Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hostile Blast from the Past

My ex "friended" me on Facebook last week.  He's the one ex that I have that I don't particularly like.  We parted on disharmonious terms.  I was flummoxed by his friend request.  I sat on it for a few hours and stewed.  Should I say yes, should I say no? I want to be the person who doesn't dwell on bad things, I think it's important to not banish people from your life entirely.  I somehow talked myself into it, and I finally hit "accept" with trepidation.  Then I sent him a message and asked how he was doing and what he'd been up to.  Keep in mind that the last time we talked was 1996.

And then of course I looked at all his pictures because, well, duh.  How has he fared in the past 15 years?  How does one ascertain that?  Looks?  Career? Spouse? Children? Material possessions? General happiness and demeanor in pictures?  Any way you slice it, the last 15 years have not been kind to him.  He's gained a lot of weight.  He looks old and tired. He's no longer a hottie; he reminds me of my uncle who has given up on life.  Based on his work history, he has had a series of jobs that have involved manual labor.  His wife looks old in that way you do when you have a really hard life and chain smoke.  It appears as though they live in a trailer.  He has 4 kids although 2 of them aren't technically his.  His hobby appears to be fixing really old Chevy trucks.  For all intents and purposes, I dodged a major bullet by not getting too serious with him.

It's been 6 days, and he hasn't responded to my message.  So I sit and wonder.  Why "friend" me when you don't want to talk with me?  See, I use Facebook to communicate with people.  I comment on pictures, comment on statuses, am active in the groups I'm in, if I think of someone randomly I'll post on the person's wall, etc.  I need to have better "liking" etiquette, but other than that I am really active and actually DO communicate with most people I'm friends with (except for the few I hide because they go on frequent Republican rants and I don't want to see that stuff). 

He does come up in my newsfeed now, and there's something in me that gets kind of angry when I see his picture.  It's a completely visceral reaction. I can admit when I might have some unresolved feelings from long ago, right?  =)

I'm not even mad at him when it comes down to it.  I'm mad at myself.  I'm mad for making stupid decisions, for staying far too long, for almost compromising myself and my ideals.  He is just the physical representation of my own hostility toward myself and that time. 

To sum up an 8 month relationship, he wanted to be married and have kids because he wanted to be at the center of a family that he was in charge of.  I was 17 years old and had absolutely no interest in getting married and having kids (especially the having kids part).  I was 17!  He had some rather complex issues with control.  He wanted to pick what I would wear, he wanted to say who I could talk to, where I could go.  I was constantly in fear of pissing him off because he would become aggressive to a certain extent. But when I did things just to not piss him off, I would be compromising my own integrity by doing something stupid that he wanted. It was all very strange and reminded me of some bad Lifetime movie. 

All of my friends hated him.  One time I royally pissed him off.  I think it was during one of our "off" times, and he saw me with another guy on campus.  I saw him, he saw me, he gave me The Glare.  I knew I was in trouble. When I got back to the dorm that evening, the word on the floor was that he was looking for me and he was angry.  I had to hide in someone's room while he scoured the dorm looking for me, and then my friends had to cover for me.  When you finding yourself hiding in a closet because he's so angry that you don't know what he'll do when he finds you, that's when you 100% know it's not a relationship that you should be in. It's time to let go.

I could defend him and say that the majority of the time he was fine to deal with - it was just when he was angry or frustrated with me or someone else that his behavior was worrisome.  As time went on, though, his worrisome behavior increased.  I was on edge all the time because I seemed to have an uncanny ability to make him angry (and there may have been a few times that I purposely provoked him).  Sometimes I felt that my mere existence made him angry.  It was bad all around.

We both moved on.  The girl he dated after me was not at all like me.  We were from two completely different worlds.  She had a toddler by one man and was pregnant with another man's child when she met him.  I think she was 20-21 years old at the time, and he was 22-23 years old.  She deferred to him in a way that I never did.  Especially due to her having 2 kids already, she needed him.  I never needed him, and he hated that.  How many years later, and they're married and still together.  In addition to the 2 kids she brought into the relationship, they had 2 more together. It's not surprising that he was contacted by the police for abusing her kids soon after they got together.

I have absolutely no animosity toward her.  I kind of feel sorry for her, but I suppose he is the person she was looking for - someone to tell her what to do, someone who she thought would solve her problems. I don't really have much animosity toward him when you get down to it.  He wanted a girl who adored him and thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.  I wasn't that girl.  I do have animosity toward myself for getting sucked into a trap that I almost didn't get out of.  Live and learn, right?

All this and I really wonder why he won't message me back - even something generic.  Until that happens, I just feel like we're in this awkward state where we don't acknowledge each other's existence.  Do I comment on something he posts to break the ice? Do I hide him? Do I de-friend him?  When it comes down to it, we don't have much of anything in common.  He fixes trucks, camps, and plays Warhammer.  Back then, at least he had his looks.  Now he doesn't even have that, and, well, there's absolutely nothing to even build a friendship upon. 

Yeah, I should have just ignored his request. But I didn't.  So I'm just figuring out where to go from here.

A small part of me is wondering if he's looking at my stuff and thinking, "Whew, I dodged a bullet there."  Yeah, probably.

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