The Aftermath

We’re going to talk serious today you guys.

This year has been one of ups and downs as far as relationships with various people go.

Some of that has been on the friend side of relationships.

However, most of it has been on the romantic side of relationships.

It all came to a boiling point, “Straw that broke the camel’s back” moment in October. I woke up one day and realized that I was a complete mess emotionally.

In the course of eight months, between January and October, I had a falling out with a best friend, went through two break-ups, and had some discussions with a few friends that really messed with my head and my heart for a variety of reasons.

And all of it combined caused me to go through hell and back emotionally for the entire month of October.

So here’s a little soliloquy for you all.

I took several sets of official psychological personality tests recently (for various reasons) that gave me pretty definitive results on everything but two areas. Each personality test I’ve taken has told me that I am equal parts a thinker and a feeler (whereas most people get a definitive “yes/no” one way or the other). I’m logical in some instances, and think with my emotions in others. And nothing can prove it more than what I’ve gone through with my relationships.

(Note: yes, I was the instigator of both break-ups. So this is coming from a slightly different perspective than “girl who had her heart broken by callous uncaring cruel guy.” However, as you might see, I don’t think the emotional aftermath was much different for me).  

I can go through and logically explain to people exactly why each relationship ended. In my mind, I regret almost nothing and I know I made the right decision in both cases 

Emotionally….is a whole different ballgame.

It’s easy enough for a girl to sit there after a relationship ends and say “I was single before I can be single again and gosh darn it I will be happy about it.”

But it doesn’t mean it’s true.

I mean, I should be the poster child for being happy while single. While the large majority of my friends and acquaintances were in and out of relationships every few months, I didn’t start dating until the last semester of my senior year of high school. I went almost 18 years without a boyfriend and yeah, I was happy.

So I, more than anyone else, should know that it’s possible. I should know that boys are not the end all and be all. That being single is fun and awesome. I can crack jokes about hot movie actors and I don’t feel guilty about it (ok well maybe a little now since my parents read this blog). I can let a male friend buy my soda and not feel like he’s encroaching on my boyfriend’s territory, he’s just being nice. I can hang out with my guy best friends and not worry about whether or not my boyfriend will be jealous. I can plan to watch a movie with my roommate on a Friday night and not feel like I’ve robbed my boyfriend of a “traditional’ date-night opportunity. I can go to Spain in a year and two months and have the time of my life and yeah, I’ll miss everyone here, but not in the same way that I would miss a significant other.

I get all of that logically and I think it’s great.

But emotionally, I’ve forgotten in this past year and a half of being in one relationship or another, that there’s a way to take joy in being single and enjoy being unattached. It’s been about six weeks now and I thought for sure I’d be perfectly happy and 100% content with being single by now. I’m not. I know I’m not ready for another relationship, and again, logically, I do not want one until I get back from studying abroad (barring some huge change of heart on my part). But emotionally…it’s hard. There are days when I miss having that emotional connection with someone. I miss having someone that just the thought of a Skype date with them makes me smile the entire day.

There’s a popular myth I’ve heard that says falling in and out of love is the only way to get your heart truly broken.

That’s a lie.

Hearts can be shattered without ever getting as far as the “oh my goodness I’m so in love” part of a relationship.

It absolutely kills me when I see younger teen girls enter in and out of relationships with not a care in the world. Yeah, her 14-year old self and her 14-year old “boyfriend” may think it’s all fun and games. It’s not. Even if she doesn’t know it now, she will later.

My heart hurts. And it was a sharp pain for a while and it’s been reduced to just a general ache with spikes of pain on bad days. But it’s still there. I still live knowing that I hurt two great guys and I hurt myself. Sometimes I am in a place emotionally where I want to curl up in a ball and cry because of everything that happened. As I said, there are times when I miss what I had. 

But it’s no longer overwhelming. I’ll be eating lunch and a passing thought will make me sad and then it will do just that: pass. I’d consider myself demented if I didn’t have those feelings. I’d be a robot. Now though, I understand that what has happened is gone and it’s in the past and I can’t change anything. And I cannot continue to constantly berate myself for my mistakes and the hurt I caused. I thank God every day that while I hated October and I hated everything I went through and felt and yes, I hated myself there for awhile, I’ve come out of it without being jaded or cynical.

I still believe that longterm happiness in a romantic relationship exists. I still believe that love exists. I still believe that God is keeping someone waiting for me.

Right now, I’m happy. I’m at the point where even if I’m having a rough day, there’s a bright spot of happiness underneath it all instead of sadness and loneliness and distress.

I owe a lot of that to my faith. I’ve told multiple people that I have no idea how anyone could make it through heartbreak and emotional distress (while being a full-time student) without a faith to fall back on. I couldn’t tell you how many nights in October I spent sobbing into my pillow and crying out to God because I felt like the world was falling apart and it was my fault.

I also owe my happiness to the wonderful people who love and support me and tell me that I might have made stupid judgment calls in the past, but that life isn’t over because of those decisions. My mentors and my family are amazing. I have the most incredible friends in the world. Some of them know the full story, some of them don’t. Regardless, they have loved me and been there for me over the last month and a half even when I was rather unlovable and entirely un-fun to be around. And that means more to me than I could ever put into words. 

The aftermath of October has been a strange one. There have been so many emotional ups and downs. At the end of the day though, I have God, I have my friends, and I have my family to fall back on for support. And I know that I’m not the sum of my mistakes.

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One thought on “The Aftermath

  1. Pingback: Singleness | Jumping Out of Windows

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