From the bridge, I see the shoreline shift, move away upstream. A flow in the strong current plows toward the pillar beneath us. The ice solid, an island glides in the roiling water and strikes. Slush drives up the pillar, the ice sheet cleaves in two, but the dock does not quiver. I look up and catch your eyes – we lean over the railing, faces broken in grins while eyes sparkle. – to the one who wants to go ice-fishing
A good friend of mine asked me the other day why people hide when they are sad. Or why they choose not to tell everyone and scream it out loud. Maybe, so we don’t receive pity? Maybe because we all just pretend or we don’t want to bother others? I have this humbling ability that I sometimes see life one brief moment at a time – and it feels good. I knew I needed a change from my previous relationship and move on. Life could not go on like this. After the breakup, I reminded myself constantly that there is life beyond my bed, that I need to finish my research essay to obtain my Master’s degree, that I need to feed my son and myself (with healthy food) and that life isn’t actually over. This all kept me going. I remember how comforting it was to have a family to talk to and my closest friends around to help me out. I was a disaster for some time.
I journaled and wrote furiously through all of it. About feelings I felt, realizations I had and advice I found particularly helpful or profound. Although none of my previous breakups hit me quite as hard (maybe because this time my son was involved), nothing stings as acutely as believing I had lost the person who promised to always love me and be faithful. What is a promise? I guess the only way through a breakup is to give it time. I let myself feel the pain because I knew I won’t heal otherwise and may forget how to love altogether.
When the bad times outnumber the happy times, it is time to leave. While it may seem like I left everything, it’s my nostalgia talking. As soon as I got my little froggy self out of the metaphorical frying pan, I saw how life does go on, and how much space my marriage filled. That space can now be anything I choose. Also, I am somewhat permanent and everything else is sort of temporary. Just staying with the person because I am afraid of being without him is the wrong reason to be in a relationship.
I moved out and into the right place to find myself and heal. In some way, I was frightened, as if I had found myself on a new path that I had to discover alone. Also, when I moved it initially felt like being attached to the ghost of my previous marriage, unable to live in it or get away from it. I looked at the bright side. There is peace here and calm. I can do whatever I want and this sensation gave me a feeling that my body can somewhat shift tectonically under my brain.
Usually, whenever a relationship hits a breaking point it means something; something was not right for quite a while. Whether or not the reasons are clear, they need to be observed from an emotional distance to be fully understood and eventually communicated. Not via text messages but in person. There were previous relationships that I ended due to a lack of compatibility. We were wonderful and compatible in many ways, but there were certain things I felt were missing from the beginning. These certain things I could not stop myself from wanting no matter how hard I tried. In the end, my desire to find those things overcame the desire to stay with the person. I was looking for something different which is totally okay. It is my life and I am not a monster. What I did was save myself from a relationship I knew I would continue to find unfulfilling and something that cannot be fixed because trust is gone. I listened to my gut, in spite of my fear and after some time, even the nightmares completely stopped. I started dating myself again, and shooting stars.
The aftermath of a relationship is when I process what happened and contextualize its significance in the overall scheme of life. It is important to note that an ex moving on and enjoying his life with someone else does not have to be aggravating, sad or annoying. Initially, there was this teeny tiny minuscule yet totally insignificant part of me that wanted to know what the ex is up to. Is he with her now? Are they traveling and erasing trips that once meant something to us? These feelings did not last long, however. I am truly fine, neither actively hurting nor overly bummed anymore. Life goes on. Everybody moves on and there is so much more (and better) out there. Where I am and who I am is no mistake. No man will ever determine my self-worth nor who I will become. Initially, after a breakup, it is just going to suck until it does not.
Have you ever wondered if you are dating a loser? Because you may. Read this article. 🙂