I don’t understand…

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I don’t understand. That’s the phrase I’ve most wanted to say since my relationship break up a little under a year ago. I don’t understand why he left me. I don’t understand some of the ways he behaved that left me feeling insignificant and unimportant. I don’t understand where the man I loved disappeared to – how those big, soft brown eyes that made me melt each time I looked into them, turned to stone. I don’t understand how someone can just up and leave, moving to another country without even a second thought for me and the many important times we shared. I don’t understand how I am the one left still hurting and in recovery and how he came out of this unscarred and with a fresh new life to start…it’s as if our time together never happened. I don’t understand any of this…and yet I have realised the words I’ve uttered most have been ‘I understand’, ‘I get it’ and ‘it’s okay’. It was almost as if stupidly I thought that by showing my understanding and compassion he would finally realise what he was letting go of.

But how can I understand a person who goes from seemingly deeply in love with someone to ice cold and mechanical? The logical side of me tells me it didn’t just happen overnight but when I think back, trying to wrack my brains for the clear signs I missed, I just cannot find them. So tell me, how on earth am I supposed to understand something that is just so alien to me? A way of being that no matter how hard I scour the text books and articles, I cannot find an explanation that gives me peace and takes away my deep pain. Most days I still look at my phone, annoyed that yet another day has passed and he doesn’t give a shit about me. I try to take comfort in the fact that at least now I manage to keep my dignity and not let my hurt and disappointment pour out and onto him. I am wise enough to know when a battle has been lost but the sad fact of the matter is that while he is saved the fight, I carry on my own internal battle every day. But at least finally, I have found a way to live with it – something I thought in the beginning I’d find impossible to do. The earth shattering pain I felt at the start has dulled it’s intensity… but I fear it will be something I’ll carry now forever.

For a while I even tried being like him – shutting off and trying to erase our time together from my head. Even now I keep trying ways to turn off my feelings or to focus on something else. Throw myself into work, take up running, go out partying…I even tried counselling because I was convinced through his coldness that I was the weird one for feeling so broken and lost. Normal, mature people apparently just turn feelings on and off like a tap and weak people like me are just slaves to emotion. But despite my efforts, it hasn’t worked and I am not ‘over it’…or else it’s taking much longer than expected. I like to think the latter since I am well out of options to try.

So why am I writing this? I don’t really know is the honest answer but this evening I just felt the pull towards my notebook. I guess I realised that since I met him, my writing passion has been dulled and I really really want to get it back. There are so many things I want back – including my full, unhardened heart. This is the start of my writing recovery so please, if you are taking time to read this, accept my apologies for the lack of coherency and flow…one day soon I will get it back.

I suppose writing is a pastime that inevitably leads to facing feelings, accepting them and painstakingly working through them. For so long I was being told directly and indirectly that allowing emotions and feelings through was somehow wrong or weak. But I so badly want to get ‘me’ back and I eventually want to feel proud for being a passionate fierce-loving woman who feels things deeply and intensely rather than the shame and annoyance I have running through me at the moment. My heart tells me to be proud of loving someone so fully and unconditionally but my head says I just learnt a hard lesson and I must try to avoid the same experience again at all costs. Usually my heart wins out in the long run so I guess I just have to wait it out and keep rumbling on with the ebbs and flows of hurt a while longer.

So something (despite my writing hiatus) I still really want to do is to finish with some thoughts about what I’ve learnt so I can at least feel that something from this experience will serve to make me a better person (plus a blog post for me just doesn’t feel right without it!)…

  1. It’s okay not to be okay – nearly a year on from a completely broken heart and I’m still not okay (despite what I’ll tell most of the world). People will often tell you the usual accepted timescale for these things but the reality is we all do things at our own pace. The guy who broke my heart was over it within a matter of weeks but for me it may take a year or longer – does that make me weaker or less resilient? I like to think not – just a sensitive soul who connects deeply
  2. Just keep trying different things, something will stick – when you’re feeling low and miserable we tend to think of our usual ‘feel good’ go-to’s to pick us back up again. For example with me, that used to be writing but for a while there it just didn’t work. There are so many things in this world to try, the one thing I’ve learnt throughout a tough year has been to just keep trying – sometimes it’s the weirdest things that help to distract you for a bit or ease the pain
  3. Not everything has an answer, resolution or explanation – I’m not sure I’ll ever understand my relationship break down and the seemingly cold and clinical approach my ex took to moving on…and I just have to find a way to accept that. Some things in life don’t end neatly or with clear reasons why and if we keep chasing after an explanation that may never come, we can end up holding on to pain for longer than is necessary.

Bottom line…our journeys are all different and happen at different paces. If you’re going through something tough right now, try to keep some faith (like I’m trying to do!) that this will come to pass – even if it does take much longer than you wanted! Keep on keepin’ on lovely people 🙂