I still quote this scene.
You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re defensive. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking, don’t you have a sense of humor? You’re so dramatic. Just get over it already!
If you’re a woman, it probably does.
Do you ever hear any of these comments from your spouse, partner, boss, friends, colleagues, or relatives after you have expressed frustration, sadness, or anger about something they have done or said?
When someone says these things to you, it’s not an example of inconsiderate behavior. When your spouse shows up half an hour late to dinner without calling—that’s inconsiderate behavior. A remark intended to shut you down like, “Calm down, you’re overreacting,” after you just addressed someone else’s bad behavior, is emotional manipulation—pure and simple.
And this is the sort of emotional manipulation that feeds an epidemic in our country, an epidemic that defines women as crazy, irrational, overly sensitive, unhinged. This epidemic helps fuel the idea that women need only the slightest provocation to unleash their (crazy) emotions. It’s patently false and unfair.
I think it’s time to separate inconsiderate behavior from emotional manipulation and we need to use a word not found in our normal vocabulary.
I want to introduce a helpful term to identify these reactions: gaslighting.
Gaslighting is a term, often used by mental health professionals (I am not one), to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.
It doesn’t take much to miss him: a song, a movie, a TV show. Maybe it’s a friend mentioning his name, or seeing or meeting someone who shares his name. The pain is almost unbearable.
The “him” I speak of is the man you used to be in a relationship or the man who you hoped to be in a relationship with. But he’s no longer in your life in the way he used to be. You still think you genuinely feel love for him, despite the fact that he’s no longer a major part of your life for a reason: he is a jerk. He hurt you, probably repeatedly. And you know in your heart of hearts that you have no business ever having a relationship or probably even having any sort of friendship with him. But you still miss him a lot–even if he was and is bad for you.
You’re tightly holding onto the memories of this man despite the fact that you know that it’s time to move on. You miss him more than you can clearly express, you think of him all the time, and your heart aches at the thought of not having him near.
Of course, the problem with missing someone with whom you have an unhealthy relationship is that it leads to re-engagement with that person–which is the last thing you need. But you’ve probably texted him or called him, more than once. And you probably regretted it soon after you’ve done it. You can’t just help yourself, can you? Every bit of progress you’ve made in an attempt to gain a healthy distance from him goes straight back to zero.
If given any chance, you would take him back in a second; you hope that one day, he can turn around and admit, “I screwed up, you are what I need in my life.”
Which brings me to my point: this guy you miss so much, he doesn’t really exist.
Yup. That man you miss so much, the man you wish could hold you again, the man whose physical presence you crave, isn’t really real.
You may be saying, “Wait a minute! I was in a very real relationship, what do you mean he didn’t exist?”
What you’re missing is the idea of him, not who he really was and is.
You’re missing the version of a man that you constructed in your head. You created this version of him to fulfill a need. It could be a need to solve the problems of men in the past. It could be an unrealistic obsession with the “perfect guy.” It could be an obsession with unavailable men. Early on in your relationship or friendship, this guy somehow did things that you’ve always wanted a man you’re in a relationship to do and somehow said all the right things and that is what you end up being biased towards. He also seemingly managed to avoid doing things that men in your past did to hurt you emotionally or made you feel uncomfortable. And as soon as you witnessed this “good” behavior, you latched on to it. Box checked; this guy might be the one. You ignore all the bad stuff and hang on to the romantic fantasy of him feeding you nice lines.
But all these positive traits are the components you piece together to create this image of this guy, who wasn’t actually a good guy or at least not the man for you. And it’s that constructed version of him that makes you ache, that makes you hurt. It’s the version you miss so much. It’s the version that makes you wonder how you are ever going to find a guy like him again. You can’t imagine that another guy like him, with all his unique qualities, could exist.
The creation/idea you thought you were with, the guy you miss so much actually treated you horribly, made you cry, made you feel lonely. But you don’t think as much about those horrible moments when you are thinking of him, do you?
The parts of him that you do miss don’t really involve the negative. Rather, it’s about the idyllic. It’s about little moments with him that were so amazing; you can just close your eyes and go back to them and feel incredibly happy and then incredibly sad.
Whenever you should be reminding yourself that this guy hurt you, disappointed you, you do just the opposite. The man you managed to create, who doesn’t really exist, pops up. He’s smiling, he’s making you feel special, he’s the one who makes you feel invincible. “The idea” of him comes roaring back and sets you further behind in your progress to properly move on.
Nighttime is the worst, isn’t it? The anxiety runs high. Nothing can seemingly soothe the frustration, anger, sense of loss. Being alone is painful, but even being with your friends is equally tension-filled.
It’s enough to make you want to throw something against the wall, “Why can’t I just stop re-engaging, why can’t I just move on, why can’t I stop missing him? Why can’t I make this go away?”
You’re not going to stop missing “him” until you first acknowledge that he was never really there to begin with.
He was just a ghost.
I stopped by. —I know I shouldn’t have.
But I needed to know.
If there was anything left.
If there was any piece of me that still wanted you.
And I saw your eyes.
Oh, how I used to swim in them.
In the spring.
It was always my favorite season.
They’re unfamiliar now.
A hue I haven’t seen.
Thought there might be a twinge.
A spark. But nothing.
And nothing is a nice change.
For months, I’d drown in you.
I’d replay losing you all over again.
And would wake gasping for air.
I remember you driving off.
I remember watching our future burn.
And how I loved you.
But that wasn’t enough to make you stay.
Now so much time has separated us
From the time we bloomed.
And I hope you’re happy out there.
I do hope you’re okay.
This was the right thing to do.
If you asked me a year ago if I knew what the upcoming year had in store for me, I wouldn’t believe you.
If you said my heart wouldn’t ache, I’d say you were highly overestimating my ability to bounce back.
But here we are.
Here I am.
And I made it through.
And I cried.
And loved my way to get here.
And I’m not sorry for what it took to be standing here.
And I’m not sorry for the ties that had to be cut
And I’m not sorry that I don’t miss you
And that I have no regrets
And I’m not sorry that I may never see your face again
Or that I’ve let myself forget you
And for prioritizing myself
To get to the other side.
To say how happy I am would be an understatement.
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. The storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm’s all about."
I was thinking of this today.
The more I hang out with my girlfriends, the more I am frustrated with the amount of bullshit people are willing to put up with.
Life is too damn short to be with someone who is insecure, or rude to you and to your friends.
here’s a sample of the bullshit from last night. he:
-makes you tell your friends you have to end your night early so he can call you
-stalks your IG feed to see what you/your friends post/like. You tell your friends they ALL can’t like pictures from a mutual friend. (And blocking/deleting them isn’t an option.)
-shows up uninvited w/ lots of aggressive PDA and rude comments.
-still “hangs out” with his ex
-toys with your emotions
-controls your life
-dropped off the face of the earth to return when he felt like it
-sucks out your happiness
-still has a hold on you.
It’s disgusting and it’s hard to sit back and let people make their mistakes even after trying to warn them.
A Father’s Recipe For The Right Guy
One secret to a happy life: finding the right guy you should date or even marry and this is no easy task. Here is a good advice from a father for his daughter in finding the right guy. This is sweet and touching at the same time.
1. Date a boy who makes you happy, but marry him only if he makes you laugh deep-belly rumbles that hurt your ribs as they expand outwards. Date him when he sees that you’re hurting and he gives you a moment to feel that pain like a handprint spreading across your consciousness, marry him only if he can make you smile even while you’re gross sobbing. The world is not a kind place. You will feel a lot of pain. Make sure you are with someone who makes it all bearable. Humor is an excellent gauge of intelligence. Life gets boring. Find someone who makes the banal interesting.
2. Make sure he has scars on the back of his hands, it’s a good sign he has experience either fighting or making things - creation is an act of selflessness and bruised knuckles are a good sign he knows how to defend himself. You’ve got too much soul to be handled by someone who has never been passionate. If he’s never thrown a punch, let him at least have tasted the insanity of bringing an idea into existence. Rough palms are better than soft ones, they have been salted by this earth and made into leather. Callouses are evidence he has lived, that he has broken skin and been in pain over and over and over again and still came back to the source of it. People rub against each other. Don’t marry him if he can’t handle even a little blister.
3. Before you say yes, get him angry. See him scared, see him wanting, see him sick. Stress changes a person. Find out if he drinks and if he does, get him drunk - you’ll learn more about his sober thoughts. Discover his addictions. See if he puts you in front of them. You can’t change people, baby girl. If they are made one way, it doesn’t just wear off. If you hate how he acts when he’s out of it now, you’re going to hate it much worse eight years down the road. You might love him to bits but it doesn’t change that some people just don’t fit.
1. Don’t try to piss quietly. Nobody in a public restroom thinks you’re knitting in your stall. They came to piss, just like you. And if you have to take a dump, do it. Get over your fear of public toilets. It’ll make life a lot easier.
2. Masturbate. Masturbate a lot. Talk about it with your friends. You’ve got the right to make yourself feel good and brag about it just like all the boys with extra large kleenex packages on their desks.
3. If you want the large fries, get the large fries. Hunger and appetite are nothing to be ashamed of, just human. Don’t ever feel guilty for eating in front of others. You need to nourish your body to stay alive. We all do.
4. Laugh as loud as you have to, no matter if you snort or gasp or literally scream.
5. Fart when you have to.
6. Always remember you weren’t born to visually please others. Forget the phrase “what if they think it’s ugly”. If you think it’s lovely, it is lovely. You wanna wear it, wear it!
7. Speak your mind! You can learn to do so without insulting others or shoving your opinion down other people’s throats."
Seven Simple Ways To Free Yourself, from girl to girl (via notcapableoflove)