This afternoon I received a message that my friend passed away. 17. That’s what I used to call him. He was the most fascinating creature I have known. We always thought he was way cooler than anyone of us high-school kids, cause he would just take off and do some monk-stuff in seclusion. He would also be highly critical, and often angry at everyone and everything. “Dhurr, people are full of ignorance and selfishness. Fuckers who wouldn’t waste a second to judge you… to steal from you…”
He’s gone. This just added to my level of grief that I am already going through. Why write about it here? Coincidentally he (17) was also my ex-bf from high-school. We broke up because it just didn’t suit us. We had other hopes and aspirations. We communicated that clearly and parted. This mutual understanding was so clear that it didn’t stop us from keeping in touch over the years. Last time I met him, we were having a drink together with my dad, sharing our miseries. 17 was sarcastic, ironic, well read, intelligent and had ever truly fallen for one person – P. That development was heartbreaking to watch, as P didn’t reciprocate. You can’t force emotion or love on someone who doesn’t feel that way for you. Over the years he grew different. Indifferent. Rebel. Angry. Wanting to be left alone, he even fought with me.
His last message to me was: “When you coming to this town?” I can’t help but cry cause I lost a friend.
And the news came as I sat at a team-meeting. R, wanted to call but I… I was incapable of moving my fingers. I felt dizzy as I sank back into my chair. Head spinning. Heart racing. 17. Gone. “You can’t cry. Get a grip on yourself woman. You are at work. You can’t cry…” – mind over matter.
But as I sat in the train, I had my sun-glasses on, and I couldn’t help but let my emotions run. “Courage dear heart”. Why do the good ones get taken so soon? Why do the good ones have to suffer so much?
Only yesterday WD was telling me how he lost a friend who was dear to him, and how he misses him often. It felt like an epiphany, and this noon I get this news. 17. I am numb.
I have been deliberating, if this post should just be about 17. Remembering him, honouring through reminiscing. It would only be fair, one would say. But knowing 17, he’d say: “why are you being a miserable-loser incapable of standing up for yourself?” Miserable loser indeed, cause even after knowing what 17’s reaction would be – I had to ask Daniel. Hell, I spiralled so bad – I called my mother (who finds me at fault no matter what) to know her opinion. Miserable and painful isn’t it?
What and why I’m asking a validation for? Yes. I’m getting to that. As I sat in grief, about to write to R, crying my eyes out in the office loo, I received notification of this comment on my “Day 14: Thoughts”, post:
It shook me. It made me ask, am I not transparent with people? Am I manipulative? Do I not own my feelings and make my mind known immediately? Am I not constantly critical of myself and do everything to improve? Did I not end up getting cornered, adult bullied, manipulated by a bunch of people (including J) and still ended up apologising to all of them? Do I not share joy as much as sorrow when my friends need me? Do I not help them during their crisis? Did I ever leave a conversation unfinished and remove myself to keep people guessing about my motives through silent treatment, to manipulate them? Did I ever use non-toxic words with a toxic tone like “what have you been doing today” but implying “you lazy bastard”? Do I not try to resolve issues (including bringing my ex-husband back in touch with his dad, and J closer to better understanding his brother’s predicament of ADD)? Did I ever make it about the way someone is talking, rather than what they are talking about? Did I ever exaggerate?
If you call me a sanctimonious idiot, I’ll accept it. But the rest? Do you even know me? Do you even know what “toxic” and “abusive” and “narcissist” truly means? Or have you been in a relationship with one for so long that you are officially numb to these character traits?
As angry as I am, I am also in pain. Perhaps more pain that went beyond and made me numb today, enough to seek validation!
I asked Daniel (my bestfriend – and also my ex-boyfriend by-the-way), “do you think I am toxic?”
Daniel: “NO! Just so you know people might not give you a straight answer to those questions, but to me – it’s a no. You are not toxic!”
I asked my mom, and her answer: “you have many issues, many things that go against my morals and against our cultural values, but you are not what that person says you are. I have known your ex-husband, remember? I had to intervene multiple times so that he treated you well. So never question yourself when it comes to Stéphane. And as for the other one – WHY THE HELL DID YOU SAY YES TO BEING HIS GF? You are such an idiot to have taken him on face value! You have brought this on yourself by dating him. On that, it’s your fault.”
*South Asian parents, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.*
So here goes, for the sake of some pleasure it might bring to 17, to see me stand up and fight:
Dear Simon (or the person I think you are),
As I grieve my ex-boyfriend/friends demise, I want to start by saying I am sorry I triggered you. You must have gone through toxic relationships with women/men yourself to feel that someone sharing her pain is bullshit, stupid, irresponsibly damaging reputation of people, and that she must grow up. It is deeply painful to read your words.
If my posts triggered you this bad and you believe you know both J and Stéphane personally (which is almost impossible, but I will give you benefit of doubt), it just shows why both these people associate with you. Your aggressive, triggered, violent outburst towards me for calling out on the two ex (out of others who I remain in good terms), just proves that you deeply empathise with these two men.
I don’t know how you got there, and pardon me for feeling bad for you (cause such a violent reaction can come from someone having gone through toxic relationships with multiple women/men, or is irrevocably toxic him/herself, hence gets triggered by honesty and transparency); however, online bullying is not something that will get your opinion heard. As the post says “Day 14: Thoughts”, kindly learn to take criticism in a good stride and not have petty outbursts. Shame. Would you have dared to say all that to my face? I think not. It only enforces perceptions about your habitus, that developed your taste – and in the process, helps us locate your identity/position in social connections.
Out of about 8 billion people on earth, I refuse to believe that only one person can fit these descriptions. Stéphane and J are very common names, and they are definitely not unique. Look at you – you exist too, right up their alley! Through and through my blog has no mention of last names. Even names of their friends have been replaced by non-identifiable common names/initials; only of course S & J would know who they are, and their “best” friends. And my friends who’ve met these two men. But if you can figure who I’m talking about – you must be a pretty damn good detective… n’est-ce pas?
And believe me, I am aware of being a fool, an idiot. Otherwise by now I’d have learnt my lesson and not seeked out men with similar pattern. But I will not take your criticism of toxicity – cause, you are projecting without knowing what toxicity truly is. Or perhaps you have been in a toxic relationship so long that you are desensitised? Thinking it to be normal? Perhaps?
Hope you get some inner peace. Or not. Up to you. But don’t lash out on people cause they hold a mirror up to your face. It’s terribly toxic, violent, impolite, and questions your sanity on multiple levels.
**(…) toxic people dust us with their poison. Sometimes it’s more like a drenching. Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones and all of us have likely had (or have) at least one person in our lives who have us bending around ourselves like barbed wire in endless attempts to please them – only to never really get there.**