I’ve bounced back and forth on this issue a bit. When things fell apart with the last guy, I felt like I had to hurry up and get over it because he had warned that it was most likely going to be temporary, but I had hoped that he could be swayed because of how he seemed to feel about me.
I had promised him that it wouldn’t bother me if it was temporary, and on some level it didn’t. It was the end of an experience, and thus end of story.
On the other hand, he didn’t respect or understand or even care about how I felt about the situation. He couldn’t see it from my point of view and let me know rather quickly that my point of view was completely irrelevant to his life, or at the least to his decision making process. Because that has been a regular theme in my relationships with men, it became something I fixated on, and thus what could have been a relatively quick ending was dragged out for me emotionally.
We won’t even get into the physical loss that was attached to the whole mess…
When a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that felt a little too close to home, it made me realize a few things:
It is amazing to me how easy it seems to be for men to throw people away. We could debate the truth or falseness of that statement, but that’s not really what I want to talk about today. Honestly, I find it to be a fact since most of the women I know have experienced this at least a handful of times in their lives.
Today, though, I want to talk about the advice we give each other when dealing with this and other hurts.
See, I felt like I had to hurry up and get over it, not only because I had promised the guy who threw me away that it wouldn’t be a big deal if things ended (to me it was worth having the sweet memories, though he ruined those for me by treating me so badly there at the end and insisting that he didn’t care at all…), but also because so many people acted like I was somehow just being a drama queen about it all.
I had seriously contemplated going to India to beseech his parents for the opportunity to possibly marry him, so for me there was a lot of value in what we had. And for the troll who likes to point out that he never wanted me, his actions often contradicted that, and not just in my opinion, but in the opinion of other, specific neurotypical persons whose opinions I’ve come to value and trust because I can’t always accurately identify a person’s intention.
As such, it was a very big deal for me, and the ending of it is something like a death. At least that’s how my roommate explains it, and it seems fitting. It’s the death of the what could have been. While I might have been prepared for it, like one might be “prepared” because they have a relative with a terminal illness, the knowing that it will end doesn’t make it any easier when the actual end comes.
Men don’t seem to understand that, or worse: they don’t feel it.
Men, for the most part (like all generalizations there must be exceptions), don’t seem to feel the ending of a relationship as strongly. They turn their emotions off as easily as they turn them on, giving the impression that they don’t feel anything at all. They simply move on, while women process the death of a happiness.
One of my friends once told me that he thought that women were lucky because we get to express our emotions, and feel them fully without silencing them. As I see it, that makes us stronger. Which is what I told my friend:
I needed to say it for myself as well, and honestly, this picture could have been the whole post… if I wasn’t prone to verbosity.
The other day, I was explaining how I was feeling like many of my friends were trying to “fix” how I feel. Healing is a process, and while I am going through it quicker than what I would consider normal, I think that I’m handling it in a healthy way. I miss the what-if’s, and I miss the romance of what I thought we had, but realizing that he wasn’t who I thought he was and that he didn’t feel what it seemed so very obvious to me (and others) that he felt has helped me to not miss him.
But that doesn’t mean that I have completely gotten over the experience, and that’s okay.
I still have a fear that because I don’t completely understand how human emotions/intentions work that I will always be duped by men who don’t actually see/want me. It is one of my biggest fears that, even though I am completely myself at all times, men only see what they can get from me. Men are very utilitarian, and I don’t wish to always just be that odd girl or that quirky girl who is so eager to please that she’s completely forgettable except for how she can be used.
That was my fear, and that was what hurt so bad about the situation with this last guy. He was so eager to toss me aside. I meant nothing. I was nothing to him. Whether it was his inability to connect to people in general, or just his inability to see me as anything other than a thing to be used at his pleasure, I’ll never really know.
And if I can’t figure out how to identify the truth in this situation, how will I ever be able to trust that anything is real?!
That is why I’m still talking about it, because there’s something I need to understand, and it directly relates to how I’ll continue on in my next relationship. I’m not worried about how the guy feels about me now, or what he thinks about what I have to say; I only care about how I can determine what was real and what was manipulation, and what clues are there for me to identify manipulation in the future?
It is part of my healing process, and I’m no longer going to let people make me feel bad about going through my process. If you don’t think it’s healthy, try understanding how difficult it has been for me to make true friends. I read an article that explains it so very well!
I have often in the past put a lot of effort into my friendships, only to realize that I’m being used. In college, I would make sure to feed my friends who were less fortunate than I was, to the point of considering food stamps (when I eventually applied for them, I wasn’t feeding as many people, but still). I have often been the person people come to when they need advice because I listen and I offer logical solutions because of how my brain processes things, but when I need someone to talk to, there are rarely people to whom I can go for comfort.
Friendships are hard for me, and, until I was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum, I never understood why. The article explains exactly what I’ve gone through, and if you think about it, it’s also why I put so much into my romantic relationships as well. Thus every end is not just a death, but a betrayal as well, a betrayal of the effort I’ve put in and the faith I had in the other person to be honest and true.
As such, it is very difficult for me to just move on because there’s a lot for me to process. It’s not “holding me down,” or holding me back, for that matter (got a date tomorrow as a matter of fact), but it will take me some time to get through the whole process.
And that is okay!