For background on this post please read this previous post.
The title of this post is an altered version of the lyrics “Never meant to lie, But I’m not the girl you think you know” from the song “The Change” by Evanescence. The next lyrics are “The more that I am with you, The more that I am all alone” which was also true. But I misread those last lyrics recently as “I’m more than I am with you”, which made something click in my mind. I am more than I was whenever I was in contact with him. I became a different person when I was with him without even realizing it. I was determined that I was never going to compromise who I am for anybody else again after I found my husband and especially after I left the LDS church, but I somehow managed to do it again for this guy. All while thinking that I had found somebody else who really understood me.
It was really subtle and gradual though. He had a kind of “know-it-all” attitude and it was easier to just avoid certain things than to have to listen to his opinions on them. It was also easier to just stop doing things that he didn’t seem supportive of.
Back when he and I first started dating I talked with him about how I had recently started blogging. I joked with him about how maybe some day I could make enough money off my blog to comfortably live off of. I didn’t actually think it would ever actually happen and I haven’t done anything to work toward making any money off my blog yet, but his reaction was that he didn’t know how that would be possible unless I was selling products off of my blog. Even after I explained that people really do earn money based on the number views that they get on their blog, he still seemed incredulous. Because he’s never heard of it, it must not be a thing… He didn’t “get” blogging and therefore didn’t really seem to take the fact that I was blogging seriously. I continued blogging, but not quite as often as I had originally intended when I started this blog. I would send him links to my blog posts so that he could know what I was writing about and what was on my mind. I figured that since our main form of contact was in writing it made sense to just have him read my blog than for me to have to repeat myself. But it soon became clear that all he was doing was skimming my posts or that he wasn’t bothering to look at them at all. And so I would talk with him about stuff that I thought he knew about because of reading my blog, but he would have no clue what I was talking about. There were times when he claimed he’d “get to it later” because he was “too busy”. Too busy to read my blog post, and yet had hours to sit on chat with me reading what I wrote there and look at stupid things on the internet at the same time… It was clear that he wasn’t supportive of my blog and I slowly stopped blogging as often because of it. And when I did blog, I didn’t bother to tell him about it because I knew he’d never look at it anyway. There were times when I would share with him some of my little milestones, like gaining new followers or being recognized with a blog award, and while he’d always congratulate me he’d usually also always find a way to ridicule my achievement in a way as well. Like how I would have to defend the fact that the number of followers that I had actually was a pretty good achievement for a new blog. It was easier to just stop doing what I enjoyed than to deal with the pain of not being supported or taken seriously by someone who was supposed to love me.
There was also the time when I sent him a link to one of my blog posts about rape culture and he flat out told me that he would “read it later because he’d already seen to much written about that topic recently and needed a break.” Really dude? I translated that to “Nope, never going to read it because I’m convinced it’s going to be a “man hating” post.” Seriously, I don’t care how many things you’ve seen written about a topic, if your girlfriend writes something about it, you read it. If the topic is rape, and your girlfriend is a rape survivor, you have no excuse for not reading the post she wrote. But this and other things caused me to bury my feminism. It caused me to stop speaking out about how rape is a problem and society needs to realize that blaming the victim is never going to fix it. The more I look back on my conversations with him, the more I realize just how intimidated he was by feminism. He’d always seem to find a way to paint something as “man hating”. I don’t remember the exact conversation now, but at one point he talked about how “yes, rape is rape.” BUT he was really concerned about all of the women that were just making up their rape claims in order to get a guy in trouble… in other words, men are the victim once again.
I didn’t realize until recently, but the type of women that he was attracted to also affected how I viewed myself. Because he likes “larger women” I was convinced that I was larger than I really am. This was in no way his fault. He’d tell me that I wasn’t overweight, but all I could think about was the fact that he likes bigger women. He’d tell me that I was looking fairly thin, and my brain would always preface it with “for a bigger woman”. It never even entered into my mind that just because he finds bigger women attractive, that doesn’t mean that I actually am a bigger women. It was quite shocking for me to realize recently that I’m already at a healthy weight. Like I said, this was in no way his fault, but I’m still upset about all the time that I spent using the type of women he finds a attractive to beat myself up with.
I recently sent him a message letting him know that I realized that I became a different person when I was with him, and that I stopped doing things that were important to me and that I enjoyed because it felt like he wasn’t really supportive of them. I told him that I felt stupid sometimes while talking with him, even when I knew that I was right. I put up with all of these things because I thought that I needed him, I didn’t know how I could survive without him in my life. He took over my life for about a year. But I recently realized that I don’t actually need him. That I can be okay without him. I told him this and the fact that this realization was freeing.
He hasn’t responded to my message, and I’m afraid that he might hate me now. He might now see me as just another one of his “bitch ex girlfriends”. And although I might not really want to have a whole lot of contact with him, I still hate the thought of someone hating me. So I was tempted to try and apologize and make things “right” again. I was determined all throughout our relationship to be better than his exes. To be more patient and understanding. But then I realized that he had no real intention of ever actually improving his life. No matter how clearly I tell him why it didn’t work out, he’s just going to take all the wrong things away from this and continue to whine about his situation and how nobody understands him instead of doing what he needs to do to make his life better. So now I might be lumped in with all the other “bitch ex girlfriends”, but I’m thinking that perhaps none of us were ever the problem at all.