I’m feeling anxious today.
But before I get to that, I have to share with you a few pictures from my spring break this year. It was the inaugural trip with a dear friend of mine (even though I lived with her for the better part of year after my divorce, we have never had the opportunity to travel together).
Since she has had a HARD couple of years and has an elementary-aged daughter that keeps her busy, I gave her the choice of locations. After giving up on the Everglades for being too far, we settled on the Okefenokee Swamp. Which, as it turns out, is absolutely stunning, especially before the heat has settled in.
It was an amazing trip. The best part was simply the time with my friend to decompress and catch up with no external pressures.
The swamp was amazing, but I think my favorite times were evening nibbles out on the dock outside of our cabin (Seriously, this cabin was amazing. Hit me up if you need a place to stay near Valdosta, Georgia and I’ll put you in touch).
On one of those meandering conversations, my friend mentioned that my ex-husband’s picture appeared on her “suggested friends” list on Facebook. It wasn’t his profile, rather he was pictured with a woman that Facebook decided my friend might know.
Let me explain why this is unsettling. At the time of the divorce, I had no social media and neither, as far as I know, did my ex-husband (or, if he did, it was under some other identity). I have never befriended anybody from his life on social media and in almost ten years, I have never had that world intrude on mine.
However, since there apparently must be some connection between my ex’s current female companion (which was NOT the other wife, according to my friend) and my close friend, there are now fewer than seven degrees of separation between us.
I don’t like the feeling of that. And, perhaps most unsettling, it’s made me tempted to look him up for the first time in over nine years. I won’t give into the urge, but I really, really, really don’t like that I’m feeling it. (And as an aside, I feel for the other woman; I hope she’s okay.)
But that’s still not the root of the anxiety.
In a few hours, I’m heading into town to go to a beer festival.
Sounds fun, right?
Well, it should be. But I’m also anxious that I’m going to run into him.
The last time I spoke with him was almost ten years ago. The last time I saw him was just under six. At a festival. In town. Here’s my post about the experience and here’s my reaction once the shock had faded.
My reaction surprised me. Scratch that. The sheer intensity of my reaction scared me.
And so with him more on mind than I’d like and heading into a similar situation, I’m afraid that I may see him again. Actually, I’m afraid of my reaction if I see him again.
I like to think I’ve moved on. That he doesn’t impact me anymore. And for the most part, that’s true. But if I see him, I may just find out otherwise – that there is still trauma in my body waiting to be released.
So I’m anxious.
And giving myself a pep talk –
“It’s okay if you see him. It does not change anything. Even if he is in town, he is not in your life. You have no connections with him anymore; he cannot hurt you. Those reactions you’re having are not due to him in the present, they are simply aftershocks from the earthquake so long ago. You are stronger now then you were then. Wiser. And you know that this will fade. Keep breathing. You got this.”