After about six months of me and my ex not breathing a word to each other, and acquiring some sort of equilibrium (I thought), he went out of his way to somehow do the sort of obsessive research required to track down my completely anonymous blog that I’ve shared with no one, and get himself into enough of a froth hate-reading it to go on a viscous campaign of publicly trashing me in front of all our mutual friends. One viscous enough to get me threats.
He used things from my blog that he would have otherwise not known about as a sort of verisimilitude to “prove” to our friends that I was stalking and contacting him. A completely premeditated lie.
I guess I should have known that a completely calculated, ruthless lie was possible for him, because of the way he once managed to convince his ex-wife that he didn’t give his male friend a blow job while he was married to her, even after the friend confessed to the wife. That takes an exceptionally clever liar.
He’s actually cyberstalking me and pretending that I am cyberstalking him, and somehow it isn’t causing him any cognitive dissonance whatsoever to know that the thing that he’s getting his friends to call utterly disgusting and unacceptable, is a thing that actually he is doing to me and I am not doing to him. A thing that he knows they’d be justified in hating him for if he didn’t happen to be a successful liar.
I’ve done a lot of difficult processing over the last six months.
I processed the fact that he has lost his ability to even see me across the room at some random-ass party, ever again, even though I think that’s bullshit.
I processed the fact that we’ll never be friends, even after he begged and promised that nothing could ever prevent us from being friends after the divorce.
I processed the fact that his politics don’t align with mine, and that he’s perfectly ok with being a jerk about them.
But I’m having trouble processing the incredible amount of moral corruption that this unprovoked and dishonest campaign of hate requires.
That he’s smearing lies about me even as I’m withholding far more damning truths about him because I am too respectful to do what he’s doing. That he can rest assured that while he’s saying “it’s not sexual!” a dozen times in a thread I won’t chime in and say, “actually, as his sex partner when this all went down, I beg to differ.”
I honestly thought, from 15 years of experience, that he had a level of compassion and self-awareness that would have precluded him from suddenly sabotaging me for no reason.
But it’s not true that there’s no reason. Here’s the reason: I exist, and I have opinions, and I’m saying them on the internet.
That’s what I’m getting punished for.
He wouldn’t give up activism even for our marriage. At one point I asked him if he’d give it up if it would save our marriage and he said no.
And yet, he actually thinks that I’m not allowed to state my political opinions even after the divorce. That I just need to be stopped. Just run-of-the-mill, bare-bones, infantilizing patriarchal bullshit. I’m not allowed to disagree with him. I’m not allowed to be heard.
There’s not another reason for this rampage. It certainly isn’t going to make him feel better. It isn’t going to fix anything. It isn’t even designed to get me to do anything different, since he knows darn well I’m not doing anything to him. It’s just lashing out at me for having a voice.
So I’ve stopped worrying about damage control. I suppose if he’s willing to invest the time and energy into crafting clever lies that our mutual friends are unlikely to see through, he’s going to do it. Let him sacrifice his self-respect on that altar.