I don’t know about other writers, but I am having a very hard time not writing about my ex-boyfriend, even using a pseudonym and changing it up a little so people won’t be able to identify him. Of course I write about the breakup in my journal and call him all kinds of names (WITHOUT using a pseudonym and God help me if I ever lose my laptop). But that’s not what I mean. I mean writing about him in stories and essays and getting him out of my system for good and all. Writing is how I get things out of my system. That is why I have two blogs and write for a living.
For instance, I’m working on an erotic version of Cinderella right now, for a novella which I hope to turn into a series (it’s not porn, it’s erotica, tastefully done). And God help me, I want to make him a character in this story. And not Prince Charming, either, I want to make him the half-witted stable boy. Which isn’t really fair because my ex is a lot of things but half-witted is not one of them (he’s probably the smartest person I know, besides me). But that evil, vindictive little voice in my head, which I usually try to ignore, tells me to do it, and have him suffer all kinds of humiliation, much like the humiliation he put me through only more primeval. Like falling face first in a pile of horse manure.
I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to do something like that when the person can’t defend him- or herself. And I suppose that, as time goes by, the vindictive little voice in my head will shut up and not provide me with a thousand and one entertaining and humiliating ways to incorporate him into my work. It’s hard enough keeping him out of my blog, which clearly I’m not doing a very good job of since I’m writing about him right now. But this is a blog, so he CAN defend himself here. He can sign in any old time and write a nasty comment, or a nice one, defending his right to do what he did and to let me go through what I went through without any support from a man who told me I was the love of his life (I have since found out that he’s said that to every single woman he’s been with so…). I mean, I have open comments, I don’t even check them out first before they get published because I think that’s assholish – like I have the right to tell people what they can and cannot think of my work. So writing about this here is one thing. Making him into a stable boy with a hair full of horse poop? Not so good.
And I don’t even really want to do it in the Blog Universe. Before we broke up, we had a lot of the same friends on a lot of social networks, and I pimp my blog on almost all of them, so people who know him and who know me are going to know who I’m talking about. That’s why I haven’t referred to the situation between us at all since it happened three or four weeks ago. Aside from the fact that I spent pretty much all my time in the fetal position except when I absolutely had to work, I wanted to put distance and perspective on it before I put it out there. And then I decided that it would be really childish of me to put the details of our breakup on a public blog where everyone could see it, so I chose instead to tell only my closest friends the details. To the rest of the world I’m just single again.
I think my wanting to incorporate him into my writing is a way for me to keep him in my life. My characters all become a part of my life. I live with them in my head all day long, thinking up new plot twists for them, or dialogue, or whatever. So if I make him the stable boy, I can keep hating on him and piling on the literary humiliation. On the other hand, if I make him Prince Charming, I can wander around all day with him in my head with all the wonderful attributes he has as a person intact (because he is, basically, a good person – I just don’t like the way he treated me at the end, but that’s just the way he deals with things). Whichever the case, it’s not healthy for me to keep him in my head.
So THIS time, writing is not going to be the way to get him out of my system. Even though I just wrote about him. You don’t have to tell me that, I already know. Maybe I’ll talk to my therapist instead. And make my OTHER ex the stable boy.