Dear Mr. Threat,
Communication is tough. Especially when there’s a tornado of emotions raging inside of you. I understand that at those emotional times words may come out differently than you intend them to. I understand that an emotional beast inside of you might spit out things you regret when the tornado has calmed down to no more than a breeze. But nothing, nothing, gives you the right to emotionally blackmail someone.
Your words on our first [and last] date confused me. I didn’t know whether to appreciate the fact that you opened up to me by sharing your story, or whether to run. Fast.
Let’s start with the appreciation. I enjoy hearing about my date’s previous loves and relationships. Though maybe not always easy to hear, we are made of experiences. And romantic and sexual experiences are often very important to us humans. Some of them shape us, continue to influence us long after they’ve evaporated into memories, and they often give clues to what we’re attracted to in new partners. Or what we stay clear from. So I appreciated you sharing these intimate details of how you were once engaged and how that experience shaped you.
But the moment you told me that you had put a knife to your own throat, threatening to kill yourself if your fiancée would indeed leave you, that just… well… That was just one of those very rare moments I was lost for words. It scared me. And I was scared more for you than for myself.
Now, I’m no saint. I have reacted in passive aggressive outbursts when hurt. In retrospect I would have acted and communicated differently in certain situations. And I know I need to stay aware of my demeanor and communication during conflict. Because pain and despair can create madness. Blindness. We try to hold on with all our might when someone we love is slipping away. I get how hard it is to stay reasonable in situations like those, and it’s even harder to let go.
But trust me, if you find yourself threatening to hurt either yourself or someone else in order to get what you want, it’s time to step away from the situation. It’s time to take a good, hard look at yourself to find out where this desperation is coming from. Because I’m going to assume that somewhere deep inside you know that emotional blackmail is never a healthy reason for someone to stay with you. Ever.
The only reason someone should want to be with you, is when she or he chooses to be with you.
Hoping you’re alive, well, and not hurting yourself,