Most of you that I know read here are well aware of my story.
You know that I keep my online and personal identities as separated as possible, due to Boo’s dad having been a paranoid and sometimes physically abusive person, who has at times made threats towards kidnapping and/or trying to take custody…. and that he’s had a history of stalking my online accounts and those of my family as well.
There’s a good part of me that’s pretty sure he’s been on here, somehow.
As such, Boo has always been known as Boo online… which is actually a nickname we use for her most of the time in person as well, but it’s one that he does not know.
Pictures of her have been kept to a minimum, and been kept under highest privacy settings. My goal being that he wouldn’t know what she looked like for sure if he did ever try anything.
In the past two years though, since my mother’s divorce, she has stopped respecting this… posting pics of her on facebook under the public setting hoping the ex will see them, and using her full first name instead of Boo when she does.
But there was a bigger threat that I never looked forward enough to see coming.
Boo now has a facebook account.
She’s 12… which is a year younger than she has supposed to… however about 2 years back her cousins got underage accounts, and I agreed if she met certain school achievements to show responsibility, I would allow it.
She met them this last semester.
I went to create an account for her, and get the privacy settings set where they need to be… and was informed by facebook that there was already an account under that email.
I hit the forgot password link, got into her email, and reset her password to get in… and found she’d created the account a couple of months earlier. Sigh.
But even better… when I went into her friend requests… there was one from my mother. So, she knew about the account, knowing what Boo was supposed to have to do to earn it hadn’t been met, and was apparently fine with that. Gotta love family support. lol
So, since she had earned it, she was still allowed to keep the account.
But… because it’s mostly her school friends on there besides relatives, it’s under her full name.
This makes me have to cope with the fact that he could find it.
With the fact that he could have found it before I’d even found it… and maybe he already had.
Because an interesting thing happened just about a week before Prince Charming ended things… so about 3 weeks before I knew about the account.
I got a friend request from a female in a town nearby where her dad lived… 3 states from here. I have no other connections to the area.
The female had her friends list hidden, but I was able to see his, and verify that she is facebook friends with him.
After a few days, curiosity got the better of me, and I sent her a message saying “Can I help you? I would normally ask how I know you, but seeing who one of your friends is, I’m aware that in this case I don’t.”
She replied back and forth with me for a few messages… claiming he is an ex and they had a bad breakup… but still had no real reason for why she would have contacted me… or even known my name really. And still hasn’t removed the friend request.
It’s enough to make me nervous.
I never officially ended contact with him… I didn’t want the resentment later from Boo, when he was flaky enough as to not request to see her when he’d been informed that it would only be supervised and in public locations. I didn;t have to allow it… he is not listed anywhere legally, as he has dodged the cross-state-lines paternity paperwork to avoid ever having to have paid any child support.
The last time he came to see her, it was the Christmas that she was 2… and she hadn’t seen him since that March. He was a total stranger to her after that long, considering that she hadn’t seen him much before that either… and she acted like it… and so he was convinced I was coaching her to be scared of him, not that a 2 year old wouldn’t have photographic memory and an understanding that “daddy” was supposed to be someone significant to her.
But now I’m a bit forced to face the fact that in the internet age, she’s growing up.. and getting to the point where I may not always be able to catch everything she does.
He’s a scumbag, and I’m not sure she’d even believe him if he contacted her and told her who he was, but even if she did, I don’t think she’d be any more welcoming to him now than she was then.
It’s been years since we last had the “why don’t I have a dad?” discussion. Probably about 1st grade or so, and she’s in 7th now.
I know it will come again eventually… and this discussion is going to have to be had… as someone old enough to know the truth.
Do I wait until it comes up naturally, or she brings it up?
Do I try and pre-empt anything he might try to do by bringing it up now that I’m really aware there could be an increasing risk as she gets older? Or will that just scare her more?
Once upon a time, I gave warnings to daycare and to her sunday school teachers… just sort of an FYI of the situation and that he has no legal standing to see her, just in case.
I sort of miss those days. At least I had an illusion of security.