My eyes bulged. My hands froze. My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach.
How could one little click of the mouse turn me inside out?
I had clicked “send” on an email. It was a response to him about a change in the kid’s schedule.
Innocent enough right?
Well, if you have ever been stalked in the past, you know the emotional battle that occurs when a trigger is set off.
He used to spy on me. He would hack into my cell phone and email. He installed video cameras to monitor my movement. The person I was supposed to trust the most in this world, was actually the person I could trust the least.
I was deeply emotionally damaged because of this breach of trust and privacy. For years after our marriage ended, I hid all personal information from him. I got a new email and new cell phone. I used a separate email and track phone to communicate with him. I didn’t allow him to drop off or pick the kids up at my house. I didn’t want him know to know where I worked.
I started a new life. I dedicated my career to helping people navigate divorce smoothly and successfully. I became a Divorce Financial Analyst. I love my career. I am passionate about helping people through and recover financially from divorce. I am a small business owner with a bright future. But I never talked about my career or new life with him.
In the last 6 months, our relationship had notably improved. He had not made any threats of taking me back to court for custody. And reciprocally, I had relaxed my attitude toward him. I began to be more flexible and amiable in our interactions.
My guard had dropped. In my new collaborative mood, I didn’t notice that I was responding to him via my work email, rather than the special separate email account I used just for interacting with him. I didn’t realize that the new email server I had just changed to was combining my special separate email account for him into my work account.
But you can’t retract a sent email.
He saw my work email. And my email signature line. He now knows my office address. My business website. My designation as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. He has seen the blogs I have written. About him.
What will he do?
Will he retaliate? Will his aggression be reignited? Will he take me back to court for custody again? Will he write a negative review about my business? Will he start a smear campaign against me?
The worse case scenario was running through my head. I couldn’t stop the humiliating scene from playing out.
What do you do when crisis hits? I called my mom. She responded: “Honey, he probably knows all about your business already.”
Of course! We are creatures of habit. If he had spied on me in the past, he has probably done it again. I was choosing to live in ignorant bliss of the protective bubble I had built around me. I believed that if I avoided him, he would avoid me. Other than dealing with our kids, he would leave me alone. Right?
Seriously, I’m smarter than that. But, that’s what I chose to believe for years.
The truth is, you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
I choose not to be fearful. I will live my life boldly.
And babe, if you are reading this, cheers to lessons learned.
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” — Isaiah 54:17