When I decided to return to the community online, I was planning to read, and observe, for as long as possible. I would begin first.. by "lurking." I hate that word, actually. I know, I know, it is a joke word... And I prefer to be in the open, taking my chances on being seen for exactly what I am.
I learn best by trial and error.
So I erred, within days of rejoining. With friends and estranged participants alike, I shared my job description as a potential trusted servant. (As I may have said, I had put my name in as a potential delegate for the region in which I live.)
The job description was supposed to go to one person within our organization and to her personal email address. In a mindless moment, after careful word-smithing and research, I sent it to every person on that email list. And I signed off with a very fine signature quote.
The email triggered a flurry of WTF's, none of which went to me. The kindest note came to me via a long-term member who has seen my inadvertent errors over the years.
I have to say, I have learned a lot of tolerance for others' errors; some of our online community have been known to send work files and private emails onto the list serve before. But I was chagrined when I was first told of the mistake!
I rectified it as soon as I was able, as I heard about it via mail on my phone (the same phone which so helpfully changes the address I am sending from, in such a random way as to be often unnoticed, by me). I resent the errant email and followed up via phone, because by this time I had been to Yoga class and had come to realize I may have described the wrong job, actually. I am not so much to serve my region as I am to serve the larger organization.
Communication within our organization is tough right now, and so, what I thought had been resolved by direct communication... got resolved again, the next day. And it looked like the person I had talked to had changed her mind about how to approach me and was now reprimanding me for my email error, as well as the way in which I presented myself. I had been most INAPPROPRIATE.
I don't know. Perhaps as a long-term practitioner of the 12-steps, I should not be rubbed wrong. Everything just felt so serious. And it turned out my innocent email re-triggered the person who felt I had stalked her.
This person spoke their mind to the moderators of our list serve and then finally, after I had written my first real post several days later (including an apology to the list that was censored), the poor person whom I triggered by my public post, decided she was not safe on the list and left. And left in a way that made it clear I WAS the bad guy.
The general impression that folks seem to have, even the ones that know me, is that I initiated private harassing emails with this person upon returning to this forum.
Nothing is farther from the truth, but I likely DO have other issues to deal with, inside of me, and in how I deal with others. In this case, to make amends is to change, but to do so without self-judgment and excessive guilt.
Now that won't be easy. I would have appreciated the chance to make amends to the person in question, but that won't be possible. This person had slammed the door in my face, and told me I was a victim for asking to know, honestly, where we had gone wrong in our online interactions.
Because really, I had no clue. I can only imagine.... because the emails we had had up until the three that she felt had violated her boundaries... had basically been neutral.
I had had an intuition about the person, based upon the way in which she shared.. and I believe I felt uncomfortable with her ways of dictating how the program "should" be done.
I see today I got into her business. I did it kindly, directly and even with an apology.
But for her, this was still too much. I don't have the art with emotions, by any means, even with the best choice of words. Or maybe it was the typos and funky word choices made by my phone that got us into deep person doo-doo (or um.. don't don't).