Friday, August 24, 2007

An Email I Sent Today

I don't know what you want or expect from me. But I'll try to make my position as clear as possible.

You treated me with cruelty when I was most vulnerable, you kicked me when I was down, not once or twice, but repeatedly. This consistent pattern is well documented in emails from the past year.

On Friday, September 1 2006, 63 hours after I was diagnosed with cancer, you responded to my request that you treat me with kindness, empathy, and compassion by accusing me of expecting you to "check your balls at the door" and "become a spineless wimp." You wrote: "I'm not interested in changing my ways one iota, not now. It's worked very well for me up to now. I'm certain it will continue to work for me in the future."

I realize now that I should have listened to you and believed that you really meant exactly what you said.

You also accused me of trying to change you, and in a way you were right. I wasn't so much trying to change you myself, as hoping against hope that you would be willing to change yourself. But subsequent months proved to me what a mistake that was. I finally realized that my only choice was to either accept you exactly as you were determined to remain: angry, narcissistic, controlling, unwilling to engage in genuine emotional intimacy; or to terminate the relationship. I chose the latter and I don't regret it.

Now I'm slowly and carefully rebuilding a new life for myself. I don't know whether this new life will be measured in months, years, or decades, but I do know one thing with absolute certainty: however long or short my new life is going to be, there is absolutely no place in it for people who treat me with cruelty or kick me when I'm down. There's no place for people who believe that empathy and kindness are spineless wimpy women's work, beneath their contempt. There is no place for people who are unwilling to change and learn and grow emotionally. I don't know how much time I have left, but I do know it's not nearly enough to waste one precious minute on people like that.

So I have no friendship to offer you.

Best wishes with your own future, I hope it continues to work very well for you.


Blogger citygrrrl said...


7:24 PM  
Blogger L. said...

(...audibly applauding...)

I salute you.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Robin said...


8:01 PM  
Blogger Deege said...

You go, girl!!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Dr. Lisa said...

Wow, You went big. Cheers to not wasting time with peopel who dont' get what an amazing woman you are.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Corvi said...

[more applause]

Liz, you are awesome. (And you're a a bigger person than me, for sure.)

9:19 PM  
Blogger ay-em said...

Go you!!! Gumption AND grace! Awesome.

- am

9:25 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

clap, clap, clap. If there's any good thing to come out of your lymphoma it may be the fact that you were able to see him for what he really was before you wasted any more time with him.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

To me, that sounds like a survivor talking!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Good for you! :clapping with hands AND feet:

12:03 AM  
Blogger -L said...


Reclaiming ground is hard. Standing your ground can be even harder.

The best part is that we all know what YOU do with ground. Heck, we saw those flower pics from the old Lymphopo shack!

Huzzah, Liz!

2:24 AM  
Blogger Penelope said...

Bravo, Liz!! I had the misfortune to date an emotionally abusive man at a very low point in my life, and the best thing I ever did was to get him out of my life forever. The best moment was when I knew with certainty that I no longer gave a fuck what he thought or felt or could possibly say. He was Brazilian and we were planning a trip to Brazil together, only he refused to tell me where we staying or where we would be going once we got there. I broke it off with him three days before we were to leave, flew to Brazil by myself, stayed with two women friends of my Portuguese teacher on Copacabana beach, and spent nine wonderful days putting my newly acquired language skills to use, as neither one spoke a word of English. It was one of the most empowering moments of my life. That high lasted for well over a year, and I've never looked back.

I admire and applaud you for your strength, clarity and class.

You are one amazing and inspiring lady.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Gosling said...

[clapping until hands tire]

Good for you. I've been mad at that guy since I read in your old blog about the way he was treating you at your lowest points. He never did have the emotional rocks to be with a woman of your quality, imo. Good riddance.


10:13 AM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Thanks for the support, gang. I actually got rid of him a while ago: I haven't seen him or spoken to him in almost 4 months. This email was just a reply to some casually breezy emails he'd recently sent me saying he hoped we could be "friends" some day. As if nothing had happened.

10:59 AM  
Blogger momo said...

Dignity and respect! Yes!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Trasi said...

See, people like that (probably without intentionally knowing they are doing it) try to just sneak back into your life, because they were drawn to you in the first place. Hoping to be around you and hoping maybe your guard would go down again so they could continue back on their path of taking and not giving. Because it felt good to THEM to RECEIVE from you. Of course it does, you're wonderful!
But the true test is that you saw what this was in all its innocent and innocuousness (at least on the surface) and aren't going to get sucked back into that. Nothing's changed about HIM, why should anything change about your decision?

2:21 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

You go girl!

Tell him like it is!

3:17 PM  
Blogger KinnicChick said...


3:49 PM  
Blogger nbm said...

Hi...I'm de-lurking to say that you fucking kick ass. You said words I didn't have to courage to utter. In some small way, reading that makes me start to think that maybe...just maybe...I'm not as stupid and worthless as he said. Thank you.

4:13 PM  
Blogger nbm said... hands were shaking. It should read "didn't have THE courage to utter..."

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Powerful, brave and strong. The woman who sent that email is not one to be pushed around!

Bravo, Liz. Very well said. He doesn't even deserve to lick your little toe.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Beaweezil said...

Good for you Liz, stand strong.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Elbow said...

They do try to breeze on back in, don't they? Once they realize that there aren't throngs of young, hot women who are willing to throw themselves at guys who are narrow-minded, selfish pricks. Once they get a tiny wisp of guilt, loneliness and reality under their noses. "I'll just POP back into her life," they say to themselves, "and see how my old 'friend' is doing." Your response was superb. A reality check, infused with a healthy dose of his own medicine. Clear, firm and yet written with a tiny grin on the lips. A gentle nudge back out the door, a click of a lock, and a flip of the newly-grown hair.
Brilliant work.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Elbow said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Lin said...

About bloody time too!

He was most definitely a total prat.
Good riddance to him.
You deserve much better!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a reader that hasn't commented before. I just had to comment on this though.

Good for you Liz! Tell that a$$ where he can get off! No one needs to put up with that kind of crap.

~Sandy G.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Linda J. said...

Maya Angelou once said
"When people show you who they are,
believe them". That was one of the most eye opening quotes I've ever heard.

I admire your courage!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Bowing in your presence. Extremely impressive. Good for you.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

When I first read this, I didn't leave a comment - it felt so private and I don't know you in "real" life (might not make sense, but it did to me at the time). But then it stuck in my head and wouldn't go away and finally, it helped me see something I hadn't before. Then I made a decision and now I feel really good about myself.

There are many ways of being a rolemodel. Thanks for choosing this one on that day.

12:29 PM  

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