I had originally planned on addressing this topic in one of my LIFE LESSONS posts which, if you have followed me for a while, you will know that they are a humorous take on some of my encounters in life. However, I think this topic is too important to talk about it in a light-hearted sort of way and I want to give it the appropriate attention and weight it deserves.
We’ve all experienced relationships and the ups and downs that come with those particularly when they end. Break ups suck. No one – both instigator or receiver – like them. They’re hard, they’re stressful, they’re just downright shit no matter which side you’re on.
Now, I’ve been both an instigator and a receiver. I’ve had my heart trodden on – both expectedly and unexpectedly – I’ve also been the one who has done the treading. I ended my last three relationships and I can respect that each time would have come as a shock but all bar one has taken it extremely unfavourably. Yes, only ONE out of three has been able to accept that I’ve decided he was not for me and have taken it on the chin. We wished each other well and we never spoke to each other again. It was just a good old fashioned break up. There was no screaming, no yelling, no begging, no attempts to pressure/convince/weasel his way back into my life and I respect him for it.
The other two, however, were very different. They left me feeling stressed, anxious, angry, pressured and to be quite frank, abused. Now, I understand that when you realise a relationship isn’t how you perceived it, it can be heartbreaking. But does that give you the right to send abusive messages, to say unfavourable or hurtful things or to come to my home trying and bearing gifts in an attempt to convince me to change my mind? Fuck no. It does not.
You do not get to tell me that what I’m feeling isn’t true. You do not get to abuse me through all available mediums. I should not be bombarded with texts, phone calls, DMs, emails, letters etc. etc. I am not a damsel in distress who needs to be saved from her own feelings and opinions. And I sure as hell don’t need you to tell me how I should be living my life and who with. As far as I’m concerned you were privileged to be with me. I didn’t create my life to be with you, I allowed you to be a part of what I created. I don’t care that you wanted to take up permanent residence in my mind or my home when I didn’t want you there anymore.
Just because I am a single mother does not mean that I’m an automatic family. I am not waiting on a missing piece to complete the picture. I am not here to complete the dream you had about being married with kids. I am here to create a life for myself and my daughter. I am here as a safeguard between her and the world. I am here to set a strong example for her and I will not allow anyone to distort the lessons I give her in any sort of way. You are not allowed to come into my home and yell at me in front of her. You are not allowed to storm off in an argument in front of her. And you are sure as hell are not allowed to slam doors, swear and lock yourself in my bedroom in front of her.
You don’t get to come into my home and affect how I live. I am not here to serve you. Just because I’m a bad ass in every aspect of my life and home, does not mean I am doing it to please you. I’m cooking dinner because I goddamn need to eat – not because I want to show you I’m domesticated. My house is clean and tidy because that’s how I live. I’m not culling the unnecessary to make room for your shit in the cupboard. And as you’ve since learnt, you’re part of what I’m culling.
Some of what I’ve encountered – in particular the buying of gifts, leaving letters sprayed with your cologne and flowers at my door – I blame Hollywood for. They’ve taught men that that’s how to get a woman’s heart – it’s not. I haven’t ended it with you so you buy me pretty things. I have my own money – I earn as much or more than you – I’m capable of supporting myself. If I want it, I buy it and it’s as simple as that.
Don’t tell me you’ll give me time to work myself out. Don’t tell me you’ll wait for me. Don’t tell me you’ll fight for me. Mate, I’ve already moved on from the thought of you. You have no idea how long I’ve been thinking about ending it with you. When it comes to a break up, I don’t just do it as soon as the thought enters my mind. I consider it, I think about it, I watch and observe our interactions and calculate what effect you have in my life. When I break up with you, it is final. It is exactly what I want and there is no swaying my decision.
I’m not sure where you’ve picked up these behaviours where you completely ignore and disrespect a woman’s wishes. Your constant and unrelenting attempts to sneak back into my life are not going to work. The simple matter is, it’s a form of mental abuse but I will not let you break me. I will always start off by giving you the benefit of the doubt and start off nice in an attempt to be friends but do not take this as weakness.
Your desperate attempts to ‘reel me back in’ do nothing but lower the level of respect I have had for you. It’s unattractive and you will languish because I will not falter.
To the women who may be suffering – I will not sit and pretend as though knowledge of my self worth was enough to act as a force field during these times. It sure as hell helped me to carry on with my day to day life and more importantly, to be present and as connected as I should be to my daughter. But when you’re copping abuse from text messages, phone calls, email, letters, DMs and any other medium that they can clutch on to, you do what you have to to silence them. You block them – on everything. You reject phone calls. You delete emails. You let friends and family know about what is happening for two reasons – (1) because the weight can be too much to bear on your own and (2) there’s always the very real possibility that you might suffer abuse from the hands of your ex, not just his mouth. You reach out to everyone you can to widen the gap between you and him. You make friends with people who it is in their nature to protect those who need it. People who have the need to protect so far ingrained in them that it doesn’t matter if they’re in their uniform or not. You keep their numbers on speed dial. You lock your front door the second you walk in and you double and triple check it’s locked before you go to bed.
Eventually all you’ll need to worry about is yourself and who you care about again. You won’t need to flinch when your phone goes off. Soon all you’ll have to worry about is realising they’ve hacked into somebody else’s Instagram account to check on you sporadically. And when this happens, you can smile to yourself and realise that something that’s so far in the past for you, is still impacting them in the present.