Here’s how idiots like me survive a breakup (hopefully)

When it comes to pulling the trigger, it’s always me who does that deed. The people I pick to love never do. This isn’t because they love me more than I love them. In fact, quite the opposite…

Still clinging to each other? The flowers died months ago.

Still clinging to each other? The flowers died months ago. It was great when you got them. Finally, everything you wanted. But…

Usually, I’m doing it because I wasn’t loved enough, or because the shame in their eyes over how they acted will never go away.

It works like this:
– They can live without me.

– They let me know they might prefer to.
– I let them go by “ending it”.

Then, I have to try to recover, which involves working myself up to adopting the irrational delusion that, despite the fact that no relationship has ever worked out for me, while all my friends my age (or younger) are married or have kids, I am not fated to die alone.

I know I’m kidding myself, and that I actually will die alone, this time. However, I am still putting one foot in front of the other on the long road to productive self-delusion. Currently, I’m slipping between Stage One and Stage Two (see below).

I’m writing this down to remind myself that stage three exists, and for the benefit of anyone who, somewhere in the future, may Google: “Nobody loves me, and nobody ever will, so should I just kill myself”, and finds this instead, in the hope that I might inspire them to wait a while and see if they feel better.

Post-Breakup Stage One – Shock (24-72 hours)
Characterized by: Numbness and automatic behavior.

 I feel nothing. Just very heavy. Like I just gained 30 pounds since I handed back his house keys and carried my bags to my car.

themarksmattress

Truth on an old, wet mattress

I have been drinking all night and I am still not drunk. Except, you know, legally and medically speaking.

I can’t sleep and I am scared of my dreams, because he’s in all of them.

I can’t eat. I’m hungry, but why bother?

Puppies and kindness make me cry. Yeah, it’s just like PMS. Only worse.

24 hours feels like a week. I get the days mixed up. I can’t believe only yesterday, my whole life was different. How did this happen?

 

 

 

 

Stage Two – This is the worst. (2-6 Weeks)
Characterized by: Delusions (which feel real), obsessive thinking, imaginary conversations, fears, regrets, and that old classic: chronic self-pity. Reoccurs whenever ex gets engaged/married/babies.

Other people’s wedding photos, engagements, and kid pictures make me weep profusely.

By contrast, the people who photograph their cats and dogs don’t seem so pathetic anymore, ‘cause I know I’m so unlovable not even a rescue would like me, let alone live with me.

I keep thinking of things I want to tell him but now, I can’t.

I took this photo of someone's phone. I was on a date with them.

I took this photo of someone’s phone. I was on a date with them.

I need a hug. I need a hug from him. Nobody else’s hug will do. The person I most often turned to in times of distress is the one person who can’t comfort me now. It’s not fair. Cue: tears. I wonder how he is. I hope he’s okay.

Creepy men think I’m sexy. The fact that I’m close to tears seems make me irresistible to predatory types – like the local smack dealer, who relaxes in the 24hr Laundromat I use, between his forays to deliver to clients. True story!

He isn’t trying to get me back. What’s the bet he’s already dating?

I think about him all the time. I bet he doesn’t think about me all the time. I bet he’s already forgotten my birthday… if he ever knew it.

He’s badmouthing me. I know it, I just know it. He’s telling his family and friends all the worst things I did, all the things he’s “forgiven” me for. He’s not telling them anything he did wrong, I bet.

I’ll never see his mother / daughter / siblings again. I’ve lost a whole family. I should never have fucking met his family. I should have ended it as soon as I knew I would eventually be ripped away from them

Every photo in my automatically updated dropbox reminds me of him.

Every photo in my automatically updated dropbox reminds me of him.

He’ll tell his new younger girlfriend I sucked compared to her. He did that to me, about the women before me, so why would I differ, just because I defended them to him?

I see the juice he drank in a store and burst out crying. This is only the 15th time I’ve burst out crying because of him, since I woke up at 8.30am, and it’s just gone noon.

I’ll never get over this. I’m going to be this sad for the rest of my life. But I’ll stick it out until August or September, and it’s not better yet by then, I can kill myself without feeling like I didn’t try to get happy.

Maybe I should write to him and tell him all about how I feel, and how I really loved him. Not so I get him back, but just so he knows.

I only want to do new things. I can’t do old things because they all remind me of another life, so I need to change everything. EVERYTHING! Cue: tears.

Stage Three – Glimmers of hope. (About .5 seconds per glimmer)
Characterized by: Wild plans, impulse control issues, and occasionally casual sexual encounters. I haven’t reached this stage yet, and being convinced I never will, am relying on past experience and hearsay to portray it.

there are feelings

A poem by Nayyirah Waheed. She’s wonderful. I love her, but I feel like I’ve felt all this shit too many damn times before, now.

I want a tattoo!  But he hates it. Oh wait, I’m not with him! But I can’t afford it, and I can’t figure out where it could go where it won’t look ugly when I’m old, so I’ll clean my house.

I wanna cut my hair short and dye it blue!  Which I could do now, because it wouldn’t start a fight. But I can’t afford it, so I do my laundry.

I wanna get in my car and just drive: Which I could do now because I’m not dating him. But my car’s a wreck, and I don’t have a tent. So wash dishes and murder some roaches.

I am in a crappy mood: But who cares. I don’t have to pretend to be happy for his sake, all the time.

I have amazing friends: I appreciate them more because they helped me survive this thing, again.

Oh look, I lost 10 pounds. That’s cool. Maybe someone else will want to ruin my life and break my heart again soon! Yay!

But what I’m really waiting for is this

“OMG! I haven’t thought about him for half an hour.”

I’m nowhere near there yet.

But the secret is knowing that what I feel now is not what I’ll feel forever, although it sure as hell feels like forever right now.

To be continued…

PS: If you are an ex, or even the ex of the moment, reading this, and you think “OMG, that bitch, this is about me! And my penis looks tiny in that picture of the statue!”, you’re partly right, and partly wrong. Not all of it is about you, and not all of it isn’t. Don’t be a hater. All it is is proof that I still care about you, whichever one you are, in my own bitter, twisted – but never really vengeful – way. I don’t need your permission for that. And in truth, this article is all about me. It’s all in my head, and despite whatever you told you current girlfriend/wife, I do know that.

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2 Responses to “Here’s how idiots like me survive a breakup (hopefully)”

  1. dtabb1973 Says:

    Having survived more than a few breakups in my life, I thought it would be worth mentioning the other extreme: going null. To respond to a shock like this with a loss of feeling can also be its own special misery. That primal connection we felt to our special person gets replaced by emptiness, and the hollow of the heart reflects only void. Returning from that alienation poses its own challenges.

    May your passionate grief come to balance sooner rather than later!

  2. jeanbarker Says:

    Thank you. I actually am feeling significantly better, for some reasons I won’t go into here…

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