The Cat Came Back: Mr. Brightside Resurfaces + RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY

Energy is real.

You can't see it, touch it, taste it, or smell it, but's it's real and it's there. 

I finished my writing about Mr. Brigthside on Friday, May 7th. Mr. Brightside messaged me on Sunday, May 9th.

I was surprised; I never expected to hear from him again.

But you know, I also wasn't surprised. Because as stated above, energy is real and there's something about letting go of someone on an emotional level that brings them back to you. It's as though on an energetic level, they can feel you releasing them, and that space you've created gives them the runway to reach out again.

When we try to hold onto something very tightly, it eludes us; picture trying to squeeze a bar of wet soap or gripping a handful of sand - it's just going to slip out of our grasp. But when we let go and hold loosely, loosely, gently, gently, then whatever it is has room to stay put.

Although Mr. Brightside and I broke up a few days into the New Year, emotionally I was still holding onto him because I was writing about him; he was a character that lived in my head who came to life through my blog posts.

Our relationship lasted four months, and me writing about him - about our relationship and how it was related to my fractured childhood - took me another four months.

In those eight months, I became a completely different person. I felt the shift happen. As one my friends said, I was "woke."

Mr. Brightside reaching out to me again, and my reaction to that, showed me just how woke I was.

I won't go into the exact details, but in a nutshell, he reached out to me say "Thank you for dropping off a gift."

This confused me. I had not dropped off a gift.

(One of my girlfriends, when I told her this, asked me if I had and my response was "Are you INSANE?!")

I debated not responding. He must have sent the message by accident. But then again, how many Jasmins did he have in his contacts list?

I decided to respond because I wanted to see what it felt like to write to him from the space of not caring whether or not he responded.

Throughout our entire relationship, I would wait with bated breath every time I sent a message to see if he would respond, if he would give me some sort of validation or the crumbs of affection I so desperately craved.

Now I wanted to see what it felt like not to care; not to need him.

So I wrote back "Wrong Jasmin."

He responded back, apparently totally confused because someone had left an anonymous thoughtful gift on his doorstep and he had assumed it was me.

I confirmed to him that no it wasn't me, it must be someone else who knew his tastes and preferences. I told him that I thought about his daughters often and I hoped they were well.

He did not respond.

I had a conversation about our exchange the next day with one of my girlfriends.

By that point, I was angry.

I was angry that the first person he thought of who would go out of their way for him was me. It helped me realize what a doormat I had been; how much effort I had made for this utterly unworthy man that he would now think - after four months of absolutely no contact - that I would have purchased a gift for him and then have driven all the way to his house and left it anonymous on his doorstep.

And that led me to being angry at my parents all over again for turning me into this frightened, people-pleasing, self-effacing DOORMAT.

Fuck him. And fuck them.

During that conversation, my girlfriend said to me "You know he probably made that up right? There was no gift, he was just looking for an excuse to reach out to you but had to do it in a way that he could save face in case you didn't respond."

Again, I was surprised; call me naive but it never occurred to me that it might not be true.

My friend exclaimed "Jasmin, think about it! What is the most likely scenario here? That this socially inept, very mediocre guy met some other woman - during COVID lockdown no less - who he shared his personal tastes with to such an extent that she would know exactly what kind of gift he would like and that she would then leave it anonymously on his doorstep - OR - that he made that shit up to see if you would still respond?"

There's a quote taught to medical students in order to facilitate the process of medical diagnoses that says "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras."

Meaning the most likely explanation or diagnosis is probably the correct one; there is generally no need to dig too deep or come up with convoluted possibilities when the right answer is usually the most obvious one.

Do you hear hoofbeats? It's probably a horse. Might be a zebra. Maybe. Not impossible - but also not likely.

(On another note: this is why we need to be advocates for our own health. Because doctors are looking for horses, but if you have a persistent health concern it might be a zebra and you will need to be very insistent to get your doctor to see the stripes.)

That day during the conversation with my friend, I had an out-of-body experience where I saw myself in that moment: my anger stirred up all over again, and ultimately wasting my time talking about this man who never deserved more than a first date (not even that to be honest).

So later that afternoon, I looked up his contact info on my phone.

I pushed the "Edit Contact" option.

I looked at the "Block this Contact" option.

A shiver of nervous anticipation went down my spine; was I really gonna do it?


I smiled and hit "Block."

That was four months ago.

I marked the day I blocked his number on my calendar because it was a momentous occasion: the day Jasmin stopped accepting bullshit.

I haven't looked back since.

Why that's a big deal: because it's never been this easy.

With Captain Blue Steel for example, I blocked his number, then unblocked it. Then blocked it again, then unblocked, then messaged him, then blocked him, you get the picture.

But with Mr. Brightside, it's been four months and I haven't wavered.

Why? What's different now?

Well, as my other friend said, I'm "woke" now.

As I was sitting there contemplating whether or not to block his number, something became abundantly clear in that moment which allowed me to make that decision so easily: this man had nothing of value to offer me.



He never DID and he never WOULD. I just hadn't allowed myself to see it.

But in that moment I saw it because when I tried to imagine any future situation in which he would reach out to me again, I realized there was nothing this man could ever say or do to be ENOUGH for me. 

Because of this any future communication would be a complete waste of my time, and as such, there was no reason to keep the door open.

So I shut it with a motherfucking deadbolt.

Another theory that my friend had about his reasons for wanting to reach out was that he was trying to make me jealous.

I thought this was unlikely since that was an action requiring forethought, and this was a man who was incapable of thinking ahead; planning dinner waited until dinnertime when he realized that his kids needed to eat (who knew that would happen eh?) when he would rush to the grocery store and randomly throw things into a basket.

(His idea of "making pizza" for his kids was buying a pre-made flatbread, and then throwing BBQ sauce and pre-grated cheese onto it. Just eww.)

When my friend said that, I told her it would be impossible for me to be jealous even if I saw him parading up and down my street with another woman. I would know in that moment what she didn't know yet: this man was an empty vessel and he had no ability to feel or connect to any kind of real emotion. Unless he did a lot of personal growth work - like A LOT, like BOATLOADS - then he was always going to remain a soulless sack of flesh and bones.

(Remember that when you're tempted to get jealous - the new person doesn't have anything you want because you've already been there, done that, and come up empty handed - so thank you, next.)

Everything always has a silver lining and I'm very grateful for this experience.

I'm grateful to have gotten confirmation that he wasn't reading my blogs.

(I mean if he ever does, fine - but I like knowing that he hasn't, and that this is all still just mine.)
I wrote 11 (now 12) fucking posts about him and his emotional chicanery - if he had checked out my site at any time since our break-up, he would have come across a post and known not to reach out, known that at this point I would NEVER leave a gift on his doorstep (unless it was a dog turd and even that would be too much trouble and frankly, beneath me).

But he didn't. He didn't because he doesn't care; he gave no fucks when we were together, and after the fact, nothing has changed. Still no fucks to give.

I feel vindicated in some way - I wasn't imagining things. He really, really was the patron saint of mediocrity.

No human being can go beyond their level of consciousness, and that was your level of consciousness at the time.

I'm working on forgiving myself for having been the person who would give so much to such an unworthy person.

But that's who I was then; I was a different person back then and the reasons why can't matter anymore.

The whole "my parents fucked me up thing" can no longer be my reason for not being all that I can be, or allowing anything other than the best and most respectful treatment.

I've been living my life arguing for my limitations.

Because my limitations were imposed on me by others - my parents - I abdicated my own power to change my life.

But I'm at a point now where I am ready, willing, and able to take RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY for my life.

I am entirely responsible for myself.

The only thing I am here to control is my response to any experience.

- Abraham Hicks

I can control my thoughts, I can control what I do, I can control how I choose to respond to people and life.

I am entirely in control of all of those things, but I am ONLY in control of THOSE things. I have no control over anyone or anything else.

RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY means that regardless of what's been done to us and no matter how absolutely valid those reasons are, we are still entirely responsbile for ourselves.

In this present moment, it's nobody else's fault, it's our DECISION.

Who I am and who I become from now on is my DECISION.

I'm ready to own that now.

I'm glad Mr. Brightside reached out, regardless of whether his foolish pretext was true or not; as with our whole relationship, it allowed me to see myself in a different light.

I'm a different a very person now - almost a year later - than the one who went on her first date with Mr. Brightside last Labour day weekend.

I'm more me now. And that is a very good thing.

I'm always going to separate myself from all the things that are separating me from myself.

If you run after your destiny, you won't have time to fight with your history.

- TD Jakes

It's enough now.

It's enough.

Enough of Mr. Brightside.

Enough of my parents and my past.

I don't have time for my past anymore. I've done my work. I've looked at my pain and processed it and tried to understand it, tried to understand my parents and their pain.

When I say I'm done, it's not because I'm running away, it's me saying: it's time to live my life unencumbered by my past.

It's time to LET GO.

I haven't lived my life fully yet because my experience of being alive always included the heavy weight of my past; like a ball and chain.

In spite of that, I've done a lot with my life; arguably more than most people ever will.

However, now that I've unclipped the shackles and let go of that burden - NOW - what is possible for me?

How far can I go, how high can I soar?

I gotta be honest, I can't wait to find out.

What I know for sure: I deserve better.

And if you've ever asked yourself that question - "Don't I deserve better than this?" - then I promise you, you do too.

You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way

You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way

Calvin Harris - My Way


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