How I left it

I don’t feel like transcribing the entirety of The Pedant’s long volley of pointlessly shitty antagonism right now. Suffice it to say that the last message in it was: “In short: witnessing someone during any extreme emotional outburst exhausts me and if I can’t avoid seeing it I will try to minimise it, not out of lack of caring but out of an inability to relate; and I prefer to make my situation clear to people in that regard so that they know they’re not at fault for it.”

In case you blinked and missed it, he said “not out of lack of caring” in there – the first time in his entire, multi-paragraph, two-day spiel that he acknowledged having any feelings toward me aside from aversion or exhaustion. TBH I think what he’s actually saying is “I care about you so it’s really really hard to see you suffer and I like to try to help as quickly as I can.” But, The Pedant being The Pedant, he has to bury that idea under layers and layers of obfuscating language and make himself look all clinical and aloof.

I didn’t even know what to say to any of the shit he flung at me anymore. I was still stunned that what started out as me saying “Thank you for being amazing when I was doing badly” somehow turned into him repeatedly kicking me in the teeth over a two-day span. He could have just said “thank you” and gone on with his damn life and I’d be feeling glowy and supported right now instead of stressed out and constantly near tears. But nope, he had to make a big production of telling me that he doesn’t really understand what I go through (which I already knew), that witnessing someone going through anxiety is stressful (which I also knew because everyone feels that way), and that the minute he senses that someone is anxious he just wants to walk away and not even look at them (which I did not know).

Finally I said “You’re making difficulties where there are none.”

“You consider me telling you what’s on my mind making difficulties?”

“I consider you telling me shit I already know – and seemingly going out of your way to be hurtful about it – to be difficulty-making, yes.” And then I thought oh fuck, he’s probably sick of my anxiety and wants to bail on me. But he’s trying to get me to do the breaking up so he can tell himself I’m flighty and walked out on him (just like before, blah blah blah). He wants to be able to think of himself as a blameless victim in all of this. And y’know what? NOPE. I will not goddamned do his dirtywork for him. So I texted him point blank: “Do you want to be in a relationship with me?”

Three hours went by and then he texted back: “I wasn’t trying to be hurtful about it, although that’s a fair point that you already know, I suppose. In answer to the latter question: yes.”

I kind of didn’t expect that and now I don’t know what to say. I’m remaining silent for now while I try to process everything and clear my head.

Possible responses that I am debating sending eventually include:


“‘I’m not trying to be hurtful, I’m just saying people like you are pariahs and I don’t want to deal with you!'”

“Do you understand that I’m never going to magically become neurotypical? Whatever I’m like now is it. This is who I am. This is who you would agree to be dating. Do you still say yes?”

“I’m increasingly wondering what’s in that for me. By the sounds of things you’ll be silently wishing you were elsewhere a good amount of the time.” (probably too confrontational. I think it would put him on the defensive in a way that would not be productive.)

“Just for the record, it was your own choice to accompany me home the other day. Nobody forced you. So you can stop going on and on about how you’ll only deal with people’s emotional meltdowns if there’s no other choice. Go the fuck away if it bothers you so much.”

“Let me make one thing clear: I’m fine with you not understanding how my brain works, but I am not fine with being disrespected. And your telling me over and over again that people with anxiety (which, hey look, that’s ME!) are exhausting and you ‘don’t want to deal with them’ is completely disrespectful. So: either be in a relationship with me and understand that this sometimes means supporting me through rough times…or leave. But I will NOT have you sitting around disparaging me and making me feel horrible over things I can’t control.”

“Okay, so…with me having anxiety issues that pop up at random times, and now knowing that these issues make you want to leave immediately so you don’t have to ‘deal with me’…how do you see this working? I mean how can I possibly NOT feel under pressure to somehow control an uncontrollable fluke of brain chemistry or else be abandoned?”

Yeah so clearly my brain is spinning all over the place.

Anyone have any suggestions for how to proceed? Preferably not by breaking up with him; I’d rather get us back to how we were before, and also a number of things he’s said and done have led me to believe he sees me as fickle and prone to bolting (probably for “no reason”) and if I leave now he’ll probably be all “Yup, that’s what I thought, bitchez be crazy.”




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3 responses to “How I left it

  1. To me it’s sounds like–as you said earlier–he’s just putting all his cards out on the table, even the cards most people are generally cagey enough to hold back. But it also kind of sounds like HE’S asking for reassurance because he feels broken for walking the walk without…feeling the feel. Even though you DID reassure him that he behaved perfectly several times, I’m sure you know how a jerkbrain (and he likely has one too) can swallow praise up before your regular brain even hears it.

    i don’t know if he necessarily deserves unending praise and cookies for sticking with you through the anxiety when he didn’t want to but then again, lots of lesser people would have bailed. So I’d probably just reply with, “All right. Thank you again for the things you did for me on [day].” I guess alternately, you could add, “In the future, though, please don’t tell me about how my anxiety makes you want to run.”

    After five years, he does know you and he just *said* he wants to be with you, so I don’t see what writing him back and trying to pick holes in what he’s said is going to accomplish.

    Also…eep, this sounds SUPER-condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. You’ve mentioned before how being sleep-deprived spins your anxiety out of control and you started this whole series of posts off talking about how sleep-deprived you are. So…just a thought.

    • Yeah, I agree with you about the picking holes. I guess I just feel a bit vindictive.

      My ex husband once called me “a liability” because of my anxiety (and to this day I regret not breaking up with him on the spot). Minx called me “afraid of everything” and said she couldn’t take me seriously as a dominant.

      And now this person whom I love is repeatedly referring to a big part of my brain and behaviours as something he’s FORCED TO DEAL WITH.

      I know he says stupid shit sometimes and I’m trying not to interpret this incident as actual disrespect but it’s hard. And it’s bringing up a lot of unsavoury echoes.

      He’s just lucky his wording was all general and theoretical (“when I see someone experiencing anxiety…”). If he had made it specific to me (“when I see YOU experiencing anxiety I just wanna walk away and not witness it and I’ll only deal with you if I’m forced to”) I would be so. Fucking. Out.

    • And yes, it has been weeks or possibly months since I’ve felt alert and well-rested. So there’s that.

      I’m glad you stopped by.

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