I don’t think I’ve felt this wrecked by a guy since 2003. Even when I was fretting so theatrically about Daniel, I never felt rejected, and my tears were slight and possibly the result of too much to drink. The problem with Daniel was that I was jealous, and morose about the fact that we had no future together. But with Jeremy, it’s worse: there’s no one to be jealous of, which means he just doesn’t like me, and there’s no reason we can’t have a future together, except that he doesn’t want one. That plays right into all my longstanding fears about my desirability.
I am so angry with Jeremy for not responding to my email, and angry with myself for having expectations and for feeling so disappointed and rejected, and just miserable in every sense of the word. Yesterday I started a new temp assignment, and when I went to the bathroom I wept for a good ten minutes, and the tears washed off my makeup and my eyes were swollen for the rest of the day. In fact they still are, ’cause I’m still crying off and on. I have a terrible cold and I’m afraid this is going to become a full blown depressive episode and I won’t be able to work and I’ll have no money and will never get a real job and will never stop thinking that if only Jeremy liked me, everything would be OK.
I still cannot get over the fact that he didn’t respond to my email. What kind of person does that? I made it so bloody easy for him! All he had to do was say, “Sorry, Lily, I’m not interested.” That was it. He didn’t have to meet me, or to disabuse me of any fantasies, or even to pick up the goddamn phone. I gave him such an easy out. But he couldn’t even be bothered to give me that courtesy. I wasn’t even worth that to him. But instead of hating him I loathe myself for not being the person that Jeremy wants to date, or even to be polite to. What kind of person dates someone for six weeks and then disappears without even an email? Well, a lot of people, actually, but I never thought I would fall for one of them! And at the back of my mind is the knowledge that he probably doesn’t treat everyone this way; he has had other relationships and must, after 38 years on this planet, have some sort of idea of etiquette. It’s just that I’m so unbearable that his usual gallantry is overwhelmed, and he has to pretend I don’t exist. And then I have stupid, stupid thoughts like, What if he was the right person for me, only he doesn’t know it? Ah. I’m crying again.
And then there’re the fantasies: for instance, Daniel, seeing how miserable I am, finds out Jeremy’s name and address and, unbeknownst to me, seeks him out and beats him up. “How could you hurt Lily?” he demands. Jeremy struggles to his knees on the pavement outside his apartment building, impressed by Daniel’s devotion to me, not to mention the fact that my defender is much hotter than he is. “She’s the loveliest, sexiest girl you’ll ever meet!” Daniel cries passionately. “Don’t you think she deserves an explanation for your appalling behavior?!” And then Jeremy, bloodied but enlightened, will be brought to his senses and declare himself totally in love with me. That’s the best one. The others are more like actual possible outcomes of seeing Jeremy, and could more accurately be described as nightmares: I ring Jeremy’s doorbell and demand an explanation. Jeremy, upon realizing who’s standing on his stoop, calls the cops. Then I start crying hysterically, the cops shake their head, and Jeremy never once ventures out of his apartment. If only this wouldn’t make me a stalker, I might do it (the demanding the explanation part, hopefully not the hysterical crying part). But it means I would forfeit whatever dignity I have left at this point, and might be arrested to boot. Or perhaps I run into Jeremy on the street and block his way until he tells me why the hell he couldn’t even reject me properly. Jeremy, flustered, says it’s because he thought I wasn’t interested in a serious relationship. I tell him, “All right! Let’s have a serious relationship! I’m all yours!” and then Jeremy panics and I am forced to see that that isn’t the reason at all, he didn’t cut himself off from me because I’m so wonderful, but because he just finds me boring or stupid or unappealing or all three. That scenario would require me running into him on the street, however, which is not too likely, unless I were to station myself on his block. And again, if the idea weren’t totally transparent and stalker-y, I might do it. Obviously the Daniel version is my favorite. Of course, as unhappy as I am, I hope I will not actually spill my guts to Daniel about this, since that would be pretty impolite, to whine about romantic misery regarding Jeremy to someone else I’m sleeping with. So I’m stuck.
I’m at the horrible point where I’m wishing it were three or four weeks ago, that I could have one more night to sort things out with Jeremy. I’m thinking about our time together over and over, when he said this or I said that, and how he looked when he fucked me… thinking how naïve I was, not to realize how lucky I was to have met him… yesterday at my horrible new temp job I was filing, and the very sight of the words “New Jersey” on a folder gave me a pang, because Jeremy grew up there.
And at the back of my head is the faint hope that Jeremy is out of town and hasn’t seen my email. I could find this out easily enough by looking at his online profile and seeing when he was last online. But I won’t, because I already know the answer.
At last my therapist Caroline returned my call, just as I had about stopped crying for what seems like the seventh time in three days.
“Listen to yourself,” she chided, after I’d told her how Jeremy had not even responded to my email, and how insulted and hurt I was that he couldn’t even be bothered to write to me. (By the time I got through my recitation I had, of course, started weeping once more). “Do you really think he didn’t write you back because you’re not worth a response?” said Caroline. “That he has so much contempt for you? That’s ridiculous. Don’t you think he might feel ambivalent?”
Well… “But it doesn’t matter if he’s ambivalent if he’s not going to write me back!” I wailed.
Caroline said that my response to this whole affair suggests that what I really want is to have a serious relationship again, as evidenced by my spark of interest in Jeremy when he said he was interested in marriage, etc. I think my response suggests that I am a glutton for rejection. “I know this is hard,” Caroline said. “But you’re going to have to let this be the end, even without the closure you want from his response.”
I am in big favor of closure. In fact, I need it. Otherwise I can't let things go (no kidding!) and my obsessive thoughts (an example of which is this post, ahem) can inch into overdrive. It's very boring. “But I don’t want to let this be the end,” I whined. “I want him to get in touch with me! Oh God!” And I burst into tears. Again.
But then I decided that I will pretend that Jeremy is going to write me. He is going to send me a brief, polite email, one that will explain his feelings. And until his desertion completely sinks in, I will pretend that he’s going to get in touch at any moment, that he’s thinking about me and wants to tell me things. This is contrary to my entire philosophy, which is that it’s best to just expect the worst, but if it keeps me from collapsing in tears on the phone, I might give it a go anyway.