Thursday, 8 October 2009

One Year

That morning, I was the girl on the train who started crying for absolutely no reason.

Remember it? I do, it was a year today. I remember that horrible, awful feeling in the pit of my stomach which told me my relationship was coming to an end. The culmination of months spent worrying, panicking, being snapped at, then hearing reassurance that slowly got less and less convincing. I remember the last ditch attempts to make myself indispensable. I remember buying him things, researching gifts he’d like. That morning, I'd looked at a nice chess set which was about £40 and nearly bought it so we could play together. I don’t even like chess. I remember realising with a pang that there were no more events that year for us to attend together, that if something was to end, now would be the time. As if something as simple as a weekend away or joint invitation would change the fact that you don’t want to be with someone any more.

I remember being angry because I’d been right all along. I’d been insecure for months, questioning his feelings for me, yet every time he told me ‘Why are you crying? Don’t be silly. I love you’. But I knew it all along. You can always tell can’t you? Deep down, you know when things aren’t the same, when things start getting unbalanced. Someone once told me ‘one person always loves the other more in a relationship’, and my firm denials at the time had since withered into something resembling agreement. It used to be equal, but now I loved him more.

Now, a year on, I know you should never have to ask someone ‘Why can’t you act like you love me?’, and you should end it right away if their only answer is a shrug. If it happened again tomorrow, I’d have ended it the minute he shrugged. Sod the two weeks thinking time, what was I on? Why on earth would I have wanted someone to act like they loved me? It just shows what I would have put up with a year ago.

My favourite article was right, you do have to wallow & crash. For me, the crash wasn’t immediate. The bit where you cry all the time and stop eating, that’s not the crash. You think it is - but really that’s just shock. If you’re at that stage right now, here’s the bad news: the worst is yet to come. The crash is the bit where you think you’re alright, so you start contacting them more. You start doing all sorts of silly things, writing emails, texting, meeting up. I started crashing about 5 months after the break up, and didn’t stop until August. If you’re really lucky, they play along too. Before you know it they’re recommending albums on the basis that you’d once have listened to it together, and you’re responding with a smiley face and a kiss. That’s when your head really gets messed up. If you’re exceedingly fortunate, you get to top it off with a one night stand. Don’t worry, we were far too sensible for that.

You start wondering how you’ll ever get over him, whether he’ll ever leave your mind completely, whether you’ll ever get back together. Then a friend – one of his best friends -will say something blunt, like ‘come on, babe. It’s been 10 months. You must have moved on? Like, not with someone else...just in yourself?’ And even though you haven’t, it’s a wakeup call. You were expecting them to entertain your heartbroken thoughts like everyone else does. Next thing you know your whole outlook has changed. You realise it’s been all these months yet you’re still blaming every bit of bad luck that comes your way, every bad mood, every unhappy turn, on the fact that you’re not with that person any more. You realise you’ve got to take responsibility for your own happiness, and stop attributing it to someone else. The minute you do that, you’re sorted mate. Sorted.

“Then suddenly something as incidental as the sunset will catch your eye, and before you know it you'll be out there, heart racing, ready to take the plunge all over again”

True, that.


Anonymous said...

You always think that if it happened again...if someone wasn't sure, you'd walk away straight away...but things don't work like that. Just because it's happened before,and you've made all these resolutions about not doing it again.. doesn't mean it makes it easy to walk away the second time. Love doesn't work like that. Believe me, I know.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, didn't mean that to sound all um whatever the word is.
All I mean is that you tell yourself you'd never do it again...but when you love someone, you'll stick around and try and make it work, no matter what you told yourself before.

James said...

What you say makes a lot of sense. When I went through something similar I knew it was best to cut off contact completely.

Not to stop thinking about it---understanding and processing my feelings was crucial. But it just didn't make any sense to be in contact with the other person.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I think I may have mentioned this before but you are a remarkably evolved individual. Some folks never gain the insights you lay out here. Good on you.

Blue soup said...

And that's the grief cycle... People go through it for any loss, not just death (which is obviously where I am looking at it from at the moment). Welcome to acceptance.

Lapa said...

You are an artist!

Helen said...

Blimey. This was like reading the story of my own relationship breakdown. Even right down to the last ditch attempts like gift buying.

I cringe when I think about what I put up with.

But you do it don't you, when you're so in love with someone? When you think you can't live without them.


Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

PJB - Nah, I know what you mean. I'm under no illusion that what I say now and do later will be two entirely different things. But it's nice to realise you can do better, and maybe be a bit stronger next time. As for sticking around and making it work, that's the one thing he didn't want to do. I think we could have made it work, too.

James - Contact is just the most destructive thing. I thought I could deal with the monthly 'hello' emails, but recently hearing absolutely nothing has been the turning point.

Unbearable - Thanks, strangely I feel very grown up at the I'm definitely a different person to who I was last year.

Blue - You're right, it is the cycle. Although death is more final, you have the hollow in your stomach for longer I think. I hope you're doing alright.

Lapa - I don't know what you're referring to.

Helen - Indeed, I cringe looking back now. I wish I'd just had some balls and had cut myself free earlier. Although it could have been a lot worse. I thought the world would end, but I'm actually happier now.

Lapa said...

To your writing.

nuttycow said...

Huzzah - you're so right. I thought I had done with the crying but then I realise that my behaviour *after* the crying was the most destructive. And now I'm ok again. As are you. God, we're awesome!

PS. How come I'm not in your "not annoying" list? Does this mean I *am* annoying?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Nutty - Oh only because you hadn't posted in a bit. I chop and change the link list every other week or so to try to keep it fresh with blogs that are regularly updated, . No point directing people to a blog where there's nothing being posted. You're not annoying, I just want you to not-annoy me more often!
call it an incentive :)

Time Traveller said...

Bloody hell.

This is why I come here.

Something PJB commented a couple of years ago that keeps haunting me - it gets me when I'm driving somewhere or I'm in a post office queue or out running.

'Some people you never get over'.

It doesn't mean the person concerned isn't happy, it just means someone left their mark, maybe hurt you so badly that you will never forget.

It's funny, I kept the contact up thinking it would be ok, until I realised people probably wouldn't be interested in my heart ache anymore. You start to bore yourself let alone other people. That's when I realised I had to stop the contact.

No contact no context. Seems harsh but it's the only way with some exes.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Spot on. That's the thing, as soon as I stopped contacting him, even in minor little ways, everything kind of sorted itself out on its own. I got so bored with walking home from the station in the evenings after having a perfectly good night out with friends and a few drinks, suddenly getting all teary because a certain song came on my iPod. Half the time I'd be unhappy about something completely unrelated to him, yet I'd still end up blaming the breakup in my head.

I got bored with talking about him when everything I knew was based on maybe 2 emails and a text message, or one meet up in 3 months and a lot of speculation. You get to the point where you want something real to talk about again.

It took a year but I'm over it.


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