the curse of exes, part 2

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Even though it’s been almost a year. Even though it has been months since we last talked. Even though you care more for yourself than me. Even though I know all of this too well.

Even still. You are the negative voice in my head, throwing fuel to the flames of my fears. You are the ghost that seems to haunt me everywhere, no matter where I go. You are the wall standing in between my current taste of happiness, to a new potential hope for moving on. Even as I look at him, your residual energy distorts his face and all I see is you. All I hear is you. And the fear shouts at me, convincing me that you have resurrected to come hurt me again, to shame me, and tell me to shut up and behave. My mind goes crazy and my emotions shift into overdrive, and I can no longer discern what is real, and what is just you.

My friends tell me, “Why are you giving him so much power? He hurt you badly and now you’re going to give him the pleasure of stealing the joy of your next relationship too?” And I do not argue, because they are right. Because not only are you an emotional abuser and raging narcissist, you are a thief. I am sure your jealousy is appeased.

Yet the fault lies with me this time. I am letting you steal my present moment. I am letting you taint everyone I encounter.

But I won’t let you. Why? Because I realize something now. Despite all the good memories and affection and times you told me you loved me, the cold, hard truth has risen from the murky water. You never truly loved me. You only fully saw me when we first met. And soon after, I became someone else to you, someone I’m not. I became what you wanted me to be.

But like hell I am going to let you make everyone else who comes into my life who you want them to be. You never cared for my happiness. It was, is, and never will be fair the way you distort people for your ego. Like hell I am going to let your distortions forever infect my mind.

Exes come, and exes go. Some morph into benign ghosts, others take the form of unrelenting demons. I’ll be frank: I wanted better. I wanted things to work. I wanted our dreams for the future to come true. But I cannot hold onto those wants anymore–you never really wanted them anyway. And I deserve better than that. I deserve better than you.

Yes, perhaps you may not understand how badly you hurt me. And perhaps I should release you and pay forgiveness for the sole reason of having a peace of mind within myself. But all the trash you gave to me, the black gunk and slime–I send it back to you. Right where it belongs.

Darling Ghost, may you rest in lovely peace.

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the art of moving on

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To the grieving and broken-hearted:

I know how hard it is–to have your heart smashed into pieces, to have that large void growing in your chest where your loved one used to be. And the struggle of every day, every minute, every second. Then the people on the sidelines shout to you from the comfort of their seats, “Just get over it. There’s more fish in the sea. Don’t think about it anymore. They’re gone, but things will get better.” Platitude after platitude falls at your feet and your find yourself tripping over the how-it-should-bes.

But listen to me. It’s not a matter of knowing it will get better–I’m sure, deep down, you already know that. And it’s not a matter of “getting over it” or not thinking about it–surely if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be struggling so hard in the first place. If I could burn those cliches in a glorious bonfire, I would… why? They have it all wrong.

Because it’s not about the destination, or quick, imaginary fixes. But instead, it’s about steps. One step, two steps, ten steps, twenty, hundred, thousand steps… one at a time. Slow, slow, eyes up, moving your body forward, even when you don’t always feel it. That’s it. You got it. Rain and hail pellet you, it’s hard for you to breathe, tears stream down your eyes and you can barely see, but still, you take one tiny step forward, you push through, you don’t give up on the forward motion… it’s your solace, your last thread of hope. That’s right, the rain won’t last forever, just move forward. You can do it. One step. One more step. See how they all add up? There you go, look up, the sun is peaking out from the clouds. But don’t stop moving. One step at a time.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick. Take it from someone who has experienced a myriad of grief and loss experiences, from losing boyfriends and close friends, to losing her own father. There will be days that will be dark indeed, and you’ll forget what you’re living for. But if there is one thing to put your hopes in, it is not that you will “get over it.” No one “gets over it,” and if anything, we must honor the love our loss reminds us of. Yes, it’s tough, so tough. But the day will come and go, and at the rising of the sun, you’ll have an opportunity to start fresh again. And again. No feeling is final. And all things will come to pass.

Soon, on your journey forward, you’ll find yourself somewhere you would’ve never imagined. New people. New opportunities. New skies. New scenery. New feelings inside you. Yes, that grief may come to visit you along the path, but instead of devouring you as it once did, it will walk along side you, like a mournful companion–but then you keep moving, and he leaves once more.

If there is one certainty in this world, it is its impermanence. The world is always changing. So are they. And so are we.

coping through life’s ripples

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I woke up today an emotional mess, bombarded with static thoughts–but the one thought that stuck to wall was, look how much he fucked me up.

At that point, my mind boarded on that thought train. Before I used to be so open and willing to show my emotions and love. But after my ex scarred me the way he did, I’m so scared to. I’m so on edge that every guy that comes along will do what he did–take advantage of me, blame me for everything, shame me for who I am, emotionally abuse me, disregard me. Now at the get-go, I’m distant and hesitant. He totally fucked me up.

But then, my wise mind challenged me. Is the blame all his though? Certainly he is still at full fault for his actions… but look how far you’re internalizing how he treated you. It’s bled into your whole worldview. But is the whole entire world like your ex?

The answer to that is pretty clear.

Today’s emotional roller whirlwind has shown me how much pride I take in keeping myself contained and together. How much I play the counselor role, the old soul everyone goes to for insight or advice. I am uncomfortable with my own emotional gunk. I provide everyone with love and acceptance for their gunk–but I cannot say that I do the same for myself. That’s perhaps why I had put up with my ex for as long as I did.

At this very moment, I feel pushed up against my own humanity–against the part of me that is scarred and in deep pain from the depths of my past, from my recent ex to my childhood. The part of me that is a bundle of anxiety and a dense well of depression. The part of me that wants to know right away and figure everything out now, rather than submit to the unknown. The part of me that needs human connection so bad, it hurts. The part of me that fears that need, of getting hurt, or losing what and whom I love.

Although I understand that people are not perfect, that those we love can and very well will hurt us, that we will all experience grief and loss at some point, it does not dull away the pain. It does not take the pang of its influence away. It does not still the ripples as it rolls across the surface of our hearts. One of the books I read said that grief is the most complex and difficult human experience. I completely understand why. I am always looking for resolutions to things, but this is one arena where resolution struggles to come to light. I’m beginning to see that maybe the goal in grief is not necessarily to find resolution.

I miss the good aspects of my ex, yet feel so much anger and hurt for the destruction he left inside of me. I thought I was done months ago, but here I stand, still picking up the pieces, still scrubbing his toxicity away. The whole world is not like him. All guys are not him. That I can absorb. But still, I watch the drops fall and the ripples fan across the water–feeling them shiver through my being.

Oftentimes, I try to leave my blog posts on an uplifting message or pearl of wisdom, but today, I find myself more inclined to end on authenticity. There are still too many pieces that don’t make sense. Too many parts that still need healing. I don’t have everything figured out. But I am, at the very least, willing to learn to be okay with that.