I have never been tempted to look up past boyfriends or what not on there. I know a lot of women have, but they are ex’s for a reason. When I met my husband 23 years ago, that was it. All the others were in the past. That is not always the case for everyone. I can see how it can lead you down a dark path, towards being damned.
My husband’s ex girlfriend friended him on Facebook a few years back. I know he found it flattering, and she sent him a bunch of pictures from back in the day. It was from before we met, when he was in college, and I was happy to have those blanks filled in. In the beginning it was harmless-old friends connecting. I am friends with a lot of my high school classmates, including some guys, but no one I dated. However, as time went on, she began to make comments on his status posts and pictures that began to cross a line. I was very uncomfortable with some of the things she wrote, and I wondered if her husband was aware of it. I did take screenshots, but I didn’t forward them onto anyone. I could have been vindictive, but that’s just not how I roll.
It was hurtful. I felt blindsided. This is a woman who loomed large over the early years of our relationship. My husband always talked about his time in PA fondly. It was some of the happiest times of his life, and he shared it with her. For someone with low self esteem and anxiety, this can send you into a tailspin. I really struggled for a long time with how it made me feel. Unfortunately I gave her a lot more headspace than she truly deserved.
For so many years, I had let her be part of my relationship and given her a lot more prominence than she truly deserved. I was so insecure over my place and who I was, I let her permeate my present. She was with him when he had so many happy memories, how could I ever live up to that standard.
It’s crazy making thinking, but that’s kind of how I operate. I immediately go to the worst case scenario in my mind. It’s something I’ve struggled with in every relationship I’ve been in. Until I recently started working on conquering my anxiety in therapy, I felt powerless over it. I knew that a healthy relationship was something to cherish, but I took it to an extreme. I was so afraid of losing of him that I went overboard with my behavior and became more clingy. That’s the fear monster in my head. I babble on, with nothing to say.
For me, this seemingly innocuous incident was a trigger. It was short lived, as soon as I told my husband it bothered me, he unfriended her and went on with his life. I, however, couldn’t let it go. All those insecurities kept washing over me like waves. Other people started to feed into that too, just to keep me off balance. There’s nothing that anxiety girl really needs to hear like
Look how pretty and thin she is (when you’re 40 lbs overweight and feeling frumpy)
Maybe he thinks he made a mistake choosing you.
I went into a tailspin, although I didn’t recognize it at the time. I was unhappy, but couldn’t articulate it. I didn’t know that this got under my skin as much as it did. What I do know is it led me down a path of really stupid decisions and a lot of bingeing.
When I’m stressed, I eat. It’s not just that I eat, I crave certain foods, usually sweets and high carb. And when I’m bingeing, man can I EAT. I’ll drink a 2 l of Coke in one sitting. I’ll hit the drive through on my way home, then eat dinner. Then I alternate with restricting calories, following some sort of unsustainable diet and exercising constantly.
This pattern went on for the last 3 years. Crazy right? Not only did my body pay the price, but everything about me did. I went dark more. I struggled with the day to day things of running a life and home. Some of the simplest tasks became overwhelming for me. My home life fell apart, because I was drowning in a sea of depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. My ADD behaviors kicked in full throttle too, so it just exasperated everything.
The worst part is I thought I could go it alone. I had to no conscious idea that any of this was going on. I was just muddling through, and continued to do so for several years. Until I couldn’t anymore.
And now, the baby steps of repair start.