Picking up from last time –
I actually tried to turn away when I saw him down the street, because once I was in the moment (even though I understand how I got there), I really thought, “This isn’t a good idea at all.” But it was too late. We’d all seen each other.
I didn’t even get to talk with him because he was with one of our mutual friends (which made it even weirder). But we all did that little small talk stuff when you run into people on the street.
I texted sexual assault guy after he left, apologizing. And he texted me when he got home, absolutely furious. He said (because I – this one time – showed up announced-ish, after I’d already sent a text, saying I’d like to and really needed to talk to him, and even saying that I’d like to meet him just before of after the show if possible) that I was “stalking him.”
Because he gets to use whatever big strong words he wants to anytime. If I make one only semi-announced visit, I’m “stalking him.” If I tell him he hurts my feelings because he’s talking down to me, I’m being “abusive” to him – merely for trying to get across how I’m hurt and on and on and on.
And I’m not saying he shouldn’t be upset. I’m not perfect. And what I did definitely wasn’t cool. But it’s not fair that he gets to use huge words, when if I use smaller ones, then “how dare I say he’d even pressure a woman?” You know?
Anyway, when he texted, I called to apologize. He didn’t answer, but I left a message that said that when he used the word “stalking,” that would lead me to believe he felt unsafe. And I certainly did not, for even a second, mean to make him feel that way and I was very very sorry for that. And instead of accepting my apology, he got angrier and told me he was blocking me from everything. Well, okay then.
And the thing that sucks about this night is that this is where I really feel like I lost my footing of being “normal” or whatever… I get it. I get how I got to this point. Because I was so controlled constantly – from every tiny thing all the way up to him entering me when I let him know I didn’t want him to.
I just wanted one moment of just a tiny bit of… not even control, but almost just equal footing. I just for once wanted to be able to say, “I need to talk to you, because I have been cooking in this vat of boiling feelings and upsetness for so long now. And I’ve tried to be so patient. And we need to figure out exactly what we’re doing from here and how we’re treating each other, because I cannot take another moment of this. And that is not asking too much.”
But now, in his narrative, he will always be able to say, “She just showed up! My god. She’s so dramatic!” And it will be true that I just showed up. And it will make it seem even more like he’s in the right. And I worked so hard to keep it calm and keep him happy. And “be the bigger person.” I tried to “be kind to unkind people.” And on and on and on. But this was a very “dramatic” misstep. So, in taking a tiny bit of control by being like, “No, we’re talking” (which we didn’t even get to do), I also lost a bunch of self-respect and whatever footing I did have of “not being a ‘dramatic’ girl.”
And that sucks.
It truly felt like there was no winning.
And what’s a little weird is that when he said he was blocking me from everything, for a hot second, I felt a sense of such relief. I thought, “Oh my god. Finally. It’s finally over. I can finally stop thinking about this so much and worry so much. It may not have ended in the way I wanted, but thank god it is over.”
And then only like a week later, I came upon the day we’d already had breakfast plans had I just been patient and waited without saying anything like “I can’t do this anymore…” (But I thought it was nice to contact him instead of just waiting for this day… I didn’t want to blindside him, and I wanted him to know if it was our “last” breakfast in my mind, so he could mentally prepare or whatever… I don’t know!)…
Anyway… And on that day, I got something in the mail about this cool thing where I was almost certain he’d be… And I felt so many things at once – nervous about what he’d be saying to our friends, and if I’d be looked at as “so dramatic” – if I’d be comfortable seeing our mutual people… And I felt almost sad at the idea of potentially seeing him and not being his friend.
I didn’t have expectations that we’d have the romance of the century or whatever… I thought we’d have a little fun and it would end however, but I always thought we’d remain friends. And then yet again, at the idea of knowing how often I’d see him – and missing that great friendship part we had – I went back to the mild panic of, “Oh goodness, how can I get him to forgive me now? How can I get back into his good graces?”
But because I didn’t want to truly feel like a crazy person (since I felt pleeeeenty crazy enough after purposefully running into him on the street), I wasn’t about to find some way to contact him a mere week after he’d blocked me… I just kept trying to live my life as normally as I could in this weird emotional state with nightmares and fear and everything still happening, believing in time that I’d talk to him and his anger would’ve probably subsided (as it always seemed to) and maybe we could be friends after all… But goodness, I hated the feeling of being in emotional debt to him all over again..
We ended up getting to have a short conversation about a month later that was very civil, which was nice. And he said later in the summer, maybe we’d try to hang out again.
Two months after that, a good friend of mine was involved in something he was involved with. I wanted to go support her (especially because we had two mutual friends – her and me, not me and him) who happened to be in town that weekend who also wanted to go support her.
So, I wrote him a pretty short email just being basically like, “Hey, I’m really sorry, ’cause I, of course, feel like a crazy person right now having to write you from a different email account since I think I’m still blocked… But I’m going to this thing you’re involved in because my close friend is involved in it too. [This is someone I’d known for years, outside of the circles we ran in together, so he didn’t know I knew her.] And I just wanted you to know I’m gonna be there. And you’re in control. If you don’t want to talk to me, you obviously don’t have to.
I spent a while weighing whether the kinder (and saner, nicer) thing to do was to tell him I’d be there (as I wouldn’t have liked to be blindsighted if I had an event and he just showed up there… I thought a warning and explanation would be nice), or if it was nicer to just be quiet and be quiet at the event as well.
Ultimately, I thought the warning was nice, and he told me he was happy I emailed him about it to let him know…
While there, he sought me out and spoke to me a lot. We ended up even hanging out with a big group afterward, and he told me to sit by him.
This was actually the nicest he’d been to me in a very long time. He was being exceptionally complimentary toward me, introducing me to other people and telling them how great I was in various specific ways.
Wow. This is the old him I remember – the one who really, really built me up – the one I liked a lot before we started sleeping together… And a complete 180 from the man who was consistently angry and tearing me down (the one I’d interacted with before this interaction)…
Okay, so maybe we can be friends.
We both were about to head out of town, but set up a day to meet when we got back.
And we did.
And this is where we’ll pick up next time.