Well, at least I’m taking a step to being done.
First off, I want to mention this entry is inspired by Alexi Wasser’s Ravishly article, How I Nearly Let Instagram Ruin my Relationship. I can’t express how I appreciate her frankness and vulnerability. Also, I’m pretty sure she’s right–“all women look at and are hyper aware of their crush’s activity on Instagram.”
I’m going to take her subject a level darker.
I secretly followed my ex on Instagram.
I’d blocked him on Facebook after our breakup so I wouldn’t look at it. I even blocked him on Instagram. However, I have more than one Instagram account, so I used one of the other accounts to virtually “check-in” without him knowing who it was. I wouldn’t comment on or like anything. I would just observe posts and commentary. My honest understanding of my ex is that he’s an emotionally unstable creative-type. Part of me wanted to know he was OK. Part of me wanted to remain informed so I wouldn’t be caught off guard. Part of me also wanted to know that he was still pursuing his creative ambitions successfully. Then there was the part of me that would get angry to see he’s still living at and working out of his mother’s house (in his early 30s). The worst parts of me laughed when he praised a family member for creating something that got “honorable mention” at a county fair. It was a mean laugh too. It was a laugh that cried out, Honorable mention? That’s worse than not placing at all!
That “mean laughing moment” was the final straw. Keeping up with the emotional cutting via that medium has only made me bitter and resentful, and overall just hateful. I don’t like that mean laughing part of myself. But I’m trying to be compassionate with myself too. This mean laughing part of myself is a step in my healing.
If I’m going to be really honest here, I’m saying that I started my relationship with Bill sooner than I probably should have. I didn’t heal from my breakup before starting the new relationship. That mean laughing moment also points out that I haven’t yet fully healed.
My relationship with my ex was laden with codependency and attachment. When it ended, I knew I didn’t love him anymore, and I had known for some time. I believe there was a period in there that I did love him. But the relationship ended the way it had begun–from a platonic love. I loved him like a friend, not a lover. I think it had even been a couple years before we broke up since I’d loved him in a romantic way. It was wrong to make it last as long as it did, but in the thick of it I didn’t know better, nor did I have much to compare it against.
There are times I still miss my ex’s platonic friendship. Also, aside from the inappropriateness of maintaining contact with an ex that I’m actually not up for pursuing, I do vividly remember many qualities about him I didn’t like, and I’m not willing to be patient with those qualities anymore. I gave up so much of myself trying to maintain space for those qualities, and I don’t have room for that in my life now. I also just don’t want to
Beacuse I’ve moved on. And I keep moving on. I’m getting married in November, to a wonderful man about whom I love everything. Of his many beautiful qualities, he’s amazing and so understanding with my family, which my ex never really was (his mother was very domineering). And my relationship with Bill has taught me so much. Above all, my relationship with Bill has taught me that life is too short to do things you don’t want to do with people you don’t really like. Cancer has a way of coloring a perspective like that.
I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, and looking forward to the experiences life holds. So let’s keep moving on.
May good things come to you always.