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Before you call me a maneater, I should point out that this wasn’t just any man; this was a three-year, on-again, off-again, ex man who got his feelings hurt by foolishly thinking that he could keep making me an option and I would continue to keep him as my priority. I totally know why he thought that, that’s how things had been for the majority of our relationship as I swallowed his explanations of why he couldn’t do this, or be there, or provide x, y, and z, and continued to put in work overtime to show him the value of investing in whatever bullcrap of a relationship we had. Eventually though, I found myself in a position of being the one getting her phone blown up, and being begged for explanations, and asked why I did this, that, and the third and you know what, it felt damn good.

It all started with taking a trip to my ex’s city. I had conveniently put up a status mentioning I was in the city, on his birthday no less, and though I know it was incredibly childish, I wanted him to know I was within arm’s reach yet didn’t bother to call. Though we had been in some sort of potential reconciliation stage a few months prior, we hadn’t spoken in months and for good reason, and not engaging him was a personal triumph for me and not necessarily a punishment for him. He called though. Almost as soon as was back in my hometown, I looked at my phone and found 24 missed calls within an 11-minute span. That’s that good old T-mobile rejection option for you—shows all the calls that came through but you don’t even have to hear them or be tempted to answer in the moment. I was curious what he had to say though and since I was far enough away that we couldn’t come in physical contact, I calmly called back and asked if something was wrong. That’s when I was grilled about where I was and why I didn’t call and when I said I was shown actions that told me he didn’t want to be called I was hung up on.

That was just the beginning. By the time my airport ride was over I had texts asking me what I was doing while in his city, why I didn’t call and when two minutes went by without a response I was called and asked why I didn’t answer, again why I didn’t call and questioned about who I was with as if he was still my man. Oh, but just in case I thought otherwise, by his obsessive inquisition, he wasn’t mad though. I obliged his questions, and repeated the details of my trip in a continuous circle as no matter whether we were talking about the sky being blue or the price of tea in China, we kept coming back to the same question of who was I messing with—again as if he deserved an answer.

In the midst of all this he somehow decided to give a speech that almost sounded like a breakup talk that I found extremely comical since in my head we’d been broken up for more than a year now. But since he wanted to let me know we were just “cool” now and nothing more, yet still continued with a modified question of whether I’d talked to anyone since we’d semi-rekindled things, I decided to be completely honest and say I had. Truthfully, the other person wasn’t even worth mentioning for the two, three weeks max that we were in contact with each other, but since my ex wanted to know and we were “just friends” now I figured I might as well appease him. I didn’t expect the reaction I got, but he obviously was fronting about how “just cool” we were because I suddenly became every name in the book other than Brande—which is very telling of a man’s character by the way—even though he wasn’t mad, he just thought it was “funny.” So funny, that he had to call me another 25 times, leave me four voicemails, send me a slew of texts about all the terrible things he wishes would happen to me, and still think that I would believe for a second he wasn’t mad, hurt (or crazy).

While I really should have been mad at the way he handled the situation, all I felt was an odd sense of satisfaction—increasingly with every call. I used to be the one blowing his phone up, asking where he was, why he wasn’t answering, why he did something to hurt me. But this time I just felt sorry for him because the more someone tries to prove to you how mad they’re not, the more you know just how hurt they are. And I wouldn’t even say it’s necessarily because he loved me so much and realized he lost me, some of his aggression was pure ego showing itself because he didn’t think I’d ever go anywhere because I’d tolerated so much, and that’s something I take responsibility for. There’s also something about not engaging someone when they want to transfer their anger to you that sets them off more than anything. I refused to stoop to his level or apologize for not doing anything wrong. I simply sent a friendly reminder that if he wanted to be mad at anyone, he should be mad at himself because he dropped the ball and didn’t step up to the plate like he should have, and from his perspective another man was now picking up where he left off, and that’s exactly where his mind needed to be.

The borderline harassment carried over to the next morning as more calls poured in nonstop from 10 am til about 10:45 the next day and when I finally answered and he claimed he wanted to talk about me “misleading” him I didn’t have time for it. Again, I reminded him that he was mad because his feelings were hurt because he had no one to blame for this situation but himself. He messed up and now he has to live with the consequence of that decision and by the sheer number of times he’s reached out to prove he’s not tripping, it’s evident he is. I, on the other hand, am chilling and relishing in the moment every woman who’s been in a bad relationship dreams about. The chance where she gets to flip the tables and transfer some of that hurt back to the person who first initiated it not in a vengeful way but more like something coming full circle. I didn’t set out to purposely inflict the level of anger, hurt, or whatever he’s going through over the course of our conversation but I can’t say I regret that he feels it, because it’s a pain I’ve known for much longer and that I won’t ever feel with him again. They say karma is a bia, and now he definitely knows it.

Have you ever felt just the slightest ounce of satisfaction when a man you’re over experiences the pain he caused you?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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