Funny. This was going to be a post about how blissfully happy I was.
Yep, surprisingly, ridiculously, over the moon happy.
For the month of Jan, I was alcohol-free, back in the dating game, killing it at work; in control of my life. Things could not have been more magical.
My best friend joked that I should shut down the #STFTL blog “What will you have to write about now that you’re happy?”
SPOILER ALERT: turns out. A fucking LOT! Welcome to the black magic show.
So, I was seeing this guy.
A guy who was all levels of wonderful. He was sweet, kind, thoughtful. He left me voice memos every morning before work and in the evening when he was on his way home. He messaged me while he was at his desk in the office. He called me before he went to sleep at night. He wanted to see me on the weekends. Saturday and Sunday.
We didn’t drink when we were together. There was no need for wine to spark chemistry. We had coffee dates, went for walks in the park and sat for romantic meals. We made out in public. We were intimate behind closed doors.
He pursued me. It was a lot. But I liked the attention. I was wary at first. But it was like a drug, the more he gave, the more I wanted. I got used to the interaction, almost like it was normal. I forgot what I did with my time without it. Friends claimed we were in a love bubble. I thought so too. Until that bubble popped, with a bang.
Our relationship escalated quickly, but not in a way where it was ‘too good to be true’, in the way like it was ‘supposed to be’. He met my friends and didn’t seemed rattled, I cooked for him at his place, and he didn’t get food poisoning. I thought to myself: is this what people mean when they have found ‘the one’?
I told myself “Don’t be stupid!” This isn’t ‘the one’. But my god. What if it was? People who end up together, always state “You know, when you know”. Was this the universe letting me know?
There were no games. No bullshit. It just was. Until it wasn’t.
You see as a female, who’s been single for most of her life, you become accustomed to a certain behaviour or lifestyle. You’ve read all the self-help books and watched all the rom-coms. And regardless of what you were brainwashed to believe as a young girl, you know how these things really play out. You’ve learnt the hard way.
When you thought it was right: it was wrong.
When you thought he was into you: he wasn’t.
When you thought it was serious: he just wanted to fuck you.
When you thought it was exclusive: welcome to the other five women he was seeing at the same time.
You remember when you were first blindsided. You recall the moment you first put your wall up. You try to forget the time your heart first snapped in half. These days you look for every one of those signs, to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
To get through this, you tell jokes about only attracting ‘fuck boys’ and how you’re destined to be a cat lady. You make no rules when it comes to dating. You always follow his lead at the start, because you’ve been wrong before. So many times before.
You now know not to get your hopes up. You’re always waiting for the fall out. You get used to what it’s like to be alone. You train yourself to be comfortable with being alone.
You preach that you’re not the kind of girl who enters a relationship lightly; but boy, do you want the heavy.
You crave the all-consuming-breath-taking-swept-off-your-feet-music-playing-in-the-background-roll-the-credits heavy feeling of falling for someone, who’s equally falling for you. Dare I write it, you might just want the fairy tale?
So, you are now tough. Hard. The edges form when you smile, when you say hello, when you laugh loudly at a dinner party.
Deep down you know you only want to be loved and that this toughness you project to the world is just a facade; an armor you built from no one ever really loving you. You now think it’s impossible for someone to love you, because it hasn’t happened yet. You believe it never will.
So, when someone shows you the opposite, that you could be loved. You believe them instead. Almost straight away.
You’re too much. You’re an acquired taste. So, this must be special.
Someone has finally figured out how to want you. How to love you. You’ve been waiting your whole life to be this happy. But you also know your heart can’t cope with misinterpreting the signs again.
You’ve been the giddy one: when you receive a text after the first date. You’ve felt the butterflies: after the first kiss. But you’ve also left his place in tears: after the first time you slept together because what the night was before, is no longer in the light.
So, you’re careful not to get it confused. You’re cautious.
You know these events have made you difficult and bitter and complicated and sad. You know these feelings all too well, like a second skin. You’ve learnt to wear it well though. You now dress it up. Make it look pretty for everyone to see.
You know all of this because this isn’t your first rodeo. You know what you sound like and what you look like when you get caught up in these moments. You know the danger.
You’ve gushed to everyone about ‘the boy’ before and then had to take it back. You’ve seen that look in your friend’s eyes before when you talk about another failed attempt at a relationship. You know what you now put out into the world. You’re kind of jaded.
So, you’re careful, so very, very cautious to not do it again.
Until you do.
Here you go once more, you’re caught up in the ecstasy of it. He’s saying all the right things, he’s doing all the right things, how could you be wrong this time? No, this time it’s real, right?
You write messages about how cute he is, or how you miss him because there’s no need to hide how you feel; he’s reaching out and responding in the exact same way. You don’t want to think it’s going to end because that’s maybe why it always does? You remain optimistic.
You tell your friends you’re seeing someone because it’s been going on for a while now. You haven’t told all your friends though, just in case. Your past experiences have you always slightly clinging to the ‘just in case’.
You tell yourself to not be negative. Then you constantly fear you’ll ruin it with your insecurities and self-doubt.
What if this goes away? What will you say? What will you do this time? How can you go back to how your life was before?
You don’t want to go back to being the strong girl, the funny girl, the drunk girl, the girl who is excited for her friends but never for herself.
What if it all disappears?
When someone decides to disappear, there’s no magic in it at all.
If you were a part of the decision, you’d be brave in front of them and everyone else too. You would come to terms with it eventually. Even though it’s killing you.
If you were a part of the decision, there would be a conversation, a phone call, a voice memo, a text; evidence to loop you in. How the communication began, is how you think it will end. You at least deserve that; you can be adults about it.
When someone decides without you, it’s childish. So, you act like a child. You transform into the narrative of the ‘crazy person’.
There’s no answer. Except the obvious one, that it’s over. You somehow still want answers. But it isn’t wrapped up in a conversation, a phone call, a voice memo, a text… it’s silence. It’s the phone ringing to voicemail, it’s no blue ticks in a Whatapp chat, it’s a simple delete from a dating app.
You follow this with more acts of desperation than you ever care to dial or send or admit but something takes over you. You’re angry. You’re devastated. You act like a two-year-old.
You don’t hold back because there’s nothing left to lose. Except your dignity but you’ve lost that before.
You prove him right, again and again by doing all the things you’d swear you‘d never do; adding to the story line of ‘the psycho girl I used to date’.
You over-justify in your explanations to your friends as to ‘why’ you texted and called so many times, but you don’t tell them all the details because you know you’ve gone too far.
The silence is deafening. But it’s loud. So loud. Why did you get to be ‘the one’ to decide? How are you making this bold move but dancing like a coward at the same time?
Hang on a minute. Why don’t I just accept it? And move on?
For so long you’ve claimed that you wouldn’t ‘settle for average’, that you’d rather be ‘alone than lonely’ in a relationship. So, what the fuck are you doing giving into this?
You’d tell your friend she didn’t deserve this, that it’s for the best he disappeared!! So why the hell are you being like this?
Because. Because you knew things had changed. You asked him, you gave him an out; offering multiple doors to exit. But he said no, everything is fine. So, you believed him.
You’re embarrassed, humiliated that you’re so emotional over someone who’s blatantly disregarded you.
But slow your roll sister, you’ve had this before.
So, why is this still destroying you?
Because. Because the little girl inside of you is struggling to figure out how she could once again fall for someone so sweet, so kind, so thoughtful. A person who is now this kind of mean.
You attack yourself first. Over think. Over analyse.
Making plans became your ‘go to dialogue’. Plans for your birthday, plans for Valentine’s Day, plans for Christmas, the future…
Nevertheless, you were deleted from his world, as fast as you were let in. You were hopeful, fearless, happy, though you were wrong, once again.
One Thursday afternoon, after I messaged you ‘Freezing! How’s your day?’ You went away.
I doubled checked if I sent too many messages in a row. Was I now asking too much? No, I was responding to your message of ‘How cold are you this morning?’ I go back to our last phone conversation. Had I said too much? No, we chatted about mundane things like what you had for dinner.
You went away. You decided you were done. You decided not to tell me why. It didn’t make sense. So, my ugly grew.
I’m not proud of what was next. I will always regret how I reacted to you finishing it.
I thought if I spat enough venom, you’d get fed up and finally bite back. I’d hear from you. I’d hear the words, instead of the words and reasons and scenarios I’m making up in my mind. But I know nothing.
There’s one thing I do know though. I swear that this would never have been my reaction to a rational, respectful, honest end.
The disappearing act is not a magical thing. It’s designed to point out your flaws and faults. It’s designed to make you think it was all your doing. Because that’s what you do when someone disappears, you blame yourself first.
The only magic that actually appears, is the proof that this was never right to begin with. But that doesn’t matter at the time.
The disappearing act comes in many forms, it can be the loss of one’s feelings; off it goes like a switch. The blocking of a mobile number; off it goes like a switch. The flip of your stomach; off it goes like a switch. The youth of today call it ‘ghosting’; off it goes… nope it doesn’t work for that one.
The problem with ghosts though, they haunt you.
Where did you go? Where did we go? What did I do? Will this haunt me forever?
I know sometimes it’s easier to just disappear. But all it really does is just prolong the toxic finale; tarnishing anything that was ever good or decent. It encourages a monster to appear from the cloud of smoke and act out in a disgraceful way. Because there’s no grace in disappearing. There’s no applause.
The only thing worse than being broken up with, is realising that someone didn’t even consider to break up with you.
Next time someone says it ended badly because ‘they were mental’, ‘they wouldn’t stop messaging me’. Ask yourself why they went mental, why they wouldn’t stop contacting that person. Ask yourself if you want to be next?
You disappeared. You are a ghost to me now. And I should be thankful for that. I will one day be thankful. Sadly, it’s not today.
Yep, unlike the fairy tales, not everything that happens to you as a grown woman has a ‘happily ever after’. So, no best friend, this blog will exist. The fairy tales are still lying to me.
Are they lying to you too?
Carmela is an Aussie in London with wanderlust. A TV/Radio rebel. Fierce feminist. Loud laugh-er. Emotional eat-er. Pop culture cat. Red wine wooer and karaoke kween. She hopes that her experiences are just like yours, funny, warm, loud, raw and that maybe you can figure out this thing called ‘life’ together. #YasssKween 🙌🏼