Because You Told Me Not To Write About You

Zach Den Adel
Zach Den Adel

Do you know how narcissistic and patronizing the statement “Don’t write about me,” is? It takes everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve published, every time I’ve spent 2 AM mornings scrunched over a blaring laptop screen scanning for typos and it smashes them into nothingness. It belittles something I am exceptionally proud of. It trivializes my words, my work, and ultimately my very thoughts, feelings, and then self-worth into one completely naïve and demeaning sentence.

Out of the handful of times we played around with the idea of an us, one of my favorite things about you was that you never uttered those words. You knew what I did, who I was. You Googled me, hung out on my pages, and even read some of the things I had to say. You asked about my pieces, pretended to be interested. You complimented my fondness for calling myself a writer, for building something entirely on my own. But once the tables were turned and the possibility that I held onto some memories that would potentially make their way onto the Super Information Highway and would hold less than stellar reviews concerning you…you were the one who became antagonistic.

“Don’t blast me on the internet.”

How did you honestly expect me to respond to that? To those loaded, loaded words? To that sentence that was dripping with such a command from someone who, coincidentally, I no longer (and never really did) take commands from?

Well here’s a sampling:


Need it once more?




I own my experiences.

I own my feelings.

I am allowed, warranted, and completely able to do what I will with those gut reactions and with those things that happen to me.

And you are something that happened to me.

You are a red flag I chose to ignore. A 20×20 crimson warning saying: “No! Don’t do it! Damaged upon arrival!!!” with excessive punctuation that I decided for whatever lack of judgment or consideration was worth giving a second chance. I took your sobriety and your quirkiness as things that just made you YOU. I was willing to try and get to know in spite of some things that I was initially unsure of. Things that I found attractive and as proof that you were solid in what you were looking for and in who you were.

But your definable traits were more of a red flag than the pathetic “lack thereof” excuses you gave for why we couldn’t have worked out.

You forced me into a situation where I was pressured into deciding how I would deal with something wildly uncomfortable. You forced me into a test I didn’t have time to study for, time prepare myself for. I didn’t know that this was pass/fail instead of A through F. I didn’t know that if I didn’t react in a way that you deemed acceptable I would be voted off of the proverbial island.

But that’s exactly what happened.

You said I couldn’t look you in the eye. Could you look me in the eye without projecting your issues onto me? You cured in 10 days what people work for years to get over so clearly, you know more about mental health than any of us. Maybe I didn’t stare into your eyes and get swept away, but at least I have a firm enough grip on where the root of my issues resides should some “Quick Fix” ever come through again and attempt to make me doubt my own recovery.

You called me an aggressive kisser. That sounds partially like every boys dream and also like a reject super hero that feminists are fighting for. But I don’t feel like wanting to rake my fingers through your hair, nibble at your ears and neck, even the urge to grasp at your face is a negative thing. I wanted you. I wanted to feel you, to hold you, to be in the moment with you.

And if that’s what you actually didn’t want that’s what you should have said.

Not some bullshit about my inability to make eye contact – which let’s be real, we both know isn’t an issue for me.

I saw your face, took in your laugh lines, saw the way you refused to let anyone tell a story before you would butt in and one up them.

I saw everything.

You told me not to write about you so I’m writing something that you can’t look away from. Here’s something you can’t ignore. Something that will exist and pulse and remain and that people will see and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can ignore texts and evade questions but the fact is that this, that I, will still be here.

And I didn’t need to make unbreakable eye contact at 1:15 AM in a bar to do that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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