Four months on…

It’s been four months since my breakup, and today I felt like writing a bit of a reflection on how I’m feeling at this point.

DSCF8776To say that these past few months have been hard would be putting it mildly.  I feel like I’ve had my heart put through the ringer and I don’t even recognise what came out the other side.  I’ve had times were I’ve been in so much emotional pain that I was sure I would die, because I didn’t think it was possible for someone to exist when they were hurting so much.  I kept waiting for my head to explode from all the thoughts and feelings that were swirling around in there.

In a lot of ways I feel better than I did when I first wrote about my break-up.  I no longer burst into tears four or five times a day and I’ve stopped hoping that we’ll get back together.  I’ve accepted that it’s over, even though that’s very difficult to admit.

I never thought that it was possible for me to miss anyone as much as I’ve missed Ross these past few months.  It’s almost been like a chunk of myself was missing.  For nearly a decade I hadn’t gone a day without talking to him.  He was always there to celebrate with me when good things happened and comfort me when I was feeling low.  It’s been so strange to adjust to life without him.  There were many times when I’ve picked up the phone to call him to tell him about something that’s happened, only to have to put it back down again and remind myself that he’s not my boyfriend any more.  There are days when I still long for him.  But the truth is that he’s changed a lot, and I don’t actually think that the person I’m missing exists any more.  It’s almost like mourning a death, the death of the man I loved.  On the few occasions that we’ve seen each other, I’ve walked away shaking my head and wondering why this stranger looks exactly like the man I spent a third of my life with.

I also feel like I’m mourning the loss of the future I’d dreamed we would have together.  The wedding I imagined us having, the children that might have been, our house, travelling together after we retired.  All of those things are gone.  I also feel a keen sense of loss for our ‘story’.  In many ways, our relationship fulfilled fantasies and dreams that I’d held since I was little.  It unfolded and grew in such a beautiful way that I sometimes felt that I was in a modern fairy tale.  I felt so lucky that these amazing things were happening to me, and that I’d met someone I connected so well with.  Having him leave me wasn’t the “Happily ever after” ending I’d been hoping for, and it’s tremendously hard to let go of what might have been. I’ve had to re-think a lot of my beliefs about love and relationships and re-arrange my expectations.

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I can feel myself hardening towards the idea of love.  When I watch a romantic film I find myself rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, he loves her now, but he’s just going to leave her for someone younger in a few years time”.  I hate feeling so cynical and cold, because it’s not who I am.  I don’t know how to defrost myself to a point where I can trust another man.

The thought of dating again is fraught with difficulties.  Sometimes I’m so lonely that I’d love a man to spend some time with me.  I miss physical affection and having cute nicknames and in-jokes.  But I can’t imagine myself falling for anyone just yet.  I’m just not ready.

I do worry though.  In the past four months, at least five of my friends have either gotten married or announced their engagement.  I get the distinct feeling that I’m being left behind, that I’ve failed at yet another very important life goal.  I worry about being the last sausage left on the shelf.

And then there’s the anger.  I’m not an angry person, but these past few months have been tinged with rage.  Mostly directed at my ex-boyfriend.  I’m angry that he left.  I’m angry at him for changing.  I’m angry at him for acting so cool and collected whenever I see him.  I hate feeling this way, because it’s not like me at all.  I’m a stranger to anger, and I don’t like how acquainted we’ve become.

DSCF7673But it’s not all bad.  I’ve gotten to a point where I’m beginning to see some up-sides to our breakup.  Like the fact that I no longer have to clean up after anyone else, or trip over piles of comic books and DVDs every time I move.  Like not having to worry about another person’s moods and just being able to concentrate on looking after myself.  Like being able to fill my days with things that are important to me rather than having to compromise all too often.

I’ve also had a chance to see how amazing my friends and family are.  I’ve had so much loving support from my nearest and dearest these past few months and that is truly humbling.

If anything, I’m feeling more like myself than I have in months.  I’m laughing a lot more, taking the time to do the things that make me happy and trying to heal.  I don’t think I’m all better yet, but I’m definitely on the right track.

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11 thoughts on “Four months on…

  1. Here’s a twist for you.

    My partner and I were in a 12-year relationship with a third man, and we were all equal partners during that time. We came through a LOT of life stuff together: loss, pain, addiction and recovery, financial problems, mental breakdowns. When things seemed to be looking up a wee bit, for the three of us, he disappeared, almost literally. One morning while I took my partner to a psychiatrist appointment, he grabbed a bunch of “his” stuff and left. My partner, already damaged, broke even more. As someone who had suffered from desertion by those who were supposed to have loved him throughout his life, it was almost too much for him to take. I really thought I was going to lose him. But we got through. It’s been two years since our “third” left, and we’ve grown past it. (We just got married last Saturday, after 25 years together.)

    The worst for me was his birthday, which came up about ten months after he left. I was so busy taking care of my partner that I hadn’t had time to grieve myself. That day, I sat at my station at work, crying pretty much off and on all day. I still missed him and was angry and confused how it all went down. But it was over, and I had to deal with it. Acceptance finally started that day.

    I hope your healing continues to get easier…

    PS: LOVED the Addams Family essay. Sorry to barge in and start blathering. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think that the end of a relationship is always extremely difficult, and every person copes and grieves differently. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be helping another person through that process while you were trying to come to terms with it yourself. That’s truly selfless and shows such compassion.

      And congratulations on your wedding! I’m sending you many warm wishes and hope that you have a fantastic life together.

  2. I nodded to every. single. word of this. I understand all of these feelings so, *so* well, and I’m sending you all the love in the world, beautiful girl.

    Richard and I broke up on Thursday, and this time, it will be for good (oh, how I need to send you an e-mail). I’m very sad, EXTREMELY angry (I can sympathise with you identifying yourself as ”not typically being an angry person”, but holding onto a lot of current relationship rage) and beyond bewildered. We were best friends, SO happy and I honestly couldn’t picture myself being with anyone else… I’m not interested in anyone else! I feel empty, as though half of my soul is missing. But I also accept that he obviously wasn’t meant to be a part of my future… perhaps because I *have* to. (The unnecessary, amazingly vile treatment I received from his family afterwards is making it 10,2827272 times easier to swallow the break-up pill, too.)

    I wish I could wave a magic wand to take your pain away, but I’m so incredibly proud of how far you’ve come.

  3. Sending you a really big hug. I still remember going through that pain. I think you will be able to love again, but it might take longer than you think. That’s ok. I also remember watching friends and high school classmates start relationships, get married and start having babies, so I know that ‘getting left behind feeling’. Don’t rush. When Mr Right shows up (and I truly believe he has a tendency to show up when you’re not looking!!!) it’s funny, but the memory of the pain you’re going through will make you appreciate a relationship that works even more. Small consolation now I know, if there was any I could give I would…

    • You’re probably right. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I know that when the time is right, I’ll be able to open up to another special person. I just need to give myself a bit of time and let things unfold slowly.

  4. Having your heart broken is hard. It hurts, so bad, and you wonder how can you be in so much pain when you’re not actually injured. Its not just your heart thats broken, its you.
    It takes time, lordy do I know that. I grew hard, bitter, cold. Apart from a teeny ember of hope buried deep deep deep down inside of myself, I stopped believing in love. I think it may be part of the process, but sweety, keep your own little ember locked away deep inside. You will use it again one day.
    Anger is part of the process, and it is like a death. You’ve written this so beautiful and I understand everything you’re saying. Gosh I wish I could give you a hug, and I will, soon!
    I actually learnt to really love being single, to the point I wasn’t wanting a relationship. While it can be a bit lonely at times, I enjoyed the freedom of doing what I wanted, when I wanted. Not having to worry about someones feelings. It takes a while, but I grew so much and learnt so much about myself, its a growing experience. It does sound like your on the right track, and i’m sure you’ll still have some hard days, but the thing is, you’re still here, still moving along, and you have to think positive, that better things will be coming your way.

    • Oh, Natalie, this is such a beautiful comment. I’m really looking forward to meeting you, and it’s been awesome to have people like you around who understand what I’m going through and listen without judging. You’re awesome.

  5. Great post. I’m three months in and still overwhelmed with grief. A lot of what you say rings so true. And you’ve given me new hope. I hope by month five you feel even better x

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