It seems there are stages of emotions when understanding being broken up with.
You try your best to convince them of all the great qualities you have to offer them, as if it will change their mind about what they want.
You beg on your knees, willing to compromise any standard, trade in all pride you’ve held, stake yourself in the heart for one more chance to show them your worth.
You fall short.
The tide shifts, and suddenly you are so torn up over the fact that whatever you have wasn’t worth their time; everything you are made of, wasn’t what they were seeking out any longer; any amount of effort you gave, was a dragging ass embarrassment that they are probably going to laugh about at a party in a couple years. You get so fucking low, that your eyes burn when the sun comes up, and you have to sleep until you can’t sleep anymore. You avoid eye contact with your friends, in fear that you might burst if you notice their reaction to your pain. You just sit with this lingering depression that reminds you of every small detail about your ex, the ones that make you question of they were real at all. You get a bit crazy, day dreaming about their voice and what they had said that one time when you knew right then you would love them forever.
One day, you hear a different song, or watch a new movie, or see something really fucked up happen in a store, and it makes you so fucking angry, you cannot fathom the thought of being with your ex ever again. you blame them for anything that’s gone south of what you had wanted before you met them. After all, they did waste so much of you, just to throw you out. It was never real for them, because they used you to get what they wanted when they wanted it. you manifest this external hate for them and fall asleep thinking of all the annoying habits or mannerisms they have. You reach out to them, making sure they know how shitty they are for leaving you. Now you’ve moved from telling them how much you need them, to feeling worthless, and on to convincing yourself how much they will regret dumping you. Actually, they will miss you so much and see how below you they are, they will come crawling back, begging like you had, and you won’t even want them anymore, right?
Wrong. next comes realizing that your hatred is invalid and pathetic. It’s an act you played to get yourself over a specific hurdle that was never tackled in the relationship. You may have reasons why you were upset with them, but those reasons were not because they left you. This is a big step. You start thinking more clearly. You see their actions more objectively, and can fully grasp the idea of being broken up with as a manageable process that happens to nearly everyone. If they can survive it, so can you.
You start confronting parts of yourself that seem broken and lost. You ask yourself the right questions, and the answers sometimes sting, but you lick your wombs and move on. You feel bad about the anger you’ve bottled, about any trouble you’ve caused them after they chose their fate. You begin keeping yourself on a short leash, a tighter chain, carefully watching where you go, and who you let pet you. Disciplined and trained to stay still, you take the time to properly guard your heart.
I imagine your troubling days as paint. Layers of paint. All coated over one another until you find the right shade to cover up the pain. One day, your pain gets so thick, it just starts chipping off, pulling all the cheap low grade qualities of pain with it.
Once it all falls away, you are left with a bare wall, with markings of the constructors from all who had built you up to who you really are. You’ve found graffiti from young punks who taught you how to make your mark on the world, You discovered a map that leads to treasures you hadn’t known before. You begin to see how much depth and width you have to create something new of yourself.
Maybe sometimes, you will let your friends lean their bruised arms and hunched backs against you, as they suffer through a phase of pain you now understand, and maybe a few band stickers will be slapped on you, while your figuring out what kinda style you’ll present, and I’m sure you will hang posters off all your favorite memories, including that one where you knew you would love them forever, because in the end of your journey through being broken up with, you still do love them. Just in a different light.
Forgive yourself for the drunken nights you wasted, trying to forget, and the unkind words you lashed like a sword at anyone in your path, and the faces you’ve kissed to wash out his taste. Forgiveness is an invisible layer you must have to make sure you don’t fall apart or chip easily when you start to paint again.
My legs are shaking, my heart fluttering, anxious, awake, and I haven’t cried for a couple weeks. Maybe I’m learning how to make myself happy, maybe I’m depersonalizing again.
Normalize fat women’s bodies. Normalize public breastfeeding. Normalize home births and midwives and reproductive autonomy. Normalize body hair on women.
Reject the notion that women are to be regulated and controlled and pressured to conform to societal standards.