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Misunderstood, angry, discouraged, lonely….thats how I feel almost all of the time. Scared too. That this is just how its gonna be from now on. That I’m just some kind of irretrievably broken, and that, as you would probably want me to believe, I deserve the overall misery I feel. What I’ve apparently failed to convey to you no matter how many times I’ve tried, is that, on those rare occasions when I felt respected by you, appreciated by you, wanted by you, I didn’t feel those ways. Sure, you’re not responsible for my happiness, but you do have more of an impact on that than anyone else alive. My mistake for ever entrusting you my heart.

When have you ever abided by any of the ‘rules’ you established? ‘Don’t try to make me jealous, that’s childish’, as you nonchalantly exchange numbers with my friend two feet away from me, knowing how special it was for me when we had done the same thing not long before. ‘You get back what you put out there’, as you surgically remove me from your life every time I try to tell you how I feel. ‘We can’t have a legitimate dialogue if you’re gonna just be judgmental all the time’. You’re right about that one. Been judging me basically since day one. My posture, my complexion, I talk too much, I use too much ketchup, I let people walk all over me (namely you), my jacket is fake and not expensive enough, I’m delusional and a lunatic, my taste in music mostly sucks, I’m just not cool enough for you. And look, no real conversation! Amazing, even after I tried to sit up more straight, went out bought nicer coats, started listening to different music, nothing actually changed.

I’d be remiss if I made it seem like it was all bad. There was one time you made me feel more secure about my body image, which I really needed, and still do. One time when we texted (and you actually replied) you made me feel cool, like someone who deserved to be talking to you. Scattered amongst the times you taunted me with how nice your new SO’s car was, there was one time you made me feel better about not having a car, which had always been a major insecurity for me. And one rainy summer night you were actually both proud of me and not ashamed to be in love with me. Small moments littered throughout the years, but if I still remember them now, you know they made an impact.

I’ve always wanted to help you too. Maybe I never did a very good job, but I tried. I always treated your family with respect no matter how little I got back in return. I never talked shit behind your back no matter how much I struggled not having anyone to talk to about you (maybe that’s why I write here). I basically cut off anyone I knew who talked ill about you, whether they were my best friend or just good friends who treated me really well. The handful of times you opened up and told me personal things I tried to really listen and be empathetic. The last time I remember you opening up, you told me how excited you were about applying for a new job. You told me about your interview, what you wore, etc. I could see it in your beautiful eyes and smile how much you wanted it. And then the next time I saw you I followed up and you started yelling at me because you didn’t get it. You didn’t invite me to your graduation, but I would’ve come and been proud to cheer you on. You never invited me to any birthday party. You stopped going to the annual neighborhood Thanksgiving and Super Bowl parties once I started showing up. The truth is, there are so many times I wanted to be there with you, for you, so many parts of myself I wanted to give you to make you happy. But whether it was shame, anger, or revenge, it became more and more clear over time that there was nothing that you wanted from me.

So I guess that’s it huh? Reminds me of the time I asked you “Why am I still here?” and you said “You tell me.” I walked away that night as I did so many times because you just cant stop the gaslighting for 5 mins to even acknowledge what we had was real and could’ve been forever. To provide me with the smallest semblance of sanity, confidence, stability, or credibility. I guess its just easier to put it all on my broad shoulders. I told you I was in love with you. You told me I was “your fucking nightmare.” There’s a million other things I could say, but honestly, whats the point?

Why am I still here?

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