He Thought I Should Know What People Were Saying About Me

This happened in April, but I haven’t been able to write about it until now.

It came late one night, by Facebook Messenger, and he’s someone who organises events and whose company I’ve enjoyed — we’re not close friends, but I like him, I just plain like him and what he stands for. He asked me about my relationship with a prominent journalist, if we “were still close” and I responded in that I was in a “hate the sin/love the sinner” kind of way. The journalist in question has taken views that I cannot bear, but he has that right. And he’s been a loyal friend to me.

The event organiser responded that he thinks that I am great, and that he’d love to do more with me, but that many people had been hurt by what this journalist does (I agree with him), and that he is not sure that he can because so many poeple see us as being close. He ended by saying that he wasn’t sure that anyone had said it directly to me, but that people do talk and he thought I should know.

I’m still cycling through a few things:

  1. He’s telling me he’s the good guy, telling me what other people are saying?
  2. Why doesn’t he just have the guts to stand up to these “people”, why pass the buck on to me? If he thinks I am so great and all, why not defend me to them?
  3. Oh, wait, this is really his opinion, and he can’t claim it, so he’s bringing in “other people” to make it more palatable to himself.

I didn’t fire back. In fact, the series of questions I responded with was a garbled mess, I was so shocked and angry. And I got no response.

Then I re-read his message carefully, over and over, and one thing became clear: that it was him, or people who he cared about, who had been hurt by what my friend the journalist had done. This came from a wounded place. So I emailed him to ask him about this, and how I could help. It took a lot to swallow that anger (which isn’t completely gone, clearly).

No answer to the email.

I’m not sure what I am to take away from this. I need help processing it, still. This journalist has been a loyal friend to me, and no one has the right to blame me for his opinions, or to ask me to renouce my friendship with him, or to apologise for being friends.

I am sure there are other lessons here that I am missing and I’d appreciate your take.

This exchange has left me unnerved, and made me feel threatened.