"They say that breaking up is hard to do ..." That's no joke. But there's a whole other aspect to it that I've been reminded of over the last few weeks: it's a very lonely process.
For starters, there's the fact that the person you've been most intimate with, the person who likely knows you better than no other and whom you confided in daily, is gone from your life. Even if you don't cut it off cold turkey, that intimate connection is gone. I think that void is what we feel in our chests, the pressure that literally feels like your heart is broken.
But then there's the grieving. I'm not generally one to cry to my friends. I let few people see me cry - my parents, my cats, and of course, the person who's now missing. Being able to blog here has been helpful, and I keep a private journal ... I think these are all healthy things, yet still lonely processes.
It's even hard to talk to friends sometimes. Your friends want to protect you, and so when a man has hurt you and they can see that, they want to tell you that he's a bad guy. And they are naturally critical of any interactions you have with him. I know they mean well and are just looking out for me, and I remember what it's like to be in their shoes, trying to protect a friend and being angry at the man who hurt her. Sometimes I just need to talk to my mom though. She simply listens, sympathizes with me when I cry, and tells me that I'm strong and I will get through it.
It's just hard to hear the critical advice. I don't have false hope anymore, but I don't want to have regrets either. If I let myself get caught up in the anger, being mad at him for hurting me, I can feel that bitterness seeping into all of my memories of our relationship. And I don't want to regret those years that I spent with him. Even though it ended with me being hurt, I know he is a good man and that he loved me for those years. I know he still loves me. And I want to find a way to get through being hurt without being angry or bitter. I feel that if I can do that, I put myself in a better place to find love again down the road.
I know everyone doesn't react this way and that anger helps some people cope, but I let myself feel that way about The Ex, and I don't think it was healthy for me in the long run. I regret the years I spent with him, instead of valuing the things I might have learned from that relationship and the bond I built with someone. Regret tastes bad. I don't want to go that route again.
So for me, the process is a little lonely. I try to put on a happy face, and keep myself busy with social stuff. I know when I go out, I'm sometimes secretly desperate for a man to flirt with me and make me feel good again. I expect I probably either look desperate for that or look outwardly unhappy, and often go home feeling unattractive and unwanted, because no one talks to the sad girl. But I know that eventually, I won't feel quite so lonely and the smile on my face will actually light up my eyes again. Then maybe I'll find someone to be hopeful about once more, and this loneliness will have been worthwhile. I hope.