Alright. I really wanted to write this hella inspirational blog about how I left the states and am venturing into this beautiful healing journey and how it is so wonderful and blah blah blah. But—this ain’t that. The healing process in my experience hasn’t ever been wonderful or comfortable, and more times than not—men be the band aid and temporary wound. This ain’t all about menfolk. But in this present moment, it is.
Y’all wanna hear a story about how I carried my Black ass all the way to Morocco and couldn’t even enjoy being put up in a cute ass hotel during an all-day layover because I was trippin’ over somebody’s dusty ass (actually very well moisturized) son?
Aight, so boom.
Back in March, after a few-hour conversation with my homegirl—that included a very serious verbal threat to live my best life—or else, I decided to pack up, sell and get rid of all my shit to spend some time abroad. Within two weeks, my apartment was bare, my car was sold, and I was in California spending a few weeks with my big brother before chucking the deuces to America.
Braided in the process of all the anxiety around packing, moving, flying, and uprooting the life I made for myself in Texas—was a concern for a man not in the least bit interested in me. “Now, Carmalita,” you’re probably wondering. “Why in the literal fuck would you spend any time thinking about some (emotionally) crusty ol’ dude when you’re finna go to The Motherland?” The summer has barely begun and niggas is outside. I know. But hear me out.
He’s easy. Thinking about, pining over and obsessing about this man—or any man in particular, is much easier to chew on than childhood (and a sprinkle of adult) traumas I’ve acquired in my 31 years. You add that, a little bread-crumbing, gas-lighting, fiery sex and a voice as deep and smooth as velvet—well baby you’ve got yourself fucked. Both literally and figuratively.
Even with hella self-awareness, I still find myself feeling like a crazy person over a man I KNOW I ain’t got no good business exerting energy on. I KNOW the interactions are not those that illicit I-get-butterflies-thinking-about-the-way-this-man-brushes-his-teeth feelings. Or even, some toxic dick type shit. The, I-know-he-ain’t-shit-but-whew-the-way-we-roll-around-in-the-sheets type shit…nah. Not that either. It’s the kind of thing you let drag on because it’s familiar, because sometimes it feels good, because you think maybe, just maybe if you hold out a little longer you’ll get that feeling back that got you caught up in the first place. You know the feeling, the feeling that puts a little salve on wounds too messy and too big to deal with on a regular basis without professional help. The kind of emotional scraping of the knees that come with casual dating and fucking around because sex more times than not is much less expensive than therapy.
It hurts. But again—it’s an easy kind of hurt. The kind of hurt that might bring about a few tears (if you’re a crier like I am). But not the kind of hurt that doubles you over for days ‘cause it hit your internal ouch-button. You know, that button that you didn’t know was a button until you were fucking triggered and pushed so far off kilter you promise yourself you’re never going back to, button. That one.
That’s what this is about.
This is about the shit underneath and how I’m working through it. This is about heart-knowing and mind-knowing, and how the heart doesn’t give a fuck about what your brain knows. It’s about the in between. The now.
And right now, I’m gonna blog about a man that didn’t so much as send me a “travel safe” text. Although, he knew the exact date I was leaving the damn country, and professed to "make it work" to see me before I left.
This man was so fine to me ya’ll. The kind of fine that supersedes physicality alone. The kind of fine that makes you create stories in your head a man can truly never live up to. The kind of fine that makes you lose temporary sanity.
Before meeting this man, I thought he was cool, attractive enough. I knew of him, and that we shared mutual friends but I didn't know him outside of social media. Online, folks’ personality does not always translate well. And via the interweb—his personality was not my favorite. It wasn’t until corresponding with him on the phone that my interest was piqued. I like to ask questions like, “What is your favorite scent,” or “Tell me your best memory,” when getting to know men. I like voice notes. A voice for me will get a man further than looks. (But don’t get it twisted, I likes ‘em pretty too.) I liked his voice. He told a good story. His favorite scent was lavender (I heard wedding bells immediately because, no way! Mine too!)
When I met him in person the first thing he said to me was, “All that big personality and you’re so small.” Panties immediately nonexistent. McScuse me Mr. Nigga, I am what?
I’m 5’8, 200 pounds—I ain’t been called small since junior high school, cut it out.
But his ass. Six fo—who knows how many hunnit pounds. To him, Iwas small. And felt so in his arms when he hugged me. He was fione, okay. It was the way he walked with my bags. Shoulders straight and broad. I looked back at my homegirl, "Biiiiiiiitch". She rolled her eyes because she already knew. It had only taken me all of thirteen seconds to jump directly into baby-naming infatuation. He was fine to me because of the way he showed hospitality to both me and my girl. It was the way he told stories and poured drinks and bigged me up at midnight for my birthday. There were other things too of course, but right now that ain't none of y'all's business.
We did the dance. The casual dating, no-strings attached, I required nothing, so he gave even less kind of thing.
We talked about how sex is cheaper than therapy, right?
I be knowing shit and still be doing dumb shit.
I hate ghosting (because I hate being ghosted). I don't block people, and I generally over-communicate in the event excessively sharing my feelings will land well. Sometimes it does, other times not so much.
When dude didn't hit me up when I left the country, I felt a way. We literally talked or FaceTimed just about everyday before I left Texas. I was almost certain he was going to pull up on me when he got back in town. Why? Because he said tf he would. I generally keep a positive disposition and believe folks when they tell me shit. When he not only didn't come to see me, but didn't even hit me up--I felt deflated. I went back and forth about whether or not to make my feelings known. Although I read, "He's Just Not That into You". Saw the movie. Lived the bewk. I still wanted to be heard, especially since dude stayed responding to my Instastories.
So, I journaled and sent voice notes back and forth to a homegirl about the silliness of it all.
Here’s a Carmalita vocabu-lesson for that ass:
Breadcrumbing— Somebody’s (emotionally) crusty ass son likes your photos online, engages in flirtatious, risqué and general cutesy communication at his own leisure. Responding with shit like, “I wouldn’t talk to you unless I saw a future with you,” upon being asked, “Why do you entertain me?” Offers just enough communication via the interwebs to make himself known but never actually making any real effort. Consistently inconsistent ass communication that continues until being confronted about it. Communication is ever-flowing in gas-lighting upon inquisition.
Gas-lighting- Silly ass Carmalita sending a four-page letter and enclosing with a key Aaliyah-style with crop top, side part and baggy jeans included. Aforementioned man pretending to have no clue why crop-top wearing woman would question inconsistence. He sends obtuse memes and gifs insinuating he's clueless about the effect of his actions, making silly-me question if I'm simply mis-reading everything. Promises of listening for understanding with discussion to follow.
I was hopeful, and thought, "Yes! I spoke up for myself! And he's receptive!" There was no discussion. A week later, I reached out again. He acted even more confused. Apologized and asked for forgiveness. Accountability nonexistent. I finally deleted the text thread.
Dude stayed watching the stories on the Gram though.
No, but for real. Breadcrumbing is when folks dish out slithers of communication to get or stay on your radar without actually ever putting forth any effort. While gaslighting is a manipulation tactic in which a person makes you feel crazy for their intentional behavior. They question, dismiss and deny what is truth in order to make you second-guess yourself. Ain’t none of that shit cool.
Sometimes the naming of a thing is helpful, even if we're not quite ready to do anything with the information.
We’ve all experienced manipulation in dating in some form—but why do we stick around? Especially when nothing is coming from it—not even a decent lay.
I’ll add to the list of things that are cheaper than therapy:
-venting to friends about the same dude for months on end
In college, my anxiety was out of this world. Like, breathe-through-a-paper-bag-before-you-pass-the-fuck-out, out of this world. One of my mentors said, “Carma, it’s like your house is on fire and instead of you trying to put the fire out, you start to fold socks.” Meaning—I focus on bullshit surface-level stuff so as not to deal with whatever the real issue is in the moment.
That man is the socks.
And even though I know this, I still want him to respond to me. I want him to tell me why he stay watching my Instastory—the one riddled with posts directed especially to him, but refuses to acknowledge my existence otherwise without prompting. I’d love to know why he insists on saying he’ll have discussions about my fee-fee’s (feelings) and then—doesn’t. I know for a fact if I called this man right now, we’d carry on a little chat like shit was smooth. I’d get in my fee-fee’s and then he’d fade into the abyss again—until I post something of interest to him on the interwebs.
bLoCk HiM sIs.
Chile, I’m on a whole different continent. If that ain’t gon get me to leave well enough alone, nothing will. Nah, truth is. I left the country to do the work. He—and all the other he-socks I’ve folded while avoiding my shit, are what I’m finna work on.
I just thought some folks out there could relate to my nonsense as I work it out.
Sending the text, making the call, taking the trip for the seggs—it’s rarely about them. It’s about you sis. Work out your process how you need to. Fold the socks, but know that—your house might just be on fire. And when you’re ready—there’s an EFD (Emotional Fire Department duh) waiting on your call.