For damn near a decade I’ve had someone relentlessly following me on social media. Honestly, to the point of obsession. We were never friends, even though we had a few sort of friendly spells here and there. She just sort of attached herself to my social media presence after she started dating my ex.
I really didn’t do anything to prevent it nor help the matter in the beginning, posting whatever the hell I felt like at/about her, and there were a few instances when I reached out to my ex because the end of our relationship wasn’t a clean break. After fighting back and forth via email a few times I fell into her trap of manipulation, and thought that the only way to keep her happy i.e. them together and protect myself from the wrath of my ex was to keep in contact with her via social media. He wasn’t honest with her about our relationship (he wasn’t honest with anyone about our relationship…) and she felt betrayed. I told her the truth when she asked, believing that she was going to leave him if I didn’t.
No. I didn’t spill our secrets because I thought that if she left him, we could get back together. Even in the midst of the emotional turmoil right after our break up, I knew that he really loved her, and that she could make him happy in ways that I never could. I spilled our secrets because I wanted their relationship to be a success. I didn’t understand why he was keeping things from her and thought that if I was honest that I would be helping him out. BAH HAHAHAHAHA. Well I was REALLY WRONG about that, and inadvertently made things a million times worse. The only thing she ever did after manipulating me to tell his secrets was use them against him, and mentally/emotionally abuse him.
I didn’t figure that out until fairly recently, after I’d already become entangled in her web. We went back and forth online for years, me trying to keep the peace and sacrificing my health, and healing in the process. Of course, when I began my therapy I realized how unhealthy all of that was. For myself, and for my ex. I immediately severed any and all remaining ties between she and I. Long story short: it made her mad. There have been about four years of escalating different conflicts between us since then, both online and off. It’s strained my marriage, and scarred my child in addition to the mental stress it caused.
It didn’t matter how many times I abandon one profile in favor of another more cryptic pseudonym. How many times I relaunched my blog under different themes, on different blogging platforms, with completely new URLs. She always managed to find me and I’d all but given up living without her constant hovering over my life, until a few weeks ago.
Today marks one month since she last clicked on any of my social media. She’s paused before when she had something else to occupy her time, around the birth of their kids, and a few sporadic weeks here and there, but never for such a long consecutive stint fairly out of the blue. We encountered one another in May of 2008, and this is the first time she hasn’t been obsessively hunting me down. Well that I can see anyway. She might have just found a way around my reports and still be here, BUT as long as I don’t have to see her on my dashboard every day I’m counting it as a win.
Everyone told me ignoring her shenanigans was the key, but it took me a long time to confront my fear. I wasn’t afraid of her. I was afraid of what would happen to him if she left him and tried to place the blame on me. I was terrified that he would react poorly and take it out violently on himself or someone else. Mainly me, if he truly believed that I was the cause of the relationship’s demise. I wasn’t irrational in my fears either. I don’t know the current status of their relationship, I haven’t for years, but anytime she pulled away from him he immediately showed up here. When things were going well, he pretty much ignored my existence and her obsession with my social media. When things went South, here he came. He dropped off my stats soon after our most recent spat. She lingered until last month.
Now that it seems to be over, I don’t know what I feel about it.
I’m relieved, like a giant weight has finally been lifted off of my shoulders. Like I can breathe again, and I don’t have to constantly second guess everything I publish, forever worrying about how she’ll react or try to manipulate him with it. I can write about my memories and my life whenever and however I please. Which is AWESOME.
I’m also a little sad. At least when she was busy trying to drag me through the mud I could usually tell how he was doing based on his reaction. I will forever worry about him even though he’s not in my life, and he hates me with the rage of a thousand suns. I genuinely loved him despite how unhealthy our relationship was. I never stopped loving him, I only started loving myself enough to put an end to the bullshit. Unfortunately, it ended up hurting him. That fact will probably bother me forever whether I see her or him in my stats or not. You can’t just turn off real love, even when circumstances dictate for the good of everyone involved the relationship must come to an end.
It’s better this way. I know as far as a healing standpoint, this is how things have to be. It’s better to continue on with life never knowing what happens/ed to him. Hopefully my symptoms will continue to fade. I know I won’t ever be without flashbacks or triggers, but maybe I can build up an immunity as it where and not be so sensitive to them. This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to do so, without seeing her in my reports every damn day.
I’m also terrified that this abandonment of her obsession has some sort of harmful agenda attached to it. Like she’s hoping that by disappearing from my reports that I’ll let my guard down or something, and she can find information to use against me or hurt me or something. It doesn’t feel genuine. It feels like a predator quietly waiting for their prey. Those of my audience who’ve been abused know what I’m talking about. The part of the cycle where tension is building before the eventual eruption of physical/mental/verbal assault? That’s how I feel.
Which will linger for some time I’m sure. You can’t just switch off survival instincts either, and even though I can see that she hasn’t clicked or visited the page it feels more like a ruse than true relief. With time those feelings will fade and I will truly be able to relax. For now? LETS BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE AND CELEBRATE!! 😁😁😁