One of my old friends mentioned that she's still in touch with and old boyfriend of mine. Actually, my first serious boyfriend, and it was not a happy relationship as adolescent relationships go.
My first reaction was knee-jerk and instinctual--I was deeply offended that she was giving me an update on how he was doing and felt such intense revulsion at even the mention of him. But, I can't control who other people are friends with, so I just decided not to comment on it.
So now, he has apparently searched for me on Facebook and sent a message:
Have been trying to find Wayward from High School, and your name was the only one left from the search. Is this really the Wayward that used to work at the local McDonalds?
If it is, please write me back. Would love to catch up with you.
Look forward to hearing from you.
After 20 years, he's basically a stranger. But then again, that same statement would apply to all my old classmates I haven't stayed in contact with. Except that memories shared with them are more likely to be positive and reestablishing contact with them might lead to friendship and doesn't resurrect bad feelings and tonight's dinner.
Here's my dilemma, the revulsion I feel for this person is on the level of what I feel for my grandmother's ex-husband who molested me as a child.
Do I try to let go of the bad feelings and memories and try to make nice? Do I actually have any obligation to make nice?
My gut reaction is that I really want nothing to do with him and I really don't care if he's a whole different person now. That may be immature, but that's how I feel. I don't think making nice would do anything to enhance my life. I certainly don't feel like anything has been missing from my life for not having had contact with him.
So the other part, if I don't want to make nice, am I obligated to respond at all? Part of me wants to respond and let him know I want nothing to do with him (that's that immature part again) and part of me just wants to ignore it.
Now that I've written about it and thought it out it seems like a no-brainer--of course I don't want this person in my life. Why invite those feelings in to be a regular part of my life? But I'm still stuck with how to handle it. And how to handle future messages from him as he friends people I'm already friends with in the Facebook world?
Talk about feeling like I'm back in high school.