Breakups come in all shapes and sizes. Some are quick, some are agonizingly slow, and few are easy. I’ve been the breaker-upper and the break-upeee. Neither is a fun place to be, although if you are the one doing the breaking, at least you are in the position of power and are likely ready to move on already, if not very soon. When you are the one being broken up with, you feel helpless, alone, and sometimes a little bit crazy.
Regardless of which shoes you are in, various emotions are likely to occur. Sadness, anger, regret, second thoughts, missing that person, or hating that person, and eventually when enough time as passed, you feel next to nothing for that person. It has always amazed me that the men I once thought were “the one” I now have zero feelings for. Men I once shared everything with, my hopes and dreams, my love, my body, are now not much more to me than a stranger on the street.
I find the act of falling out of love to be such an interesting phenomena. Love is so important to me, and sometimes it is still difficult to comprehend how you can fall in love and then fall out of love. Even when there is so much evidence in favor of a split, it still feels weird to know that I was once intimate with a human being that is now sharing the same kind of intimacy with someone else.
Love, relationships, and breakups are just the worst, aren’t they?
My most recent relationship fail began at New Years Eve, when we officially split, but didn’t really get signed, sealed, and delivered until this past weekend. I can say without a doubt that it is over. When our last conversation ended, I sat on my bed, letting the reality sink in, my chest heavy with a thousand pounds of sorrow, but my reservoir of tears empty, completely bone dry from three weeks of emotional output.
I sat there, drained of energy, hope, and tears.
I have nothing left to give, so much so that I have no remaining tears to shed.
On Monday, I walked around with a funny feeling throughout my body and soul that I was having trouble expressing in words. Yes, I was tired, sad, hurt. Yet with the bulk of the anger dissipated, I couldn’t identify that unknown emotion until late in the day, when it came upon me as a slow realization.
The unknown emotion is defeat.
I have been completely defeated.
When I saw the two pink lines on my pregnancy test last November, I entered into an emotional combat, and the final battle climaxed this past weekend. Exhausted, weary, and defeated, I hung up the phone, emerging from the battlefield covered in emotional ash and soot, heart and soul in tatters, somewhat shell shocked, but completely resigned to the reality at hand.
In my mind, I imagine it like that ridiculous moment in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves when somehow Kevin Costner and his mullet managed to survive his fall from the trees. Except I didn’t have Morgan Freeman waiting for me when I hung up the phone.
Per his request and my promise, I will reveal the least amount of detail regarding our final battle, and I will use an analogy in an attempt to describe this misfortune. In some ways, I feel like this entire experience with him, from first date to break-up, has been like a Greek tragedy. In six months we experienced elements of a long-distance courtship, then an ambiguity of feelings, which somehow morphed into a declaration of love, then an accidental conception, a struggle to navigate what the new life with baby would be, only to miscarry and fall apart.
We cared for each other, and then we hurt each other, and then we had to figure out how to pick up the pieces of our lives separately.
The final act in our drama consisted of what I can only describe as the gift of a Trojan Horse. He set me up by delivering the package on purpose, thinking that it was something I was searching for. When I opened it, I felt so hurt and betrayed, and then he jumped out, thrusting a sword of words into me that I had no idea was coming.
It was never a package I should have opened in the first place, but I was feeling sad and lonely, and thought it would have something inside to make me feel better. Like the unsuspecting people of Troy, I unearthed the contents of the box to see if I could find something for my future, and instead I was blindsided by a trap I didn’t see coming, one that was set by anger and self-righteousness. And when the Greek onslaught came, I had very little fight in me left. The hope I had been holding on to was then set on fire, and I watched it burn down to nothing but a pile of ashes.
Monday, with four hours of sleep, I walked around choking on that smoke and ash, feeling the defeat penetrating deep into the cells of my body like an unidentified virus I just couldn’t shake.
While today was easier, the feeling of defeat still lingers on, and I feel it may haunt me for some time. We are over. So, so over. We cannot, in any way, fulfill each other’s needs. And frankly, I don’t want to be with a person who sets me up with a Trojan Horse that he must have known would absolutely kill me to see, just so he can prove some kind of point to himself.
And it did, it absolutely killed me. My head swam, my hands trembled, and my stomach and chest burned.
To add insult to injury, he used the opportunity to call me creepy.
I am going to digress just slightly to tell a quick story told to me by a friend of mine. The story goes that he was out at the bar trying to chat up a group of cute girls, when one of them called him creepy. He told me he was so upset that he drove home in tears. I remember thinking to myself that crying over being called creepy by a group of women who were likely nothing more than vapid bitches was overreacting, but instead I offered sympathy because he was my friend.
I now understand the distress he felt, because being called creepy, especially when your intentions are otherwise, is more hurtful than I thought it would be.
And that is the thing, isn’t it? Intentions. My second to last ex-boyfriend kept using the word intentional during our breakup. He would say, “I just need to be intentional with my actions. It’s time to start being intentional. I need to think about my life and start being intentional in my professional and personal life.”
I absolutely despised the word intentional for some time after that experience.
But now, that word is taking on new life for me. The intentions behind a person’s actions can reveal more than the actions themselves. Perhaps the Trojan Horse was his way of enacting revenge for me going back on my word about adding personal details to my blog. However, after the Great Social Networking Purge in which he deleted me from every possible application, I honestly did not think he would be reading my blog. Nothing I wrote, and nothing I have ever written, has been for him. My blog is not a set-up. My blog is for me. It is a place where I go to write and process my emotions, not set up traps for the people I love. I acknowledge my wrongdoings, but at least I know I wasn’t setting out for vengeance or to intentionally cause pain.
I just paused to read over the last few paragraphs. I realize now, more than ever, that if we never speak again, that is probably for the best. I still care for him, and likely always will. But any feelings I still had of wanting to rekindle our relationship were gutted out of my body during our last phone call. How could I be with someone who intentionally trapped, hurt, and humiliated me? This is likely why Grand Gestures fail so often in real life, because someone has done something so hurtful that relations are beyond repair, and all you can do is go your separate ways.
With the final act completed, the curtains have been drawn shut and the audience has gone home. This Greek Tragedy has come to an end. Looking into the future, I don’t know when I will have the courage to begin dating again. I thought setting a time limit would be a constructive way to grieve and then move on, but this relationship and breakup are not typical. A pregnancy was involved. Plans for a life together were being created. This is different.
I decided today that I will know when I am ready to move forward when the idea of dating will not feel like an exhausting and futile endeavor. Last night, I joined a brand new dating website I found with a really interesting twist to the typical online dating experience. Yet, going through the profiles just made me feel a sense of dread and overwhelming apprehension. In less time than it takes to cook and eat a meal, I created and then I deleted my profile; yet I think I will rejoin when the time is right. There were a lot of nice faces on there, and maybe one of them is the face for me.
Also, bonus points that it is not OkCupid, a website I’m not sure I will ever join again. It has been ruined for me. That is now his territory. I hope it’s everything he wants it to be and more. Perhaps this go around will be much for fruitful than the last.
In yoga, the instructors always tell us to set our intentions for practice (there is that word again). I need to set my intentions for my future. Strength, hope, happiness, and love, and not just love of another, but love for myself. Perhaps when I learn to love myself more, I will find a man who genuinely loves me as well.
Until next time ~ The Modern Tragedy Blogger Brinophocles