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Mr. Big, Therapy and Creating Closure for Myself After a Toxic Relationship

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You probably were not expecting another chapter in the saga of Mr. Big and, quite frankly, neither was I.

That relationship ended on a less than cordial note, and I had put it behind me and begun focusing on working my own shit out. I tend to do that after intense situations. I always want to evaluate my actions and see what I could have done to be better, both to and for myself and to others.

It’s not about blaming myself for when things go wrong, but rather examining how my actions can lead to a particular end.

The ending of that situation pretty much put a pin in The Root After Dark. I took a break to reassess what I want for myself and what I am looking for in my interpersonal relationships—romantic and nonromantic alike.

I started going to therapy to untangle the knots of things I had been pondering for a while but unable to put into words or actions. Please believe me when I tell you that therapy has made a tremendous difference in my life. I will expand on that later in a separate post.

One huge thing therapy has done is make me a much stronger advocate for myself in all areas of my life and in all of my relationships. It’s made me take a closer look at what behaviors in other people trigger me, and I call those things out a lot more as they happen.

And so it was that out of nowhere, after six months of no contact, I got a text from Mr. Big.

“Hey, how are you doing,” he asked.

“I’m fine. What’s up?” I was short in my response on purpose. Get to the point, sir.

“Was just saying hello,” he responded.

“LOL. OK,” I said.

“What’s funny?” he asked, trying to extend a conversation he knew was about to be over.

“We haven’t spoken or had any contact with each other in six months. You ‘just saying hello’ now after all this time strikes me as funny.”

I knew what he was going to do in this conversation before he even did it, but I had some shit to get off my chest, so I went along with it as a means of being able to call it out as it happened.

“Well, I was reading an article you wrote, and I just wanted to reach out and see how you are doing. As I know from my own experience, holidays can be tough after losing a loved one (and I didn’t find out about your father passing until last week),” he said.

This text wasn’t about condolences. My father died four months ago, and I know he has been reading all of my social media, so he was aware when it happened. Further, if the text were about condolences, he would have led with that.

His initial text was taking my temperature—a way of gauging how warm or cold I would be toward him. When he got cold, he then pressed forward with what he thought would be an easy key into the door—my father.

He knows how I felt about my dad, and he tried to use that to warm me up—or at least get me open.

And that is an entirely gross and fuck-nigga move—truly despicable.

It also didn’t produce his intended result, and when I began directly addressing what disturbed me about his approaching me in the first place, he immediately erected a straw man argument to deflect.

At no time ever did I express to him that I wanted an exclusive relationship. That was never a topic of debate between us because the entire time we were dealing with each other, he seemed obsessed with the fact that I was openly nonmonogamous.

So I immediately said what I meant. He exposed me to a sexually transmitted disease without telling me, and in doing so, he took away my choice as to whether I wanted to continue in any type of sexual intimacy with him or not.

He did not tell me when we went to Vegas, and because I was on my period, it could have mostly been a non-issue. But we made out a lot that weekend, and I deserved to know. He didn’t tell me.

He didn’t tell me until we were naked in his hot tub two entire months after the Vegas trip. So not only did he not tell me in Vegas, but he didn’t tell me after Vegas either. He didn’t tell me on any of the almost nightly phone calls when we stayed up for hours talking. He never mentioned it.

He waited until the second night I was at his home, high and drunk and naked in his hot tub—and then he told me.

You, dear readers, did not have all that background before this text conversation, but he did. And even as I brought the topic of him exposing me up, he ignored it and tried to make the conversation about something else.

That is a form of gaslighting, and it was something that he would do even in more innocuous conversations if I pointed out a behavior he was exhibiting that bothered me.

Instead of addressing what I was saying to him, he immediately went into victim mode—saying he was sorry that he had “bothered me.”

“Of course you are,” I replied. “Because you never want to be held accountable. You never want to hear the truth of people’s experiences with you.’

“You are selfish and self-absorbed,” I continued. “You don’t give a fuck about me or how I feel about anything including my dad’s death. If you did? You would man up and listen. You tried to use ‘sympathy’ and ‘condolences’ as an in.”

“I didn’t want or need an ‘in’,” he said, like a jackass. “I just wanted to offer condolences ok?”

“I like how you conveniently pick which parts of what I am saying that you are going to respond to. Telling. Very telling,” I said.

Then he pulled out another one of his tricks. Deflecting with an attempt at garnering sympathy for himself.

“Been doing a lot of reflecting including reflections on my own mortality as I await [medical results],” he said. “So if I’m not up for your psychoanalysis or venting on me, I apologize.”

“And now we have reached the emotional manipulation portion of the program,” I clapped back.

“I don’t want or need anything from you,” he tried to interject. And we know that’s a lie because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have made this lame attempt at “reaching out” in the first place.

“You used to do this before, but you would use your grief about [dead family member] instead,” I continued, ignoring his bullshit.

“My grief about [family member] was and still is very real,” he whined.

“No one is denying that,” I said. “It’s how you use it in this particular interpersonal relationship that is questionable. And that is my only point.”

“If I start telling you how something you do or did makes me feel, you deflect with the ‘woe is me’ instead of owning it. That’s fucked up,” I added.

He babbled some shit about having been thinking about me all this time and keeping up with my stories and Twitter account, but I didn’t care, so I delivered a little soliloquy.

“My therapy session tomorrow is going to be awesome, so I’m kind of glad you did this,” I said. “I got to get some things off my chest, even if you deflected. I hope you work through whatever things you need to so that you can be a whole person. I hope you learn that everything isn’t about just you. And I pray that your daughter never encounters someone like you.

“You are out here doing harm to others because you are in pain, and you don’t even have the decency to acknowledge it or apologize when it is brought to your attention. That’s sad, but that’s your burden to carry. Good luck.”

“I’m sincerely sorry for anything I have done to cause you pain,” he said lamely.

And we know that’s not true because none of the things he has done to harm me were abstract. I laid them all out in this very conversation. That he was unable or unwilling to call them by name shows just how sincere he was in that bullshit ass apology.

“I doubt that,” I said. “I think you are sorry you are being called out, and that is totally OK. It’s who you are, and I am not here to change that.

“But I am also not holding space for you. My life is happy and fulfilling and I know for sure it’s because of the energy I keep and the energy I keep away.

“I don’t have you blocked,” I continued. “You are free to read whatever you want to read, but please. Let’s not pretend that there is anything else here aside from your own selfish wants and needs.

“If there were, it wouldn’t have taken you this long to ‘reach out’,” I concluded.

He hasn’t responded again, and he likely never will. I am OK with that.

Mr. Big is an energy vampire. He is miserable in his own life, and he reached out to me because he sees me living my best life—loud and proud and with no thought of him.

He wanted a piece of my sunshine. What he got instead was a piece of my mind.

I don’t know whether he took any of what I said to heart, and I don’t care. It’s not my problem or my job to fix him—and believe me when I tell you, he needs a lot of fixing.

I was high after that exchange and proud of myself for sticking to my guns. I didn’t let him slide and I didn’t gloss over anything. I put it out there plainly.

As you read his responses, you can see that he was never going to “give” me closure. It was something that I would have to get for myself—and I have written about this before.

I baked the “fuck him, girl” cake months ago.

Yesterday was just the icing it needed.

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health news headlines provided courtesy of Medical News Today.
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