Dirty Laundry

(In order to avoid confusion, I will refer to my exhusband's girlfriend as his_gf. This is how things are unfolding and my thoughts on the situation at hand. Names are removed to protect privacy of the parties concerned. )

his_gf 9:35 AM: you are the biggest liar in the world and the owrst story teller. Don't want me to rad things then don't write about me the door swings both ways

She IM's me the moment I sign online, leaves this message and then blocks InstantMessenger. It is not like I would respond to that. I find it awkward that she has me on her buddy list. Why does she need to know when I am online or not? What business is it of hers? Things like this verify what they try to deny. She is obsessed with me as much as my exhusband is and it makes for a very uncomfortable situation. It is hard to explain what it is like to have someone constantly watching over your shoulder. It is hard to explain the violation I feel.

The sad thing is, it doesn't have to be this way. There isn't any reason for this continued stress. It can't be comfortable on their end either. It is a sad thing when a relationship ends. Sadder than you can imagine. He and I have a long history together. If I try hard enough, I can almost get past the last few years and get to the place where we were comfortable with each other. I can almost go back to those memories and not cry.

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to get past the last few years. My biggest issue with my exhusband was his belief that I had no rights at all. His anger was intense that I would not let him read my emails, that I would not let him sit next to me when I was on the computer so he could see what I was doing. It infuriated him that I did not want him to read my journals. To him, it was proof that I had something to hide. To me, it was proof that I was unworthy of his trust. Two people hurting. He and I. Ask me what tragedy is and I will tell you.

It continues to this day, the looking over the shoulder, only now he has his girlfriend involved. I feel that it is a big game to them, something that they can laugh over together. How do I find the words to explain the depth of emotional torment my exhusband dragged me through? How do I find the words to explain the intense anxiety that is brought on by being constantly watched and being made to believe that it is my own fault because I asked for it? I don't know that I can.

I only know that he and I are divorced now, as he wanted. I only know that he and his girlfriend, by proxy, can not let me go. I only know that I want this distress to end. I want to get to some place where he and I can be civil to each other and perhaps make it back to that place where we were once friends. I don't know that that is possible, not without being given basic respect and courtesy. I don't feel that I should have no rights. I don't feel that I have to "deal with" them looking over my shoulder whenever I write on everything2. I could go somewhere else, this is true. I could start all over again in a new place. Every other aspect of my life is starting over from square one. Why not this too? I don't feel I have to lose everything in order to appease my exhusband's wrath. I think that there has been heartache enough on both sides.

She signs back on.

his_gf 9:46 AM: Can you be civil for a few minutes so we can talk. I am not trying to be a bitch
his_gf9:47 AM: it is up to you because this doesn't have a thing to do with (name removed)
Chras4 9:50 AM: I would rather not communicate with you at this time. You do not respect my wishes. It is not a question of being a bitch or not. It is a question of respect. You expect it from me, yet will not grant me the same courtesy. Please back off for all of our sakes
his_gf 9:51 AM: Well I think we need to communicate because neither one have respect for the other at the moment and I don't think it is going to get any better if we keep going the route we are
Chras4 9:53 AM: I will not communicate with you this way. If you want respect, give respect. So simple a thing to do. I have not asked much. Please let me be.
his_gf 9:57 AM: If you agree to quit writting about us I'll agree to stop being inclined to read it. Then all the people involved should be happy
Chras4 10:02 AM: I did not write about you for 10 months and still you were there
Chras4 10:02 AM: go away please, respect my wishes
his_gf10:05 AM: (name removed) screens names are not blocked and I don't e-mail you from them and wouldn't even think of it. If I have something to say I'll just tell you. So please if you (name removed) a e-mail from (name removed) it is from (name removed) not me. Since you two have a hard enough time to catch eachother over the phone. Using e-mail is probably the easiest way to communicate info about the kids. So it is up to you if you want to continue to block him or not.
Chras4 10:05 AM: I don't believe you
Chras4 10:06 AM: please go away. do not make me block your handle.
his_gf10:07 AM: why not why would I have to use (name removed)'s e-mail to tell you something that is nuts. Anyways the decision is totally up to you I was just telling you.
his_gf10:07 AM: I am going to go I just want to know if we have a agreement on e2

It is hard enough moving on with my life as it is. I am unwilling to give up this one last space where I can share my belief's about what I feel is "right" and "wrong". I am unwilling to run away from this one last area of my life where I can share my observations. It is symbolic, true. I have lost so much of my old life. I wonder if you know what it is to be "erased"? Do you know how it feels to be amputated? I have strong feelings that are my own. I have a right to them. I am allowed to cry for the loss of my previous relationship with my exhusband. I am allowed to grieve. I have a right to express my grief in the manner of my choosing. I should also have the right to have my space when I request it.

his_gf10:18 AM: I ment what I said so do what you want to with it. It is up to you
I do not feel that I should be coerced into doing what my exhusband wants any longer. His coercion tactics are why we are not together now. I have been silent long enough. They have hovered, waiting to see what I might say. It is my belief that he is afraid of what will come out. It is so important to my exhusband that people think well of him. It has always been important what other people think. It is a shame that it was never important what I thought. We would still be together if I was as important to him as he had been to me.

I have the choice to leave everything2 or I have the choice to stay. My exhusband is big on giving choices. It's A or B. Black or White. He is big on making the show of giving choices while working in the background to make choice B as unpalatable as hell. You do not know what it is to be given the choice that is no choice. I have the choice to allow my exhusband and his girlfriend drive me away and I have the choice to say, "NO"

Sometimes, you just have to make a stand.

I choose. NO.

his_gf 10:51 AM: I sent you a im to try to make amends which I guess isn't going to happen because you hell bent on keeping the flame lit. and twisting the truth the only truth you know is the one you make up.move on with your life and quit dreaming up your reality already There won't be anyone in your window so you put it .My life with (name removed) is more important that trying to understand you anymore. it is a hopeless cause. Take Care.
his_gf 10:51 AM: his_gfis being deleted time for a new story

The flames have been fanned for a year and a half. I have waited a year and a half for the coals to be removed from beneath my feet. I have waited a year and a half for the dust of a shattered relationship to settle. I have waited quietly and kept silent while my watchers hover. I am still stepping on hot coals and sharp shards. I highly doubt that she will understand me reading what I have written here on e2. It requires reading between the lines. It requires looking deeper into what is being said. It requires looking into the spaces between the words. My exhusband could not understand even when the words were spelled out in front of him; even when I spoke to him and said "This is what I need". His understanding is overshadowed by his own fears and desires. Isn't that true of all of us? It is not necessary that she understands me. Truly, it is not. It is only necessary that she respects me in this regard. Waiting silently has accomplished nothing at this point. Saying nothing has given tacit approval of their actions.

She is squirming now, unhappy that I am telling this story. Her IM's are indicative of her discomfort. She is watching it unfold before her eyes on my homenode. I would be lying if I said I did not feel some small sense of satisfaction in her discomfort. I have been uncomfortable for a long time. She should have no fear that I will give out her handle. But, she does not know me. She does not know that that is not me. She only knows that I am not keeping the body of our dispute hush hush, which is also not me. I do not blame her the confusion.

It goes against my grain to air dirty laundry and yet, here I am doing it. I do it for a purpose. I do it to illustrate that a divorce does not mean that a relationship is over when the ink is dry on the papers. Perhaps if there are some of you going through a divorce, you will see this and perhaps treat each other a little kinder. I have no choice but to remain in contact with my exhusband, there are children involved.

He could make things easier, but he chooses not to. His girlfriend could make things easier, but she chooses not to. I could sit here and continue to quietly take the discomfort I feel from these two hovering over my shoulder, but I choose not to. We all have choices. It's the simplest thing and yet the hardest thing of all for anyone, letting go.

My exhusband and I have to find some way to come to a different relationship. We have to find some way to rebuild the trust that we both lost. We need to do this because we have to have contact with each other often. It is not an easy task. It is not an easy task for any divorced couple. It makes things that much more difficult when a third wheel is involved.

If I bring this to the forefront, perhaps he will see just how serious an issue this is. Perhaps he will see just how important this is to me that we get this issue resolved. Perhaps I am naive in thinking that there is some small part of him left that still cares and will do what I believe is the "right" thing to do.

I have seen GOOD divorces. I know that they exist. I know that all divorced couples have the ability to find a new and different relationship with the exspouse. I know it and I want it. I also know he and I will not get there unless and until he and I meet somewhere in the middle that is outside both of our boundaries. It takes two to make a marraige. It takes two to end a marraige. It takes two to find a happy medium after the dust settles. It can not be one having his/her boundaries violated. The boundaries on both sides must be respected.

The ball is back in his court. Does he truly want an amicable divorce like he pays lip service to? Time will tell.

There is something in me that refuses to give up on that last dangling string. There is something in me that despite everything, refuses to give up trying.

Perhaps therein lies my strength.