I probably don’t need to explain too much how seeing that picture on Instagram made me feel. There was a lot going on in my head. I’d also been drinking and not that I ever use it as an excuse, but it absolutely reduced my impulse control.
I hadn’t contacted Tony about anything for a week after our last night together, nor had he reached out to me. We hadn’t texted, hadn’t even “liked” anything on Instagram (he’s on Twitter but neither of us are active there).
But in my hurt and anger, I did something which is now uncharacteristic – I sent a text in anger, something along the lines of:
“Wow, from my bed to “love birds” within a week? Nice. Makes me wonder whether I’ve been played the fool.”
I watched the blue text bubble and had mixed feelings when “delivered” showed up underneath. Pleased I wasn’t blocked, then regretful for what I sent. I knew it was in anger. As I thought more about it, I knew there was really nothing could Tony could do or say.
I debated what to do. I really didn’t want to have a dialogue. I knew I needed my space. I decided to send a follow up text the next day – a partial apology, with nothing open ended. But it didn’t go through.
I was blocked.
It’s funny how things work. I didn’t want have a dialogue with him. I knew I needed silence. I had contemplated blocking him. But the moment he had the nerve to block me? What the hell right does he have?
I understand the ridiculousness of it. Perhaps its needing to be in control. Its definitely hubris (see: prior post).
I’m going to fast forward to the outcome a few days later. After much internal debate, I sent him an email that said, effectively, please let me know when you have decided to un-block me.
I got the following email in return:
Subject: Your text message got you blocked
not sure what you want me to say – the text I received after an instagram post that I had no control over – other then the fact I was in a bird costume – really set me off
“played for a fool” – what are you talking about??? – honestly it really hurt – I cant keep reassuring you of your importance to me – I’m done doing that
I am not having the best time / month right now – I need to focus on trying to make my home life be palatable without having to control any frustration I’m feeling towards you – much less take it out on people who had nothing to do with it
You told me not to contact you for a while – I didn’t realize that gave you free reign to message me whenever you saw something on someones social media (not even mine) that upset you – FYI those are just pictures with captions and might not capture how someone is actually feeling
I need a bit of time to cool off
– I’m not sure what else you want from me or what else there is to say right now
He was right. 100% right. I debated whether to reply, because while I didn’t really want to engage in debate or dialogue, I knew I was in the wrong to send that text. I also knew it wasn’t anything he had done wrong that made me so angry – it was what I held in my own head. It took me over an hour to write, but I sent this back:
I’m well aware what got me blocked.
I sent you a text afterwards to apologize, which never got to you. Regardless of how seeing that picture made me feel and what it meant to me, I wasn’t right to lash out. I’m sorry.
I just want to clarify something – I didn’t mean to imply I doubted my importance to you and I’m really sorry if that’s how it came across. I have zero doubt how you feel about me and how important I am to you.
Bottom line is I chose to believe a certain narrative about your relationship, and that was shattered when I saw that picture. It doesn’t really matter whether my version was right or wrong. But since you told Mary you were moving back, I justified my choice to stay engaged with you by telling myself she couldn’t possibly believe you were romantically in love with her.
I don’t know how else to say that, I’m trying to choose my words carefully (this email has taken me forever to write), because ultimately it’s not about anything I think you did or didn’t do. It’s not about the seemingly endless debates I’ve had in my head about how much you’ve actively promoted that belief versus being passive. You aren’t responsible for what I chose to believe.
But I was washing all the lingerie I wore from our nights together, and I saw that photo on my search page (thanks for the recommendation, Instagram), and all of the things I’ve feared true about your relationship with her hit me, hard. My carefully crafted version of things which let me continue with you was destroyed.
Yes, it is just a picture and yes, I know you didn’t post it and yes, I know that there are lots of unhappy people who look really happy online. But in that moment, I felt deceived, horribly guilty, angry, and very, very, foolish.
I didn’t write the above because I need to have a dialogue with you about it, I guess I am hoping you will understand. I also hope it’s really clear from my words that I don’t hold you responsible for what I chose to believe or how I felt when I saw that picture.
And finally, I hope you accept my apology. You’re right, I don’t have free reign to ask for silence from you and then stomp my foot when I’m hurt. I know breaking up is the right decision for me, and I also know it will mess up my innards for a while when I see things that make me think you’re on the path I thought I wanted to be on with you. But you won’t hear about it from me again.
I need space and some time to heal. I need time to get out of the habit of reaching out every day when I want to share all those little and big things. I can’t lean on you the way I have for so long.
I suppose I can understand why you may keep me blocked but I hope you don’t. I will be silent for a while. Hope you get some sunny days soon.
I asked him to acknowledge receipt of that email, which he has now done via email. He said he will unblock me on Monday. He said he will owes me a “proper response”. I don’t think he does, I don’t know what there is to discuss that we haven’t gone through over and over and over and over again.
I have no intention of texting him on Monday. I meant what I’ve said here and to him: I need space and I need time to heal. I need to move on. While I’m always curious, I also hope he doesn’t send that “proper response”, because silence is better.
So I reset my counter back to the night I sent that text message. If I can’t be honest here, where can I be?