The truth kinda hurts.
Today, I’m not ok.
Today, I miss him so much that there is an ever-present clench in my heart no matter how hard I try to suppress it.
Today, the pain feels almost as bad as it did when we first broke it off.
I attended an old friend’s wedding yesterday with a bunch of other friends whom I’ve stayed in touch with over the years. Since most of us are married, most of our time was spent talking about how sharing your life with someone is a balancing act. It requires tolerance, patience, the willingness to let a lot of things go instead of picking a fight with every small matter, and compromise. Lots of compromise.
Since I’m still trying to figure out things in my life, it was a nice opportunity to sit back and look at how my friends adapt and work in tandem with each other to make things work (or to feed their adorable kids who were refusing to eat).
And it dawned on me that although you may love someone with your whole heart and you would be willing to do anything for them, you can’t guarantee that the other person does and will, too.
Sometimes, we compromise so much that we realize it takes two people to make things work.
You can’t be the only one compromising and giving in.
You can’t be the only one to make sacrifices while the other person gets everything that he wants. Yes, love in unconditional. You can’t expect something from someone when you are giving your love to them. At the same time, if you are the only one giving, how is that relationship going to function?
Maybe that’s where I eventually went wrong. I was constantly walking on eggshells when it came to talking about my feelings with him because I didn’t want to look like I was clingy. Our general conversations were always fun but when it came to feelings, it was always a mess. Everytime I had to bring up a personal conversation, I would always feel guilty afterwards because things would become awkward very fast.
Although I still need some self-convincing from time to time, I’ve come to realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty. I should have the right to ask for clarifications or explanations when I’m uncertain about things. The requests do not have to be delivered in a negative way because it will simply backfire if you attack with anger, though. In fact, I think the only time we actually really fought was last week, and we’re not even together anymore. Sure, we had disagreements here and there but never a full out angerfest. I’m not even going to slag him off here because I know that I cannot expect a person mirror my emotional standards or needs.
When a person doesn’t seem to match your standards and needs, it is not his fault. It is just who he is. However, it is a problem when you keep matching his standards and needs but he is refusing to meet yours. The ex did try. I’ve seen him attempt it many times. But maybe it eventually just got too much for him? Or maybe our cultural differences played a part too. I come from a culture where it is a cultural norm to always be gentle with your words so that you do not offend the person you are talking to. He, however, comes from a culture where subtext does not exist. Everything is very much literal and direct. So you can imagine the amount of offense and confusion that occurred between us.
Maybe I’m going through a relapse where I feel guilty for bring up certain issues in the relationship that were bugging me in a big way. Maybe today, I’m feeling that ever-friendly feeling of regret and wish that I shouldn’t have done what I did. Logically though, I realize that the issues were going to come up regardless. It was better for me to know early on than to know later when I’ve invested so much of my emotions on him. So, self, please shove that guilt away!
Honestly, I don’t even know what I’m rambling about here (because I’m so exhausted from travelling for the wedding) but I just needed to get these thoughts out because I just miss him so much and instead of choosing to sit and pine away for him, I’d rather express my thoughts like this.
Duke Orsino was a dude who was in love with love. If my ability to predict astrology stereotypes are correct, I’d assume that he’s a Libra, especially with his penchant for music and ability to switch from one obsession to the next so quickly.
Lately, my Spotify has been working overtime to suit my heartbreak needs. I have to be careful with the last song that I let display on my Facebook profile though because Spotify is a sore subject between the ex and I and I’m pretty certain that he monitors my songs because he thinks it’ll give him a glimpse into my head space.
(There was some following-unfollowing drama that I discovered recently and it’s something I’d rather forget about)
Hah. Because I am 12 and I like to make it that obvious that I am pining over him by playing sad sad breakup songs for him to discover? #sarcasmfont
Once, I left Red Light Special from TLC as my Last Played song just to screw with his mind.
In reality though (and by reality, I mean my Private Session playlist), there are some songs that should fall under the Default Breakup Songs playlist. Recently, I discovered a song that not only falls into that category but is perhaps the most epic of all breakup songs. So epic that I started crying at the office while listening to it 40 times.
*passes tissue paper around* THIS SONG IS SO SAD.
Apart from The Breakup Song (so meta!), these are the other songs that I’ve been playing on repeat:
- Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey
- We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
- A Little Bit Stronger – Sara Evans
- All Cried Out – Allure
- Never Ever – All Saints
- One Last Cry – Brian Mcknight
- Don’t Say Goodbye – Human Nature
- On Bended Knee – Boyz II Men
- Water Runs Dry – Boyz II Men
- No Me Ames – Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
- She’s Out of My Life – Michael Jackson (ooooooooh this one’s painful)
- Perfectly Lonely – John Mayer
- Don’t Break My Heart Slow – Vonda Shepard
As you can see, true to my age, it’s a 90s-heavy playlist. I’m sure there are more but these are pretty much the ones that I can think of right now. I don’t mind getting more suggestions! Might as well open myself up to more songs to fill up the void that I’m feeling inside.
Just A Little Backstory
I had my first major breakup when I was 18. It was my first relationship ever and we were both consumed with ourselves. I used to write short stories, he used to write poetry. We’d express our feelings towards each other through our preferred mediums. Six months later, the relationship crashed and burned like an epic love story gone wrong. That was in 2002. Fast-forward to 2014 and apparently, he’s still not over us. I’m over him but I have to admit that he did set the bar pretty high when it came to the type of guys I fell for after him. So high in fact that no man has ever come close to it except for this one that I’m trying to get over.
So that means that it’s going to be a bumpy recovery.
On To The Point Of This Post
So the thing is, words have always been synonymous to love and heartbreak for me. I’ve come to learn that it’s what you say and how you say things that makes the biggest difference. Words can hurt, and words can soothe. Words can heal and words can kill.
And sometimes, through words, when they are found in books, can make things just a little bit better.
Last week, I downloaded Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt’s book, It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken onto my Kindle. I was beginning to find myself repeating the same things over and over again to my friend, or Breakup Buddy as the book calls it, so I knew that it was time I seek some help from self-help books. And I didn’t want to buy the book at the bookstore because do I really need to tell the whole world that I am going through a breakup?
Hello salt, meet my open wound.
So Kindle it was and like a teenage boy secretly reading his first adult magazine, I pawed through it like a crazy person.
“Being brokenhearted is like having broken ribs. On the outside it looks like nothing’s wrong, but every breath hurts. Let’s just say my ribs were broken for a long time.”
It’s through though. No one can see it. And maybe that’s why it’s so hard to talk about it sometimes. Because you don’t want people to see your pain. But at the same time, maybe that’s why you can’t seem to stop talking about it. Because you want people to understand that you are going through pain.
I’ve been luckily enough to have friends around me who are willing to be my Breakup Buddies. Breakup Buddies are heaven sent. They are blessed with patience that is incomparable. It takes an extra patient saint to be able to tolerate a person’s constant whining, crying, screaming, wailing and over-analyzing about her ex and still have the patience to be objective and supportive while providing constructive criticisms towards your behaviour. Like, for real, I’m buying each of my Breakup Buddies a little gift next month as a thank you because they deserve it (and more).
In It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, they’ve listed the qualities that a Breakup Buddy should have to ensure that the recovery process will be able to go on as smoothly as possible. They are:
- Has at least a mild knowledge of your relationship
- Is a good listener or is good at pretending they are
- Thinks you’re the cat’s pajamas!
- Has a cell phone, pager, or other reliable way of being contacted
- Lives in close enough proximity to be accessible during emergency breakup meltdowns
- Has an hour a day to talk to you should you need them
- Has been through a breakup as well
- Does not work as a professional clown
Every girl going through a breakup needs a Breakup Buddy. We can’t do this alone. And although number 5 is sort of necessary, my journey has shown me that the person does not necessarily have to be there physically sometimes as long as they are there when you reach out.
See, the ugly truth about girl friendships is your friendship can be awesome but it is never truly tested until one of you goes through a breakup. You can be surprised at who is able to handle you at your weakest state and who isn’t.
My next book: Mars and Venus Starting Over!
My biggest fear is that he’ll discover this blog.
At the same time, I’m all, “WHAT ARE YOU WATING FOR, HUH? I’M RIGHT HERE!”
Some form of closure was reached last night. Not the way I’d have liked it to go but at least it’s now done and over with. He tried to hurt my feelings by being mean. Threw all kinds of accusations and kept insisting that I should just go away and stop being so persistent.
I didn’t know that texting you ONCE in a whole month was considered persistent.
Like, really, dude? REALLY?
See, this is why going ghost is the stupidest and the most cowardly way to leave a relationship. And knowing him, not only did he go ghost but I found out that he’s been stalking my Facebook page too. OBVIOUSLY he thought I was hounding him. All my posts that are not related to him, all the songs that are not related to him and all the status updates that are not related to him must be about him, right? Like, of course I’ve been thinking of him night and day, with every single electronic footprint that I leave behind signifying a breadcrumb that is supposed to lead him back to me.
Don’t be cowards. Deal with a breakup with a closure conversation. If you take the time to actually explain what is going on, things could have been much different. Emotions would be less heightened. Life is too short to be angry, especially if it’s to someone you once had deep feelings for.
When one person is being mean to another person, the only way to handle the situation is to probably be nice, tactful, firm and polite. That was what my mama taught me. I tried. At four in the freaking a.m.. Have you tried composing a calm closure text at 4 a.m. when the other person has just accused you of things that you didn’t even do? It’s HARD.
And as much as you’d like to retaliate by being mean as well, taking the higher road will always make you feel better the next day. Being mean, won’t.
I only had 2 hours of sleep because it took me an hour to compose a message, an hour before he replied, and another hour for me to process. It was a brutal night and I was like a slurring drunk at work while I filled my friend in on what happened. No, I wasn’t drunk. Unless you can get high on coffee. Because I sure was.
I’m angry at him for being so mean. It’s one thing to hear mean things. It’s another thing to read them.
But I’m also glad and thankful for a few things:
- That I was not emotional and managed to carry myself with dignity (I checked with friends and they said that I handled it like a cool chick so yay!)
- That I finally got my closure
- That I am not blaming myself for anything and that I am aware of my worth and my self-respect and value
Taking the high road is seriously hard but one of us has to do it. I might as well take it with my fabulous life that I know he’s quite jealous of. Eh, it’s the best part about being the older woman who dated a younger man. *flips hair*
For real though, don’t read this post if you’re feeling stronger and more confident today. If you’re in need of a good cry, maybe this post will help get those tear ducts working.
It’s no secret that poetry, music and films play huge roles when it comes to taming the grieving beasts that live inside us. There’s something about the words, the melody and the visualization of pain that sometimes heals and at times helps us feel less alone.
It helps to know that there are other people out there who understand our inner struggles. That painful kick that you get in your heart when you read, hear or watch something that reminds you specifically of your own situation. Or that relief that washes over you when you recognize someone else who knows just exactly what you’re going through.
I came across Lang Leav’s poems through Tumblr. It started way before things ended with him. Her poems about love and feeling appreciated spoke to my happy state of mind. Lately, her sad poems are speaking to my pain and my sadness.
Invest in waterproof mascara and eyeliner while you’re going through this painful journey.
Cause when you find yourself sobbing away for an hour in your friend’s office, the lesson that we should take from this is one should always be prepared for the unexpected bawling session. One should not have to end up walking around the office looking like this:
It’s like the worst kind of smokey eye effect everrrrrrrr.
You know how people keep saying, “Oh, just keep busy. Drown yourself in work and you’ll be so distracted, you’ll forget about him eventually!”
Please tell me that I’m not the only one who doesn’t believe in this? Does this actually work? Because it hasn’t been working for me at all.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong because I can be drowning in work and he’ll still be at the back of my mind like a niggling itch that is demanding to be scratched. And the only way to scratch it is by:
- Going on to his Facebook page (which I’m attempting, trying, desperately motivated to go cold turkey on) and spending 10 minutes on it, looking at every single clue that may tell me about what he’s been up to
- Going on Google and searching for ‘Why do Aquarius men suddenly disappear?’ posts as I prepare myself for a downward spiral (Have you guys SEEN the number of posts for this particular sign though?)
- Going on Google and searching for ‘How to be classy after a breakup’ posts
- Going on Google (notice a theme?) and searching for articles that talk about how I should be glad that he’s gone
- Going on YouTube and watching videos by Matthew Hussey because the way he talks about how women should appreciate themselves and their standards never fails to make me feel better (and I like his face).
Done With Love
Will You Ever Find ‘The One’?
For Any Woman Who’s Ever Had Her Heart Broken
Moving on isn’t a simple switch on – switch off process. Maybe it is for some people but it definitely isn’t for me. In fact, it’s extra hard because we used to work in the same office. So the pantry, the lifts, the corridors and even the washrooms (we used to flirt around before entering our respective washrooms) (it was weird but fun) would remind me of him.
It’s the slow process of trying to disassociate memories of him with the things that I keep seeing around me everyday that’s making it extra painful. There is no ripping band aid effect. I can’t toss my workstation or my office building into a box and then burn it at a bonfire surrounded by my girlfriends as I gaze longingly into the flame, thinking about how YES I WILL FIND LOVE AGAIN ONE DAY.
I mean, I could set my office building on fire but I don’t think being an arsonist is part of the recovery process.
So what does a girl do when she is constantly reminded of him? She pouts when no one is looking. She clutches her heart and whispers a silent, “Damn you!” to the sky (or the office ceiling tile) as though he’s able to hear her.
This article by Eric Charles did give me some reassurance that I may not be the only one suffering through this pain. Sure, he ghosted but come on. There’s no way he doesn’t miss me, right? Even if he doesn’t, can we just let me believe that he does and he’s hurting like hell too?