Could You Just Please Leave Me Alone Today, Please?
Sometimes there’s this weird cycle that happens when I interact with people. I tried to make a flowchart.
The cycle begins with me feeling unfit for social interaction. If I’m at work when the feeling strikes, I’ll probably start thinking things like, “Hey computer, fuck you for being slow today. You know something’s really fucked up with you, Apple, fucking Steve Jobs, when a human is faster than its computer.” My resting bitchface will be severe. My coworkers will be scared to talk to me. I’ll know they’re scared to talk to me. They’ll know that I know, we’ll all know this is a problem I need to fix, and this shared knowledge of my bad day will make my day that much worse.
Sometimes, when I feel this way, I will also be lucky enough to have someone who actually cares about my well-being — someone who somehow manages to have respect for me, he will coincidentally request that we get a drink later. He wants to cheer me up. Which is like, LOL. Sorry, but no. Seeing another person is not something that can happen right now.
It will then sometimes occur that this man takes my need to be alone as a personal affront, a passive statement about how much I like him. (And maybe it is a statement, I don’t know. Maybe it does say something about us. But I don’t feel that way. At least, I don’t want it to say something about us. Who knows what it means that I feel so alienated and inside myself that the thought of humoring someone else’s presence makes me feel like a cat being forced into a bathtub? Who knows what that says about my relationship with the person I’m dating? Does it mean we’re not right for each other? Or does it mean I have issues?) And so he will naturally seek reassurance, which I naturally am unable to offer. Lacking the assurance necessary for his security, he will become upset, which will make me even more upset and withdrawn. Ad nauseam.
Here’s what I wish would happen when I’m in this kind of predicament with a boy: If I want to be alone, he doesn’t get butthurt about it. He thinks “It’s okay. January wants to be alone. She is in her room alone, not hurting anyone, not seeing anyone else, and that is OK. It’s OK because she 1) struggled to even tell me that she wanted to be alone, because that is the nature of her particular type of alone, 2) she doesn’t want to reassure me or anyone right now, and by asking her to, I’m making her feel even more alone, and 3) I shouldn’t try to ‘squeeze’ reassurance out of someone if they’re not in the mood to give it.”
This is a hard thing to tell yourself. And I get it. I’m not one of those girls who think sensitive guys are boring, or pussies, or whatever. I appreciate the fact that there are men who want emotional connection. Thank god for these people. But if you can’t stand me being alone in my room feeling like a piece of shit, and you start making me feel bad for you because you’re not getting what you want, I will not only feel like a bigger, more alienated piece of shit for making someone other than myself suffer, but I will also start feeling mad at you for contributing to that feeling. Because the last thing I want right now is a sense of obligation to anyone but myself and the Game of Thrones episode I’m about to put on.
I don’t want to feel obligated right now. I don’t want to feel responsible for your feelings, I’m not responsible for your feelings, and believe me, I know that I’m shitty, I know I’m bad, you don’t need to remind me, I know I don’t deserve you. I know you like me, and I’m sorry for being the way I am, but today, could you please just leave me alone, please?
I’m sure you’ve seen the YouTube video David After Dentist thousands of times by now, but never like this.
By Rob Fee
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