A couple of years ago in a fit of reckless need, I friend requested half a dozen rabbis I knew. Some of these rabbis, I’ve known for more than a decade.
I was dying to know if they were willing to publicly be friends with me. Did they consider themselves friends of mine but didn’t want to go public with it because who needs the tsures?
I’d criticized on my blog several of these rabbis and a thousand times over, I’d published things all of them were sure to find offensive.
I don’t exactly abide fully by all the laws and customs of Orthodox Judaism. I’m still a work in progress. That’s how I like to phrase things, meaning I want to do religion on my own terms and maybe I’ll become more devout with time.
None of the rabbis accepted my friend requested. My therapist said I was being manipulative and I could tell she wasn’t proud of me when I relayed this story.
I felt like a right wally at the time and I feel shame as I type this blog entry.
I have a split personality. I do what I want, no matter how much it violates my community’s norms and my friends’ sensibilities. I will not be restrained. I have to be me! I’m a writer!
Then I feel hurt and isolated by the results and I desperately and pathetically reach out to people I’ve offended and — surprisingly — most of them don’t want to be friends.
Not on Facebook. Not in real life.
Much of the time, I am not OK with who I am and where I am in life. I feel great anxiety and am compelled to take action to change my state.
When I act out of this need, such as friend requesting on Facebook folks I’ve offended, the results are rarely good.