Abandonment from a loved one is always a little unnerving, but living in the times of speedy one-click matchmaking and express heartbreaks, it takes an uncanny rendition of what is called ‘Ghosting,’ bringing with it a cloud confusion and blows to the self-esteem.
I met the boy with a smile so warm it could melt hearts, little did I know that he’d break mine instead. Before it happened, I was almost done with college with a scholarship waiting ahead for me, I was surrounded by the most wonderful people, I was inspired and most of all, I was content with myself. I really wasn’t seeing any romantic engagements at this point of time but it so happened that I connected with an old school senior who had no recollection of me as compared to my muddy one of him. We realized how similar our perspectives were and talked over the phone for hours.
It is a little embarrassing how I opened up to him like a book. He expressed his genuine liking for me and I admit that the pace of this adventure frightened me, but God, it excited me so much too.
We met, we had a lovely evening, I came back home with a smile, went to bed wearing it, and woke up in the morning with a feeling so lovely I swear I could sing along with the birds. I was just getting used to all of this Dopamine release, when I started to realize something was wrong. There was suddenly no contact from at all.
Thus began my battle against uncalled-for woes and surfacing insecurities I never knew I had before. It was a brief fight though, just as long lasting as this romantic escapade, but it was dramatic none the less.
I realized a couple of things from this experience about how ghosting affects the haunted. Initially, it’s just a lot of rational wondering about their disappearance. Were they just caught up with work? Maybe they needed space and that’s only fair, but it couldn’t be for long right?
Then, as more time passes by with the traces of them fading away, the dark thoughts spring like little weeds in your mind. Because it’s easier to wonder what could have gone wrong on your part than drawing assumptions about their character, you pick yourself apart by recalling each and every one of your flaws and accusing them of being the culprits.
Which one of those monsters could have driven away a person who was so smitten with you a few days back, that now he refuses to engage with you at all?
You think about opening up to someone about it, but all this seems so silly. This doesn’t even qualify for inviting sympathy as something like being dumped by your boyfriend would, I mean you weren’t even exclusive.
Not like this was going anywhere certain, right? It could have but it didn’t. Why not? Where did you go wrong? There goes the whole process of counting your flaws again.
Then after the hair-splitting critique in you is momentarily satiated from gnawing at your own self-worth, you’re angered. You’re furious at what just transpired. How could you let this happen to yourself? So you shift the blame, beginning the process of rebuking the ghost in your head. You come up with the most ridiculous shots at their personality because you’ve only known them enough to witness their charming side. So you look out for very particular quirks like their fascination with coconuts- “who eats coconut oil every morning? How do you even do that? So weird.”
But you know this is no good to balm your itching soul either. You don’t want to be bitter over traits of a person you found so adorable a few weeks back. So you go back to ridiculing yourself, and you swing between the two for a bit.
The heart-wrenching process goes on until it strikes you how fruitlessly strenuous all of it is. Maybe you finally cry a little, maybe you do gather the courage to tell your friends what happened and joke about it, maybe you finally delete their number. You start healing with time, you stop expecting their calls/texts instinctively and overcome the urge to write them long paragraphs about how they did you wrong. You get with life, harmony is restored again.
You sometimes wonder if they were actually going through personal troubles and if you could have helped them out as a friend but that’s the trouble with ghosting, it clamps down doors of communication and sometimes, your restored sense of self-esteem just wouldn’t let you knock again.