I was young and insecure, such an easy target for manipulative people. I was dating someone who has a very good reputation who went to the same uni with me (different major). This guy has what most Indonesian mother in laws would want to marry her daughter; a good family background, a job in a reputable public institution and a religious polish from the outside. I was at that time telling myself that I should feel lucky to be with someone like this even though in reality he was treating me like a door mat instead of a human. His existence in our one year long relationship was sporadic, he came and went as he’s pleased, more like keeping me on hold rather than loving me. I was indeed just his backup plans (maybe, out of his backup plans, I never know) in case he couldn’t get someone better than me. He then ghosted me again for about two months until I eventually stumbled upon his wedding pictures on Facebook because I was friends with his mom on FB and he blocked me from all social media platforms.
What happened may sound horrible, but I dont blame anyone but myself because I believe that we are responsible for our own choices. It was my choice to be weak and a willing victim. I’d forgiven myself and him and moved on with my life. My life has been great, so great. About a almost a year ago, a few years after he went MIA from my life, my phone couldn’t stop ringing and it was him. I rejected many times until I eventually decided to pick up and I wanted to see if what was going to happen was similar to what I predicted. And it was. When he called, I was (and still am) in a really happy and mature relationship, and really growing in my career.
He said he wanted to apologize for what he’s done to me but when I asked “What did you do?”, he couldn’t answer. That’s how to detect a fake apology. Apology was obviously not the main reason he called. Again, until now, this guy has a very good (and religious) reputation from the outside.
He said, he felt that he could be the reason why:
1. I am still not married (like, wth, I’m still young and marriage is not a race, no need to be in a rush)
2. I took off my hijab (if you dont know, I used to wear one). So he felt that he was the reason why I dress ‘like a wild woman’.
What a such narcissistic opening from him, as if the universe revolved around him. This time he called, I am not a woman he knew back then. I was easily controlled by fears, I wasn’t who I am. My wittiness and sarcasm were hidden back then because I wanted to be liked. But now he’s being roasted for sure without my intention, I didnt plan what I was saying to him, I was just saying what the truth is. To be honest, it was my sarcasm level “Spontaneous”. I told him, “What is not pathetic and fake about a married man with kid calling his now ‘wild-woman’ ex and wanting to apology after years?”. He said I was being mean for saying it. Oh man, to be honest my action has revealed to me so many real faces of people I know and those who barely know me, also… men like him. Thanks to people like them, I’ve grown a thick skin.
Anyways, my now-gone hijab is not gonna be the topic of this post. So many other WTF moments from the call that deserve more attention. He first of course started with (religious) preaching and just as predicted what he did later can be summed up with one word “MANSPLAINNING”. Oh gosh, this human is so delusional, I’ve roasted him like that and he’s still thinking he’s got a chance.
He opened up to me what other sins he’d done. I told him that I was so lucky that our relationship failed and not in the position his wife was at that time. Also I told him that he’s lucky I was not his wife, coz I wouldnt be afraid of leaving. He replied, “She wouldn’t coz she’s dependent on me financially, moreover now with kids.”
That brought me back to the time we were still dating, he said that it’s not difficult for him to find replacement because he’s already working for ‘X’ institution and his salary is big enough for Indonesians. Thankfully he mentioned his number (even if he didnt, we can easily google the salary standard in that company), so now I was laughing at him. He brought back the ‘hijab’ stuff, I told him, “Preach me again when you make more than me. When you’re still paying loans monthly for your past wedding, you’d better shut up or my roast level can only get better.”
(So those extravagant wedding photos I saw back then was actually from taking a bank loan. I was like, “Dont you have a managerial position at work? What made you think taking that amount of loan was a strategic step to take? I always wonder how other humans’ brains work. Especially those who dont make sense to me.”)
From this short post, you wont believe that years ago in my early 20s I was the girl who was saying yes to all that sh*t. I was totally blinded by fears that I labelled as ‘love’. Actually it was not love, I dont think I was in love with him, I was just miserable. I didnt have a plan for my own life, my plan was waiting for a man who has plans and I would tag along. In my country, people get married at young age, my friends were getting married or having babies, and I felt I was behind. I had a job, but I felt nothing worth to be proud of about me.
To make it worse, he’s not the last man I allowed to treat me like that. I went through another two relationships following the same mistakes:
1. Not having my own plans,
2. Not finding myself first before I try to find another human to be with,
3. Not prioritizing myself and not knowing my worth,
4. Having just a ‘hold-on’ job, instead of a career,
5. Being mainstream (since I was kid, I was the bright kid, I couldnt believe I could let myself in that situation and became voluntarily helpless).
At that time I had no one who told me these things, but at least now I’ve learned. I dont regret those years I spent with those guys, now I’ve learned to be the woman figure who I wish I had growing up.