It has come to my attention that there’s apparently a flame war breaking out between my ex-boyfriend and me, something of which I was not aware until I received a link for his second-to-last blog post.
Please allow me to reiterate something: I don’t want to read what he’s posting. I understand your concern. I understand that you wanted me to stand up for my best friend. I wanted to stand up for her, too. But I told myself that the only way to get him out of my life for good is to not lavish him with attention, so I’m not going to comment on his blog or tweet him or generally make a scene.
I have ZERO interest in starting a he-said, she-said thing. And in order to nip that in the bud, allow me to set the record straight on a few counts:
1. This blog isn’t about building myself some sort of public image, nor about tarnishing his. It is also not about him, nor our relationship. It is about me. Sometimes, the issues that I’m dealing with involve him or touch on things that happened in our relationship. But at the end of the day? This is about me and how I feel. So I would appreciate if people would stop twisting that.
2. Regarding my post on consent, all I have to say is that I never said he’d forced himself on me. Go ahead, re-read. I talked about “unwanted sexual contact,” i.e. getting handsy with someone who doesn’t want it. Did we talk about consent and was he good about getting explicit consent before anything happened in the bedroom? Yes, thanks for asking. Did he also seem to feel entitled to touch me (and make me touch him) whenever he felt like it? Also yes, and that is what I had an issue with. I also made it clear that a big part of that post was me feeling ashamed of the fact that I would rather consent to avoid a fight or the possibility of having someone force himself on me–and that fear is mine, regardless of him. I took responsibility for that. This is the last time that I will touch upon this subject regarding me and him. This isn’t a free-for-all and the point of the post was the ways that I’ve experienced men (including but not limited to him) feel entitled to their partner’s bodies, especially women’s.
3. I haven’t wanted to talk about how this relationship ended because I didn’t think it was anyone’s business. Even most of my close friends simply got “I ended it because it wasn’t going anywhere” and then “I’m going to cut off all contact with him because he won’t take no for an answer, won’t leave me alone, and I’m afraid.” The only people who know the whole story are the people who got involved, and I just want to reiterate that he spent a fair amount of time involving said people (aside from Kat, who just knows me too damn well).
While I still don’t feel the need to elaborate much, I will say this: I made a decision to end that relationship to protect myself because I didn’t feel valued and I was tired of having the same conversation with him over and over and over. In the year that we knew each other, he had plenty of chances to fix what was wrong, both before and after we got together. If he chose not to because he didn’t think I meant my ultimatum, that is his choice. I was hurting, and after months of being depression-free at the end of an eleven-and-a-half-year struggle, I wasn’t about to let him continue forcing me back into that deep, painful place.
The time after this break up has been painful for everyone involved. I’m aware. But the point is simply this: whether he was in denial that I meant it or he just wanted to atone for what he’d done or what have you, I asked him to not speak to me multiple times until I could heal. He chose to ignore that. He chose to look at what I said on Twitter (even after I’d unfollowed/blocked him) and throw it in my face–even though I made THREE COMMENTS TOTAL relating to him and he made several more that were not nearly as kind. He spent time looking at who I was tagged with on Facebook. He spent time forcing his way back into my life and making me feel bullied and stalked. I began feeling unsafe, as did my roommate, and I chose to cut off all contact and get a lawyer involved just in case. For me, it simply boiled down to my favorite quote from the Schrödinger’s Rapist blog post:
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.
I don’t think that’s what he meant to do. And I don’t think he’s a bad person. Quite on the contrary. He can be a very caring person, and he showed understanding for me when many others wouldn’t have. I just think he is selfish, immature, and has a sense of entitlement when it comes to women. He also has very little concept of personal responsibility. I’ve said this to his face many a time, so I’m not afraid to say it here. Things are not nearly as black and white as people are making them out to be, and so I feel the need to spell out one more thing.
Do I think he’s entirely responsible for the way this relationship went? No. I made a choice to go out with him even though I knew he wasn’t ready for it. We both wanted so badly to make it work, and I let myself hope. I spent way too much time directing his life and essentially making all of the decisions because I was hoping it would help him move forward–but instead, I enabled him to continue relying on other people. I let things go on for too long, even when I was scared and sure that this wouldn’t go anywhere. And I let him–nay, enabled him to–blame things on me and my depression (which I was free of when the relationship started, if I may just point out) because I felt bad and I didn’t have the balls to call him out on things until it got really bad.
I made my choices. Yes, he bullied his way through this relationship because that is all he knows–and, for a long time, I let him. I enabled him. I became part of the problem instead of being the solution that I so desperately wanted to be… a solution that I now understand can only come from him. I still wish him the best and I hope he one day can live up to the potential I have always seen there–but I’m tired of being alternately degraded and praised so that I don’t even know how I feel about myself. Therefore, I stand by my resolution that I want and need him out of my life for good.
And this is the last you’ll hear of me on this subject, whether he comes up with new accusations or not.