Let me start by saying that I never thought it’d happen to me; the crying, the begging, the 30 phone calls in a row without a response, the impromptu drives over to you house after you still wouldn’t pick up only to finally get a text back to “LEAVE ME ALONE” — but it did. Oh, it did. And you know what? I liked it.
I’m proud of being the crazy ex-girlfriend.
It’s always been hard for me to love people. Even before the tender age of 12 when my “daddy issues” came into full bloom, I had trouble opening up.
I thought liking someone was a weakness, a wedge for bystanders to judge me and laugh at a possible rejection. Oh no, I didn’t care about actually being rejected; I cared about how other people would see me after I had been rejected. That was a fear I just couldn’t take. So while all of the girls at my birthday sleepover in 3rd grade confided to each other about who they liked, I sat and scoffed at them, acting like I was superior to this thing called “feelings.”
We dated for a year-and-a-half, and you loved me the entire time I couldn’t love you. Every time I would tell you we had to end things because I didn’t feel the same way about you that you felt about me you just pulled me closer and say that you knew I could. And then one day, it became too much. The scale was too uneven; the one-sided arguments were too repetitive. So you did what I never thought you would ever do—you left.
And that is when I made the transformation to the Dark Side.
I sent you essay-long texts professing my love for you, reminding you of all of the good times we had together, pleading with you to give us one more chance. I used to have strict rules for myself regarding texting; I’d never initiate texts, only respond.
Well, that went out the window! You didn’t respond to five of my Romeo and Juliet worthy texts? Guess I’ll send another two before it’s even noon. I’d pace back in forth in my room, dialing your number over and over again once I got home from school. The first few times it would ring like you weren’t there, then you would start denying the call, and then if I was lucky, you’d pick up one time and tell me to NEVER CALL YOU AGAIN.
I drove over to your house when this happened, hoping you seeing me would make you remember how much you used to love coming over early on Saturday morning with Cinnabon for us to share. It didn’t. But being rejected was like a drug. For once I actually felt something so strongly for you, something I had waited a year-and-a-half to feel. I don’t know if it was love or pain or maybe a combination of the two, but I always came back knowing full well I was going to be ignored, silenced, beaten down.
It was freeing, I felt alive. Miserable, but alive.
Your birthday came around, and I made you a giant poster and stuck it on your car window in the middle of the night. You still didn’t call to thank me. I promised myself that that would be the end, I wouldn’t make any more attempts at even being friends if you couldn’t send me a two word text, but I broke that. I drove over to your house and demanded that you come outside, and when you did and said to leave, I asked you, Do you even ever miss me? You said, Honestly? No. So I slapped you.
I can only love people after they leave, after they take my heart that I’ve only let them lightly hold onto and toss it on the curb for the garbage men or the rats (whoever gets there first). Because at that point, I’ve already lost; my fears of not being enough, not being right, of being boring, angry, and depressed have come true. I have nothing left to lose. It’s then I’m free to love—to be vulnerable because I’ve already been cut open and exposed for everything I’m not and never will be. It seems counterintuitive, but it sadly makes sense to me: love is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and vulnerable I am when I’m rejected. Because, hey! I have nothing left to lose! I already lost you! So now I can’t be hurt by actually loving you.
Being the crazy ex-girlfriend has such a bad rep, but I’m proud because it means I fought for love. It means I left every last piece of me open for rejection and still kept going because I loved you. You never came back, and we haven’t talked in over a year, and you probably still think I’m crazy, but eh, daddy issues, am I right?