On Saturday night, I ran into my abusive ex.
Blair and I were eating at Louie's around 2:30am. We'd just finished up and I was explaining to him how I knew the girl who had just said hello to me, the one who was now sitting by us at the bar. As I was talking, the door behind us opened and he (let's call him A for Abuser) walked in. And sat next to me. And started talking across me to the girl I knew.
I ddin't really register what he was saying. My words started to run together as I tried to explain what was happening to Blair. I think I said something along the lines of, "and we used to go to church together *glance up* oh my god oh my god that guy that just walked in is my abusive, horrible ex, oh god he is sitting next to me." Blair, for his part, handled things wonderfully. He didn't try to question me or soothe me. Instead, he said, "go. go to the car right now. I'll take care of the check." I grabbed my things and walked out as quickly as possible, trying not to make a scene. As soon as I was out in the parking lot, I ran to the car and hid behind it. And shook.
Honestly, I was surprised at my reaction. The thing is, I've seen him since the breakup. I even talked to him casually for awhile after it happened. It took therapy to realize how much he'd fucked me up. It took being in an equal and respectful partnership with Ravi to realize how horrible that relationship had been. It took reading A's blog to realize what an awful and sick person he was. We've communicated twice in about 3 years, one time being this (about 2 years ago):
I was reading though my friends list today and came across your post titled, "Hmmm, so THAT'S how it's done! (according to the experts)." After I read it, all I felt was disgust. I thought about commenting but I figured its probably not worth doing. I just don't understand how its "humor," to quote your tag on the post, to compare torture to sex.
But the thing is, I realize I feel disgust or anger a lot when I read your posts. Part of it comes from an inherent disagreement with a lot of your content, part of it stems from my own feelings about you in general, specifically knowing what I knew of you. People change, of course, but those feelings are deeply imprinted and many of the things you write on your journal only serve to reinforce them. That's not to say that I think you are an inherently "bad" person (ed. note: this has since changed and I think it wasn't even something I believed at the time), just that I have many fundamental disagreements with your stances and how you have chosen to conduct yourself in the past.
That said, you are who you are and, of course, many people like you just the way you are. I don't feel that publicly tearing you down is beneficial for either one of us, even though I think some of the things you write, such as the aforementioned post, are worthy of it. Also, more than that, I'm just tired of feeling disgusted and angry. I also feel that someone that I have those kinds of feelings towards probably isn't someone I want reading the more personal details of my friends-only entries, which are becoming increasingly more common. I just don't think we're really "friends" anymore, despite our very occasional conversations. I don't feel like we really know each other anymore.
So, I think the best option is to remove you from my friends' list. I wish you no ill will and hope that you continue to enjoy your life, as I am enjoying mine. Feel free to continue reading my public entries if you wish, though I certainly wouldn't blame you if you removed me from your friends' list as well.
I'm struck now by how polite I tried to be to him. Like years of being told I didn't matter, that I was "neurotic," that I didn't count, years of being thrown against walls, of being slapped, pushed down stairs, humiliated, screamed at...years of that and I still tried to be polite to him. After awhile, as my relationship with Ravi continued to grow, as I slowly built my psyche and self-esteem back up and learned to push parasitic and cruel people out of my life, my disgust and anger at him grew. It cemeted itself into this firm little area of my brain that I try not to access too much because the rage there is too much to deal with at times. What I didn't realize was how much fear and anxiety I still held there. That's what came out Saturday night, not a fear of him physically hurting me but a fear of being spoken to, of having to confront someone who did that much damage to me. A brief and sharp reliving of all that pain. It was like I had tunnel vision when he entered...I sort of remember seeing Blair's face, but the periphreal went black and things started to spin. All I could think of was "run."
I shook, hiding behind the car with my knees pulled to my chest, until Blair came out and held me, told me I was safe and that A couldn't hurt me. Even then, I was scanning the parking lot, terrified he would walk out, that he would speak to me and cut me down with some pithy, shitty remark. And I hated myself for letting him still control me that way, for having the ability to drive me out of a public place for fear that he would hurt me again.
Later that day, my sweet younger cousin called me about a very brief but shitty fling she had with some dude. The dude came over and my grandma chased him off, yelling at him to "get! get out!" J and I laughed about it but I told her, "That guy is going to get sober tomorrow and he's going to call you. Don't answer. Don't listen to his bullshit. You deserve better than that." It's something I need to keep reminding myself of. Even when horrible people come around, I too have people who love me, who will defend me and chase those people off. Who will help me remember that I don't have to listen to that bullshit.