I've had a long-standing issue with Facebook's Friend Suggester. It has outed me to people I had tried to discreetly unfriend; drawn the attention of people I'd rather not give access to my profile; resulted in a couple of stalkers: and now...?
Now it wants me to be friends with my husband's OW. Because we have six friends in common.
Please try to imagine the anxiety, anger, stress, despair, and disgust that accompanies opening my home page because I just MIGHT have to see her obscene smiling face. My fight-or-flight response is so easily triggered, and at six months pregnant, I'm not sure that's a great place to be in.
Yes, I know I can block her – and my husband (or rather, I on my husband's profile) has blocked her. But this girl, this 24-year-old with three children by three different fathers, thinks she can talk about my husband's and my relationship to mutual acquaintances. On the internet. And my masochistic curiosity is too much for me to ignore. I like to know what she thinks she knows about us, about how she became a part of our marriage, about why we're trying to work it out and why he hasn't spoken to her in months. I like to know the lies straight from her mouth, instead of second-hand via someone's Wall.
But there's also a whole other side to why I won't block her, other than wanting her to see we have friends in common, letting her see my face in my picture, smiling with my husband, enjoying our children together – something she is no longer a party to. Her third child, a boy, is in her profile picture, concieved while she and my husband were at least emotionally involved, possibly physically, and at the time our first child, our son, was born. My husband denies that her child could be his; however, he previously denied they were involved, that it was physical, and how long it went on, so I don't really let his denial bear any weight.
No, I find myself staring at the picture sometimes, blown up in Photoshop where I don't have to see her blurry face – but the face of her son. And I look for traces of my son in his infancy in that baby's face, because at this point I can't bear to be blindsided one more time by one more catastrophe. If she's going to come knocking on our door, claiming my husband is her third baby daddy, I want to be ready for it. I want to see it coming. And if it ends up that she wants child support and the courts can prove that her baby is indeed my husband's, I want to be ready for that fight.
Because I will fight for custody of that child. Because any child of my husband's is a child of mine, and if she wants him, and by proxy us, to be responsible for that child, then we will be, one thousand percent.
I would rather have people look at me like I'm crazy for having three children without a month's span of time between births and pregnancies than have to deal with her for the rest of our lives.
So I stare at his picture, wonder what he's like, if he truly bears resemblance to my husband or if I'm just imagining something not there, looking so hard I hallucinate, pain shopping because it's been so long since my life wasn't unbearably painful that I'm not sure where to go from here. Because, in the end, he could be my son.
And that keeps me from blocking her, because I don't want to miss the signs – or the opportunity – to know what lies ahead of me and my family on our road to healing.