My Most Terrifying Breakup

I never break up with anyone. I will stay in a relationship even as it veers off the rails, flies off the end of a lakefront pier, and finally tumbles into the icy waters of Lake Michigan where I drown and freeze to death simultaneously — that’s how much I hate it. I hate every part of breaking up: I hate dispensing sadness, I hate transitioning into being a (tragically common and neglected) single male, and, most of all, I hate people hating me. It’s like a splinter in my mind, and inevitably brings up questions about my self-image I’d rather not examine. For these reasons and more, I deliberately wait for the other person to break up with me, and thankfully/ unfortunately, most of the time, I don’t have to wait long. I get to be the victim, the one who has been terribly wronged by the perpetually callous and emotionally destructive female. Yes! I’m the big winner in this transaction, and she’s the inhuman monster! Nothing about me could have provoked the severing of our association, only her pure irrational malice, her dementor-ish hunger for human misery.

There have been only two times I’ve had to break up with someone. The first time was perpetrated via instant messenger, and oh my, was it a smooth and painless operation. I typed, “I don’t think this is working for me.” Then she typed, “WHO ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME WITH?!” And I said, “Nobody. I just don’t want to date you anymore.” Then, an hour later, her sister started IMing me: “What the hell is your problem? My sister’s crying here! How could you break up with her over AIM? Why are you such an unbelievable douchebag?” On some level, I relished the drama of it, the excitement of being the center of a crisis, and — bonus — because it’s all over AIM, I didn’t have to confront the stark reality of a crying girl making me feel bad and stuff. Awesome!

The next time was a live-action real-time break-up, and that one was The Worst Break-Up. It occurred in several horrifying stages, each worse than the last. The most pivotal incident (as best I can recall) however was this:

It started when she threw her cell phone at my head. I got out of bed, saying, “That’s it! I’m leaving!”

Realizing she’d unwittingly activated the evacuation sequence, she panicked, grabbed my arm. “Please don’t go! I didn’t mean to hit you! I was just throwing it out of frustration!”

“I don’t care.”

“Please sleep here! I just need you to sleep here! Just for one night!”

I, however, had an indescribably intense need to get out of that apartment like a bumblebee trapped in a soda can. The notion of staying struck me as unthinkable, unfathomable. “No, I’m sorry. I have to go.”

“Please!”

As I made for the door, she zipped in front of me, turned the lock, and grabbed my arm. She continued to chant about how if I’d sleep just one night with her, everything would be fine, she wouldn’t bother me again, things would be different, she wouldn’t throw anything else at my head. But I couldn’t hear her over the voice in my head, screaming, “GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE OR YOUR SANITY IS FORFEIT!” I kept trying to unlock the door, and she kept relocking it.

“Please stay! I can’t sleep without someone there with me! Just one night!”

I appealed to her sense of reason: “My dear, you’re acting like a crazy person. Look at what you’re doing right now — this is how a crazy person acts. Be reasonable.”

In her defense, I had just slept with her, a person I’d ostensibly broken up with, someone I happened to know could be extremely unreasonable and emotionally fragile, and now sought to flee the scene of the crime. I wasn’t exactly the model of sane intelligent behavior. In fact, one might describe my actions as “morally reprehensible” or even “evil.” Without question, “psychologically abusive” would cover it.

She allowed me to exit the apartment, and, as I stepped out onto the landing, I savored the sweet taste of freedom. She, after all, was not wearing clothes. She couldn’t follow me. She was trapped by that most insidious of social contracts: thou shalt not walk around naked in the outdoor public place. But she did follow me, followed me into the world of the clothed. And worse still, she began shrieking at the top of her lungs and sat down in a huddled ball, crying. She cursed herself, me, the universe itself. I would depart her life and be fine, but she would still have to go on living as an emotionally unstable person plagued with various sleep and personality disorders. I was a momentary visitor to madness while she was a prisoner there.

After many attempts to placate her and lead her back to the apartment, I finally abandoned “being compassionate” and began walking to my car. Halfway there, I turned to see her behind me, running, chasing me. So I started sprinting to my car full speed. I had just spent at least an hour watching her soul disintegrate before my eyes and couldn’t bear to witness the final nuclear meltdown. It made me feel bad and stuff. Like ew, gross, feelings are gross. Breathing fast, heart pounding, I raced across the parking lot, to the confusion of any witnesses in the vicinity. Being chased by a naked girl was not, in fact, as amazing as all those Axe commercials indicated — it was pure mind numbing terror. I fumbled for my car keys, threw open the car door, dove inside, started the car — and she blocked me from backing up. ‘Oh God,’ I thought. ‘The likelihood of being murdered seems high.’ Before I could lock it, she opened my door and plopped herself in my lap.

I thought, ‘I am never leaving this place.’

I pretended to go back to her apartment with her. I recall sighing in an exasperated way and saying, “Okay, let’s go back to bed.” I felt like a police officer leading a shell shocked trauma victim, a woman who has just discovered all of her children lying face-up in the pool. She seemed zombified. Dull yellow parking lot lights illuminated the self-inflicted cuts along her legs, ones she said she’d discovered upon waking up in the bathtub. She had bruises all over from falling down or smashing into blunt objects while blackout drunk. Under eyes bloodshot from crying were gray circles from chronic insomnia. Who could guess what sinister concoction of antidepressants, alcohol, sleeping pills, and general psychosis had resulted in this sad creature? Who could guess how much of this she would even remember tomorrow?

When we arrived at the entrance to her apartment, I waited until she had unlocked the door to go inside. Then I sprinted across the landing, down the stairs, across the parking lot, hopped in my car, and drove away. I put my head out the window and took long deep breaths. At a red light, I clicked a mental photograph: this is liberty.

My phone started ringing. I didn’t answer it. It continued ringing, over and over, endlessly. When I got home, it was still ringing, so, though I used my phone as an alarm clock, I turned it on vibrate. The next morning, I woke to 65 missed calls. ‘I’m safe,’ I thought. ‘She can keep calling all she wants, but I’m safe.’ TC mark

image – Husbands and Wives

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  • http://twitter.com/yvonne1503 yvonne

    That is pure psychotic. 

  • guest

    if that was my only breakup experience, not only would i not break up with anyone, but i sure as hell wouldn’t date anyone either.

  • http://twitter.com/robinthecradle1 Robin West

    Jesus. I hope you checked to make sure she’s still alive.

  • Anonymous

    “Dull yellow parking lot lights illuminated the self-inflicted cuts along her legs, ones she said she’d discovered upon waking up in the bathtub. She had bruises all over from falling down or smashing into blunt objects while blackout drunk. Under eyes bloodshot from crying were gray circles from chronic insomnia. Who could guess what sinister concoction of antidepressants, alcohol, sleeping pills, and general psychosis had resulted in this sad creature?”
    With the exception of the bloodshot eyes, I presume all of this was an issue before you slept with her, and it was okay then?  

  • SusanDerkins

    I was on the side of the girl for the short moment between “psychologically abusive” and when she chased you naked into the parking lot. After that I wondered why the hell you got into a relationship with someone so insane and broken. 

  • Meghann

    Sounds like you need to grow a set.

    • afig

      Why because he wanted to leave an absolutely insane situation? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

    My heart aches for her. This was an enlightening perspective. I am that girl. When we are broken, it is not okay for us to go flinging ourselves about, inflicting pain on everyone else. That’s not how it works. It’s like, I get it now.

  • EGH

    Few articles I have read on here make me legitimately dislike the author, but this is disgusting… Maybe because I’ve dealt with guys with this mindset. But honestly, gtfo, handling breaking up like this is immature and fucked up on several levels. So cheap. She was clearly unstable and had her own set of issues, but the opening and the way you give off this sense of douchebaggery…at first I felt your pain with hating to hurt others in breakups, but it seems you just lack integrity and tact all together. Grow up, dude.

    • Alexia

      This is exactly the comment I was going to leave. 
      This breaking up technique has been used on me before and it’s pathetic. The result? I still felt like I’d been dumped but I lost respect for the coward. I hope that this girl, with all her issues, feels the same way about you. And I hope that one day you man up and be a more decent human being.

    • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/contributors/brian-mcelmurry/ Brian M

      While I respect your opinion, he states that he is wrong and “emotionally abusive” for sleeping with an ex he had recently dumped and then fleeing for his life while she is psychotic. He owns his “douchebaggery.” Just sayin. Here is the quote:

       “I wasn’t exactly the model of sane intelligent behavior. In fact, one might describe my actions as “morally reprehensible” or even “evil.” Without question, “psychologically abusive” would cover it.”

  • becky

    She sounds like she needs actual help, and maybe you should not have handled the situation like that…maybe you should have left in a more polite manner…like you know…say there is an emergency and you need to leave asap, then break up with her…

  • Lvs 1983

    Hey I thought it was funny. A woman or man needs to retain some dignity. Geez we have all been there.

  • boherubi

    yes she might be borderline, but you’re narcissistic! hope you dont get into another situation with one of your ‘type’ of girls again, only to boost that weak ego of yours. talkin bout ‘im safe’ – please grow up and handle emotions responsibly.

  • Britney

    While on some level I understand this– I’ve had a partner with similar issues, and I legitimately feared for my life during the difficult disentangling process– I can’t condone it. That’s not how you handle this situation. You have no obligation to personally walk her through any kind of anything, but you should have at least ensured that she was in someone else’s hands after (perhaps unintentionally) deepening her assorted psychoses.

  • uuupp

    i laughed hysterically while reading this! sooo funny! great job.
    my only concern — how could you feel safe? knowing that she was still out there..

    • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

      I really doubt this was supposed to be funny…at least not in a haha kind of way. That’s sick.

  • guest

    You’re an awful person. 

  • macgyver51

    This would have been much shorter if you would have simply stopped being a pushover and walked out.

    • coco

      it’s not that easy

      • macgyver51

        Someone throws a phone at my head and then turns psycho? Absolutely its easy.

  • Mike

    You, Brad, are a jerk. Grow up. 

  • Disgusted

    You deserve each other.

    Maybe this is fiction, which is my only comfort

  • Michael

    Did it ever occur to you that maybe she’s “broken” because of how she’s been treated by dbags like you? 

  • Anonymous

    Despite what anyone else says I don’t think you’re a jerk. I would freak out too and we’re all capable of making such mistakes. It doesn’t make you a bad person, just human. 
    That said, you could’ve handled it better and I sincerely hope you’ve learned from this (not just the never breaking up part)

    • Samantha

      Don’t forget that he’s admitted to being emotionally abusive. That counts as being a jerk. Yeah, she’s clearly nuts, but it sounds like he intentionally pushed those buttons sometimes.

      • Anonymous

        Okay, I’ll give you that sleeping with her was really really moronic. But fleeing the scene after she goes bonkers, I can get into that.

  • Nray12

    Yikes. She doesn’t seem very mentally sound. I’m a girl and I agree that if I were him I would have ran. I would never stay in a relationship where the person throws a cell phone at my head.

  • Anonymous

    You are the worst kind of person.

    • Oliver Miller

      No, no; anonymous internet commentators are the worst kind of people, doy.  Well, them and Scientologists.  It’s like a tie.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    Shit, I hope she doesn’t read this. I’d check under my bed if I were you.

  • Guest

    I don’t think the author is a “dbag,” “jerk,” or “awful” person,  but his break-up technique, or lack thereof, could use some maturing.

    This lady was/is unstable and irrational though. He shouldn’t be responsible for fixing her. 

  • Asdf

    And, lo, the white knights of the internet gallantly come to the defense of a crazed woman. The next time a naked man or woman chases you down and relentlessly and incessantly prevents from letting you go, please, write us an article about how you handled the situation.

    When the people participating in a situation are messy, the situation itself will be messy. The author is guilty of one thing: sleeping/perpetuating a relationship with a psychotic person. Given his opening, I attribute this to his seeming aversion to conflict.

    • Circles

      No, what he’s guilty of is “psychological abuse” which he quite clearly states himself.  Then he wrote an article detailing this incident which relies on discrediting this woman and dragging up her psychological issues (which, as another commenter has pointed out, he had no problem with before he slept with her).  He also manages to avoid mentioning what preceded the ‘phone throwing’ incident, presuming that she didn’t hurl the phone at him in the middle of a casual conversation about the economy. But, go ahead…gallantly defend a manipulative man you white knight, you!  Wouldn’t be the first to do so.

      • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

        So, basically, anything a woman does is cool because, you know, *feelings*, and anything a man does is evidence of dickery, even when a psycho naked woman tries to bar him from leaving her home. What if it was a guy who did that to a woman? Would that be acceptable?

      • Circles

        I didn’t say “anything a woman does” or “anything a man does” because I wasn’t generalizing, as you are, I was talking about this specific situation.  I don’t condone what she did to him and I certainly don’t condone the act of throwing her phone at him because violence is never cool, but what he’s done here is ridicule an obviously unstable and mentally unwell woman, which is also not cool.  It has nothing to do with gender.

      • Oliver Miller

        So no one can ever write about their life then, unless it involves situations where everyone involved acts perfectly?  What’s the point of autobiography, then?  Or memoirs?  Or art in general?

      • Circles

        Oh sorry, is it to validate yourself by mocking mental problems?  Didn’t realize that’s what art and literature is all about.  My bad.

      • Oliver Miller

        He’s mocking himself too.  Never mind.  You don’t get it; carry on.

      • Circles

        Yeah, he devotes about five lines to what a jerk he is.  Pretty sure he doesn’t mention any self inflicted cuts, alcohol issues, anti depressants or “general psychosis” in relation to himself.  Not really the same kind of mocking is it?  I get it just fine thanks.  

      • Guestfacekilla

         circles is a fucking retard. OH SORRY, DID I JUST VALIDATE MYSELF BY MOCKING MENTAL PROBLEMS? as everyone knows, that is what art and literature are all about.

      • Circles

        Nope, just made yourself look like a cock.  No worries, we’ve all got our cross to bear.  Nice try though, well done.

      • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

        Where is all this ridicule? He described her actions in detail. Her decidedly off kilter, insane, outlandish actions. At the worst he’s guilty of poor judgement, while she’s guilty of wailing a phone at someone’s head, trying to make someone stay in her apartment, following said person outside nude and emotionally blackmailing the guy into staying with her.

        Yet you give her the benefit of the doubt, even though her actions are way worse. That smacks of gender bias. Like I said, were the situation reversed no one in their right mind would stick up for a man that did all that.

      • Aemig11

        I agree that he was not ridculing her, but it’s really not about genders here.  This story just happened to feature a woman during a melt-down.  I think the reason this woman would be given the ‘benefit of the doubt’ is because certain people can relate to her.  Either we’ve been in her position, or we’ve been with someone in her position.  I’ve dated a couple guys who would throw the biggest tantrums, and though I would never condone it, I could empathize with them.  I have been in mentally and emotinally abusive relationships where the man was unstable and took it out on me, and I didn’t know whether to run away or try and help.  The problem is you can’t help these people – that’s why there are professionals.  Anyway, these guys were incredibly manipulative and they made me out to be the ‘bad guy’ and everyone bought it because I didn’t like to talk about my relationships in public, because I knew people would just believe the more dramatic tale, regardless of the truth.
        No one wants to be in either of the situations in this story, because both show the darkest, most vulnerable sides of ourselves, no matter what gender you are.  It’s so sad to trivialize a story like this based on “boy vs. girl” mentality.  We’re all weak, we’re all strong, some women are emotional, some men are emotional, some women are stone walls, and some men are stone walls.  Let’s just cut the crap and stop using gender as an excuse for any situation.

      • Asdf

        And since we’ll never know who this woman is, so it could quite certainly be made up. I am of the mindset that to discredit would be to publicly shame; to me, this requires a specific identity. I’m not defending him at all. My opinion is that he is simply guilty of maintaining a dangerous relationship for whatever reason. Be it pleasure, be it fear or be it timidness, yeah, it seems potentially wrong. But the wrongs are clearly outweighed here. If everything is to be taken at face value, then to identify the things that he might have done wrong requires more backstory than is offered here, whereas she quite clearly needs help. 

        Maybe he should have sought help for her. Maybe he did. Maybe he caused her psychosis. Maybe she was as abusive to him throughout their relationship as you feel he was. No one knows except the author and the woman. The article is specifically about his experience with a terrible breakup. It seems like you — along with many others — are reading more into it than is presented. 

        The judgments made by us are going to be intrinsically one-sided, since we only have one side of the story, but if she truly acted the way she did, no amount of people in the world defending her will help. She needs professional help to cope with her psychotic nature. That’s not a criticism, it’s a truism.

      • Minorgatsby

        i understand where you’re coming from and the hostility in his voice is evident. however, he does now acknowledge that he was wrong in doing what he did and you can’t judge someone by their past. hopefully he desires to learn more about his future mates’ psychological stability before taking advantage of them sexually.

  • Sophia

    You sound really immature, and she sounds absolutely psychotic. Seems like a pretty terrible match.

    • Guest

      haha!  those two wrongs will never make a right. 

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