where i message men i have dated and ask them whether they ever noticed that i may have been in an abusive relationship in college.
the philosopher had NO IDEA. lol. are any of us surprised?!
i am doing this because it is legit helpful but an unexpected bonus is that it reenforces one's understanding of these people's awareness of one's self.
like, hearing that, i was like, oh yeah, he wouldn't have been paying that close attention to me so of course, yeah, no, he would have had no idea.
which isn't to say that there were not hints.
pointing at the scratches on my knee, he asked if i was self-harming. i lied. i said no.
aware that i had lost weight, in a conversation about a friend of his girlfriend's struggling with eating disorders, he asked if i'd ever had one. i lied. i said no.
the thing is i don't think these were particularly believable lies.
i'm a good actress but i don't think i'm actually that convincing.
prof j (formerly eF) and i had an email conversation late last year. his response to this question of whether he had any idea i was in an abusive relationship was:
The simple answer is no. [...] The more complicated answer is…I always suspected there was something.
eliza came over in june and we had this lovely time together in my apartment as the sun set and it almost felt like real life and she said this thing about how one time she was having sex with someone and he stopped it and asked where did you go?
and we marveled that any man would pay that much attention to a woman.
this was a one time thing, not a relationship, a distinction i make not to make any point about one-night stands but, rather, to point to the exceptionalism of someone actually paying attention.
it was entirely in character for the philosopher not to have been aware.
i appreciate prof j's emotional intelligence. he wasn't perfect. in our relationship, i often felt very small. in our phone call this past february, i asked him to remain silent and just listen to me because of that.
from very dear man friends, i have not received such generosity. so i recognize it for the gift it is.
i also recognize THIS IS MERELY CRUMBS.
we deserve so much more. this is fucking bullshit.
a stranger asked her where she went. men i've been in whole relationships with, men i have known for years have never cared so much.