When you’ve been a victim of abuse, you build a pretty strong wall to protect yourself. You learn quickly that expressing emotion can get you punished, so you hold it in. If you’re lucky enough to get out of the abusive situation, that wall stays there.
When you meet new people, the wall strengthens. Or at least it does for me. I could meet the nicest person in the world and it will go one of two ways:
Scenario 1: There is no way this person can be this nice. It must be an act. They’re going to charm me and disarm me. I better run before I see their true colours.
Scenario 2: There is no way I deserve someone this nice. I’m not worth it. It’s only a matter of time before they realize that I’m not good enough for them and they leave. I better run before they see my true colours.
Unfortunately, I succumbed to a new scenario. One that I didn’t know existed, and instead of ending with me running it ended with some serious heartache.
Yep: I’m talking about you, Coffee.
The self-proclaimed “nice guy with asshole tendencies.” I tried to keep my wall up and I did a good job at first. You didn’t pry, which was so wonderful. I felt safe with you, and special. You kissed my forehead and you tucked my hair behind my ears. You told me that you hoped that eventually I would let my guard down with you.
The first time I relaxed a little around you, you said how nice it was. You would text me all day, telling me that you really liked me and if we hadn’t seen each other in awhile you would say you missed me. I actually felt this going somewhere. I’m an idiot, I guess.
Last weekend you invited me to stay with you. This was a huge deal for me. Since leaving my husband, I’ve been with people but I’ve rarely slept with them. There are very few people with whom I have actually spent a night. Of course my first reaction was to run. Alert, alert, too nice. Scenario 1. Get the fuck out.
But you know what? I really fucking liked you. With an exclamation point. And I thought you liked me too. So I agreed. You sounded excited to have me stay over. You bought mugs, and a kettle, and coffee. You made me breakfast. I was with you…maybe 20 hours? 22? I had such an amazing time with you. I loved the way you made me feel. I fucking opened up to you.
I guess that was my mistake. I talked about my ex. I talked about my dad. I’m not going to lie: I verbal diarrhea-ed all over you. It’s a lot to take and I get that. My life is not perfect or wonderful; it’s been shattered and poorly glued back together. But it’s my life and it’s part of me and I thought that you liked me.
When I left your house, I was happy. I was fucking happy. This should have set off warning bells, but it didn’t. I went home and I talked to my friends about you and I smiled like an idiot and gushed like a teenager.
It wasn’t until the next evening that it came crashing down. An innocent text to you asking if I would get to see you this week. An innocent enough non-committal answer from you. A jokey response from me, poorly disguising my disappointment. A sinking feeling that the end had come.
It’s been a few days. Communication has slowed right down to nothing. I wish you would at least tell me that you don’t want to see me anymore. I know it’s hard to hurt someone but saying nothing hurts a lot more. It would take you twenty seconds to pick up your phone and say something like, “I’m sorry but I don’t see this going anywhere.” Or, “I had fun but I think we should stop seeing other.” Anything, really. Just something to provide some sort of closure and to make yourself a little less of an asshole.
I was talking to my friend about ghosting yesterday. When someone ghosts us we should know that they are the ones with the problem. They are the ones who are too cowardly to send a simple text. It really takes no time out of their day to be a decent human being. But instead we blame ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong. We wonder if we aren’t pretty enough, or funny enough, or smart enough. We wonder what part of us isn’t enough for them.
I hate this feeling. I hate sitting on my couch crying. I hate feeling bruised and broken and alone. I hate that you made me feel like you were worth it. I feel like I was a game to you. I was closed off and it was a challenge. You got in and therefore you won. Game over. I’m left in pieces behind you but you won. Congratulations, I guess. I’m not sure how many times I can glue myself back together, but I’ll try.