Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Words Like Fists

I’ve been a total shut-in lately. Which, in all honesty, is lousy for my mental health. I’ve always been a bit of a loner by nature. But I do need some human interaction. Even if it’s by phone and internet. And I haven’t been doing much of that lately, either.

Which means when I do go out, I feel out-of-sorts. Like I’m visiting a foreign land. Instead of just hanging out with friends/people I know.

Anyway, I spent a couple of hours with friends yesterday. And that was healthy-ish. It was good to try. To make the effort. To try to remember what it’s like to be myself again.

I had a bit of a subway trek, there and back. And on the way home I overheard a distraught women telling a friend about a recent with her boyfriend. Something she said stuck with me.

His words were like fists.

She went on to tell her friend a long list of horrible things the guy had said to her. And they were pretty awful. Hateful, mean things that were intended to hurt. FWIW, I can’t imagine patching things up after a fight like that.

Which got me to thinking of the most painful thing a man has ever said to me.

I thought about it all last night. And, in the end, I realized that the most hurtful thing a man has ever said to me was, “you’re my .”  There’s a long story there. One that I’m still trying to unravel. For myself. But the crux is that for me, the worst thing a man can do or say is to make me feel wanted and needed when I’m not really.

Another issue with being a shut-in. I spend too much damn time in my head.



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13 to “Words Like Fists”

  1. What if he were a cobbler?

  2. SecretSquirrel says:

    The guy I’m seeing said that I have his heart. I told him not to say that because it gives me hope. (I’ve had a tragic 6 years of dating and hope is the last thing I need).

    I feel you on that as being the worst thing said.

  3. jackie says:

    When I was in marriage counseling, my (ex) wife told our counselor I was sarcastic. The counselor looked at me and said “Sometimes, words can hit like fists.” “That’s true” I responded, “but sometimes FISTS can hit like fists and SHE HITS.”

    No point, just my take on a statement that stayed with me.
    jackie recently posted..Becoming Bugs Bunny*My Profile

  4. Lojo says:

    I’m a new reader and loving your blog. And I can completely relate to this post.
    Lojo recently posted..Life In My New CondoMy Profile

  5. Chiara says:

    I had a girlfriend who never spoke of her boyfriend until shit came crumbling down. When she told me about him, I came to find out he called her a whore, a slut and a dirty cunt. Verbal abuse comes in many different forms. Even when sugarcoated, especially when the end goal is to manipulate the other person. I considered changing my stance on gun usage.

    P.s. I’m pregnant, and sick. I’m having to take this pregnancy easy. My dude uses my car for work (as he’s taken hold of all our financial responsibilities, bless his heart).. When I go out into the sunlight, children run away from me, that’s how socially awkward I’ve become. Oh yea, did I mention I have 3 cats?

    Isolation is a phase of life. Using the time to reflect then I plan on going out to conquer the world. We can do it together, holding hands.
    Chiara recently posted..The Ex: Should You be Worried?My Profile

  6. City Girl says:

    Wow. I figured that the “words like fists” line would be the most powerful part of this post, but the “soulmate” line surprised me. I wonder whether you felt like he wasn’t sincere when he said that or you weren’t deserving of that being said about you. I hope it wasn’t the latter.

    PS If you need to talk, just call anytime! xoxo
    City Girl recently posted..IMF (Interesting Male Friend)My Profile

  7. Argent says:

    Words like fists. Wow. That’s a fabulous analogy. I’ve just realized that Mr. Man is probably NPD – reading a study on subtypes of the disorder right now. He is careful not to use “foul” language, but he is so good with language that his words are like fists. I dumped him. He doesn’t know it yet. I dumped him after receiving an email from him – which was a reply to an email I’d sent where I mentioned that he’d hurt me – and this email proceeded to tell me I was insulting, I was intentionally perpetrating a damning analysis of his character, yadda yadda.

    At the bottom were the “words like fists.” I felt punched in the stomach, livid, stunned, horrified and an urge to laugh hysterically all at the same time. He said:

    “I request one more email from you. It will say one thing. That one thing will be that you agree to a three week cooling period for your anger. This is the last email you will receive from me with any content from me.”

    I had to get up and walk away from my computer – it’s a weird feeling, wanting to vomit and laugh hysterically at the same time. Never, in three months, had I seen this kind of controlling behavior from him. So I had to find out why.

    I went to my favorite place for boyfriend analysis: The DSM IV. And there he was, under Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Then I dug deeper and found a study with subtypes – he fits the “compensatory” subtype – which is loosely defined thus:

    the compensatory narcissist is characterized by overtly narcissistic behaviors that derive from an underlying sense of insecurity and weakness rather than from genuine feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem. They are hypervigilant and exquisitely sensitive to how others react to them, watching and listening carefully for any critical judgment, and feeling slighted by every sign of disapproval. This type is a mixture of narcissistic, negativistic, and avoidant personality characterisitics.

    I tell him I’m hurt by something he did and he reacts by telling me what I’m going to do, how I’m going to feel, and, in a totally unveiled manner, actually threatens me. The translation of his “words like fists” was: “If you don’t do this, I’m taking my toys and leaving the sandbox.”

    So I thought about it. I ran it by some trusted male friends. We all agreed that I should reply with one word: “agreed.” because that’s NOT what he wanted to hear. He wanted me to beg and plead, he wanted me to apologize for daring to be critical. He wanted me to squirm, and then, he would wait a few days and “forgive” me.

    So in retaliation, he came by my home, TWO DAYS after “imposing” his three week code of silence on me, came up on my front porch, which is enclosed and part of my living area, and dumped a totebag that had potting supplies (and nothing else in it) in front of my bookcase with a loud thump. He knew I didn’t need those potting supplies and that I didn’t care about the totebag. We’d discussed it when I left it at his house and told him if he needed to use any of it to help himself.

    He just HAD to show me who’s boss. snort. So I called the police and was advised to email him and let him know he was not welcome at my home, because I’m certain he’ll be by again, with the gift I gave him my last visit there. I noticed it wasn’t in the totebag. If he really wanted me totally gone, he’d have included that. He doesn’t. He wants to keep punching me around with words. He’s terrified of losing his victim.

    He has no clue what I’ve agreed to do. I dumped him right then in my heart and mind. I’m going to wait three weeks – he’ll be feeling safely smug by then – and meet with him, in a public place, with one of my trusted male friends close by, and tell him to his face: “I want no contact with you. None. Never. Do not call, email, text, or visit. Ever.” And then I will walk away.

    And if he contacts me in any fashion, after I’ve said that in front of a witness, I will have the police on his ass so fast he’ll think his divorce was a cakewalk.

    Words like fists. They don’t always have to be foul.

    And Simone? I get it about isolating. I do it, too. I was smiling all the way through your description of it. I SO get it.

  8. Argent says:

    I also agree with Simone about this: ” the worst thing a man can do or say is to make me feel wanted and needed when I’m not really.” Mr. Man did that to me. He was so solicitous of my needs (as long as they didn’t cause him undue effort), he “only wanted me to be happy,” he told me how much he loved being with me, how much he wanted me, how delightful I was, how needed I was – and he did it in SO fucking MANY ways.

    And they were all lies. Every one of them.

    Because the first time I dared to contradict him; the first time I dared to intimate that he had done something hurtful; the first time I stand up for myself and show that I AM A WOMAN WITH DIGNITY, POWER AND SELF-ESTEEM, he’s punching me with words.

    One day I’ll find a good one. I just haven’t done it yet. :) I’ll be 50 next month – maybe by the time I’m 60? snort.

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