you always have such a nice way of saying things and i feel so ilost right now… a former absuser of mine wished me a happy bday and we haven’t spoken in years, i thought i’d blocked him off all social media but he found the 1 i forgot because i never use it. i know it takes time to heal but is it normal that even something as small as that took me right back to that place? i didn’t respond, i might delete the account, but i feel so weak for feeling so affected by this P.S. i love your blog !

Let’s get this one out of the way first: I want to acknowledge that you feel weak for being so affected.  That sounds like an entirely normal, natural reaction to an emotional shock.  

Maybe he’s gotten conscious of what he really did to you and feels like shit about it (a positive side effect of #metoo) or maybe he’s anxious that you’re going to out his to his friends, employers, and loved ones and feels terrified by it (another positive #metoo side effect) or he could just still be a dickish asshole who imagines you’ve still got “something going on.”  Or, worst of all, he’d like some kind of “closure.”  Who knows what might have motivated him!

Doesn’t matter though – any obligation you had to him ended a minimum of three days before he first crossed the line with you.

This is not advice, or a recommendation, because your life is complicated enough.  Instead this is a thought experiment about interpersonal vs community power dynamics: Ask yourself how a one-sentence message from you to his community of friends, family, employer, clients, and social-media mutuals would affect his life vs. the effect any private message he could send you. 

Not saying you should do anything, because I’m sooo not the right person to help you make that decision and I’m completely oblivious to your situation, your history, your community, or all the rest of your feelings.  Instead it’s just a possible way to look at yourself now.  You may or may not wish to send that message, but compared to years ago you’re no longer alone and you’re no longer powerless.

If I was going to offer advice it would be to ignore his message, block him, and see if you can find someone who can give you professional counseling to help you resolve your feelings, help you find ways to take action.

You might also want to take a look at the awesome, awesome Jennifer Peepas’ blog,  She doesn’t just give advice, and incredible support, she gives wonderful, simple, rehersable scripts for dealing with all sorts of social and personal situations.  Including dealing with abusers and people who think you should be nice, reconsider, see things from their perspective, and who otherwise create the shitty context that leaves you feeling powerless when you don’t want to deal with this one shitty individual.

Long story short: you’re normal, not weak, for having a strong reaction; talk to a pro; check out CaptainAwkward; consider that you have at least as much power to up-end his life as he had to up-end yours.

Hope that helps at least a little bit.