I don’t write as much as I think about writing.
And by “think about” I mean I think “hey, I should write” because the actual thoughts that would evolve into writing are either swallowed up by twitter or a photograph or my ADD.
Yeah, I used to write, a lot. That was before life got “too busy” and I was distracted by Evey and my job got more intense and our dreams started coming true and twitter and the photography internship and knitting and facebook and HEY! SQUIRREL!
That was also before a troll came to my blog a while back and left some pretty hideous comments.
I didn’t approve them, obviously, I just read and reread them. Because I’m a masochist.
They were from someone I used to know – not anyone I was close to – but someone I used to know just the same. They were hurtful and heinous and a little on the “did she take a bunch of Ambien before she wrote these? They’re borderline incoherent, the time stamp is suspect and I have a feeling she’s not going to remember having done it.” side.
Yes, I know who she is. I know because I AM A NERD who took measures several years ago when I was younger and thinner and had a stalker issue to protect myself.
I’d also be lying if I said it was this was the incident that made me stop.
Words came easy when my nights and weekends were unsupervised, when I was finding myself after getting divorced. Life back then was full of new adventures, challenges, emotions and experiences and TIME. Back then, it felt safe. I’d sit on my porch and listen to the birds and just let my brain vomit splash on the keyboard.
Those were the days of a multi-year separation and one seriously long overdue divorce. Those were the days before I met The Mc.
Remember The Mc? We dated, courted, I dragged him to my therapist, he didn’t run away from my cargo container full of crazy, blah blah blah. Well after a great deal of of thought, I wrote about him. I’d always been careful not to write about the specifics of my personal life (without approval), sensitive to the privacy of others including my girlfriends who all had nicknames on the blog and of whom I rarely posted pictures. These were the days before facebook, before everyone knew everything.
So yeah, just because I had a blog with a topless picture of me where I dumped all my emotions out into the ether didn’t mean that everyone else was up for that level of judgment or exposure. Are you still hung up on the topless remark? Oh, those were the days. Here’s a reminder, I’ll wait for you to catch up.
A few years later, The Mc and I cohabitated and I decided it was time to bring him “out”. Partially because I felt I was neglecting him by leaving him out of stories, partly because he’d put up with enough shit from me to have earned being acknowledged. The writing was already drying up anyway (I blame happiness) but I wrote.
Then I heard from The Ex.
I hadn’t been in The Big House long when I found an envelope with my name in his scrawl in the mailbox. It had been forwarded from my old apartment to my condo and eventually to The Big House. For context, I was in my apartment 3 years and in my condo for over a year before I moved in with The Mc in the sticks.
The letter said, in short, that despite the arrangements we’d made during the divorce with regards to who would be responsible for which debts, he was done. Something along the lines of “Now that you’ve moved in with ‘The Mc’…” (yeah, he really said ‘The Mc’).
The trick here being that what I was responsible for was in his name, and vice versa, and I’d already paid off the debts he/we/I owed. The same couldn’t be said for him.
I sat stupefied in a house that didn’t belong to me, where I still felt like an interloper, overwhelmed by the crushing disappointment that someone who – at one point – was FAMILY would be so cold and hurtful.
You know that wheel on The Price is Right? It was like all the dollar figures were replaced with emotions, and every time I reread the letter, someone else got to spin the wheel to see where I’d land. I cried…a lot.
I called my sister who advised me to imagine him as a big, green fart cloud, and to open up a window and let him disappear.
I actually OPENED A WINDOW. I tried. Then I accepted it for what it was and paid off the debts myself.
I also stopped writing.
In the years since, new facts have come to light. Like The Ex having started dating a cute, young little brunette not long before that letter came (she wasn’t the stalker I mentioned earlier, but she sure gave that guy a run for his money).
It doesn’t matter why he did it or if it had anything to do with her, and it doesn’t matter if the girl I barely knew took Ambien or not.
What matters is that there are a lot of fucking horrible people out there. There are also a lot of sad, broken, confused, people out there, and it’s important that we’re all able to distinguish between the two.
In the meantime, I might write again. I might not. Because the simple truth is I can’t be sure I’m emotionally equipped to deal with the kind of abuse this sets me up for until it happens again…and I’m not much of a gambler.