It had been two weeks since I moved out of Jake’s* apartment. Our last morning together was so surreal I couldn’t even process it. I just remembered us saying our usual off-to-work goodbyes but only this time it was our last.
Adjusting to my new reality was tough. I no longer had the right to know what Jake’s* plans were and he no longer had to text me his whereabouts. However, thanks to Instagram, I was able to get a snapshot of his post-breakup life. It felt like one post could tell the whole story. Lovis*, one of the women Jake* cheated on me with ironically started liking his pics again and within no time he started to like hers as well. I knew they never stopped talking, Jake* didn’t respect me enough for that and thanks to Instagram, my “theories” had been “proven” right. Each virtual interaction they shared was a sting to my heart. Jake* had betrayed me so much yet I was somehow the devil for my week affair with Aaron*.
In addition to Lovis* was Gisselle R*, Jake’s* new classmate from Brazil. She started to like every pic he posted and every time I saw her name in his likes, my stomach dropped. Everyone seemed to know but Jake* that liking posts on Instagram was virtual flirting. “I don’t follow these social media rules” he would always say but maybe he didn’t remember I found out he was cheating on me with Lovis* a week after he started liking all her pics on Facebook.
Stalking Jake* on Instagram became an unhealthy habit. It got to the point where immediately after waking up, I would go to his page to see if he posted anything new. Afterwards, I would go to my activity feed to see whose posts he was liking. It was a sick and horrible addiction yet I couldn’t stop.
The tipping point to my insanity came when Jake* posted a pic from Paris. There he was on yet another trip we were supposed to take together without me. Words, even to this day, couldn’t describe the emotions that ran through my head. I could barely concentrate at work. I just wanted to be home so I could cry. I did however, wish Jake* safe travels and a great time.
His trip lasted for two agonizing weeks and consisted of four countries. My stalking went to unprecedented levels and I was becoming deeply ashamed of myself. Who had I become and when was this new me going to fade away?
The only thing that was keeping me happy was looking at old pics Jake* kept of us on his page. They reminded me of our happier times and of all the potential we had. But then, one dreadful day, they were gone—Jake*, in a matter of seconds, completely deleted me out of his existence. It was the final straw… I could no longer allow Jake’s* virtual-self control my actual-self. Shortly thereafter, I blocked his account which was something I should have done the moment he said “I just need you to be out of my life.”
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.