—Amy Elliott Dunne (Gone Girl, 2014)
I used to be Cool Girl.
I didn't mind being the only one making all the effort to see him so we can be together.
I totally understood that he didn't have a source of stable income. I would provide for us when I needed to.
I'd nod in agreement to every word he said. I always viewed things from his perspective so I could understand him and the way he thinks. I laughed at his jokes.
Every time I'd invite him to dinners so he can finally meet my friends, he'd get sick at the last minute. Or he'd still have work to finish. Or something just comes up.
No matter where, no matter when—I'm always there to support his career. But every time I'd ask him to come with me to one of my gigs (shoots or guestings), he'd get sick too, or would just have something else better to do.
When he likes to watch porn, I'd watch porn with him.
He wanted to watch porn while having sex, I said sure. Even if it made me feel a bit less than human as his eyes kept glued to the screen as we did.
He was insinuating a threesome, I told him I'm game for that too (although it never materialized).
Any time he's in the mood to get intimate, I'd get naked that same minute and make sure he is pleased. If I was in the mood and he's not up for it, I get called a nymphomaniac.
As much as I could, I avoided asking his help for anything.
Cool Girls are independent women who can look after themselves.
Through the course of the relationship, I only complained twice, if not thrice. I became an expert in hiding my feelings and tucking my issues under the rug. Cool Girl didn't want to be called Drama Queen, no matter how valid my complaints were.
The first was hard to take seriously (for the both of us) because I was high on shrooms (hallucinogen). The others were towards the end of our time together.
I can brag on and on and on about how cool I was.
I was that girlfriend.
The Cool Girl.
But no matter how much he may have loved and enjoyed being in a relationship with Cool Girl, truth of the matter is, I resented her.
Cool Girl always put a hand over my mouth when I had something crucial to say.
Shush. Complaining isn't a very cool thing to do. It's the opposite. You don't wanna be "uncool" now, do you?
Nobody likes a fussy girl. He's just being a guy. It's all good.
You're being too dramatic. Let it go.
You're overreacting. He probably meant it as a joke.
Suck it up. Just shut up. Now smile, and say everything is fine.
She did this for months.
I remodelled everything that made up who I am—my values, my beliefs, my perspective, my words, my behavior—to perfectly fit Cool Girl, by his definition.
To him everything was fine, but to me who had to portray the character, well, life was miserable, and I didn't know who I was anymore.
All for being the Cool Girl.
His Cool Girl.
If I'm going to be brutally honest, I can't even say it was love that made me conform.
It was lust. Just lust. Purely carnal.
It's insane how I managed to turn my back on who I was to be Cool Girl just so I could get along with a man like him.
More than how crazy this all sounds, it's petrifying if you come to think of it.
I was that enslaved to drugs and lust that I lost myself—to the point of becoming somebody I didn't know, someone I never wanted to become.
Enslavement means dissatisfaction no matter how much you get. And this strong, insatiable hunger—towards any feeling, any person, any pleasure, or anything of this world—is usually what most monsters are made of.
I created my own monster.
And not only that—I embodied it.
Thankfully, before I even got any closer to reaching Amy Elliott Dunne's first level of psycho (I think it's safe to assume she's got a lot), Jesus entered the picture and woke me up from the nightmare I forced myself into.
I could have projected all my negative feelings of anger and resentment towards the man I chose to be in relationship with...but why would I do that?
He was already who he was when I met him. It was subtly laid down from the beginning that I either accept him for what he is, or I don't. (He wouldn't mind either way.)
And so I became the ultimate compromiser—cutting corners and filling out edges—like jamming some sort of puzzle piece to perfectly match his, even if it's quite obvious that the two just don't fit.
I didn't give myself the right to attempted homicide. I didn't want to.
It was clear what I needed to do to end my misery and give myself a chance to start all over again.
Bring Cool Girl to her demise.
After all, she's the one responsible for my wretchedness.
For impulsively saying I love you back when he first said it, just so the night won't end with an awkward situation and a dented ego.
For pretending not to mind when he doesn't appreciate the little things I keep doing for his convenience.
For saying it's fine, I understand when he said he just wasn't ready to introduce me to his parents (after months of being together) yet, after his mom asked him when they could meet me.
For having my mouth kept shut when I should've been expressing in the early stages of the relationship that I honestly think the direction we were both headed to was destruction.
I blame Cool Girl. This is all on her.
I hated how pompous she was. I loathed at how excellent she got at pretending.
I had to get rid of her so I can have room to live. She had to vanish.
I've been told that the best way to kill a monster is to starve it.
By choosing Him and the life I genuinely wanted for myself, I finally put an end to Cool Girl.
I no longer wanted to be her. Or at least, his version of her. She wasn't me. It was exhausting trying to keep up with her ever-expanding web of lies and pretences.
Doing the right thing isn't always easy—sometimes it's even the hardest to bear. But I'd rather endure the consequences that followed Cool Girl's death than suffer my own.
Isn't that the worst thing that could happen to any human being? When you're merely alive, not living?
A year has gone by.
Cool Girl has resurrected.
No longer as his Cool Girl, but His.
I AM Cool Girl. And this time, I can feel how real it is. To the core of my soul. There is nothing fake about her.
I'm His Cool Girl now.
Everything that I am working hard for, every decision I make, is geared towards fulfilling His definition of Cool Girl—God-fearing, honest, joyful, compassionate, genuine, excellent, and loves herself first so she can mirror the same love to others.
I don't have to act it out. I don't have to try so hard to be Cool Girl. All I do is fix my eyes upon Him, the One who turned my world up side down, the One who died so I can have life.
We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and He is the One who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But He accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy He could see waiting for Him. And now He is sitting at the right side of God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2).
I will always be grateful to Christ's overwhelming faithfulness. Jesus never fails to show me my worth through His eyes, specially when I need it the most. Being in a relationship with Him, being guided by Him, being loved by Him—these fulfill the deepest desires of my soul that no one can ever take away.
He makes me beautiful. He perfects my soul. He makes me the Cool Girl I've always wanted to be.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
I'm sure a lot of other women have gone through what I've been through. Laughing at what he said when in reality you wanted to call him out for it, justifying his behavior in your head so it doesn't sting so bad, convincing yourself that everything's okay when none of it is. You're basically killing your own spirit as you continue undermining your entire worth as a woman.
You don't have to be a watered-down, insecure version of THE Legitimate Cool Girl, all for the sake of some guy you're not even sure you want to be with for the rest of your life.
Do you want to live a lie pretending to be somebody's Cool Girl?
Or do you want to live in His Truth and be transformed to His real definition of Cool Girl?
You can choose. It's never too late to decide.