All men of a certain breed instinctively avert to isolating their true emotions when they’ve experienced this social murder. Visions of public humiliation, ostracizing, and ridicule suddenly go through their heads, but, it doesn’t have to be that way, I want to tell you that rejection doesn’t have to be the anxiety and sweaty harbinger of social death, and isolation it’s supposed to be.
Not only are there ways to make it less life destroying, there are even some aspects that could be considered downright, so it isn’t that bad. I am completely honest with you, yet I can’t believe I have the guts to write this. I am going to be honest about not allowing rejection to kill the life you are granted, whilst trying to understand why I get so much rejection than acceptance, some might say I am a hopeless romantic, tacky as that might seem, I guess it stems from me being a poet (Go figure) whether good or bad poetry, light or dark.
As for me, my rejection(s) have been nothing but a bitter-sweet affair.
Funny thing is, people are always shocked and amazed whenever I tell them I suffered some form of bullying in high school. Being an overachiever, hanging out with what I know realize was the “popular clique,& participating in artistic performance avenue, being a sort out representative to events etc. Nobody, including me saw the bullying coming.
It wasn’t at full force, it progressed gradually, and me being me, thought I could take him on, we were worlds apart, in all aspects, and I thought I could intimidate him, be in his face so to speak, but I was wrong. See, the thing about being at a boarding school is everybody knows everybody’s business, no matter how discreet you think you’d be, and all one had to do was find others who shared the same feelings about you. Worst thing is when your so called friends are amongst them
Long story short, by the end of my matric year (nope not gonna say when, I’m too old), not only did I find myself ostracized by the entire boarding house, I had no friends, no study buddies, I was often alone, discarded like some piece of rag. I didn’t mind that, I mean I had just accepted my sexuality, dealing with raging hormones, too afraid to be discriminated against, or ridiculed. That’s when I started keeping a journal (worst mistake of my life)
I was a loner, and I was enjoying it. Sad at times being all alone, but I didn’t have to answer to anyone and I depended on myself.
I remember one day in Oct, everything changed. They changed my life, suddenly, abruptly, and painfully. And I spent that entire night going through every moment, encounter, word, action and reaction leading up to what happened.
Ended up discarding my journal, nursing a broken leg, busted lip, bruised ego, spent my final months always afraid, had sleepless nights (Thinking about how I might be suffocated by the very people I shared a dormitory room with), stopped participating in everything, isolated myself even more, lost my smile, just became this sad thing.
And after I left, (following a dateless matric dance) I found out that the very people who I associated myself with, weren’t as good as I thought, they harbored feelings of jealousy, amongst others, and it what happened to me was a planned attack, instigated by my roomies, friends and that one guy I was head over heels in love with.
2017 the one guy who was being all of it, reaches out. Asking for forgiveness and wants to meet so he could apologize in person. See, I don’t know how I feel about that, a part of me still hates him (all of them in fact) and it’s wrong and petty for me to think and feel this way but I can’t help it.
Thanks to them, I often question my own sanity, I have a hard time trusting and believing in people who show slight interest into me (friendships and otherwise) I sense a negative feeling (at times imaginary and I run to the nearest exit) friends? I always feel inadequate around the very few who are still here, others have done what I would’ve probably do had I been in their position, walked away.
I’m not okay. I smile, I laugh, I converse, but I’m always guarded (well sometimes not as good as I thought) I watch who I associate with, what I say, what secrets/personal info to share and with whom to share it with. His misunderstanding and ignorance of my feelings for me has scarred me so badly that even when I meet a guy who I am pretty sure would handle all the psycho-ness that comes with me, I always wonder, if he too will misunderstand and hurt me, I guess I was hurt and it doesn’t seem like I’ll ever be unhurt.
I’m working on myself though, I’m healing, maybe not as rapid and quicker as I should, but I’m getting there, and I’m opening up more, sharing my fears and aspirations. I’m writing again too, journals, memoirs, poetry, scripts, stories (you name it) making friends too, I don’t socialize a lot though (I have diagnosed myself with social anxiety) the worst part of my life that is still taking a back seat it’s dating. I’m terrified of it, I want to date, I’ve had encounters (short lived as they may be) to open up to someone, be that vulnerable again, I get this panic attacks and I shut down, push the poor soul away and make some excuse as to why we can’t be together.
If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it has to be more convoluted than that. If I talk to him too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.
Why can’t I call someone because I like talking to him? Why does showing I care make me needy? If I act angry when a guy blows me off, I’m just a crazy bitch, so my only other option is to complain to my friends and wade in anxiety until he finally texts me back. And let me tell you something; I don’t want to be that girl. I don’t want anyone to have that power over me. No one should have that kind of power over anyone. I am so tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.
So here’s my idea: let’s all stop being little fucks. Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. If you’re not interested in someone, please just fucking tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear. It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and cryptic social media posts. Everyone is human and we’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete. Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.
Dating in this era is a mission.
I remember the day we met. We were introduced by a mutual friend and after just a few minutes of talking, we hit it off. I gave you my number and told you to text me. You did later that night and for the next few weeks, we spent day in and day out talking. You actively listened to all the boring details about my day and shared with me about yours. We talked about our dreams, our hopes, what we aspired out of life. We commented on how our thoughts always lined up. I knew I was falling for you hard.
I remember the day you asked me out. It was evening time and we were telling each other about our days. When I asked you about yours, you told me it was so much better now that you were talking to me. A few minutes later, you asked me to be yours and I happily said yes. You were my first real relationship. Just like that, a new chapter of my life began.
I remember the honeymoon phase. Everything was straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book. I woke up to good morning texts followed by paragraphs telling me why you were so lucky to have me. We spent all our free time together. We texted nonstop throughout the day. I was on cloud nine. No one else mattered and nothing else made me happier.
I remember our first fight. We were two months into our relationship, and for the first time, I felt reality setting in. The perfect glass that was the honeymoon phase, shattered. You let your true colors show. After a few months of dating, we were arguing more than usual. It was exhausting and I told you I couldn’t do it anymore. You begged me to stay. You told me you couldn’t live without me and that things would be different. I believed it all.
I remember watching you break every promise.
I remember the manipulation. Your controlling, narcissistic personality caused every day to be mentally torturing for me. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my friends because you wanted every minute of my time. I was constantly yelled at and told I was wrong. I was criticized about every part of my appearance and personality in the most contradicting way. You told me I was too childish, but that I never did anything fun. You told me I didn’t know how to smile properly, but would get angry when I didn’t want to take pictures with you. When I called you out on it, you told me, “We are at a point where I should be able to say things to you without you always getting hurt”. But when I was upset with you, your words manifested into “I can’t believe you would hurt me like that”.
I remember believing it was my fault. I began to believe all the hateful things you would say to me. I began to think there was something wrong with me. I felt responsible for all of our fights because I was always blamed for them. I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to be yelled at again.
I remember reaching my breaking point. Your control on me grew even tighter. I lost my friends and my relationship with my family hung on by a thread. I was done. I didn’t want to be in this relationship any longer. I told you I couldn’t do it anymore.
I remember the anger. I remember the rage. I remember you threatening to kill yourself if I ever left. I remember crying profusely. The one person I should have been able to put my trust in, scared the living daylights out of me.
I remember the vicious cycle. Me wanting to leave threatened your sense of control. You started buying me flowers, posting cute pictures of us, and sending me long texts again. But once you were sure I wasn’t going to leave, the mind games came back. You would yell at me, but also buy me flowers to &make up& for what you had done. You told me I looked fat in all my clothes, but would surprise visit me at work. I felt that because of the occasional nice things you did and said, I owed it to you to overlook the bad. I let you do this to me for another year, until I knew I had to end this.
I remember when it finally happened. I finally was able to muster up the courage to break up with you. But after I did, the next few weeks felt like a blur, I had envisioned a future with you by my side, and I was naïve and oblivious to the factors that led to us parting ways.
“Choosing the person you want to share the rest of your life with is one of the most important decisions any of us make, ever, because if it is wrong, it turns your life into grey, and sometimes, sometimes, you don’t even notice, until you wake up one morning and realize that the years have gone by.” –Rosie
And so, I have realized, dear #Stranger, that no matter, where you are, or what you are doing, or who you are with, I will always, honestly, truly, completely, love you.
Every day, I’m amazed at how I learned to stop worrying and sort of not completely hate rejection
And this, is for all the boys I’ve ever loved, and who did not love me back.