Author Topic: Facebook Snub  (Read 3432 times)

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mrkitty

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Facebook Snub
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:22:02 AM »
My brother is very big on what he calls "protocol." He insists that any contact with his wife and kids go through him; this includes contact from siblings. Once, several years ago, my sister, who was starting her real estate career, sent some newsletter/sales-y pamphlets to our sister-in-laws parents (whose contact information came from a condolence card they sent her when our father died) and my brother had a FIT about it because she dared to send them something and didn't have a right to because she didn't have a relationship with them.

I only started doing Facebook six months ago. This after ten years of avoiding any non-anonymous activity online, because my husband's nephew stole my identity and set up an account on a dating web site and arranged for me to be se#ually assaulted, a year to the day after I had been in real life. I am still very traumatized by these events, but I have been working hard on trying to trust people again, and I thought baby steps on Facebook might be a good way to go about it.

When I first signed up, I noticed my brother's wife on Facebook and sent her a friend request, which went ignored. A few weeks later, I noticed she befriended my husband on Facebook. Now, in real life they had met only a small handful of times while my father was dying, and except for becoming official "friends" Facebook, they did not trade messages of any kind. Still, I was kind of chagrined/hurt/bewildered why she would hook up with him on Facebook but not me, who has known her since she married my brother in 1990 when I was 17. But, I figured maybe she intended to accept my request but just forgot, and I let it go for several months, thinking I was just taking things too personally as I tend to do (trust issues).

Well, my birthday came and went, DH bought me a small Pepperidge farm cake (which I hate, but, hey, he bought me a cake. Yay.), sang "happy birthday" to me and called it mission accomplished. He also sent out a Facebook message to everyone in his contact list begging them to send me a happy birthday message "because my wife is lonely and has no friends, so do her a favor and say happy birthday." (Which of course made me feel even more depressed and humiliated than had he done nothing.) Oh, and nobody did anyway.

Meanwhile, tonight I log on to Facebook and notice that she's still friends with him (yes, we have full access to each others' accounts; sorry, trust issues again, had to insist on it when he convinced me to join) and all these months had ignored my friendship request. I brought it to his attention, and I said it feels a little inappropriate to me; I mean, I know they're not having an affair or anything like that (first of all, we live on opposite sides of the continent and secondly there has been no communication betwixt them) but considering that they have no other connection than through me, I take it as a snub on her part. (There's also a lot of history there...she, according to my brother, never liked me and was behind my being shut out as a godparent to both their children, while all my other siblings were included as godparents, and this because as a college student at the time, had no money with which to raise the kids if need be (which isn't the point of being a gp at ALL but whatever) and, well, I just think this is a slap in the face. One too many, as a matter of fact.

I have been feeling very low lately and this has been one rejection too many for me. DH is stressed out and says that's why he never is interested in scrabble, or even so much as a hug. I am trapped here in this apartment with no transportation and can't make it to the bus stop on foot - it's too far for me to make in my present out of shape condition, not to mention that my husband controls our finances and we have no extra cash with which I can do anything or go anywhere anyway, even so much as look for a job, which given my present mental/emotional state seems like a tall order. I have no friends here, and I'm afraid to go out and make any anyway, not that I would know how/where to begin looking after a solid decade. I thought this Facebook thing would help, but it's just ended up costing me my sense of privacy and security, plus now I feel even more isolated and alone. 

Meanwhile, I asked him tonight why he didn't unfriend my sister in law months ago when I told him how slighted I felt. His reply? He said he didn't know how to do it. I pushed back and said "of course you do. You showed me how to sign up for Facebook and how to use it." THEN he said "I'm too busy working and putting a roof over YOUR head and food in YOUR mouth! I have more important things to worry about than whether you feel slighted by something so petty."

Ah, so my feelings are petty, then. I suppose they are. But, they're still my feelings and I wouldn't remain "Facebook" friends with anyone HE felt uncomfortable with. I tried to think of a few examples, but he said he didn't care WHO I was friends with on there. Then, to shut me up I suppose, he non-apologized by saying "I'm sorry IF you felt offended by this." Oh, but first he demanded I go on there and unfriend my sister in law for him, since he claimed he didn't know how and was too busy working all the time - even though I see plenty of messages between him and his other friends that he does from work, so clearly he has SOME time. I guess my feelings just don't matter anyway. He did say he thinks my sister in law hooked up with him on Facebook anticipating a rather large inheritance my husband is set to receive soon...hoping to cozy up to him for some of the money...which makes me wonder WHY THE EHELL DIDN'T YOU DELETE HER THEN YOU #$%#?!

So, in a nutshell, he non-apologized and then gave me a guilt trip for feeling upset about his lack of ... what is it? Consideration for my feelings?

My question is this...if you've made it this far through my rambling word salad of a narrative: am I being petty? Or was my husband rude for ignoring my feelings? Is it appropriate for someone to approach/facebook "friend" an in-law's spouse without including the actual family member that makes the connection possible? Or is that weird? I think it's weird, but then I am very depressed tonight and not feeling altogether rational. Plus major awful PMS and hormones galore. So, your thoughts, please?

Just a side note: we made up before he went to bed last night, and we're ok, but I'm still not ok, though, truth be told. Very, very depressed and feel like a big fat NOTHING.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 03:43:48 AM by mrkitty »
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Iris

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 03:43:42 AM »
Firstly (((hugs))) because it sounds like you could use some.

Secondly, yes, I do think it's weird to friend someone you've rarely met while not friending the spouse that you met them through. I can understand why that bothers you.

However, I do think you turned it into a bigger deal than it needed to be. I'm struggling with how to say this without  sounding harsh. Your husband didn't really do anything wrong. He friended his SIL and then didn't immediately unfriend her when you felt slighted. Neither of those things are unreasonable. FB friends is the most tenuous of connections, it's not like he's hanging out with her down at the pub and listening to her saying nasty things about you.

I get that there's a lot more going on that probably make this more complicated than it seems, but taken in isolation this incident shouldn't be a huge drama, to me.

Finally, please get help. You are not a big, fat nothing, but you don't need my reassurance, you need real  people, professionals, who can really help you.  Best wishes.
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katycoo

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 04:02:50 AM »
OP, are you in counselling?  Because from the tone of your post, your head is all over the place.  I don't mean you're crazy, but you're clearly feeling down about yourself and overanalysing things and its affecting your relationship and your ability to make friends.

People use FB differently and you can't read into what someone else does or doesn't do, compared to what you would do.

I also don't see what the first part of your post about your brother and the second part about FB.  The only cnnection I can see is that brother blocked SIL from accepting your request as it was a breach of his protocol, but then you haven't raised that as an issue.

Why do you want to be friends with SIL on FB anyway?

mrkitty

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 04:22:13 AM »
No, you're right. My head really IS all over the place about this. I don't really desire a Facebook friendship with my sister in law; well, actually, I sort of did, but maybe just to prove to myself that what my brother told me wasn't true (about her not liking me and that I am not good enough to be friends with). I am/was more upset with my husband for staying facebook friends with her, even though I now I understand it isn't really a big deal at all. It's just the principle of the thing, but it did get my dander up, especially considering my brother's "protocol." When I raised the issue with my brother (remember, ALL communications with his family must go through him) he acted very non-nonchalant about it. (I mentioned his "protocol" because he deemed himself the proper person to discuss this with - I have no way to contact my sister in law directly. I only have my brother's cell number, NOT their home landline number. I thought he was being hypocritical.  It didn't even occur to me that he might have forbidden her to accept the facebook request until you mentioned it.)

But the important thing here is my emotional state. It's not good. I am very, very low right now and it is concerning to me. I have contacted crisis support and am looking into ways to find affordable counseling in my area. I think I'm in dire need of some help. This facebook thing is really a red herring and I see now that there are larger issues at stake. You're also right that I'm over analyzing everything and that probably means I'm having some kind of anxiety attack or bout of depression, and I need to follow up on that through proper means. Please wish me good luck and that I will be successful this time finding some support.

Thank you for your feedback, katycoo and Iris. It has been most valuable.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 04:31:25 AM by mrkitty »
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katycoo

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 04:28:59 AM »
Many hugs and luck finding someone to help you.

Soemthing which might help you in the meantime - when you're not feeling very good about yourself, your mind tells you lies.  It lies about you not being good enough and blocks you from seeing truths, like maybe your SIL is just a massive Female Dog.  I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, your mind might be stopping your from seeing it.
Just know that it lies, and you really are good enough.

mrkitty

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 04:46:34 AM »
Thank you for that, Katycoo. ((sniff)) What you said really does help. A lot. I'm sure I'll be okay...just got off the phone w/crisis hotline, feel a bit better. Am making arrangements to find a more sustainable, longer term solution. Maybe hitting the bottom like this was a good motivator to finally get to it.  :D

Hugs right back to you. And thank you.
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Winterlight

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 08:46:51 AM »
Is this the same brother whose child demanded a $1000 check from you? If so, SIL sounds like she's met her perfect match.
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Twik

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 09:27:16 AM »
Glad to hear you're feeling a little better, mrkitty.

And I agree that SIL is acting in a very unfriendly manner. But you know what? That's on her, not you. Sounds like she's just not a very nice person, and she'd accept you in a second if she thought there was some material gain in it for her. So, you're better off *not* being her FB friend, really.

I hope that you do find some long-term support. I know that when one is down, everything looks black. But sometimes, you have to remind yourself, that's a lie told by the depression itself, not the true state of things.
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mrkitty

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 10:12:09 AM »
The one and the same, actually. Twik, you're so right - I am probably better off *not* being fb friends, or friends, period.

I am, however, very much looking forward to taking steps toward healing. I have been isolated and alone for a very long time, and I sort of think my spirit is telling me I'm ready to do the work now. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting back on the Prozac (I find it helpful, anyway, plus I'm not allergic to *this* one, it seems) because it really seems to help level me off and process information/feelings more slowly and rationally, plus (Deity willing!) some cognitive therapy to learn some coping skills and, well, a lot of stuff I need to do. Plus, the crisis line gave me some information about a support group for people who have undergone se@ual assault, and I would like to try attending a meeting sometime. Plus, DH said he would try to find a way for us to be able to go to church this weekend, and I think that would be lovely. A few positive steps in the right direction, so things are looking up. Plus, you all have given me some excellent feedback and tips on coping, and I couldn't be more grateful.
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BarensMom

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 10:28:02 AM »
OP, your post has more red flags than a bullfight.

Why in the world would you want to even be FB friends with anyone in your brother's family after he and his daughter made it clear you only exist to be their personal ATM?  As for your husband being FB friends with the SIL, just go on there yourself and block the (redacted).  He probably wouldn't notice or care.

As far as your husband throwing the "I make the money" into your face, that's just reprehensible.  My husband did that.  Once.  He suffered greatly and for a very long time for that little remark.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:01:58 AM by BarensMom »

stargazer

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 10:56:34 AM »
I thought you cut off your brother.  Why would you want to be even facebook friends with any of them?  I agree that it sounds like some counseling would help with your self esteem and hopefully your husband as well. 

mrkitty

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 11:02:45 AM »
Oh, yes. He's thrown that in my face more than once. But he did suffer greatly last night for it; yessiree he surely did. I'm always getting one guilt trip or another from someone. But he was very contrite and apologetic this morning. I think he gets it now, how much I have been hurting (not just this one facebook thing but in general) and he promised to do what he could to support my efforts to find some help.

And, I did go ahead and delete the sister-in-law from DH's husband's account. In her defense, (not that I think she deserves one, necessarily, because of all the stuff from before) but I happened upon a request in my email inbox from someone else that I never noticed, so I'm going to say that I think there is some quirk either with facebook or my email system where requests can "get lost" in cyberspace. However, given everything that had transpired previously, I don't really care which one it is anymore.

It's funny you should use that analogy, BarensMom. Very apt. These days I have rather felt much like a bull - seeing red everywhere.  >:D I think last night I even had steam coming out of my ears.  Time to seek relief.

P.S. You're right too, Stargazer. You called me out. I held out, but broke down and called him last night because I was so mad. Wish I hadn't done that. Yes, some self esteem would be good here. :)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:06:53 AM by mrkitty »
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poundcake

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 11:07:17 AM »
OP, your post has more red flags than a bullfight.

Why in the world would you want to even be FB friends with anyone in your brother's family after he and his daughter made it clear you only exist to be their personal ATM?  As for your husband being FB friends with the SIL, just go on there yourself and block the (redacted).  He probably wouldn't notice or care.

As far as your husband throwing the "I make the money" into your face, that's just reprehensible.  My husband did that.  Once.  He suffered greatly and for a very long time for that little remark.

This.

You need counseling, and you need time to heal, mrkitty. And you need your husband to be supportive. I think this goes way beyond an etiquette issue regarding FB, and is more about you creating a safe environment in which to deal with some significant traumas. I'd vote for you and hubby cutting these people out of your life for now, and possibly for good, so you can focus. It's not worth it to maintain whatever relationship either of you thinks you're maintaining, and frankly, my Spidey Sense is tingling like crazy.

Wordgeek

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Re: Facebook Snub
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 01:39:52 PM »
Sympathies to the OP, but this matter is beyond the purview of an Internet forum on etiquette.