I met P during one of many transitionary periods in my life. I was on "a break" from my under-graduate studies at The University of Idaho and living with a friend in a spare bedroom at that friend's parents' home. It was a weird set-up. P, meanwhile, was dating/engaged to my friend's brother, who was also living in the parents' home. P and I didn't spend a ton of time together, but it was enough so that I was comfortable with her. Eventually, I moved out, married my wife, and quit being transitionary for awhile, and P married my friend's brother and moved to the southwest.
Today, I saw P, and her daughter, A, for the first time since I, and two other grown men, lived in that friend's parents' house. While many of my dates with Facebook friends involve nothing more than great conversation, P made it so much more than that. We had a very Gilbert, Arizona experience, and it was wonderful. I didn't just spend time with and get to know P a bit better, but also did the same with her town. Perhaps, though, knowing both her and her town separately helped me understand her and her town together. Alternatively, I may be giving this too much thought.
Unfortunately, P is now divorced. Really, though, I don't know if "unfortunately" is the correct word to use. It's unfortunate that she went through unpleasant things and experienced unhappiness, but it might not be unfortunate that she learned from her personal shitstorm and feels stronger because of it. While discussing her experience with her, she mentioned that she had felt, and sometimes still feels, that her story hasn't been told. And maybe that part truly is unfortunate. Logically, it probably shouldn't matter what an ex's extended family thinks of a person, but when you're that person, it often feels like it does. It hurts to know that people think poorly of you, especially if it is based on incorrect and/or one-sided information.
Such is life, though. Everybody has their shitstorms. Generally, they pass, and I am confident that P's will pass too, and that she and her daughter will eventually not have to spend any further time, energy, or hatred on somebody that doesn't deserve it. My hope is that this happens sooner, rather than later. But even if it doesn't, I hope that P feels like her voice, and her story, were heard.