I should be sleeping right now. It’s 12:39am and I’m mentally and physically exhausted but can’t shut my mind off. I’m angry at you. You knew my fears of abandonment and you did just that. You left me at my weakest and I can’t stand myself back up. The tears are stinging the corners of my eyes and blurring my vision even though it’s dark.
I can’t decide if your words or your silence hurt me more.
…me when I was at my weakest.
“We can be friends.”
“No I’m not going to go off the grid and disappear.”
“Of course I wouldn’t block you.”
“No a break doesn’t mean I want to be with other people.”
“I still want to be there for each other and in each other’s lives.”
“I love how much you love me. That’s one of my favorite parts about you. How much you love me.”
“I know. It was scary for me too. I also feel like you’re trying to manipulate me into staying.”
“It’s selfish of you.”
“It was the right timing.”
“It means we have an exciting future though.”
“I support you no matter what.”
“It’s your decision.”
“We are so young.”
“Can I hang up now? Just know I’ll be thinking of you all the time.”
Message undelivered. Your call cannot be completed as dialed.
We can be friends.
“Sometimes I know that this is real and that I want to be with you and then sometimes I just don’t know what I want. It’s just that half the time I don’t what I want or if I want to be with you.”
50% odds of someone wanting to be with you are not so good to be perfectly honest. There’s a 50% chance that a stranger will help you if you fall on the street. There is approximately a 50% chance that a coin will land either on a head or tail face. There is a 50% chance that you may or may not get your heart broken again.
50% chance for undivided devotion and limitless love. I give you 50/100 for a grade on our relationship. That’s a C- in some academic cultures, others less forgiving is a fail.
“One of the things I love about you the most is how much you love me. I just don’t know if I’m capable of loving you as much as you love me.” Should I love you less or show you I care about you less? When someone loves you, you don’t make them feel like an anomaly that the world sees differently and is uncertain as how to “deal” with or “handle”.
You know what? Keep my love. I have endless amounts of it to give and you only have a sliver of it. Love to me is contagious; it multiplies and expands exponentially. How beautiful it is that it will never stop growing, that there will be an endless supply of it. The fact that you don’t think you’re capable of loving me as much as I love you is sad. How empty it would feel to notbe able to feel your love multiply.
You say I’m possessive for not wanting you to date other people. Maybe it’s just because I have never been so in love before. You say people are allowed to change their minds. I’m a literal person. If you tell me you want to be with me forever I understand it to mean forever.
for all future time; for always.
“she would love him forever”
What does it mean to be fragile? Does it mean that we are more susceptible to damage or breaking completely?
At work that morning, my phone screen flashed his name.
“Hey baby, would love to talk to you during your lunch break today. Let me know if you can call me. I feel awful about what happened last night. Let’s meet up after work for drinks or stay in tonight at your place.”
At first, I didn’t know what “event” he was talking about, and my heart skipped at seeing his name, but then with a sinking feeling in my stomach, I remembered. I remembered the ear numbing tingle of fear that came over me so suddenly, the cold sweat that moved over my body from my neck to the back of my knees.
See, earlier that week, I had been having a particularly stressful time at work, not that work wasn’t usually stressful, it’s that it was extra bad that week. Clients were emailing non stop demands, bosses were screaming, coworkers were out for each other, and the city generally felt on edge. New York was bracing itself for the coldest winter yet, and of course the weather just was not helping with peoples’ moods. Anyways, the night that it happened, I was feeling off, it was as if my body was not registering at the same speed as my mind. I needed to recalibrate my machine and didn’t know how to. That night, after eating greasy Chinese food on his bed, he got up to go to the bathroom. His phone flashed. Candice. It flashed again. This time a Facebook message.
Sara: “Hey Daniel, miss you. call me sometime xxx”
When he came back, my eyes boring into his forehead, I said without any emotion in my voice, “your phone.” He took his phone and immediately got defensive. I was accused of being:
jealous, ridiculous, insecure, insane, crazy, nosy, controlling, angry, emotional, inappropriate. And also, a stalker.
We argued about Candice and Sara for hours after. Well after his roommates had gone to bed, well after it was past Candice and Sara and past the premise of Candice and Sara. We screamed at each other until our voices were hoarse, and until he finally gave up and said he needed to go to sleep. I was 4 stops on the ACE from my apartment, but somehow didn’t want to be alone that night. I decided to stay at his place, thinking sleeping beside him would make me feel better. The warmth and company of another person. Someone I cared about and who cared about me. I decided that I would wait for him to fall asleep before I snuck out of bed to get ready for bed. The fight earlier made me exhausted and the last thing I wanted was for us to be fighting again until sunrise. When I woke up a few hours later, I turned over groggily, expecting him to be there, but he was gone. I stumbled out of bed and tiptoed to the bathroom to take out my contacts that were glued to my eyes and brush the greasy Chinese food out of my mouth.
I laid in bed for a while, wondering where he was. I noticed his phone was still plugged into the wall, stored in his sock drawer, facedown. A new, unsuspicious, home for it. When he finally came back, it was 4:00 am. I asked if he was ok and where he went. He said he went downstairs to the deli but I smelled the cigarettes on his breath. I had been trying to help him to quit, especially after he said he wanted to, that it didn’t mix well with his medications.
When he got back into bed, I turned towards him and in a whisper said, “hey Daniel, I just wanted to tell you-“. He cut me off and under his breath in the most aggressive tone said, “we’re done here, alright?” and grabbed me by the shoulders. He shook me a few times. Hard. “We’re done here”. With a shaking voice I couldn’t control, I told him that all I wanted to say was that I appreciated him talking things out with me earlier and I know that it isn’t easy. I got angry at him. My voice was shaking with upset but also a new emotion. Fear. Fear that he had just shown me the side of himself that I was scared of. The side that I had suspected was there for the past few months.
I went to bed shaking that night. I could have left, yes. I could have taken the subway back to my little place, walked the chilly walk back to my apartment and gotten 3 hours of sleep before work, but I decided to stay at his place.
That feeling when you are shaking with fear and shivering with cold sweat dripping down your back. My body felt numb, my mind felt disconnected and in shock at what had happened. I know why I stayed that night. I stayed because I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to be alone. I also thought that if I went home, he would break up with me. The irrational thoughts that went through my mind were disconnected with reality.
Now, a year and a few months over that night, I think back to 22 year old me and wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her that it was all going to be ok. That she was strong. She was resilient and would thrive.
A few months after that night, I had the realization that it is never okay for anyone to speak to you the way Daniel spoke to me that night. It is never okay to be intimidated by anyone, to be made to feel insecure, crazy, jealous, or anything that makes you feel less than your worth. I advocate for women everywhere who are dealing with anything trying. You do not deserve to feel this way. Be strong. Be brave. Be free.