In a dark, dark house, down some dark, dark stairs there is a place known as singledom, where a girl lays holding a phone and looking at it pleadingly. Where once existed a plethora of love heart emojis and ‘you up?’ messages, now only an empty dialling tone endures. This girl has been ghosted.
Previously a fleshy, warm being laid between her arms, now a bottle of gin, a family sized pack of chocolate buttons and strong a hatred for beards and Acqua di Parma is in its place. For the man she thought she might get at least get a Valentine’s Day and one Christmas out of, is dead.
Having been ghosted more than a few times in my foray with millennial dating, I have felt the pain, anxiety and pure bewilderment at people disappearing from your life one day after they were checking in on what you are having for dinner. It is painful. There are so many unanswered questions (and a bit like when someone close to you dies) no one to answer them. What if you could find out what happened? What if you could ask them the whys, where’s and what the fucks? What if you could contact all the guys that have ever ghosted you and bring them back to life?
With Día de Muertos just around the corner, I began to think if this was possible? Could I reach out across the spirit world and find all the men that had ever left me on read? I absolutely could. So I donned my best Mystic Meg turban, dusted off my Ouija Board and leapt skull first into the soulless existence which is my phone contacts.
Contacting The Dead
As it turns out, my actual address book was a bit useless. I like to give the men that have ghosted me a good burial. Block and delete, my standard send off to those that have done me wrong. Instead, I was going to have to do my best Derek Acorah and really search the afterlife for the ghoulies. Creating my own one woman séance, I trawled through the depths of my social media to find the rotten corpses of those friend requests and Twitter DMs, until a few old faces popped up.
Apparently in Tinder heaven, there are a lot of marriages and new babies. Who’d have funked it? Instead of the fiery ending I had thought they’d been experiencing since they ghosted me, my ghosts were in fact floating on clouds of first wedding anniversary’s and chubby baby celebrations. Whilst I was being anally probed by the Bumble devil in a purgatory of endless single life, my ghosts had managed to move on, find love and be immensely more smug on the internet than I had expected. It really was a three-pronged twist to the gut.
Reawakening the Zombies
Sweaty palms slipped over my crystal ball as I made my first attempt to revive decade old conversations with people who had avoided me like poltergeist’s around a Priest. It felt strange trying to engage with people who had made it so clear they didn’t want to speak to me again. My pride shrivelled inside of me, as I sat chanting my mantra “erm why did you ghost me”.
There is no coincidence that being ghosted feels a bit like experiencing death. There is a grief to being ignored and shut out that envelops you when it happens. Sure, you want to jump back up and continue as normal once it happens, but there is a part of you that longs for that contact again. Becuase there is no closure. No staggered endings, no arguments, no ‘last words’. Just an end. Contacting these men for the first time since being ghosted felt like opening old wounds, past grief, that I had swallowed so hard to get over. Did I really want to know what they thought of me? Would be a bit like ripping off a plaster and then finding a wound full of rotting maggots? Probably.
Surprisingly, for men so keen to escape me, almost every one of my ghosts replied. Call me Sally Morgan, but turns out, after months of being lost in the Plenty of Fish Nirvana, my ghosts were coming through to me thick and fast. Quickly, my inbox was filled with paranormal activity, with ghosts keen to help me, offer their thoughts and contribute to my understanding of why they disappeared. I’d jumped blindly onto the ghost train, was it too late to get off?
Messaging the Other Side
As the messages descended into my inbox the myriad of feelings permeating off of me were vast. For some I felt that icky feeling like ghostly mandibles scrapping down my back. An immediate regret of ever bringing that person back to life as their creepy, disturbing DM’s gave me the chills. That previous anger towards them firing up like a flames around a cauldron. But yet, in some liaisons with the ghosts, there was an intense desire to keep in contact. Unfinished business still radiating between us, with me wishing the contact to continue way after the messages came to a natural end. There I was again, trawling through magic books, hoping I’d be able to concoct a witches’ brew to make them realise their mistake and pin my hopes on a ‘second chance’. But once they’re dead, they’re dead. The rotting remains of what once was never quite being resurrected to its best.
The reasons for ghosting me where vast and varied. For some it was their own lives, too busy, too hectic, too ‘I am still in love with the mother of my child.’ Those messages made me feel the most at peace. It wasn’t my overt keeness, the thickness of my waist, the quality of my after breakfast burrito. It was their own stuff, their actions a regret, and often an apology was shared and received and I felt thankful.
With others it was because they were in fact the scared ones, hiding behind the sofa, snivelling in fear. They escaped with the help of the reject key, too afraid that I might have been upset, or ‘erratic’ if they had dared to tell me truth. Some people can cope with emotions and others run away from them as fast Slimer from a Proton Gun. We live in a world where we can distances ourselves from our actions, believing that they will be OK if we don’t have to face up to what we’ve done. But if a relationship is dead, then the most decent thing you can do is bury it.
At times, I saw my own faults. My desire to adapt to what I thought was their perfect person. When I believed they just wanted some fun and availability, there I was, when in truth they were looking for ‘the one.’ Misreading signs and reinventing myself in what I thought was their ideal woman, when actually I was driving them away. There are lessons to be learnt about staying true to myself and not losing my way when my confidence is on the floor. Sometimes your spooked and sometimes you spook others.
Finally, there were the ones that haunted me. The men I dropped my standards for. People I gave second and third chances to. The gents that ghosted me more than once and still I let them float back into my life, feeding me bullshit and love bombs. Given the amount of ectoplasm I’ve allowed myself to be covered with the past few years, you’d think I’d be an expert Ghostbuster by now, but alas the lessons learnt were ‘hard’ but often ‘short’ lived ones. Some people just deserve to Rest in Pieces.
And once all the messages were read, and some ghosts were laid to rest and I covered my home in crucifixes and burnt ten tonnes of sage; what had I really learnt by contacting the men that ghosted me? That it’s easier to raise men from the dead than it is to get a reply on Tinder.
Have you ever been ghosted? Would you love your own seance to find out why? Let me know in the comments or you can contact me on my socials where I’ll be exorcising all the dick pics from my DM’s.