Whenever I’ve heard someone say “I’m leaving”, they usually don’t. They stay and wait for a reaction. And, when you don’t react, they get riled up, and start arguments. “Wow. You really don’t care, do you? I said I’m leaving and you have nothing to say? I guess I should’ve left a long time ago!” Unfortunately, no response will satisfy them, because they don’t really know what they want. There is nothing you can do. You’re stuck. If you react, your actions and words will be held against you. If you don’t react, you’re an insensitive asshole. Let me show you.
Probable Response 1: Don’t leave.
“Too late for that now. I am going to do what I want to do. I don’t care what you want. I’ve put up with you long enough.”
You are left feeling guilty, clueless, and hurt. You’re going to rewind as far as memory serves, and over-analyze everything, only to come up with nothing. You don’t have a defense, because you didn’t think you’d ever have to defend yourself.
Probable Response 2: Fine. Fuck off.
“You fuck off. You don’t get to be cocky about this. This is exactly why I’m leaving. You don’t care.”
Fuck off was your bye. But, because you chose to honestly verbalize your thoughts, you’re the villain now. Now, you’re angry, frustrated, and this close to breaking something. But, there’s no use showing your anger, because these days, the definition of abuse and harassment is pretty inclusive and vague. You don’t want to become the subject of another social media outburst. Keep calm, and slaughter them a thousand different ways in your head. Your mind space is your only sanctuary.
Probable Response 3: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to piss you off. Let’s talk about this. What happened? Let’s have a conversation like adults. After that, if you still want to leave, I won’t stop you.
Now, this is interesting. I know this seems like the best response compared to the other two options. But, that’s only because it’s the most passive (aggressive) response, and you’re not trying to really express yourself here. There’s a 50-50 chance of this response leading to peace. You talk it out, you realize each other’s mistakes. You vow it won’t get this bad again. You live to see another day. You’ve won the battle. But, you are going to lose the war.
When it comes to defending yourself, there is one problem you cannot avoid. Every time you try to protect yourself from an attack, you will hurt yourself. It’s like covering your face when you’re getting slapped. You might get away with a spotless face, but your hands will hurt from the impact. Compared to your face, your hands are dispensable. So, you don’t give it much thought. But, you need your hands to apply the cream that keeps your face spotless and glowing. You need your hands to hold onto someone when you really need them. You will need your hands to stop someone from leaving you.
But, the slapper gets stronger with each strike, because they know your pain threshold has increased. And, finally, the one time when you can’t lift your hands up to cover your face, it will be lights out. So, in retrospect, while Probable Response 3 seems the easiest, it is actually the worst thing to do. It’s like building a fortress. It might keep you safe from assault, but it will eventually become a prison you’ve built for yourself. Not because you were a coward, but because you were thinking of quick fixes. Probable Response 3 is a quick fix. You’re choosing concentrated moments of peace, happiness, and glory, over being free, owning yourself, and getting stronger.
Announcing arrival or departure is nothing but attention seeking behavior. They want you to prepare yourself to greet them when they arrive. When they depart, they want to be missed. They want to know that they can affect you in some way or another. If you miss them, you will treat them like royalty when they come back. And, hence begins a vicious cycle. Throughout this cycle, you end up simply reacting and responding; like a reflex action. Unconsciously, you’ve practiced it a thousand times, and it’s muscle memory now.
Stop, and think about what you’re doing. “Do unto others, what you want done unto you” is bullshit. If that were the case, every time you needed a haircut, you’d have to cut the barber’s hair first. Do unto you, and stop there. Let others do unto you whatever the fuck they want. You will handle it. Trust me.
We live in a world of selective asshole. Selective, because they choose to shit on only those they know will take it. We are creatures of habit. We are also arguable the most competitive species out there. We have never naturally owned anything. We have only claimed ownership of something, enslaved it, raped and plundered, and moved on. Take ownership of yourself. There are no benefits to slavery. The light at the end of the tunnel is only visible because you are in the dark. Accept the darkness, and you will enjoy the light when it gets to you. There will be pain. You will suffer. You will doubt yourself every step of the way. But, you’d rather feel all of those things and do something about it. Maybe you deserved it all. Maybe you didn’t. It doesn’t matter now. You still have your sanity. You are the master of your own free will. Do not seek revenge. Do not seek closure. Just get used to existing as a lump of flesh. It’s not that bad. Babies are technically big lopsided lumps of flesh, but people still find them cute for some reason.
Nobody truly leaves. They only leave one thing for another. If somebody walks out on you, they’re going to go someplace else and bitch about it the first chance they get. It’s like being a walker in a joggers’ park. Every time someone runs away from you, they’ll come around soon enough. Meanwhile, you just keep walking.
Change isn’t always bad. Sometimes, changing is about staying the same when everyone around you changes for the worst. Stay strong. The next time someone says “I’m leaving”, just say “have fun!”
If they come back, you’ll know they didn’t have too much fun.