I stared at the phone. This, now the fourth Friend Request from my ex-sister-in-law. Up until this point, I had quickly rejected all Friend Requests coming from his family, chalking it up to nosy people wanting to know what I was up to. I didn’t want to drag them into my present life, nor did I want to re-hash any of the topics that made my life hell for the past few years. I wasn’t necessarily happy to be so cold to them. They were all nice to me, and I think most of them like me more than him anyway. First his brother, then his brother’s wife, then another sister-in-law, then another brother. Sometimes repetitive requests. I hated the reminder they represented, and I didn’t want ANY drama associated with our has-been relationship, even if the drama and gossip and negativity was being said about each other from hundreds of miles away.
Immediately following this final request was a Facebook message from her. This was the first time any of the requests were accompanied by an actual message. Up until now, it had just been a cold request. No follow-up. I opened the message. She stated that she missed me. She missed hanging out and talking to me. She hoped I was fine, and told me about an upcoming 3 week trip that her husband was letting her take to Europe to visit family (of course … why again did she feel the need to ask permission from her husband to see her family? Just another confirmation of the over-bearing controlling nature of the men in the family). She asked me to please respond.
I thought about it. Why was I hesitating to respond? Why was I feeling so cowardly about this? I have nothing to hide, yet somehow I went from not wanting them in my business initially to being frightened of them knowing where I was, what I was doing. Why? I had done nothing wrong. Why should I live like a fugitive?
Then, I thought about what I wanted to say. How much of it was any of her business? None of it, I knew. Yet, the thought of continuing the silence and hiding was making me very angry with myself. So, this is what I responded with:
“Hi J. Since the divorce I discovered that I have contracted HPV from *the ex* which has now progressed to potential cervical cancer. I am beyond angry, as this is as much proof as a person needs to know that he was not faithful to me. I hope you understand that I really want to distance myself as much as possible from my life in *previous city*, which is why I will not accept your friend request. I wasn’t planning on disclosing this to anyone he knows, but I want you to know why I am not going to accept your friend request. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t want any further reminders. I hope you are doing well, and have fun in London ~ E”
Then, I paused. Do I send it? What are the repercussions? Then, “oh fuck it”. Send.
Why do I feel like I’m out of line to make public something I had nothing at all to do with? Why am I feeling shameful for exposing the creep for the ass wipe that he is? I’m not running around town, calling all his friends and broadcasting it. I haven’t told his mother about it. I just want this anger to go away, and maybe a part of me thought that if I “air it out a little” I will feel a little better? Maybe. Who knows.
The part that I am absolutely certain about is that I AM beyond angry. Not only do I have to worry about the future of my reproductive system, of hoping that whatever procedures I will have to undergo will not diminish any possibility of having children with the absolute love of my life, but I have to undergo painful smears and colposcopies on a quarterly basis until this thing is remedied. It hurts! It hurts physically, emotionally. It hurts to know that I so easily gave him my life for ten years – put up with his shit, his anger, his controlling, his weaknesses – and when I left, I wanted to get away so badly that I gave him everything from our marriage – the house, all my stuff (with the exception of my living room furniture), a car we had just bought, all the little things I didn’t think I would want, but now I would LOVE to have them back. He has taken so much of my past, and now it looks like he will continue to haunt my future as well. Anger is not a strong enough word, and usually – even though it’s almost always on my mind – I let this ugly vile feeling simmer below the surface which is no good for me. I want to find that release valve, something that will reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the pressure. But I can’t find it. None of the things I want to do seem reasonable or rational.
I am curious though to see if she will respond – to me. Or if she will go directly to her husband and tell him, who will undoubtedly let the creep know. Oh well if he does. It’s not me who has any explaining to do … but why do I feel like it is?