No care in the detail : ‘call you later’; ‘call you once I’m done’; ‘talk this evening’….
When you care about someone, your acts match your words. The detail matters, right? and if you can’t keep your word then you communicate that. Its not a big deal: things change; stuff happens. You just let your special someone know that your plans have changed. Make sure they don’t torture themselves waiting around and wondering. Its called manners and manners matter, if you care.
But perhaps you simply couldn’t remember what you’d said, since you were chatting up a storm with several other admirers at the same time? Perhaps your silent treatment was purposeful and meant as some twisted punishment for a perceived wrong? Maybe you just have zero empathy and were done with mimicking what you know ‘care’ should look like? Perhaps you just didn’t care at all and you never really did?…..the pretence was just a necessary tactic to keep me hooked whilst I still served some purpose in boosting your ego and having a ‘respectable’ someone on your arm to do the things you wanted to do… but not alone.
Its a huge red flag when someone, THE one, is so careless with their words and senselessly reckless in failing to reassure, excuse or explain the lack of action to match the words. In my case, this was just one of the many red flags that I chose to ignore.
My boundaries were inexistant from the start. l clung to any excuse you offerred, however flimsy. When you stopped even trying to explain your indifference, I invented justifications all by myself: told myself there was probably something lost in translation though my French is fluent to the point of well nuanced; convinced myself to turn a blind eye to your (total) contempt since the good outweighed the bad and at our age, well we all have baggage…. you more than most.
The more I let your lack of care go, the less care you showed. You made me feel desperately invisible as you slowly, at first and then systematically, refused to notice anything about me and withdrew communication. I gave up looking to you for reassurance and support quite quickly. The gaslighting had begun in earnest and I accepted all doubts as my own insecurity: Perhaps you’d forgotten that important date I mentioned? ….more likely I’d forgotten to mention it at all; perhaps it IS normal to wish another girl a good day with virtual kisses and hugs?….me being oversensitive again. Occasionally you’d spring a surprise, hold my hand, kiss my forehead, send me a goodnight text….a little something reminiscent of the man who charmed me at the beginning and that would be enough for me to feel safe and dismiss the torment in my head.
After a while, a lonely while learning never to react, I started to spend all my time just waiting. Waiting became my new normal: waiting for a call; waiting for you to reply; waiting for you to suggest something; waiting to be invited; waiting for you to notice; waiting for a ‘like’……waiting and waiting, always waiting…..for crumbs to be scattered my way. Then I’d run to collect them and feel grateful. I was so miserable at the time and yet consumed with trying to retrieve the man I first met. The tiniest crumb gave me temporary hope and was enough to keep me waiting for the next one. So strong was my bond to the memory of my Prince charming, I held on even when your mask slipped. Too stubborn to see that you were pushing me to leave. How irritating I must have been to you. A pest, desperately clinging on to nothing.