From a writer’s perspective, it’s a good thing when something you write hits home for your audience, when they identify with it. .
For the audience, though, such writing can be a mixed bag.
I didn’t comment on the Cam story in my first post on this episode in part because I didn’t want that post to be longer than it already was, and in part because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say.
Some of it felt uncomfortably familiar.
Even now, I’m not sure how much to say, how much I want to put out there. But as I noted here a few weeks ago, a number of us in the Bones fandom recently found out that we’d been lied to and betrayed by a friend in a catfishing …scheme. Thing. Event. (I’d never even heard the term prior to November 1st.)
Though there were lies about identity, it wasn’t identity theft, and the degree of betrayal varies from person to person, but there’s still enough anger there, and hurt, that much of Cam’s story here resonates.
The bottom line, for me, is two-fold: first, I wept over the death of a woman who was alive and watching the reactions while my heart broke into pieces for a child and a man who didn’t exist; and second, I saw what those same lies did to people I love, people who believed they had a much closer relationship with that person than I ever did.
It’s been a complicated month. Good has come from the situation, in that I’m much closer now to many of those who were most harmed by what happened here, and for that, I will be forever grateful. But at times, someone will say something, or I’ll feel something, and the anger and rage come back.
(Example? My next door neighbor, a lovely man in his mid-60s, lost his thirty year old daughter to cancer in October. Every time I see him, my anger that for one single second I equated his real and devastating grief with fictional people pops out into what can only be called full-blown rage.)
So I watched Cam’s story unfold, and I got this, perfectly:
“She said that if I can show Hayley stole my identity out of personal malice, it becomes aggravated identity theft, and it can add up to three more years to her sentence.”
“Are you going to do that?”
“Definitely. I am plenty aggravated.”
“You won. All the evidence shows that the first step in healing is forgiveness.”
“I’m more of a wrath and vengeance type.”
Let me tell you, I am plenty aggravated. Still. And as the story has continued to unfold over the last few weeks, new reasons to feel that way have continued to crop up.
This, despite the fact that we, too, ‘won’, in the friendships we’ve seen grow so much stronger as a result of this, and the joy we’ve found in one another.
But I’m really not the wrath and vengeance type. Forgiveness, to me, isn’t about letting the other person off the hook, or not holding them responsible, or some of the other things people equate it with. It’s about not letting what someone else did define my life.
I’ve forgiven far worse things than this situation, just for that reason. And yet it’s a process, and I’m not there yet with this. Getting there, maybe, but I still have a ways to go.
Meanwhile, Cam’s story continues, as she confronts her ex-friend. Again, there are some non-exact parallels:
“Why me, Hayley?”
“We were friends. It made it easier.”
“Seriously? It was easier to steal the identity of a friend?”
“Do you even know the meaning of that word?”
The bottom line here? No. No, the catfish person who did this doesn’t know the meaning of the word friend. The situation here only happened because people loved her, were her friends, believed she was theirs. It wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.
But friends don’t let friends grieve their death while they watch.
And people did grieve. Not in the way you feel sad when you read an article being passed around the web about a tragedy, but honest, deep, real, heartbreaking grief.
It’s interesting to me that while I get why not holding on to anger is important, and I know the show, and I know the type of person Cam is…I was still surprised when she decided not to press for the aggravated charges.
And honestly? I’m not sure I agree with her. I don’t see anything to indicate that Hayley won’t pick another friend when she gets out of prison and do the same thing – after all, she’s proud that she pulled it off as long as she did. She felt justified in doing it, and didn’t see the consequences for Cam in any of it.
But Cam was right to make the choice she did, for herself:
“That much anger and bile? I don’t want to spend one more minute in that than I have to. She stole my identity. She doesn’t get my soul, too.”
In my other post on the catfishing situation, I said this:
“We are so much more than her, and others like her, precisely because we’re capable of loving deeply and truly – and discovering that it wasn’t warranted doesn’t change that being able to love is a great gift.”
I still believe that, and know I’ve seen it in action this month, as we’ve found new, deeper friendships growing out of the fake ones. That’s my equivalent of Cam’s ‘she doesn’t get my soul, too’ and while the anger is still there, so, also, is that determination not to lose who I am – a woman who will grieve for people I’ve never met – over her.
But as Cam’s decision was shown as a process (and I’m so grateful they didn’t write it that she changed her mind as a result of the conversation with Arastoo), so is moving beyond this.
We’re on our way, though.