I felt angry, which is ok–any feeling is ok with me, as long as I can feel it and move through it. Anger tells me something is wrong–usually that I’m not getting what I need, or something wrong is happening, to me or another person.
It really hurt me, to be dropped by someone I was building a friendship with and beginning to love. Anyone needing time to process is ok. I can see needing a few days, or even a week or two? Space is valid.
But just disappearing for more than a month is a lot. I would like to trust a person, that if they just disappeared like that, after frequent contact and meaningful friendship, there was some kind of emergency, and they needed to pull away for some big reason I couldn’t know.
I’d like to trust someone, that they had to go, and let them go. Or I would like to trust that they would come back, and explain what happened, talk to me about the experience, what they needed, what I needed, and see if we wanted to try being friends again.
supposed to pretend
So when that happened to me recently, and then the person attempted to pop back into my life without explanation, I was like–what? It felt creepy, and anger stirred me. Am I supposed to pretend you didn’t ghost me and break my heart? I was really confused, so I asked them about it.
They said they still wouldn’t talk about it, apologized, and blocked me on facebook. Wow–I was shocked. That was a type of fucked up I did not expect. To me, blocking someone is for if I hate them, or they are harassing me. Not like someone objects to behavior, can’t take a drop of criticism, so pushes a friend out of their life!
Feels childish and sad, that we were having daily contact for a while, and I was really worth nothing to her. Not worth a difficult conversation, patience, honesty, or her even listening to how I felt. Seems her tolerance for conflict is zero. But relationship is bound to have some conflict, right?
I’m done spending my life pushing down how I feel for the comfort of people who are afraid of emotions and truth. If someone can’t take a word of criticism, how can we even communicate?
I imagined me and her in a beautiful fake garden. We don’t live in a world of perfect ease and thornless roses. It’s like they needed the facade, and it was wrong of me to push down the flimsy fake walls that were just painted nothing.
I was open to being wrong about what had happened, open to learning. It’s not like I was saying they were a bad person, or name calling. My anger didn’t make me an asshole. I stated my experience and asked for clarity, but that was strangely too much to ask.
I don’t need people to be normal. New ways of being are great with me, and new ways of doing relationship. But I have a few basics I need. Being ghosted and then popped back in on, with no conversation about that, feels gaslighty. I won’t pretend a huge painful thing didn’t happen.
Maybe they were fucking around, so they thought I was fucking around too? No, I don’t do that to people–I don’t waste my time like that. The investments I make are meaningful. A person is worth more than anything–connection is what I live for.
I felt like I was being treated as a non-human. Like that person thought I was a tv show. She had taken a break from watching the tv show, and wanted to watch it again.
Nope, I’m not entertainment. I’m not a product, or imaginary idea elsewhere. I’m a human with strong feelings, and the language and bravery to talk about them. That’s why she liked me in the first place.
I’m learning that can happen a lot–I attract someone who likes that I can do what they can’t. Naively, I believe they want to try a new thing, and I trust them, to know themselves and be responsible. But no, I was wrong. They were just fucking around–emotionally touristing, or doing some research I thought was love.
I like about myself that I keep feeling, trusting, and falling in love with other crazy people. I’m responsible and hesitant to hurt people, so I think others will be the same, but apparently it’s more rare than I thought.
It reminds me of people who give someone a bunny as a pet, like a parent could give a kid a bunny for easter. It’s cute but then needs consistent care and years of the less-fun part, like cleaning up the poop, and giving fresh food and water.
It’s more work than expected, so the parent dumps the bunny at the park. Or the thousands of people who don’t spay or neuter their pets, and then are surprised by the litter that comes from that, and act like it’s not their responsibility.
I don’t understand how people can enter into these things so lightheartedly, and then be ok when they hurt others through their irresponsibility. A pet is a huge commitment. Does the well-being of another human not matter as much?
Anger tells me to do something different, to take care of myself or whoever is getting mistreated. I spent much of my life making excuses for the bad behavior of other people and struggling to see things from their perspective. I struggled to ignore my anger.
After a while, it feels very silly, to do way more work explaining someone’s bad behavior than they are. It’s like I’m doing the whole relationship on my own. Acting out the other person’s part as well as mine.
If someone wants to explain what they’re doing, that’s cool. But if I’m spending hours trying to figure out why the heck they did such and such, or plan new ways of how not to get hurt by them, while they watch netflix or eat cake or sleep or whatever they do… It’s stupid of me, to work ten times harder to maintain the relationship that they’re enjoying the benefit of.
I’d asked a mutual acquaintance about this person I was becoming close with, to get another opinion. He said they had met online in a zoom, and she had seemed like a lovely person. That comforted me at the time, which I see now was ridiculous of me.
My conclusion is that yes–she seemed like a lovely person to me too, for the first few months. Almost anyone can seem like a lovely person for that long. Then the reality of their selfishness or whatever deep issues can no longer be hidden.
I’m done agonizing about what the heck happened. There are many people in this world who will be kind to me, not just with flowery language, but with behavior and being real.
Thank you to my anger for helping me understand I can get out and that I owe that to myself. And thank you to the friends who listened to me talk about this, especially my spouse, who kindly holds my hand as I cry.