Exes: having one and being one.
Being an ex is weird, and having one may be even weirder.
You get used to a role, and then you’re suddenly dethroned and everything that had happened between you and your partner is not only in the past, but will likely be discussed with his/her future mate. And depending on how poorly it ended, it could end up being discussed as entertainment in a bar amongst friends and strangers. I had posted earlier about how much I dislike “crazy ex” stories. They seldom portray accuracy, and more often than not, you never find out what lead to this “crazy behavior”.
I had a few different stories messaged and commented onto my Basic&Bipolar Facebook page, and there was a common theme: bad patterns that lead to hurt feelings. I was going to possibly share a few stories that were sent to me, and even one of my own, but I decided against it because I think those stories have probably already been given enough attention by the people who constructed them.
When I hear the phrase “got rid of that crazy bitch”, so much of it saddens me. Partly because she’s a person with feelings, and partly because he’s obviously so ignorant that he has no idea how powerful a phrase like that can be when it’s uttered by someone this person used to love (or may still have lingering feelings for).
I had an ex spin a tale about me, one that (if his audience didn’t know me well) would really question my character as a person. It hurt me deeply when I heard what he had said. Someone I loved had portrayed me as a monster, for the sheer fact that he wasn’t willing to take any responsibility for his role in the demise of our prolonged and messy relationship.
I never understood the need to fabricate stories about exes. I’ve heard blatant lies about myself that were created by my ex, and I thought it was so strange. I am a moody lunatic, and if I have my period, look out world! None of what he said had anything to do with my actual personality or the reality of our breakup. Unfortunately, it did make me wonder if maybe he would have treated me better afterwards had I been less emotional in the end.
It took me a long time to date after hearing such awful things about myself. Why be part of a private relationship if our story will be mutated and rewritten to suit some jerk’s agenda?
I eventually got over it, and did date again. I still think that particular guy can rot, but after the self-doubt passed, I realized he was talking about a fictional person. I am more than the story he depicted. I’m sure some people bought into what he was selling, but I found a certain comfort in him having to lie to make his treatment towards me seem just. It reassured me that the best thing I can do for myself as a person is live my life authentically and to never alter my behavior to suit someone else’s agenda.
I will always be a moody girl who is so agreeable and cool one day, and unapologetically difficult the next. I never depict myself as anything short of that.
Back to you, whoever you may be: if you are a crazy ex or have one, remember that no one’s words can define you but your own. You’re the only author of YOUR story, so depict your reality the truest way you can, by being yourself regardless of what anyone says about you. You can never be certain that someone won’t turn out to be a jerk after the relationship is over, so take the high road and make sure you’re not contributing to the gross trend that is “crazy ex story-telling”. Respect your past loves. Respect the time you shared together. And when you do eventually hear these stories, take a second to ask that individual what role they played in the end of that relationship. I can guarantee you’ll get an over-reactive “NOTHING! she’s just that crazy!”, or an awkward pause of silence.
Chin up, my fellow warriors: dating is fucking brutal.
To Be Continued,