For a variety of reasons, conversations in the last couple of weeks have mentioned my “ex” a few times. Each person was speaking, probably figuratively, of different people. My response, in each instance, was something along the lines of “How should I know?”
Maybe because we are at the heels of conversations about addiction, I never understood the compulsive urgency to follow people who do not wish to be in our lives. This is an addiction too--this possessiveness and neediness. And I don't get it anymore than addiction to gambling or meth...
I take words and actions to mean pretty much the same, and if you want to go then go! I force no one to be part of my circle. Some journeys do not require all participants, and folks get on and off the ride at will (mine as well as their own).
Once I write people off, I’m done. I still punish myself over one relationship, but I had not thought about him in any significant way for some time.
I always figured that even in a city of over eight million we could go to our respective corners. But I also knew that given who we both are, we are likely to run into each other. If I dig, even without the ties we had when we were together, I bet our degrees of separation are probably two.
I don’t know because I don’t follow him. We've had zero contact for two decades. Suddenly, mentions of exes brought him to mind. I ran a search and found him quickly. He is still close by. He is married low -- with children and a puppy and a family car.
There is some part of me that is pleased he grew beyond the damage. Oh, wait, that’s right, I was the damaged one. Okay, I’m done waltzing down this road.
<Clear browsing history.>
The amount of time it took me to write the last seven paragraphs took about twice as long as the process I described – from thinking about the bastard, Googling it, finding him, and (coming to my senses again) dismissing his existence in relevance to mine.
To me, that’s just life. It’s progress from the failed romance. It’s history and needs not be anything more. But it is also rare as I see so many young people clawing to their past with such righteous entitlement.
I can walk away in real life and ignore in social media, but for people who live their lives so deeply immersed in a virtual world, the idea of cyberstalking becomes less of a legal concept and more a tenuous state of mind.
It’s one of the emotionally stunted extremes I have seen people deal with their pain, publicly, online. I am not a relationship expert, but that seems unhealthy to me.
Have we raised a generation that thinks that giving in to your compulsions is a grand gesture of romance? I don’t know… It’s an interesting point to explore. It certainly opens the door for the proliferation of our newest genre: horror romance! Not the Gothic kind, but the gorey kind full of glitter and blood and awkward pandering.
(I understand nothing!) To be continued.