I have an ex-husband named Frank Wu. When we married, I was 24 years old and he was 39. I was young and naive, and he was very manipulative. That, at least, has not changed.
For years after our divorce, his words rang in my ears - he told me in private that my writing was horrible, that I was no good, that I was shit. He let his friends talk down to me and call me abusive names. When I left him, he gave my phone number to his friends so they could call me up and shout abuse at me. In public, he would be all smiles, but in private was a different story. You want to talk about scars? I have a burn mark on my back that I covered up with a tattoo. I didn't want to talk about my first marriage, didn't want to carry that pain with me, so I tried to erase it.
When I was with him, I had just started writing for publication. However, he eroded all of my self-confidence and I stopped writing. For years after our marriage ended, I didn't write because I didn't want to be involved in that world and accidentally cross paths with him.
Only recently have I decided that what he did back then doesn't have to hold me back now. I decided to write again - that I wouldn't live in fear of him or what he could say. I decided this because of my current husband, who has been nothing but supportive and loving of my dreams.
I guess I was wrong about Frank. He made a very public post about me in September: https://archive.today/69Qmn. I just discovered it today because people are tweeting it. I am adding the link here so you can read it. Because I want you to read the outrageous things he is saying, and to know that what he is saying is BULLSHIT.
I am not going to stoop to his level of verbal abuse and lies. I am only going to defend myself with facts. He was 15 years my senior. He was older than me, taller than me, outweighed me. When I left - and yes, I was the one to leave - he came up to my parents' house, trying to get me back. When he wouldn't leave me alone, I moved across the country to get away from him. Then he showed up at my sister's apartment in New York City where I was staying while I got my feet under me - he talked his way past the manager by saying he was my husband, and being very persuasive that I would want to see him - and I opened the door to her apartment to find him waiting inside. Let me say, it was not a good surprise to think I was going to a safe space, only to find him waiting for me. So I cut all ties with my old friends, worried they would give him information about me. I changed my number because I was getting phone messages from his friends telling me I was a piece of shit - basically repeating everything he had told me for the year we were together. And then when I had done all that - left my whole life behind - the nightmare, I thought, was over.
My current husband and I are approaching our six-year anniversary. We have two beautiful children. It was my husband who convinced me to stop being afraid to write, to send my stuff out there. It was he who convinced me that nothing bad would happen to me. I tried to tell him that he didn't know my ex-husband and how vindictive and manipulative he was when we were together. I was afraid, but I decided to do it anyway, because I had my husband's loving support.
Let me ask you - what sort of woman runs away across the country, changes her phone number and cuts ties with all of her friends because SHE is the abuser? What sort of man publicly posts such outrageous shit about his ex-wife in a public forum? Yeah, I thought so.
I don't want to live in fear anymore. So, Frank Wu, take your lies and shove them. You can't manipulate me. And you can't hurt me anymore, either.
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with nearly a hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. When not writing, I'm the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories. If the Walking Dead isn't on, I draw pictures and do origami meditation in Connecticut, where I live with my family. If the Walking Dead is on... shhhh! The Walking Dead is on! For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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