OK, well here is my first attempt at the blahbitty blahs.
Facebook: I just got onto Facebook last week. Yes, like millions of others. Finding friends, chatting with friends, spending hours trying to find nice looking pictures of yourself that you don't mind the whole world seeing. It has been fun. Interesting, but fun.
So, what is my dilemma?
Well, I found myself having a bit of a hard time dealing with all of the people that suddenly come "popping up" on my Facebook page. My ex-husband, his wife, all of the old friends of ours from way way back when. His parents, pictures of his children....his happy life lying there spread before me. I knew it was happening. I knew it was going on across the country from where I fled many years ago after college to start my life anew. But, it has never been so...in my face. Suddenly, I was being bombarded by pictures of my ex-husbands best friends, seeing evidence of their new lives. It was emotional. But why? If I knew all of it was happening, just as it was for me, why do I worry about it? It has been over ten years. People's lives change. They grow. They grow up. They become new people. Just like me. So why was I allowing myself to be so bothered by even the thought of being in contact with any of these people? Sure, I didn't expect to actually talk to my ex-husband, but his friends....why can I not get all weird about this?
Well...after many days of tossing and turning in bed, discussions with my husband, tears over the phone with my mother, I came to the realization that perhaps I have been hiding.
Little did I know I must have been doing exactly that: hiding from my old self. The old me that caught her (ex)husband making out with some girl in a dark alley that late cold night in February in Richmond, VA. That same girl that power-walked around the block praying for God to forgive her for not trusting her husband when he was "out with friends for a while", looking, stalking out that girl's house that I knew he was with- feeling like a deranged lunatic, a sad piece of work, a lost cause, a horrible mistrusting wife. I cried the whole way walking around that block, in a not-so-great part of town at 3 in the morning alone. Surely at that point, I didn't even care if it was dangerous or if the whole idea was just a really bad one. You see, I had given up me. Given away every part of me to this boy. And that is exactly what he was at the time, a boy. He was always insisting that our problems were from my self esteem issues. Perhaps in the end, they were. But, in the beginning, I gave him the world.
J (that's what I will call him here) was a heavy guy back in high school. I didn't remember ever seeing him when some people approached me way back then telling me that he liked me. I was cute, confident, somewhat well-known, but I did not trust the boys I was meeting in school. They all seemed to be either interested in drugs or interested in sex, neither of which I wanted with anyone at the time. So, one day I finally met that guy who's friends approached me. He was nice. He was into art and music and tennis and the beach and all the things that I was. No, I guess he didn't "look" the part, but I didn't care. He was nice and seemed genuine and I liked that. The years past, we got married, much too young to even know who we would become. But, we didn't care. All J and I knew was that we loved each other. Isn't that all that really matters?
J was social. He was every one's best buddy. Even strangers on the street were his long-long best friend. He was adored by just about anyone. And, the fun-loving girl I once was just somehow faded away. Maybe overshadowed by the guy that everyone liked, or maybe everyone loved. And I was just there. I supported him, I loved him. Soon, he decided he was tired of being that fat guy, so he lost weight. He lost a ton of weight and all of the sudden was that cute guy that everyone liked. And with time, I gained weight, somehow lost in all of the hubbub of being a good wife, dealing with the ups and downs of growing up and going to college. And I think, I just fizzled away. J noticed. The more I was not me, the more he didn't really care to be with me. I was boring, unexciting. After all, he had a ton of friends that were always ready for a party, ready to jump in with all the fun. J had taken up mountain biking to help him stay in shape. Although I wanted to spend time with him, it really wasn't my thing the way it was his. So, he spent time with friends, doing that, or other things, or anything. Soon, I was just the girl sitting on the couch. Getting chunkier and still not realizing just how unhappy I had become. I used to be athletic, that had gone. I used to draw and paint, gone. I used to have real aspirations. None. I once had friends of my own, also gone.
So, needless to say, when I caught J making out with the girl in the dark alley that night, I was not surprised. I was not me. I was not who he had fallen in love with. I was someone else. Someone who was trying and trying to being what I thought that he wanted, but was nothing like ME. We divorced some time later. I continued with college as did J.
We moved on with our lives and created new ones.
After the alley incident, I was a complete mess. I was lost. Who was I anyway? I had no friends. They were all J's. I had about 50 lbs of chunk on my ass. So, I did what every other girl with horrible self esteem does: look for men to pump it up. In a blur of many years I had many booty calls and one night stands, ugh...what a mess. And with every one I just sat hoping that someone would like me. Well, I got good at it. I found that I had a personality that could get just about any guy, at least to the bed. I went out. I liked to go dancing at clubs and met several girl friends that also liked it. We went out, and I really considered a good night one that ended with having met a guy. Sure, drool was often dripping from his mouth as he would awaken the next morning looking at me and mumbling something about having too much tequila. Well, that was only once. Ha ha...man. I didn't care though. At the time.
Through all of those years, being lost and slowly finding myself, I made the worst decisions. My life was a mistake waiting to happen. I did finish college. Now, I am not sure how. I moved to Savannah, GA shortly after graduating and started making a few more mistakes there. Then, I met my future husband, in a horrible tail spin of his own, together we saved each other.
Now, ten years later I sit here now typing about my old life back in Virginia Beach and Richmond while my children lie sleeping in their rooms- two boys, one girl. And I think about them and my husband and my life and thank God it has turned out.
Now, back to Facebook. The reason came to me that I am ashamed of the mistakes that I made, the crap I put up with from J, and the mess that I made of my life way back then. These Facebook people knew me then, they know all of my skeletons. They know my biggest mistakes and looking at their faces on their Facebook profiles made me want to run under the closest rock.
But really, I shouldn't feel that way. I have come far. I am now who I feel I am supposed to be. A loving and supporting wife that also has a backbone. That stands up for herself and doesn't let herself be run over. Someone who does not stand idly while life passes her by and someone who does not let herself be overlooked by those who are supposed to love her the most. Now, I realize that I am important. I am someone. And I deserve to be happy and have someone else to make happy without having to lose herself in the process.
So, to the Facebook friends that are creeping out of the woodwork to hang a mirror in front of me reminding of me of all of my imperfections, I am changed. I am better. And I am one hell of a wife and mother. Not that you guys care. Not that you guys are even thinking bad things about me. After all, we all made mistakes back then. And, I know all of your skeletons too.