Friday, June 30, 2017

The Break-Up

Unfortunately, heartbreak is something that we all experience at some point in our lives. Whether it be major or mild, between lovers or friends, sometimes we are let down by the ones we love the most...and we are left to pick up the pieces of our shattered remains.

I've been through quite a few break ups. But of course, there's always that "one" that is the worst. I'm not going to go into that one. I'm actually going to talk about my first real break-up.

I was new at school. It was the end of the year, but for some ungodly reason, my dad enrolled us in the district with a week left before summer break. I met him on the bus. He approached me. We talked for the last few days, and then summer came and I spent it in Florida with my mother. I didn't really give him a second thought.

Then school started again. He would sit near me on the bus, poking fun and flirting. He was 3 years older than me...already in high school while I was only in 8th grade. But boy was he hot! And older?! I felt on top of the world. So after about a month or two of this flirting, we became "boyfriend and girlfriend".

I was infatuated with him. I felt like I had won a prize or some shit. It was stupid adolescent girl stuff, but it's stuff we all go through. 

So, since I wasn't allowed to "date", I would constantly tell my dad that I was going to a friends house and I would walk to his grandparents to spend time with him. I would sneak phone calls and AOL Instant Message him when I got my hour of internet a night ( shut up; I'm old! ) I would write him notes all the time and doodle bullshit "Mrs. ***" on my notebooks in class...the nines. 

Then...two months after dating, and right before Christmas, I got a phone call. His friend Danielle called me after school that day and told me that Dustin didn't want to be with me anymore. She told me that he didn't want to tell me and that he felt he was "corrupting" me because he was older. I was a mess. And even at 13, I picked my ass up and ran to his house, banging on his grandparent's door with tears flowing from my face. Danielle stood on the staircase with him behind her and he refused to even speak to me. I was devastated. 

After I knew that he was not going to talk to me, I bawled on the walk home and was a wreck for days. 

He was the first guy I really said "I love you" to.
He was someone who was actually nice to me and tried to get to know "the new girl".

I would write him 3-page letters telling him how much I missed him. Actually, I found an old diary about a year ago with obnoxious entries about how much I missed him and how I could never move on ( man, teenage me was fucking stupid ) I would message him online and email him, and eventually...we got back together. From that moment on, it was 5 years of on-and-off dramatic, cheating, lying, angry years...

But to the point:
Heartbreak is not a permanent feeling--it's a learning experience. 

In those 5.5 years I spent with him after that, I learned a lot. And although we didn't last forever, and for a long time I resented him, he was there for many things that could have otherwise broken me. 

He took my virginity, not in a car or at a party, but in a memorable way--and he was sweet about it. He taught me how to drive when my dad wasn't patient enough to do so. His family welcomed me with open arms, even when I didn't have a good sense of what "family" was. He came to meet my dad, even when I feared for my life after being caught red-handed lying. I pretty much GREW UP with him in my life. And sure, by the time we broke up, I was ready to go; I wasn't happy anymore. But it still hurt. He was someone who was a constant in my life for so long. After a while, it feels like that person is a part of you and you aren't quite sure how to survive without them. You become accustomed to whatever environment it is--be it volatile or passive or whathaveyou--and so, when that constant is no longer there, you feel lost.

But through all of it, you learn who you really are as a person.

In the moment, it's rough. And with each break-up, you always think it will be easier--but it never is. From my numerous failed relationships, I've learned a few things:

1. You need to be content with being alone.
2. You need to have a few TRUE friends that you can rely on.
3. You need to have a hobby.
4. You need to grieve appropriately.
5. You need to genuinely love yourself.

Although THIS relationship isn't the one that helped me learn these things, I did eventually learn them. You cannot fear being alone and you need to bask in the glory of enjoying your own company. If you can't learn to be alone, you can't be in a healthy relationship because you will become dependent upon that person. 

You need to have one or two people that will not judge you and will be there for when times get really tough. Even if it's just to bring you out of your funk, you need to know that there is someone. If you don't have many friends, go see a therapist. Just having someone to vent to helps a lot. 

You have to keep yourself busy; volunteer, join a gym, learn to crochet, sometime. If you dwell, you're only going to make yourself miserable. also need to take time to grieve the loss. 

Don't feel pressured to "feel better" after an allotted amount of time, like that's all you get. I once took almost a full 2 years to get passed a failed relationship. Sure, it probably wasn't too healthy but I learned a lot about myself and what I want in that time. 

And lastly, cut yourself some slack! Like I said, you have to learn to genuinely enjoy being by yourself--and with that, you learn self-love. It may not be perfect, but each step forward is progress.

I will sit here and tell you that it will get better with time...because it will. It may not be tomorrow or 15 weeks from now or even next year, but it will. We must all go through it--like a right of passage or some shit--but it's also a way to truly find out who YOU are as a person. 

Which leads me to one of my most favoritist quotes, which is what I will leave you with now: