A couple of weeks ago I talked with my therapist about AWLOB and how I felt bad about the last message I sent him. In July 2019, when I asked if we could talk on the phone for an hour, he said no and that there “might be” a point we could talk way later, “perhaps,” when we could “potentially” be friends. I did not feel hurt that he set a boundary, because we should all have the autonomy to choose to communicate or not communicate with anyone in our lives. I felt hurt because several months ago he said that he had a crush on me I hope you all realize how painfully vulnerable it is for me to admit that I liked him having a crush on me lol brb gonna throw myself in a volcano now and that at some point we would talk, and then, all of a sudden, he retracted that with no explanation.
So I roasted him. I told him that his words were empty, that he should keep on using the passive voice to avoid meaningful growth and self-reflection as he has been, and that I wasted my time emailing a non-committal loser when I could have been watching a BlackPink music video and sipping a strawberry lemonade smoothie. Not gonna lie, my friends and I still consider my takedown of him as quite iconic, yet I also recognize my takedown stemmed from a place of hurt that manifested into anger.
“Sometimes I wonder if I was too mean to him,” I said, sitting on my couch as I talked to my therapist on Zoom. “I probably should’ve just said something like, ‘hey, your lack of transparency and openness really hurts my feelings, blah blah’”.
“You can’t expect yourself to be perfect all the time,” she said. “He really hurt your feelings and you were angry about that, it can be hard to share that in the moment. And he could’ve always said ‘hey Thomas, I feel like that message was really mean’ he if wanted to.”
Hearing my therapist’s insight helped take some weight off my shoulders. Though I have progressed beyond this behavior now, in the past as in like even two weeks ago lol I often ruminated about why he ghosted me, even when he said he valued honest and vulnerable communication when he had dated his ex-boyfriend. Was it because my dad made a pretty large income and he would rather sniff the shoe of a white supremacist than talk to someone with a wealthy parent? Was it because I’m more interested in providing therapy than community organizing and he’s only turned on by guys who have canvassed for a political campaign or can recite passages from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals while playing piano, doing cartwheels, or sleeping? Was it because he expected me to be someone who would always accommodate his feelings without complaint, even when they hurt my own?
“It’s a little frustrating that I still think about him,” I told my therapist.
“He’s the first guy you could really see yourself with,” she said. “Even though you know you two may not have that chemistry if you actually talked face to face, he really became a chapter of your life.”
Both with my own clients and with myself I have emphasized the importance of self-kindness. Yes, the last message I sent AWLOB was not my best, and I did my best at that time with how I felt in that moment. Yes, it has taken me literally a year or so and 20 million blog posts written about this guy to come to terms with us not having the chance to get to know each other, and that makes sense given how into him I felt. Like, when we started writing to each other, I remember joking with my friends: is this guy actually one of you, like are you catfishing me? I feel like this guy is too perfect of a fit for me to be true.
But I am growing and I am proud of that. Though it is perhaps a small feat, I have not messaged him since July of 2019, giving him space to heal from his breakup with his boyfriend of five years or to just continue being a non-committal dumpster fire and room for myself to process, and I have no intention of initiating contact again. My next area of growth is to stop Googling him and reading his new writing that comes out. Even though some of his writing still stirs up a sense of longing in my chest, for the most part it just hurts my feelings, so I’m going to reclaim my time and invest it elsewhere.
Regardless of this man, I’m proud of myself for growing in my self-kindness, in both giving myself grace for past mistakes and committing to growth nonetheless. Sometimes I think to myself, it would be nice if Armadillo made an appearance so I could have a new guy to crush on and write an oddly large number of blog posts about. Still, even if Armadillo does not come around until 2021, or 2022, or 20never, I love and appreciate myself and my own growth, which will always mean more to me than the love of any man.
How do you balance wanting to grow and improve as a person while also being gentle and kind with yourself? How long do you think it’ll take until another crush-worthy man enters my life so I can have someone new to write about? Other reactions to this post? Until next time!
7 responses to “I Roasted Him”
At the moment I’m not trying to grow as a person, I’m trying to grimly hold on to my sanity and my marriage and keep my friendships going and not rely on sugar to keep me awake … I think we go through phases. I am obviously curious about other people’s lives at the moment though so maybe growing myself through my reading.
I appreciate this vulnerability, Liz! I think holding onto one’s sanity and trying to maintain relationships are admirable goals especially with everything going on in the world right now. As always I’m sending my best your way in terms of hoping you can continue to cultivate strategies to ground yourself as well as to be kind to yourself throughout this process.
hahaha, Thomas, I like it no matter how much I thought I knew about you and this guy, while each time I see something new. 😀
Of course, I have some thoughts on this: first is that I really like how your therapist think about this AWLOB story. I see that she is a compassionate person 🙂 I like that.
Second, “hey, your lack of transparency and openness really hurts my feelings, blah blah”— I feel like it is still a “mean” message, you feel like it’s nice because it is more academic in the style, but i think it’s the same in the core compare to your original message. (I mean if you seen downton abbey you would know when you talk posh it could be very mean. hahah…) Anyway, I just think your messages are cute. And if I was in a situation like this, I would feel some guilt and embarrassment afterwards but I would say, “I will do it again”.
Third, I can understand why people just choose to ghost people, but a long time ago I decided i will never do that to anyone. It’s cruel, it’s immature and just lazy. (I have been ghosted before and I think it’s such a painful experience but it says something about them… ) Yeah, these are my thoughts. I hope you are having a nice day. Cheers!
Xin, thanks so much for your compassionate response to my feelings of guilt and embarrassment about this guy! Yeah, after reading your comment I agree, in the end I don’t regret at all letting him know about how I felt about his treatment of me, even if some of the wordage may have come across as harsh. I think you’re right that regardless of the specific words I used I was able to convey the same message, which perhaps is the most important thing. (: Yeah, ghosting is yikes, I know I can be bad at responding to messages but I think it was especially hurtful with this guy given the intensity and vulnerability of our prior conversation, but then again perhaps he just wasn’t/isn’t worthy of me and that’s that on that.
Glad the tweet about prioritizing how you’re treated over how much you like someone resonates with you! Always love reading what you have to say. Hope you’re doing as well as possible!
oh when I say “I would do it again”, I mean that I would send those “mean” messages afterwards if i feel like I have been treated wrongly.
Btw, the tweet “how you are treated” is just so amazing! wow!! love it.
Well, maybe you didn’t roast him enough. He should have been burnt, extra crispy… Sometimes the message has to resonate and if he has built up enough walls, he’s just gonna ignore anything he sees.
But the important thing is that you found a way to move forward and to better understand why he can still stir up emotions in you. Keep focusing on building a better future for you and a better you (I should add you’re well on your way here).
Have a great weekend!
Omg this comment literally made me laugh, thank you for your support in my roasting of him Matt! Yes, I agree that the most important thing is that I find a way to move forward and to learn what I can from the experience while doing so. Your humor and insight throughout the process of transcending AWLOB has been helpful! Hope your weekend is going as well as possible too.