A couple of days ago I find a facebook friend request...from my Ex. I have to say it freaked me the fuck out. No message, just a request. It had been 12 months since I had to deal with him about the settlement of our old life. I posted a question on facebook: was this an olive branch; stalking; or a headfuck. My glorious friends far and wide jumped in with an overwhelming response that considering how messy the breakup was, they were choosing options B or C. I was in a panic. The ignore button on the friend request was looming large, but after the anger I endured through the breakup, I didn't want to 'poke the bear' (as we say in our house). How do I say no without incurring any wrath?
I luckily received a message from a mutual friend (who is in contact more with him than me). She said she thought it was an olive branch and that there was nothing malicious in the request. She said he seemed to have moved on, well and truly, and is harbouring no ill feelings or anger towards me or the break up any more. Even so - she still thought it was a bad idea. She said she'd try talking to him about it and help him to see this. I couldn't thank her enough.
I guess what this has shown me, is that even after talking to a psychologist about the breakup, I was still carrying around the fear of bumping into the Ex. I knew it would happen eventually, and my heart would race if I was at a gig and saw someone with any similar physical resemblance. I imagined every scenario or possible outcome. But any which way I looked at it, the fear loomed large. On hearing the news from our mutual friend, I actually began to think differently. Perhaps I could let the fear go. Let the hurt go. And the guilt, I was feeling for having found a new and wonderful relationship. This news, in a way, had the power to change everything.
It's never nice to cause anyone pain. It's very hard to put yourself first. But when it comes to happiness, you may have to learn this, no matter how painful it is. I see other people struggling with this, and the tumult of emotions and thoughts that come along for the ride. But somehow hearing news that the Ex had moved on meant that I could too. Completely. I can stop carrying around the fear and guilt. This stuff takes time, and I am sure that I'll still be shaking should I find myself in the same room as him. But hopefully civility will be the goal for everyone concerned.
I am so happy and contented with the home Peter and I are creating. I feel able to be the person I'm supposed to be. And with each step forward, and each day of working through the past, I find myself not looking back nervously over my shoulder, or feeling the past nip my heels. I am making a happier future for myself, my beautiful husband and our lovely friends.