We’ve all been there: We’re in a group chat having a fun time when suddenly the attitude of the group changes. Either you’re being roasted, they’re saying disrespectful things or your friends are confessing their personal crimes against humanity. It’s not fun anymore. You have nowhere to run or hide.
What can you do? You have to leave the group chat. It’s the only option in this desperate time of need. No one loves or understands you in the moment, and staying in the group chat is a toxic abuse to your soul.
But what happens after your death in the group chat? Are you gone forever? Do they mention and honor your memory? Do you ascend into the group-chat afterlife where everything is fun and safe forever? What happens?
This happened to me. It was July 26th, 2017 at 8:14 pm when I made a joke about a friend of mine never trying Chipotle. Whilst that was disrespectful in itself, I can endure the pain of just one friend. What happened next ultimately changed my life forever: multiple others came forward spilling their crimes against humanity.
“I hate Chipotle,” one wrote, with so much disrespect and vile in her tone she didn’t even CAPITALIZE THE PROPER NOUN. Another claimed she didn’t like burritos, and then they tried to punish me.
It was a terrorizing moment. All the fear pent up so quickly, so I did what I had to do. I left the group chat at 8:19 pm. Just mere minutes after my initial joke that turned so, so sour. The next 19 minutes defined the course of my life, and moments I will never forget. Here’s what happened in detail:
I went through all seven stages of grief at once. I was shocked at how fast I lost multiple friends. It didn’t add up, I denied it behind my misty eyes. I felt the pain and guilt of acting so impulsively and removing my beautiful presence in the group.
They needed me now in their ignorance more than ever. I was angry that they could all gang up so brutally on me at once. It just didn’t make sense. They chose me intentionally to victimize and torture. It wasn’t fair. I fell into a sudden loneliness as I adjusted to life without friends.
I had no one to talk to or trust. I adjusted quickly and began the ascent back to my normal self. I worked through these range of emotions and was ultimately left with the hope that I could forgive them in my soul and that they could forgive me for leaving them.
Minutes 5-10: (The Contact)
I reach out to a tainted, yet trusted individual about what has occurred. I explain that me leaving was just a dramatic joke, that there was no pain inside of my soul. I explain I must be added back to the group.
Minutes 11-12: (The Trauma)
I then get the jaw-dropping news. They cannot add me back to the group. Here’s a live reaction of me to the news:
It was heart-wrenching. Are they going to forget about me? Are they talking about me? Did they even notice or care? My mind had to try to wrap my head around this. I had to lift my head up and be strong, but for these two minutes, I wasn’t sure if that was possible.
It was the critical thinking era. My mind was still racing at how long I have been gone, people’s reactions, etc. However, I NEEDED to find my way back to the group. I knew I needed to reincarnate myself, establish my purpose and real worth in the group so when I leave indefinitely, I will be remembered for all my antics -- good and bad. Plus, there was a cute person I need to investigate still!
Quickly, I try to have my tainted, yet trusted friend pull-the-plug back in and add me by phone number. Nothing! I quickly tried to load previous emails to re-hit the link to join. The time was ticking and the process was taking too long. Then, my new lord and savior came to the rescue: they told me to go to the archive and rejoin the group.
It turns out my tainted, yet trusted friend was WRONG YET AGAIN. First about Chipotle, and then about how to make myself rise again on the third day. I hit the rejoin button thanks to my devout, loyal and new best friend at 8:38 pm. 19 minutes after I exited. Happiness flowed through my veins as I warmly welcomed into my second-life in the group.
Despite our differences, I was happy to be back and they were happy to see me.
It’s important to remember in these often divisive times, that people will have wrong opinions and will disrespect you no matter how good of a person you are. It’s part of the human experience. While you can’t help the "un-wokeness" of people who do not like the food of integrity that is Chipotle, it’s important to remember that we have to educate and fertilize the seeds of knowledge in the less-educated.
The moral of this story is forgiveness and acceptance. It has been one hour and seven minutes since my second life has started in the group chat. It hasn’t been easy coping, but the emotional journey will be worth it once I have full trust in my friends again.
Just like political, religious or identity differences, taste in food is something that can tear any friendship apart. It almost happened to me. Stay strong, believe in your bond with your friends and anything can happen!