why oh why do i open old emails


On the leg (why the HELL did I write “on the leg”–stupid aphasia). After my previous post on lacking self-soothing mechanisms, I read an old email from one of my MFA peers who decided to dump our “friendship” in the wake of my stroke. Yes, I was reading the actual “dump” email. (“First, let me thank you for your good intentions…That was very nice to wish me well,” it begins. Not a good start).

Why? I guess because an MFA friend of mine asked me if I was going to that person’s reading. Ugh. I hadn’t told many people at all of being dumped (the person’s email reads, “I apologize that at this time in my life, I can’t maintain our friendship.”). I told my friend briefly why I wouldn’t be going–because I was unceremoniously dumped, post-stroke.

And then I read the old email again.

Man, it hurts as much today as it did then. (“I need to remain absolutely committed to my process, and that means that I can’t be in this now,” the letter continues).

In other news, when I return to campus this Fall, I hope I can protect myself. I am done with being hurt by MFA peers. (The email ends with, “Hope you are making a steady recovery. Take care of yourself!…Sincerely, Xxxxxx”)



Filed under Life, MFA, The Stroke

14 responses to “why oh why do i open old emails

  1. heh

    i can’t speak for that person but i know from time to time when i am faced with people in dire hardship, i find myself daunted by the reality of helplessness. selfish, but it’s even harder to deal with the fact that i can’t do a single thing for that person.

    it’s not a healthy way of thinking i know.

  2. that’s garbage. i feel like, in general, the mfa peers i knew were really supportive of other folks in the program. when one classmate’s brother killed himself, we rallied around her.

    i know this is most likely unfair, but i contribute the selfishness of people to the bay area in general. i find the bay area to be full of people who are really self-involved, and who pass this off as self improvement. whatever. all i know is that out of anywhere i’ve lived, this is the place where people have their noses the farthest up their own butts. lovely.

  3. mel

    My mfa peers, the ones in my class and the one ahead of me, were really great, too. Everytime you talk about your classmates, I think, that sucks.

    I hate to say this but there are lots of writers who fall into the self-involved category. too bad.

  4. mel: I guess that’s why I mostly made friends with the MFA folks in your class, and not my own. It was a clear choice, at least to me–you had a much friendlier crowd for sure!

  5. Screw that person…definately not friend that you lost anyway. Just dead weight. Consider yourself lucky!

  6. I will tell you if the MFA person was a female, here’s been my experience with women, there are two types of women. Girlie girls and guy girls. Girlie girls are pains in the ass. They are shallow people who care about stupid stuff. Guy girls are real, genuine and down to earth. They don’t care about stupid things. So figure out if the female you meet is a guy girl or a girlie girl…and it has nothing to do with how they look. It has everything to do with what they care about and their depth. If there is no depth….they are a girlie girl. And run as fast as you can away from them.

  7. Hmm, I’m not so sure girlie girls don’t have any depth. Even valley girls or rich girls can show some depth of thought. (What’s Alicia Silverstone’s character’s name in Clueless again???)

    Anyway, I have read this post about 4 times now, trying to hold my tongue but why bother.

    I admit, the two years I was in the MFA were difficult because there just seemed to be this heavy pendulum. One moment, I was very close with some people and then a shift occurred. Things got rough in my personal life and in my school life. I don’t think I came away from the experience with anyone I can call a close friend; I know now that the literary world is very cold and lonely so people will create very private circles where those within promote one another.

    I wish you well this fall!

  8. man OH man…. i’ve got to email you about the viper pit…it’s not even literary cliquishness. it’s just like mean girls, except for the early twenties set. oy.

  9. Ev: I’m hoping to reach the place you’re signalling soon, for sure–oh, how I wish sometimes for the “thick skin” I used to have. 🙂

    Stephanie: You are not alone in your MFA isolation–I was glad to have made a few friends, but mostly I have spent my years “ducking and weaving.”

    loose green tea: Oh, I can’t wait to hear! We really ought to trade stories…and sometimes I really wish we lived MUCH closer to each other!

  10. Early twenties? Ugh. I don’t think people should be admitted to MFA programs until they are 30, minimum.

  11. Person

    Dearest Jade: I may be wrong, but I suspect I know who that person is. Let me tell you that at least three other people have been snubbed atrociously, in similar ways, by that person; add in me and you have four people besides yourself.

    That person is really ill. She attacks people and projects onto them all manner of delusional hostility. She is convinced that people hate her who actually wish her well.

    If it is the same one, she dumped on me right after my father’s death. Then she dumps on you (much worse than she did to me) after your stroke?

    Her m.o. is so repetitive that just describing her behavior anonymously brings out tales from others who recognize her instantly.

    She is very ill. I really think she has a personality disorder.

    Please, please, delete her message. It is toxic. She is sick. You need to protect yourself.

  12. Maybe its a good to develop some non-MFA peers as well as just invest in the better ones.

  13. I’m sorry that this happened to you. She sucks. I can empathize with you about the MFA program bullshit. So sad. I agree with what Stefanie said about the writing world being cold and lonely and how we writers need to create little circles within that to support each other. Well, put.

  14. w

    I’m remembering one woman in my program who wrote such a letter to another MFA peer (but for no other reason than that their values were too different for them to get along) and who also got annoyed at another MFAer’s pain (the latter woman had lost her fiancé during 9/11, not in the Towers, but he had a fatal brain aneurysm in Europe while fielding calls about the attacks).

    This makes me so sad.

    I hope you’ve deleted that e-mail. It’s poison.

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