I had a bit of an unwelcome shock to the system last night! ‘PING’, “You’re getting noticed on LinkedIn” read the message on the screen of my iPhone…
… I had been busy all day yesterday, catching up on lots of work having been away on holiday for the Easter break, so by 9pm I was snuggled down on the sofa under my cosy blanket and watching the latest ‘Big Little Lies’ episode. As the adverts came on, I reached for my phone to check my messages and notifications and there on my screen was a familiar face, the all too familiar face of my ex husband. I felt instantly sick and my cheeks got hot and flushed.
Why now? Why look at my profile? What does he want? Does he want me to know he’s looked at my profile? Is this some sinister act? Should I feel threatened having set up Beacon because of his actions? Why? Why? Why?
Question after question whizzing through my skull like Formula One cars on a track. Why after nearly 5 years would he show his face on my business networking account? I screenshot the page and sent it to a couple of my girlfriends with the simple tag ‘What the actual f@*k???’ – within seconds I had a response from two of my closest buddies who had lived through the break-up and subsequent fall-out with me. Very quickly they were able to talk me down off the proverbial ledge and turn my overthinking on its head. This is all it was, ‘overthinking’, people look at their exes all the time on social media, but most of the time you don’t even know they are doing it as you don’t get a notification advising you of their stalker habits, however on LinkedIn it was there plain as day!
I was surprised by how I reacted to seeing his face and knowing that he had gone looking for me, I thought that nearly 5 years on I would calmly delete the notification and get on with my life, but somehow it had leapt out at me and tasered me in the heart. My friends made me laugh about how rubbish his two-tone ‘hipster’ beard looked and soothed my anxiety with words of encouragement. I lay in bed last night with my heart pounding and the positive words of my friends slowly replacing the unanswered questions. Unsurprisingly my dreams were filled with realistic dramatisations of my ex and his wife and I awoke this morning feeling disgruntled that I had allowed them to burst my post-holiday happy bubble.
So what did this teach me and what can I advise you?
This unwelcome lesson showed me that there is still a pang of anxiety tied to my past, but I know how I can get rid of it. I spent 5 days in Marbella, Spain with two incredible friends who understand me and what I have been through. We talked about our lives and what we hope to fix and it was pointed out to me that oddly enough I am angry at myself for being angry at a time when I was hurting, I was sad that I was sad and fed-up of being fed-up… from this I have taken away that I need to embrace the emotions that I feel, whether linked to the past or just what I feel in the present. If i’m angry, get angry! Let it out as it’s become apparent that I am a storage tank of emotions that I haven’t forgiven myself for.
My advice to you:
- Forgive yourself.
- Embrace those emotions and don’t store them up.
- If your ex looks at your LinkedIn (or other social media), just let them and don’t overthink it like I did. Most of us are guilty of checking up on past loves and it’s only natural.
- Do talk it through with someone. Chances are your friends will be able to talk you back round to a happy place!
- Choose happiness – believe it or not it is a choice you can make. Find people and things that make you happy and prioritise those over their negative counterparts!
For more help and guidance, articles and legal information, head to beacon.uk.com.