I’ve been doing a lot of remembering lately.
This time last year, I was with J and couldn’t have dreamed that a relationship could be so fulfilling, make me so intensely happy. I live in this past in my memories with the knowledge that the end is also near. We broke up in a week’s time, last year. The happiness I remember in my memory is tainted with the knowing that heartbreak is just around the corner, that that happiness won’t last. The last month I’ve been remembering, living in a tension of then and now, then and now.
It makes me wonder if I would want to know the future, or if that would just ruin the present. I think that I would opt for ignorance. I don’t think we would ever start anything if we knew that it would end, the heartbreak that would ensue.
The sad reality is that everything will eventually end, but we have to live as if it won’t. We all live with a blindness that makes our existence more comfortable.
I haven’t written about him in a long time. Mostly because I’ve had other things, other people on my mind, because my life has been filled in other ways- not because I haven’t thought about him.
Truth is, I still think about him most days, and not just once or twice. I still wonder what he’s doing, where he is, who he shares his life with now. I thought I wouldn’t anymore, especially now that I have O in my life. But I do. And I want to stop but I don’t know how or when or why I can’t. The thoughts manifest into dreams and I can’t escape him even in my sleep. I like to think that I think about him less as more time passes but honestly, I don’t know that it is. That scares me. How much longer will this failed love haunt me?
I believe that we carry all the tenses of our being, that all the past versions of who we were shape the who we are. Maybe it’s that the past versions of who we were roll into who we are now, that they’re intrinsically woven together. The girl who had her heartbroken is so familiar to me still, it’s hard to differentiate what was then and what is now. I can still draw up the pain of rejection and unrequited love and feel it keenly. Certain songs will instantly knock me back to that place of brokenness and hopelessness.
The one thing that I keep coming back to is knowing that I did all that I could. I said everything I wanted to say and that’s all you can ever do. There will be people who don’t reciprocate the way you feel and that’s life. But I will never have to regret not saying enough. If there’s any regret, it’ll be on him.
Some months ago, I couldn’t fathom a life that didn’t perpetually mourn the loss of him. Now I can recognise that the loss is an event in the past and while my present self can remember what that awful time was like, I’m not currently experiencing that loss at the moment. I’ve been reading The Body Keeps the Score and learning that we need to integrate painful past experiences into our present so that we can live freer futures. So that’s progress right? I’m part of the way there! One day I won’t think of him anymore, in the same way that I don’t think about my first boyfriend. I’m not there yet but I will be, one day.
I’ve started seeing a new boy. It’s still really early days (we’ve only hung out three times so far) but today, for the first time since J, I thought to myself – yeah, I can do this again.
I’m a little excited, but mostly scared and apprehensive. With heartbreak comes wariness which can almost generate a self-fulfilling prophecy for rejection. I’m afraid of being heartbroken again so I find that I’m more reserved than I normally am, or was. I think that by controlling which parts I hold back, and which parts I slowly release, I can control my emotions and feelings, that I can protect my heart. But I also know that in doing this, I’m not giving O a good chance to know me, which is what I desire in the first place. I want to be known, and I miss being known, but the last guy who knew me, didn’t want me. I’m scared of that happening again.
Three months. Three measly months. Sounds like such a short amount of time but it’s been three months since I started this blog. Ninety days since crying publicly in a cafe and wondering how life could be so cruel, wondering if my heart would ever heal.
I remember writing in an earlier post about how it felt like the gaps between the broken pieces of my heart were filling from the inside out. That’s still how it feels. The broken pieces are still there, and I’m still really connected to the memory of that time when the sadness was crippling, but I feel more held together now, less disjointed by the pain.
I had another counselling session yesterday and afterwards when I was reflecting on our conversation, I realised that I was getting excited about the future again. There was a long time when the future didn’t feel like a friend and I couldn’t imagine or hope for anything beyond numbness. And now, without me realising, hope has snuck up on me and presented a future that I can be friends with again. Isn’t that just amazing?
It wasn’t until I realised this that I also saw how far I had come. Three months is a short amount of time but it’s also been a very long journey. Only in hindsight can I see how far I’ve travelled. This life thing is crazy!
I had a drink with a guy after work today. It was the first time since J that I felt remotely excited/ nervous leading up to it. We had things in common and he was fast moving which I appreciated (not a fan of having conversations for weeks without any initiation of meeting in real life). Conversation was easy and flowed well but I sensed a reserved-ness about him. Then all was revealed.
He has just come out of a 6.5 year relationship. They were living together and had been for several years when one day she came home from work and told him that she wasn’t feeling it anymore. That was in August this year. It’s November now. So they’ve been broken up for 3 months. 3 months!
The fuck is he doing on Bumble.
I could be more understanding if he had done the breaking up, because it could have been a long time coming for him and in that case he probably had grieved and made his peace with the end of the relationship by the time the actual break up happened. But in this situation, he was the one who was blindsided, thought everything was going well and is probably (very likely) still processing the loss.
Did I mention they were engaged too? Yup – wedding was going to be in a few months time.
I know the pain of heartbreak all too well, and I could see that he did too. 6.5 years is a very long time to do life with someone. There’s so much history, you can’t just turn that off. I remember when J and I first broke up, I went back on Bumble too. I wanted that intimacy that was all of a sudden ripped away, I wanted to forge something new that would distract me from the loss that cut away at me. But the more dates I went on, the more I realised that I didn’t want intimacy if it wasn’t with him, that I needed to confront the loss and just be sad for a while. Maybe that’s the same with M, maybe he’s looking for something to plug the gaping wound when what he probably needs is to air out the wound and let it heal on its own.
Fuck, how awful would it be to lose a relationship of 6 something years. I can’t fathom that at all. But also, is this all who is left?! Boys who have been dumped or are non-committal or are really weird?!
This can’t be it… right?!?!?
every time my mind wanders to you
i want to throw up
maybe it’s the tears that won’t come
maybe my body is purging itself of you
everytime i close my eyes
all i see is you and her
her and you
looking at each other
do you dream together
the same dreams we had?
do you hope together
the same hopes we had?
are you scared of pain with her?
or only with me?
because what we had was too real
you had to run away
or were you a coward
too scared to tell me how you really felt
if you didn’t want me then you should have just fucking said so.
i’m not that precious
i’m not that fragile
i am me
i have always been me
and i will always be me
my life will keep rolling on
i will find love again
but better this time
with someone who isn’t scared
with someone who is committed to me
with someone who will make me laugh
with someone who will hold me when i cry
with someone who will make me a better person
with someone who will stay