Listen, Linda: I Said Leave Me Alone and I Meant It

Olivia Bettorf


Happy April Lindas! Another month, another lovely cup of tea to sip on. I’m going to go ahead and put the food service horrors on hold and talk about something a bit more serious, even though it may petty of me to still keep holding onto. So this Listen Linda will be about none other than the greatest gossip topic that everybody loves to hear about: Exes.

Almost everyone has had an ex or two. Others have had worse than us, and bless those souls who put up with that. Others think that they lost their one true love.

I, on the other hand, had dropped one of the biggest mistakes and wastes of time in my life during my last year of high school.

So, of course, we will call this ex Linda, because to me he acted like a big man but had the behavior of a spoiled little girl. Why do I say this? Because there were more bad and dramatic moments than good ones.

It was one of those exes who intentionally put the blame on you and then would say “I’m sorry, I’ve just missed you!” and suck you back in in a matter of seconds.

I should give a little background. We went to school together but I didn’t really meet him until about eighth grade.

That eventually turned into a mess, as he wanted me to drop everything and just talk to him (like as soon as I got home from school after we had just seen each other thirty minutes prior). So, I did what any other 13 year old would do when they are pretty annoyed; I ignored him because he made me so mad by accusing me of flirting with every guy I saw. These were friends I had before we had even met.

I was about to go on my very first trip to Disney, and I didn’t want him ruining it so I told him to leave me alone. I ignored him until we got back to the first day of my sophomore year and he broke up with me in a text. Within the next day or two, he was asking me for forgiveness.

Here’s where I messed up: senior year was around the corner, and we started to talk again because my “friends” at the time were also his friends and cousins. So naturally, both of our hormones kicked in and we started dating again.  

So it started off great and I genuinely thought he had changed. Things lasted for about two or three months. I made a bigger mistake by giving in to my hormones as well. This is the part where it all really went wrong. It eventually made me feel like I was in a toxic place. But I was also going through a lot of emotional stress. On top of that, I had theater practice and work to balance as well.

If I didn’t drop everything, if I didn’t call off work for him, he always said: “It’ll make you look like a bad girlfriend”. This boy threw a little pouty fit anytime I said no and then said: “But it’ll make us closer because science said so”. I bet this boy didn’t really know a thing about me unless it was I who told him, and even then he wouldn’t remember.

So how did I leave? I’m sorry, veterans of Lewis and Clark, but I sent him a “Dear John” letter. He decided that he was going into the military, specifically the Marines. This boy -not man- got three different fractures in his leg, along with shin-splints every other week (he also had this happen to him before he was sent to boot camp) mainly because he wasn’t stretching well enough.

After a few weeks, I was going crazy and eventually decided I was finished. I like to believe that if I didn’t get out of this relationship soon, I could possibly get trapped and not even able to see any of the friends I had made. So I sent Linda the letter along with some money to pay him back for some of the stuff he had helped me with before the relationship went downhill, and returned his stuff.

There was one thing of his that I had that hasn’t been returned because his family was going to make me wait until he got back in January. I couldn’t agree to that, so I kindly returned his stuff and left it at that.

I should mention that in the letter I said: “We need a lot of time apart and please do not contact me for a while.” But instead of  “a while”, I truly meant “never”. I want nothing to do with him or his family. I cut off everybody, including the people I thought were my “real friends”.

So, about two months passed, something tragic happened in the community and to a lot of my fine arts friends. We decided to meet up at a local football game. I eventually started talking to a friend I have known since fourth grade.

He told me so much that I didn’t even know had happened and what was said by Linda and his family behind my back. They wanted to start rumors; this guy’s Mother told him that I was changing and that she thought I was a lesbian.

I laughed at this, but she also apparently stated that I “would be arrested for ever coming near their property”. Then I was told that they wanted to kill me for making a “lifestyle choice” that wasn’t theirs. Even though it wouldn’t be a choice in the first place, even if I were a lesbian. So, I blocked them all on social media and from my phone and literally deleted them out of my life as much as possible for my own safety.

Then it happened…

Feb. 2019 rolled around and Linda had the freaking nerve to try and add me back on Snapchat. After I had said please do not contact me. I said please as nicely as I could in that letter.

So I unblocked him for point five seconds, told him to never contact me again. I also told him to get out of my life, get rid of all my contact information, and to leave me alone.

I eventually heard through the grapevine a lot of dark and bad things that I don’t wish to repeat over such a widespread forum. I don’t want to completely diminish the character of this particular Linda, as I respect their service to America. I only wish to thoroughly criticize these types of people who display such characteristics.

I took in this information and had a little inner monologue, “You’re right; you shouldn’t care.” and then I left it there.

I did not hear his side of things, because I did not want to. There is no excuse to how he acted and treated me during that time we were together. If he can not respect my wishes to be left alone now, he will not respect anything about me in the future.

I want to wish this Linda, and their family, the best of luck. I don’t wish for there to be any animosity or future ill will. With that explicitly expressed, I hope to impart a little moral, or that you can gain some advantage from having read my experience.

So Linda, if you do see this or if your family does. I would like to tell you that my life has been freaking amazing without you or your family. Also, I got asked out by a guy.

I am starting to take interest in him and so far it has been great because he actually cares about me! He happens to enjoy me and respects my wishes regarding physical affection. He also knows how to take no for an answer.

Also to Linda’s Mom: I am not a lesbian, nor am I straight. I am just simply being me and doing well in life.

So listen Linda: Find someone who will love you for you and is understanding with a busy schedule. If you are in the kind of relationship Linda and I were in, run for your life, and mental health. They are not worth it.  

Until next my Dear Listen Linda, be cool, stay safe, and have a lovely spring.

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