The Aftermath

Shayla Crawford

Posted on January 31 2018

“You’re so childish!” He screamed at me when I picked up the phone. “How could you post shit like that and cause me unnecessary grief?” He yelled at me again. I sunk down lower in my bath and started to sob just like I had so many times before. He raises his voice at me again. “Why the hell are you crying? You're not sorry about anything!” I sat and listened as he gave his opinion. 

 This time around, the words didn’t hurt as bad. I was upset at the way that he spoke to me but the words didn’t bring me down anymore. I was strong and I was independent. I didn’t need him to hurt me anymore. He mentioned “If you wanted to say something to me, you should have said it to my face.” My words cracked as I said, “I’ve tried.” Many times before I had tried to tell him. I tried to speak my emotions. I was afraid of him leaving me so I kept most of it to myself. He didn’t know how badly he had hurt me. He assured me that he knew I was upset. Yes, how could I not be upset? The man I loved didn’t love me back. Being upset was just the beginning of it. It dug deeper than that. For me being upset means the pair of shoes you wanted are out of stock. His sense of the word upset barely scratched the surface of how I truly felt. 

 “You got what you wanted didn’t you?” He asked me. Confused I responded and said “What are you talking about?” As he continued to get more angry he kept raising his voice more and more. “You bashed me and caused me drama. You got your heartbroken. Big deal. It happens to everyone.” I knew he was angry with me but I continued to listen. “Just move on Shayla and get over it!” Get over it? What an amazing concept. I can’t believe I had never thought of that. The entire time I was with him I never imagined how easy it could be to just move on. Can you believe he is so profound? 

 “How could you be so stupid to put something like that on the internet for the whole world to see. It’s just dumb!” This was getting interesting now. When in reality all that he was telling me wasn’t a surprise. He was caught up and he knew that. “Nobody cares about your diary entry Shayla! It’s just bored housewives with nothing else to do other than reading your fictional stories.” Fictional? That part shocked me. I asked him “Which part was fictional?” Mainly for research purposes I was truly interested in hearing what he thought was fictional about it. Did he truly not remember some of those times or was he wanting me to think I was crazy. After I asked my question he quickly changed subjects. I asked again, “Which part was fictional?” Finally this time he answers, “You did nothing but make me out to seem like an asshole when all I tried to do was be your friend.”

 Friendship, friendship is interesting. The definition of friendship is - the emotions or conduct of friends. To me being friends can mean so many different things. You have those girls you’ve met one time in a bar bathroom, you have the people you know from church, and you even have that cute guy that you know that you’re dying to go on a date with. Like the definition says, it is the EMOTIONS of friends. There are different emotions tied to each group of people I listed. You may feel differently about each one of those friends but each has their own place in your heart. You love your Godly family, but you have a school girl crush on the cute guy with the tattoos that you are friends with. Thats where we struggled with our friendship. He saw me as a friend he took care of. I saw him as the cute guy that I had a crush on. 

 “You know better than that!” He said intently. For years I would have coward down to him. I would have cried and I would have begged for him to forgive me. I would have apologized for being so stupid and promise to not do something like that again. This time around, I did know better. I did know better than to let him hurt me. I believed in myself and I believed in my story. I believed in my emotions and that was something no one could take away from me. I was always afraid to let myself have those emotions. Most of the time I sucked it up and convinced myself that I was wrong. I told myself I was crazy and shouldn’t have these emotions. I knew the age difference caused issues. I knew it would never work out between us, so thats why I pushed the emotions so far down. 

 The next morning he calls again, it starts over. The anger in his voice continues. “You’ve burnt the bridge between us Shayla, and I hope you know that!” I put him on speaker phone and continued with my laundry. He goes on about how stupid I am. He continues with his speech about how our friendship is over. For the course of the day he calls 8 more times. Every time it’s the same thing. It’s a repetitive noise of insults and various attempts to bring me down.

Finally I had enough. I was no longer going to allow myself to be hurt by this man. The entire time I knew him my friends would tell me to block him. Sadly, even one of his friends was adamant about me blocking him. I was angry at his friend when I learned he never told me what was happening. I was furious when he said that wasn’t his place, but I knew that was true. I was saddened by the fact I had to find out on own. He pushed the aspect of being my friend but didn’t have the balls to tell me about his other life. From all of the phone calls I received from him following my story was he afraid of losing me, or was it the control he knew was gone? Did it take me showing my emotions for him to finally show his? 

After his response to my story I was scared. I had opened myself up to the world. I put all of my emotions on the table. People knew the person I displayed on social media. Nobody knew the girl who was aching inside. I wondered to myself what men thought of me now? Would men see me in a different light? I assumed they would see me as crazy and be afraid I’d write a viral story about them next. After lots of thinking I realized I no longer needed that validation from men. It didn’t matter what they thought of me anymore. Sure, I would hope they didn’t find me psycho but I was no longer seeking the approval I longed for. I wasn’t planning to be the next Taylor Swift who marketed off of heartbreak. I was at a low place and I found myself through travel and writing. 

 The days following my trip have seemed brighter. I’ve had energy and i’ve had desire. For days I was afraid to leave my house. My bed or his was the only place I found comfort. As much as I desperately wanted to figure out how to be alone, I was originally in a dark place where thats all that I wanted. Depression drug me down and confined me in my house. After my trip I realized that meaning of being alone was a different thing now. I discovered that to me alone meant being without him. I discovered the happiness I was wanting. As repetitive as it may seem, I knew that I was strong. 

 In response to my story several people complimented my “diary entry” as he called it. Several people wanted to know how it ended. I had messages flooding my inbox of strangers encouraging me to write a book. Remember when I said he came into my life for a reason? Each sequence of the story was set up so I could get back to writing. The lost road I was on finally had a light at the end. The more messages and comments I read, I thought to myself “Maybe this is my calling!” After closing my boutique I realized maybe I should do what I have always loved. I was fortunate enough to be in a place where I wasn’t desperate for an income. I had knowledge and courage. Maybe my writing could help someone somewhere. Once I realized writing was what I was meant to do I sat down at a computer, and I began to write.

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  • Ariel: February 08, 2018


  • JULIETA FLOREANO: February 01, 2018

    I wonder if he’ll call after this piece or if he knows better lol
    Once again, thank you for opening up and sharing from the heart!

  • Elizabeth: January 31, 2018

    He’s upset because of the “drama” you have caused in his life. I was in a similar situation and when I read what this man said about drama and being angry for this unnecessary grief, the memories of what happened to me came coming back. That’s how my experience ended. Someone I cared about disassociated themselves from me like I never even existed when I caused “drama” in his life. This was a realization that this person was never my friend or what/who I wanted them to be in my life. Keep strong. Your feelings will hurt for awhile, but you can overcome this. As someone who dealt with her heartache alone, thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • Cassie: January 31, 2018

    Sadly, I knew someone JUST LIKE THAT. The headache is palpable. I’m so proud of you for letting it pour out. It’s the best medicine in the world. I wish I could have been that smart and brave in my younger years! Keep going girl!

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