click here.

Today was Big Sister's surgery. Judy is maintaining a blog on the hospital's "Caring Bridge" wehsite, and both she and her sister's partner have been updating Facebook. I have been checking the sites obsessively for updates.

I am happy to report that Big Sis Carol came through surgery and, though she's not out of the woods, this critical first step went well.

I also learned that Judy is as I remembered her, and I am glad that I chose not to reach out to her.

While Carol's long-time lover, Bill, posted photos of Carol and thanks for prayers. Judy posted in exasperation on her Facebook (didn't she already tell us that her updates would appear on the hospital's Caring Bridge blog?) and keeps mentioning that Carol and Bill are going to need help with their rent and utilities. She's working on getting a special fund set up at Chase. This bothers me because, after college, when Judy was unable to work, it was Carol she lived with and Carol who supported her.

In short, Bill's posts are about Carol and Judy's posts are about Judy.

Judy was like that when we were kids. She was like that in 2008 when she tried to reconnect out with me. In her world, her interests and desires supersede everyone else's. Judy is a complicated person -- having suffered from agoraphobia and myriad health problems. Explaining her behavior does not excuse it, though, and I'm not interested in getting enmeshed in all that again. So while my first impulse is to pitch in and help, I'm resisting out of self-protection.

Carol will stay in my prayers. She played a role in my growing up and I respect that. But I'm going to continue sending my positive thought anonymously.