I think what shocked me the most was the realisation that I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I had led myself to believe. The investment was real, but the long term effects of my unhappiness in the relationship meant that it was rather my image than my heart that I trailed after.
The thought staggered and swayed in my mind as I tried to ease the pain of my friends loss. Lost in conversation, I watched as it pointed the finger at old feelings, replicated from fresh conversation, newly born from my hurt friend, I tried the best I could to dish up healthy advice and that how she currently felt was natural and what to do about it. But it isn’t something you can really put into words. Your own experience is your own experience after all. And break up’s are fucking hard.
The truth is… Feel the way you want to feel. If you need time away from people, take it. If you need to get out and socialise. Do it. Everyone reacts differently. The first thing I did was breathe.
Once he had left the room to confide in his xbox friends and resume his game, I took a deep breath, my body and mind abandoning ship and shaking violently, I scrolled down, clicked my life with him away to single and saved the changes. I waited for the shock of people coming to terms with me finally letting go. I spent that evening planning a life without him, doing my finances, taking the dog a walk. I was free, was essentially my first thought – and probably his too.
A few years down the line, mistakes learned and memories faded, I can say with my feet firmly on the ground, my head held high, that I survived. I made my peace and I moved on. Everything has changed for the better. I am over it, but of course I still feel it, and that is what I remembered today talking with a friend. That everybody moves on but the mind stays frozen. It re-enacts distant memories from your closed box, fresh and gut wrenching all the same. The hair at the back of your neck raised. Now it is nothing more than a warning to older times.
I feel it when they pop up on my timeline on Facebook. I feel it when we past by one another back in my adolescent home town, embarrassed looks exchanged and then forgotten about at the end of the street. It doesn’t bother me anymore but I still feel it. It is a reminder of my failed relationship, One I am grateful for finally ending. I am reminded of the hurt I felt for the betrayal, and what we both felt for probably a good portion of our ‘perfect’ relationship.
The reality is that I was not an innocent bystander. I was part of a team, and as much as him, I failed to turn up. In this past I have acknowledged this, but I have learned from that one conversation that sometimes you just need a little bit of time, and a little bit of change to fully appreciate how different things could of been, and how great they can be. Which is how I feel things are for me now.
Reflection is key for me becoming a better person, and I can finally put my hands up and say ‘hey, it’s also my fault that our relationship broke down’ and ‘hey, I also let it get to a point where we both felt trapped and helpless’. It is a horrible feeling owning up to your own mistakes but life has taught me to deal with it and move on. Which I gladly did.
None of this is new information to me, it is something I have thought about over and over in many moments alone. In my many moments trying to overcome bad habits. I am only human after all. But one thing is for sure. A new perspective, a different experience and a new mind are all important factors in understanding your own.