Thursday evening, around suppertime, my land line rang. I checked the display screen, and it showed the name of the area, but no specific phone number. I often get calls like this from the Cancer Centre, so I picked up the phone, without waiting to hear if the caller was going to leave a message.
A voice said, "Hi! It's (ex-husband)"
I was taken aback, my phone number is unlisted, and I am very careful about to whom I give it out; everyone knows not to give it to my ex. Last time he had my cell phone number, after I had left him, and been gone for several months, he started to call me every day.
Time and again, I had said to him, "Don't call me anymore. Call your program friends, call your sponsor, call someone else, don't call me, I don't want to talk to you. I left you because I didn't want to be with you anymore, that includes talking to you. Leave me alone!"
It was, as it always was with him, like talking to a brick wall. The next night, the phone would ring, and it would be him again. I realised the only way to stop him was to get an unlisted number, so that's what I did. I got an unlisted land line.
Somehow, 2 1/2 years after I left him, he managed to get my unlisted phone number, and called me.
I should have just hung up immediately, but I was startled, so I asked, "What do you want?" (I don't care what he wants, I want to be free of him.)
He replied, "I just called to talk."
I said firmly, "I don't want to talk to you." and hung up. Within about a half hour, I phoned my service provider, explained the situation, and asked for a new unlisted phone number. It went into effect today, and the old number is now "unassigned."
It felt thoroughly unpleasant, to know he had my unlisted phone number, and could call me any time he chose. If this happens again, and he gets my new unlisted number, I'm going to go to the police and charge him with stalking. The laws here have changed considerably with regard to stalking, and continual unwanted phone calls fall within the stalking legislation.
I was disgusted that he felt he could try to force himself back into my life in this way, but when I considered it calmly, I thought, why should anything have changed in his thinking, just because I've been gone for 2 1/2 years?
By the time I left, after 17 years, I just wanted some peace. I realised, after a couple of days in this city to which I moved, that the strange feeling I had, was the result of no-one being angry with me. At first, I had a bit of a hard time getting used to how lighthearted I felt. But as time went on, and I began to understand just what a difficult situation I'd been surviving, and how much better my life was without him in it, my joy of living started to resurface. I started to wake up happy again, ready to face another day, secure in the support of my HP.
Then, after almost a year down here, I met Robert, and thought we could be good friends, which we were, for quite some time before the relationship deepened into what it is now. Having a loving relationship with a man who treats me with respect and care, has shown me how much I was missing, living with an alcoholic who was not in recovery, and saw no need for any change on his part. My ex lied to everyone, not least of whom was himself, all while presenting himself as the soul of honesty - ironic.
I made new friends in program, and have found myself to be in a safe place.
Even with the cancer diagnosis, I am the happiest and most grateful, I've ever been in my life.