My experience with Facebook so far has been a rosy one. I have reconnected with long lost friends. I have deepened friendships that were, frankly, kind of superficial before. I have shown how freaking awesome I am with my handsome husband and darling daughter to the couple of exes that have friended me. All in all, it has been very positive.
But I have heard tales of nastiness. I suppose it was just a matter of time before it happened to me.
About ten years ago, I dated a guy for a couple of months. Maybe four. For the sake of anonymity, we'll call him Asshole. During that short time, Asshole was possessive and domineering and yet despite this, strangely indifferent. Some days he would call me every hour and send me expensive gifts but then when we had dinner plans to meet my aunt and uncle, he inexplicably showed up two hours late. Not surprisingly, after a while I started pulling away. First it was not calling as often and not returning his calls and then it was breaking plans. Finally, after a couple of weeks of this, he called me on it.
Of course, passive aggressive that I am, this is exactly what I was hoping for and I took the opportunity to break it off. I don't remember what my exact excuse was, but it was Christmastime and I think it had something to do with being stressed out about traveling and my family and everything. Notice, I actually broke up with him because he was an asshole, but even as he was cursing my name and calling me every name in the book (honest to blog - and I just sat there and took it), I held on to that excuse because I was too nice to say, "Listen dude, you're a complete golfwaddle and I don't want to waste any more time with you. Ciao ciao."
After this, I was shell-shocked. He had been extremely verbally abusive during that last conversation. If something like that were to happen now, well, things would be a lot different. But I was young and inexperienced. Needless to say, we have not kept in touch. He lived in a smaller town about 45 minutes away and although I would occasionally go there for one reason or another, as a rule I stayed away. We don't have any overlapping friends, so there was little to no danger of a run-in.
I'll admit, he has occasionally popped into my mind over the last decade. I feel guilty about the way things ended. Maybe I shouldn't, but I do. I should have been more upfront. But never once have I thought to myself that I wanted to get in touch with him and I would certainly not have attempted a friend invite on Facebook.
And then this morning I get this:
"Remember me, ya freak."
If his intent was just to dig at me, then why send a friend request? Why not just send the nasty little message? Could he possibly be joking? I am severely conflicted. The bigger part of me says LET. IT. GO. Decline, ignore, whatever. He was a jerk back then and he obviously hasn't changed. But part of me wants to respond to him and tell him to get over himself and grow up. He's 40 years old, fercryinoutloud. But the part that tears me up is that his profile has a cute little picture of what I presume to be his daughter. (I covered it with the angry face to protect her.) I feel like he is sullying her by sending something like that out with HER picture attached.
I don't know. It just feels so ugly and unpleasant. I feel like how I did the first time my car was broken into. Or the first time I got cursed out by a bum. Or when I was mugged. I feel like a bit of my innocence, or what was left of it, has been torn away. All because some asshole can't get over something that happened 10 barking years ago. Shame on him for taking that away from me.