“You’re kind of a fixer-upper.”
I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Please keep in mind that a guy who, at the time, was choosing to date me said this. To my face.
I should have dumped him right then. It was really a fairly accurate portrayal of the relationship. We would fight, he would sigh like a martyr, and he would make the conclusion that it was all my fault, obviously, but he was just going to have to put up with me because I was, you know, three years younger and obviously incapable of rational thought. “You’re kind of a fixer-upper,” was uttered at the end of one such fight.
But, instead of dumping him, I think I just stood there and looked pained. He back-pedaled a little. Not much. He tried to explain that he meant I was a “work in progress.” That didn’t sound much better to me.
I think the thing, probably, that hurt so much about this was that he’d just thrown one of my deepest insecurities right up in my face. I feared that I would always be this second-rate, mediocre person, in need of a whole lot of help and maybe never able to meet my potential.
I heard, “I might love you someday, but right now, you’re not good enough for me.” I heard, “You are a piece of crap that people only put up with because they can’t find anyone better.” I heard, “I am getting out of this relationship as soon as I do find someone better. But since I’m banging you, I guess I’ll stick around a while.”
The shit of it is that I believed him. Sure, I was mad, but I believed him about the supposed fact that I was a “fixer-upper.” I honestly had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t good enough for anyone, even the asshat standing in front of me, comparing me to a crappy house.
It took years to get over that. Not just the worst thing Matt ever said, not just the relationship, but the feeling that I was never good enough, and that everyone who loved me really only did it because they could get something from me for a little while, and then they would move on when they found someone better.
So I think that makes Matt the winner. Prize of Worst Thing Anyone Ever Said To Me goes to the esteemed Matt. I’m sure he’s honored.