To Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question. Six years ago when I left Ted, the social network revolution was just getting into full swing. Two weeks after leaving him, he came to my apartment and tried to steal Grant and Kristy, and hit my mom in the process. Protective orders were issued and soon after I was warned by my attorney that Ted had hired private investigators to follow me. I had already seen him and his family stalking me. I was told by my attorney to eliminate all social networking if I was involved with any of it…which I wasn’t.
After the divorce was over, I found myself in another miserable relationship. The warden was so charming in the beginning, so protective. He dug his hooks in fast and would not let go. His mask started to come off about 6 months into the relationship. The warden quickly surpassed all levels of mental illness I saw in Ted. The same and worse emotional abuse came flowing in, but the warden added physical abuse as well.
Ted has been relentless with gas lighting, projecting, blaming, and creating drama from the beginning. Dealing with the continued abuse from Ted and the emotional and potential physical abuse from the warden sent me into a darkness I never wish for anyone. I would try to deal with nasty, horrible emails from Ted and false accusations during parent coordinator meetings. I would then be forced into a room and berated and screamed at for hours by the warden for the answers I gave to Ted. I was so depressed I was barely functional. I would paint on a fake smile and play along like nothing was wrong after the screaming sessions from the warden. I was threatened this was the expected attitude to develop, or much worse behavior would ensue.
I escaped into an online game and social site where I could be known by a different name. Cartoon characters called “avatars” were used instead of pictures. I could be “me” just with a different name. I made friends quickly and became obsessed with my “escape world.” I would log on as often as I could, during work, instead of taking care of myself or doing housework. It all suffered, but the escape was the only thing that helped me feel a little happy.
Dane and I met on this site. We quickly became friends, comparing notes on our exes. They were almost identical. Dane was just coming out of a bad relationship and I felt trapped in mine. I finally knew someone who could relate to how I felt.
As time went on, we started rolling our eyes together watching all of the drama in the chat rooms. It seemed to be the place for insecure people needing attention. Even the group of people we would always hang out with in the chat rooms started to take on a different appearance to us. If either of us would disappear from the site for a few days, we would get questioned by our online friends. We felt pressured to “check in” throughout the day. This all got very old, and one day we decided to walk away from all of it.
Fast forward to today. I am one of the 14% of Americans who do not have a personal Facebook account. It almost seems a necessity nowadays. Everything online seems linked with Facebook.
Soooooo, reluctantly, I developed a page for the blog. I have no clue what I am doing. Just gonna say it now. I have enough common sense to muddle through the basics, but that’s about it.
I have noticed I have developed a lot of anxieties of before. I want to expand and share my story, in hopes of helping others, but at the same time I am afraid of being “found.” I also fear the more I expand, the more I will feel the pressure of posting things not only on my blog, but Facebook as well. I don’t understand how people are so involved in the online world, AND the real world, without dropping the ball somewhere. It’s all so time consuming! Ya’all must be much more organized than I am. I am also a very private person. I will only share things I feel may help others. I don’t want to know what you had for lunch today and what magnificent thing your child just did at this very moment.
I have come to the conclusion that I am just going to take my time. I need to learn this Facebook thing, and while I do, I will “Like” the sites and other blogs I am passionate about. I am so grateful for the friend requests I have received from my divorcedmoms.com sisters. I will expand as I have time to learn, so maybe someday, I will reach the level of the normal world.
For now, I need to get outside. I am determined not to fall into the” virtual world trap” I was in before, and I read that so many others are still in.
I am at my peaceful place this week, the farm. I need to go load the pickup with scrap metal and the horse needs a major brushing. Anyone care to muck with me? She has a small building all to herself and my goodness, horses poop a lot.