I try to do what I do best: write about my exes.
One time I wrote about this boy’s eyes. You think it only happens in the movies, but I was actually sitting at the back of our class, gazing at his direction, when all these words started forming inside my head. I wrote at least 10 poems. We only lasted for two months.
The other time, I dedicated a book to the only girl I really liked, the same girl who also dedicated her book to me. We both loved Twenty One Pilots and she wrote, “For Alex. You didn’t let me be gone.” And it was the only time I really believed I could make a good writer one day.
When I go through a breakup, it’s usually just the same old Five Stages of Grief. But my last relationship was different.
I still think, up to this day, that it was my first real relationship. I was groomed when I was 13. My past relationships never lasted long. The guys I dated were either trash or didn’t like me back. But I can guarantee you that I almost always ended up writing about them. I was really good at romanticizing the awful parts of my life.
He and I started out magically. Dating didn’t just revolve around butterflies you’d get from talking virtually. (You can never trust those.) It involved museum dates, going places we’ve never been, staying in motels and passing out from drinking at 3 a.m., seeing sunsets and sunrises together, sex, going to concerts, movie dates, camping, watching the sea, writing each other poems, and more sex. And yet we were both at our worst in between all of that.
Then the pandemic happened. Everything got messier inside and out of our relationship. We were both grieving our past selves, and when I think of it now, it nearly cost us our lives.
So after we ended things, it didn’t immediately feel like a relief. You accustom yourself so much to ruthlessness that it feels like you are required to go through a series of emotions that has a big sign, CATEGORIZED UNDER THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE KIND, before you can really call it fate. Anger came first. Then forgiveness. Then acceptance. Then anger again. Some self-loathing. Some regret. More gaslighting.
I was very vocal about it, but people didn’t know how most of that anger was redirected at myself because I knew that people hated spiteful women, so I despised myself for being so mean. Women are always expected to soften words, to always minimize the casualties even if it would mean that the only casualty is you. So I could only say so much, be brave for so long.
The world hates loud women so loudly that they try to break Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo because they tell stories that girls are still too afraid to speak about. They don’t like a woman who can say no. They don’t like a woman having the last laugh. They don’t want women who profit from writing about their exes so we could have men singing about our tits and asses, so we could have men calling us ‘their’ bitches.
The world made so many women like me afraid to be emotional and brazen and cruel, yet so many people love discussing The Joker over dinner.
So, I say let women take back the narrative.