This photo is 10 years old.
I look at this girl with a mix of admiration, disdain and envy.
This is when I still had an unwavering faith in myself and my abilities. This was before I ever had my heart ripped out of my chest. This is when I still set goals and crushed them. This was before I was slighted, jaded and mistreated by friends, lovers, confidants, and bosses. This was before I ever knew how heavy life could get...
Minnesota passive-aggressive is real, and it comes out in two ways:
1) in people's terrible driving and inability to zipper merge and 2) in men who are too afraid to articulate their feelings, are scared of being deemed a "bad guy" and cannot seem to have difficult or "adult" conversations.
Unfortunately, I've dealt with my fair share of both awful drivers and wishy-washy men.
Things took a major turn south in my relationship this summer when I dramatically (and immaturely) told the guy I was dating I needed and deserved more -- because I did -- which resulted in a huge fight and us not talking for 10 days.
During this time, I went back home to Milwaukee to work on one of my duplexes. I came back home on a Sunday night, and realized that as mad as I was, I wanted to talk to him and try to figure out what was going on. I showed up to his house around 9PM, and much to my dismay, there was another girl, sitting at his kitchen table, eating dinner with him and drinking a glass of wine.
It should've been over right then and there, because seriously, what kind of "Godly man" solves the problem of not talking to his girlfriend for 10 days by bringing another woman into the equation. But, like a fool, I stuck around to try to patch things up.
Things have really never been the same since that argument.
In a recent blog post: https://www.rockstarberst.com/single-post/2019/09/04/This-is-What-its-Like-to-Watch-The-Person-You-Love-Fall-Out-of-Love-With-You I touched on all of the things that happened over the summer that slowly chipped away at my self-esteem and left me more hurt, broken, and confused (and also serves as a reminder that I never seem to take my own advice).
Every attempt to communicate about our relationship was repeatedly met with resistance and ended without resolution. I tried talking to him in person. I tried writing him letters. I tried texting him. I tried sending him memes and photos. I even sent him a YouTube video -- yet nothing I did could get through to him.
"You just want to break up with me!" I said. "No, I'm not saying that," he'd respond. But while his words never officially dictated a breakup, his actions did.
He stopped answering my phone calls and took hours to call me back. He stopped responding to my text messages almost all together. He refused to bring me around his family, wouldn't bring me as a date to his cousins wedding, wouldn't invite me to have dinner with him at his country club, wouldn't sit in service at church with me, and cut me out of virtually every aspect of his life. Again, with no explanations on his end as to what had changed, and after repeated requests to be included in his life.
And there I stood, shocked, angered, and confused that I had once again become a stranger in my own life -- and extremely cognizant that relationship patterns were once again repeating themselves.
"What the fuck is wrong with me?" I sobbed out loud to myself.
Trying to get someone to appreciate you, to see your value, to understand your worth, to choose you, or to love you are impossible assignments. These actions will leave you depleted, crushed, and feeling worthless about yourself. It's a fool's task, and a game that you cannot win because the goal posts move constantly and you will forever teeter between not being enough and being too much. It's absolutely mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting.
Then, he asked for space. "Are you just saying you need space because you actually want to end things or because you're trying to figure things out?" "I questioned. "I feel like you're suffocating me," he said. So I backed off. But again, wouldn't communicate what "space" was to him. To be fair, he said he wasn't a good communicator at some point during our relationship, but it's an excuse, a cop-out, and classic passive-aggressive behavior.
I'm not stupid. I know men aren't that complicated. If they want to be with you, they make every effort to spend time with you, even when their schedules are full. If they want to call you, they will. They text you back in minutes, not hours, and they never leave you feeling unsure about where you stand with them. They'll plan future activities with you, bring you around their family and friends, and are excited to show you off to the world. They invest in you with their money, but more importantly, with their time.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
Mostly, I feel pathetic. Why? Because I ended up begging and pleading for attention that I was never going to get. I feel stupid for staying in a situation that didn't serve me for so long, and I feel devastated that someone I deeply cared about 1) didn't care about me or value my time and 2) was so emotionally inept that he couldn't properly convey his actual feelings towards me and spent months making me feel like shit about myself.
I know I deserve better. I know I deserve more. I know I deserve a man who values commitment, answers my phone calls, responds to my texts in a timely manner, asks about my day, is excited to show me off to his world, is emotionally available, isn't passive aggressive, fights for me (instead of with me), works through things with me, communicates with me when things are wrong, checks in with me, prioritizes me, cherishes me, sees a future with me, is proud of me, is affectionate and loving with me, and never makes me feel inadequate in any way.
The girl in this photo was notorious from walking away from things that no longer served her. Where is she? Where did she go? Why can't I find her when I need her most?