Dear Random Man on the Street Who Kept Talking to Me Until I Finally Looked at Him,
Thanks so much for picking me out of a crowded sidewalk of people to talk to. I was moved, almost really!
I mean, it sounded like you recognized me from somewhere, with all that babbling “hey, how are you, hey sweetheart, how you been doing.” As if you wanted to check in on what’s been up with me since the last time we talked.
Or rather, since the last time you talked to any totally random woman on the street. Because one thing I’m sure we agree on: who I am beyond “woman” doesn’t matter in this interaction.
In case you were wondering: no, I didn’t think you were dangerous (unless it turned out you were). And no, I didn’t you were going to follow me (unless it turned out you did). And no, I didn’t feel sexually objectified by our encounter (unless we’re gonna count the fact that it is men—always and only—who make this kind of you-owe-me-your-attention-cuz-I-called-you-sweetheart move on women. Also always and only).
You say you wanna know how I’m doing?
So glad you asked!
Turns out I’m having a frackin’ godsawful month, what with the sick-again-again cat and the brain that’s decided August is the perfect time for another deep dive into shame and old trauma, so it’s continually flooding my brain with maybe-memories/maybe-hallucinations, all in full Technicolor and Surround Sound. I keep having loud, curse-filled arguments with people who aren’t there; I can’t sustain self-care beyond sobbing inconsolably, making a “good day” one where I manage to put myself into uncontrolled, chest-heaving grief at least once; I haven’t slept more than 4 hours any night the past week; and I keep having to remind myself not to take all the suicidal ideations too seriously, cuz they’re just par for the course, given everything else.
Finally, as the cherry on top of this ice cream float of craptasticness: my therapist is on vacation all month—and my very last remaining nerve left? Is the one you decided to have me spend on you,
So let’s get something straight: I don’t owe you shit. And neither does any other random woman choosing to be in public space.
You got that?
Need me to repeat it?
WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU SHIT.
For f#ck’s sake. Enough with this sh!t already.
Next time, try getting those pesky drive-by emotional-connection needs met by someone who actually knows your name. Or cares to.
[featured image via]