This here is by way of being a small update on my previous post. I feel fortunate in having very little to recount. No further public spottings of the parental unit in question.
Also, while I didn’t get a chance yet to go to the domestic violence advocacy place (I’ll go once the kiddoes are back in school and I don’t have them with me 24/7), I did have a helpful conversation. I got some advice from a friend who has had to cut off ties with family, even going so far as to make a last name change so as not to be found; and who has had other situations where keeping distance was the best road to safety. This friend advised that in situations where you meet up in public (either by accident or by the other person’s design), you simply and firmly say “No Contact” and move along. You don’t engage in any conversation or any response you might get.
The thing I’ve realized is that as long as I have a strategy to deal with the situations, I feel safe, and then I can go back to feeling those open/soft/trusting feelings. So I really appreciate my friend providing a listening ear and solid advice gained from hard experience. I am learning that a lot of folks have gone through similar (or much much worse) things when coming out, and I am learning that talking to folks who have been through it often gives very practical advice as well as support.
I want to say also how much I appreciate the comments here on the blog. I can’t really express what it means to be able to say what happened and how it felt, and have so many folks chime in with encouragement.
Not wanting to end on a terribly somber note, when today has provided the kind of spectacular weather that almost breaks your heart, I will close by saying that my red cowgrrrl boots and I thank y’all kindly!!