This morning, I took some of my own medicine. And it’s not that “for medicinal purposes only” booze I keep under the mattress either. It’s me following my own advice.
I have a high school acquaintance that is absolutely enamored with me. Those words die on my tongue because it sounds so egotistical to me. But, when this person has followed me from internet service to service over the course of a decade or more, I think that spade should be called a spade.
Here’s the thing. He’s special needs. I believe he’s on the autism spectrum with a below average intelligence. I only mention that because it seems as if my “thanks but no” talks and years of ignoring his behavior hasn’t sunk in. And I am to the point where I think it never will. I believe that social norms and cues are lost on him. It’s not that he’s awful, it’s who he is. And to expect that to change is unreasonable, but I’m also uncomfortable with all the attention. I’m also confused as to why I’m getting as much of his mental energy as I am. He’s in a long term relationship with his partner, and they seem very happy. I’m very glad for them too. However, over the years he’s found me on various social media platforms, a couple IM services. He’s even tried to get to me by pestering mutual friends of ours about where I am and what I’m doing. It got to the point where myself and another friend stopped using Yahoo chat because he wouldn’t leave either of us alone. He’s never been threatening. I don’t particularly fear him. He’s just. . . Well, if he had his druthers he’d be around me all the time.
What finally did it was this morning. Weeks, if not months ago, he’d sent a request to reconnect that I had declined. I woke up to his comment on an item with public visibility. It wasn’t out of line. It wasn’t vulgar. The only think overtly wrong was he used “your” instead of “you’re”. What stuck in my craw was his need to be present as much as he can. And it’s starting to feel like he’d gather up all the hair I cut off at the salon and sniff it. It’s getting creepy.
I didn’t think to block him immediately. I was initially just annoyed. I mean, he’s harmless, right? Why use the nuclear option? Then I heard myself in my own head, telling anyone else who found themselves in this situation that it’s not ok. That you shouldn’t have to worry about them popping up and making you uncomfortable like that. It’s not acceptable behavior and you shouldn’t have any guilt about doing what you can to prevent finding yourself a target of unwanted and unreciprocated attention. So, I pulled up my big girl panties and clicked block. I’m not joyous about it. I’m not playing “Ding dong, the witch is dead” on repeat. I’m keeping it quiet today so I can listen to that little voice in my head that is saying, “You done good, kid. Way to take your own advice.”.