There’s this woman who follows me on Twitter who only faves my stuff or talks to me when she sees me interacting with well-known lit people in NYC. I see you. You are not cute. You can’t sit with me.
There are, at any given time during the day, an unimaginable number of things out of my control. Whether or not I will find a seat on the train. If the barista is in a good or foul mood today…etc. The end of a relationship is this way too if you are the one that did not choose the ending. Once things are over, it seems like a whole new world of uncontrollable things open up to you. This is how it seemed to me.
The internet makes this even more difficult. If you share mutual online friends and online spaces, the dissolution of things can invade this space and it all becomes tricky. If things ended poorly between two people, there are likely high emotions involved and should you comment on his status about his new job? Should you be angry that he didn’t reach out to you when your essay about your rape was published and shared by your mutual friends? When should you delete this person, and when (if ever) should you take it to the next level and block them? Should you, I don’t know, delete yourself entirely off the internet until you feel better? (This is drastic and unrealistic for me.)
It was overwhelming for me when things ended between the two of us. It came suddenly, as these things do. We belong to the same internet-space with more than a dozen mutual friends. The same people who told me he was an asshole for breaking up with me in an email, were joking around with him and very publicly validating him by faving his stuff not a week later. I felt a bit betrayed. I was the one suffering! Be on my side! “Picking a side” seems like a very immature thing to do, but it happens.
Regaining a sense of control was crucial to me as I healed from the loss of this relationship since so many things up until that point had been birthed from his decision, not any of mine. I had to do something about how often he kept showing up in my online world. I was still healing, and just seeing his username was enough to raise my blood pressure. Our shared spaces literally became bad for my health.
So, I quit one website. Maybe temporarily, maybe not. Maybe I’ll come back when I have a project to promote, maybe the validation that was so easy to get addicted to won’t matter to me anymore, down the line once enough time has passed. I blocked him everywhere. This was a necessary thing for me to do, but maybe it won’t be that way for everyone. If you are the kind of person who is capable of being friends with your exes, you contain a level of grace and maturity I’ve never known. There are loopholes, unfortunately. I blocked him on Twitter, but we follow and interact with so many of the same people, sometimes he will show up on my timeline in a conversation thread. I still flinch when that happens. I’m excited for the day I will have no reaction. I have to check myself sometimes whenever I feel like scolding myself “YOU’RE STILL NOT OVER THIS, T?? MOVE ON ALREADY.” There’s no deadline or timeline. There is just this thing that happened, and now there are just these things I am doing to take care of myself.
This is what I had to do in order to move on completely. I had been inflicted with this great pain, and it lingered for far too long because I didn’t take these steps until it became absolutely necessary. I couldn’t bring myself to even unfollow him on certain sites right away because I was maintaining some sort of illusion in my mind and heart that we could still be friends. That things could go back to normal between us someday. It won’t, ever. We were wrong about that. We can’t be friends again and it isn’t because I’m too emotional and it isn’t because I’m too bitter.
This person has served his purpose in my life and now we move on. This was the hardest thing for me to accept, but once I was able to see that keeping him around even at an arm’s length, even digitally, was actually hurting me and not benefiting me in any way, I was able to let go. I was able to regain control. I was free. And now I won’t ever have to write about this bullshit again maybe.
Someone has been slowly driving around the block blasting Blurred Lines for the past half hour???
Literally, that was the first time I heard that song.
I was going to write this long thing about how genuinely wonderful my weekend has been, but I decided it wasn’t interesting enough and since Tumblr is not my diary, I am not gonna post it. I will say though that my current hosts Maggie and Chris have been so gracious and kind, and I am very thankful.
"There are people for whom Zimmerman likely represents the struggle of the individual against the collective. Even while you recoil in disgust because he took a life, remember that your disgust is itself not a confirmation that a moral claim is universal. For some, the principle of an individual’s right to defend himself (however defined) is the more noble element here."
Some idiot on a friend’s Facebook page in response to a link posted of an article detailing the time Zimmerman signed autographs at a gun show.
Goodbye, I want off of this planet.