Even when I try to let the past stay in the past and have built this little life and community here for myself, it seems determined to come back and slap me in the face and plant itself firmly in front of me.
It seems that my ex, in all his goddamn wisdom is now living in Ballarat, two suburbs away from me. He and his family have moved here to look after his mother, apparently, who moved here a few years back. I don’t know if I told you about my panic at the supermarket when I ran into her and hid among the fresh produce to make sure she didn’t see me?
Anyway, a friend and her husband ran into my aforementioned ex at the local Harvey Normal where he now works, when he came running after them (MY friends!) when they were shopping.
To be honest, I didn’t have a massive reaction to this news at the time, it really didn’t bother that much, but as time goes on, I’m finding myself get anxious every time I have to leave the house in case I run into any members of his family.
PTSD is a funny thing. It kinda lies dormant for years and you think you’ve beaten it, but then something like this happens and immediately I start having flashbacks and getting triggered by the simplest of things like a podcast about love. Trauma has deep roots.
I know I need to get a referral to a new psychologist so I have someone to talk to about all this, as all other conversations I’ve had seem unsatisfactory. It’s hard to explain to people just what harm he did to me and how deeply the wounds go. Distance helped me in managing the healing, but his proximity is all too triggering.
I take solace in knowing that I have the power to destroy them, knowing what I know about his criminal past, and I also know that I am not a very good person because I would not hesitate to do this, should they encroach on my territory in any way.
It’s quite possible that they know that and are keen to stay as far away from me as I am from them, so there’s that. Luckily, our kids are at different schools, or at least I assume so.
I guess it’s time to take those court orders to the school office to make sure he doesn’t try to make contact with my kids.
Yes, I am vengeful and full of hate. Yes, I know it is not good for me. No, I haven’t found a way to deal with it, despite years of therapy.
The good news is that I don’t feel the urge to pack up and fly away from this problem. I am committed to my boys’ emotional wellbeing and for them, that means staying with their friends and in a familiar environment. I will stay here as long as they need me to, despite the dreary winters. I have built a life here for us and I won’t be chased away from it.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, no he hasn’t made any attempt to see the boys.