Whenever I tell the story of me and the Spectacular Asshole back in the day, the listener asks me three questions: How long did this go on? How did you stand it? How did you eventually stop? The first two questions are easy enough; 3.5 years and I just did. The third one is a bit trickier.
What led to the demise of me and Mr. SA was a sequence of events in which I chose to be shitty toward him. Something I did that I lied about when I could easily have told the truth, something he asked me to do for him that would never have been a problem in the past but I refused to do on principle, and a night when we were being quiet together when I had the urge to say something loving toward him but squelched it. In short, I became spiteful and withholding.
Now I have many flaws, but one thing I am through and through is generous. I give my time, money, belongings,
pussy, affection, trust, expertise, and clothing freely. I don’t do it on the basis of what has been done for or given to me, or what I can reasonably expect to get in return. When I have a weakness for a man; whether it’s love or a boner or a crush or an odd fascination, I’m known to say things like “from a strategic standpoint it’s a bad move for me to tell you this but…” or “I know I should make this more difficult for you but…” or ” I should really learn how to say no to you but….” before giving them whatever it is they want or need. But like I said, I’m a generous person. I don’t keep score of what has been given to me and I don’t withhold things out of spite.
So when I got to the point with SA when I realized that three times in a row I could have been nice to him and chose not to, I knew it was time to bounce. After all the times I tried to quit him and couldn’t. After all the times he quit me and I cried myself to sleep over it, the moment I realized that he was turning me into someone I did not like I was done, just like that. And I never looked back until he reappeared in my life all these years later.
These days, there’s someone else in my life who hurts my feelings on a regular basis. How he does it is different every time. Sometimes it’s what he says, or what he obviously thinks but refuses to say. Sometimes it’s the things that he does just to annoy me, sometimes it’s the things that he could do to please me but won’t for some dumb reason. It’s the fact that he used to be awesome and now is aggravating, the fact that he’s aware enough to know that he bothers me but assholey enough to do it anyway.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking if it’s that bad, why do you allow this person to stay in your life? Why do you not confront him or abandon him or give him a taste of his own medicine? And while I consider doing that stuff on a near-daily basis, the truth is I’m just not wired like that. It’s not really the way I operate. While I have a lot of bluster and will rip someone to shreds over relatively minor shit, when I’m truly butthurt I tend to take and take and take until I can take no more.
There have been many, many times throughout my relationship with ole boy where I’ve said to myself, that’s it. I’m done. FUCK him. I’m finished. And every single time I start to wrap my head around that way of thinking, he does or says something that reminds me of his dopeness and mitigates my wrath. And like the big softie I really am but don’t like to admit to being, I relent. I forgive, I carry on. Because – as we’ve seen with the Spectacular Asshole – I’m punkish like that.
But just the other day I made the decision not to do something. It wasn’t anything directly related to him, but it’s something that he would reap benefits from if I were to do it. And although doing it would make my life easier and allow other people to benefit, I’m not doing it. Because I don’t want him to have the satisfaction.
And that’s how I know that it’s time for me to be done with this dude. Because – for the first time since the glory days with SA – I’ve become spiteful and petty again. I choose not to say the good things I think about him, I choose not to support him the way I could because he doesn’t do it for me. I’m about to cut off my nose to spite his face and that’s how I know it’s time to throw in the towel. Not because of any one thing that he’s done, but because once again I’m becoming someone I never want to be.
But what about you guys? How do you know it’s time to give up on someone who hurts more than s/he helps? Is it something they do or a change you detect within yourself that makes the decision for you? Once you’re done do you ever look back? Speak on it in the comments.
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