For a long time, I was in love with a man who simply did not love me back.
And you, reader, like every single one of my friends and family members, must be wondering, “What in the world’s wrong with you? He’s not interested, and you know it… you need to get over it. You need to move on.”
But you see, I’ve had an awful time trying.
I spent an entire year falling in love with someone who ultimately ghosted me; someone who very deliberately chose to suddenly cut me out of their life and act as if I didn’t exist.
It’s been one and a half years since he cut me out of his life, and this is what those past one and a half years have felt like.
It felt like I was in shackles. Like I was chained down by my hopes that one day he’d come back into my life and offer me a reason for his disappearance.
I stayed in the same place for that year and a half, unable to move. I wanted to stay there, stay paralyzed, stay in love with him just in case he ever decided to come back.
If he ever had even the slightest inkling or curiosity about me again, I wanted to be right here, in the same spot he abandoned me, waiting.
I was hungry for his attention and longing for his presence. His indifference starved and weakened me. And when others stepped in and attempted to remove my shackles, I only latched them on tighter – after all, these people weren’t him. I wanted him, and only him, and I spent every single day of that year and a half just sitting, starving, shrinking, convinced that he’d come back for me someday. It got to the point where I didn’t want to try anything new or exciting – no, not without him. I was convinced that I needed him, and that he was the only key to freeing me from my imprisonment. No, rather than live and explore and truly experience my life, I chose to stay chained down by my thoughts of him.
I wanted so badly for him to turn around, and see the pathetic disheveled state he had put me in, that I had endured for so long. I wanted him to realize that he loved me too, all along. I wanted him to say he was sorry, and that he was wrong all this time to imprison me and just leave. After all, he had made me fall in love with him and abandoned me without looking back. I was hoping that maybe somewhere deep down in that twisted, dark heart of his, maybe he was missing me.
Alas, I’ve reached the end of the one and a half years, and I’ve finally had enough. Last weekend, I tried reaching out to him one last time. After waiting for so, so long, all alone, I’ve finally decided that I didn’t want to feel like less of a person because of him anymore. I wanted to move. I wanted to be free. Waiting around for him had completely destroyed me. It was as if any strength I had possessed had slowly crumbled over the past year and a half. I had become an empty shell of a person. Funny how when people ghost you, it’s you, the one who loved, who becomes a ghost.
And, reader, as you can imagine, after I reached out to him: nothing. No reply whatsoever from him. Just a continuation of the ghosting he had already been pulling for so long. Again, he chose to abandon me, to deprive me of any consolation or explanation.
And you know what?
That’s when, for the first time, I finally thought to myself, “Man, what an asshole.”
For the first time, I didn’t think of him as my hero, or my prize, or my knight in shining armor who would save me from these shackles. For the first time, I thought of him as an asshole, and as someone who I no longer wanted to wait for, or yearn for, or love.
Now, the shackles around my ankles and wrists have been unlatched. Giving up my illusion of what me and this man could have been has broken these cuffs. Giving up hope that we could ever be anything – and dismissing the hope that we ever really were anything – has set me free. Thank God.
I may not have the shackles to hold me down anymore, but I’m not running freely around just yet. My body is still weak from being frozen for so long. I can look back now, and let me tell you, the place that I was imprisoned in looks so dark and so, so sad. It feels like every inch that I move away from that place is slow and a shaky feat to make. But I’m still moving away from my imprisonment, away from what had hurt me for so long. Finally, I am moving in the right direction, towards bigger and brighter endeavors for myself, without my chains.
Each and every moment, I’m still struggling. I’m struggling not to look back, I’m using every ounce of strength just to crawl even a little bit away from the feelings I once had, from that place of darkness and false hope. But reader, anything is better than continuing to stay in a place that only ever hurt me. And I’ll continue to fight and claw my way out of that damn entrapment. Because seriously though. What an asshole.