Falling out of love

This is a blog post that has been rolling around in my head for some time. It’ll be a little stream-of-consciousness-y, because I’m not entirely sure I know what I want to say, but I know I need to get it out.

I’ve talked about my breakup before, particularly in my last blog post, “Loss.” To quote what I said there,

My boyfriend broke up with me as my depression was reaching a boiling point…

I don’t think he stopped loving me before he broke up with me – he broke up with me because he couldn’t deal with my depression anymore. He told me he still loved me. But that didn’t stop him from breaking up with me. And that hurt – a lot. Losing my boyfriend was a loss that took me about two years to get over, most likely because my depression didn’t let me mourn the relationship properly, it kept bringing it up. Regardless, I suddenly had lost a pillar of love and light and support, and in its place was nothing.

That really messed me up. I’ve written about it a little bit in my posts ondepression itself, but I was utterly and completely heartbroken. It’s what triggered my first trip to the hospital, I stopped eating for 2-3 days, I wouldn’t stop crying. And I just didn’t know what to do. I still don’t know what to do about it. I don’t hurt as much anymore, and I’m not in love with him, but I still miss him. I miss being in a relationship, and I miss being in love. There’s a hole in my heart where love used to be, and maybe will be again, but for now it’s just empty.

That’s the quickest, easiest summary I can give. But more important to this post is that he was my first love. It sounds romantic when I say it like that, and in the movies and the romance novels, if there is a first love then the girl always ends up with him. It’s “Meant To Be.” But that’s not how it works in real life.

Heartbreak is probably the second most painful thing I have experienced in my entire life. I still don’t know how to describe it; and even though I am over the relationship, I still cry when I think about the breakup itself.

I think part of why I still cry, and part of why it hurt so much, was that I had such a naive concept of love. I knew people didn’t always marry the first person they fell in love with. I knew people who were divorced. I knew people who had fallen in and out of love. But to me, I thought that this was it. I wasn’t planning our wedding or anything like that, but I had been able to picture myself with him for the rest of my life, and I thought, once I reached that point, that he was The One.

Now, I’m not sure there is such a thing as “The One.” But like I said, I was naive. It still felt weird to me to think that my parents may have loved someone else before each other, I think I still believed that, while they had dated other people, they hadn’t fallen in love until they met each other. I was a romantic. I believed that true loved happened, and I didn’t understand how people fell out of love. I mean, I knew it happened, but I just didn’t understand it.

Even now I’m not sure I understand it. Falling out of love is a weird process. These are all things that are true:

  1. I am not in love with my ex
  2. I do not want to get back together again
  3. Part of me will never stop loving my ex
  4. I miss him
  5. I miss our relationship

I think some of this might get easier when I fall in love again, when I start dating other people (though who would want to date me? Though that’s a whole other issue). But it took a long time for me to fall out of love. Two years I mourned that relationship, and wanted everything to go back to the way it was. Even now, there’s a tiny part of me that thinks we can make it work, we can get back together. But the majority of me doesn’t want to get back together with him, and also fears that he would leave me again when things got tough, even if I did want to get back together.

It’s confusing. That’s all I can really say about it. My emotions are confusing. I think about our relationship and breakup a lot. Sometimes I cry still. Sometimes I roll my eyes. We’re friends now, like, we actually hang out and do things together and we’re mostly cool. (Though I will admit to jealousy. He’s a very naturally affectionate person, so when he’s affectionate with our mutual friends and not me I get jealous. Because he can never act in that easy way with me again. And I know I will get jealous when he starts dating someone else. It might crush me again when he starts dating someone else, even though I don’t want to be with him anymore. Like I said, confusing.) But overall, this is just a fact of life.

People get their hearts broken. I am now among them. The scars are deep, and visible, but the wounds have healed. They say you know you’re in love when all the pop songs start making sense. Well, it’s true for breakups too. That’s when the other half of the songs start making sense. It’s a mostly universal experience, but that doesn’t make it less lonely when it happens.

Someday, this will be far in my past. My heart won’t hurt so much, and that little part of me that still loves him will be just that – a little, ignore-able part in the grand scheme of things. But the hurt is still fresh enough that that part is a little too big right now. BUt I’ll get over it. I survived falling in love, I’ll survive falling out of it.

I always do.

Loss

Today my sister graduated from college. It reminded me of my graduation, of course, which was only two years ago, and how hard things have been for me since then. Commencement is a joyous occasion, but I found myself crying in the middle of the ceremony. I could only think about two things: how happy I was for my sister and how sad I was for myself. I thought about how much loss and hardship I’ve endured recently. There are three major losses I’ve experienced that I’m going to talk about: the loss of community, the loss of love, and the loss of a friend.

The Loss of Community

Commencement is a time where you leave behind a community that you’ve grown to know and love (hopefully) and are pushed out into the world. And it’s a loss. You lose the sense of having your friends next door, of having people struggling through the same classes you are, of commiserating over finals, and celebrating together when it’s over. Through the good times and the bad, you have backup right at your fingertips – friends, professors, et cetera. It’s different than high school, where you have a community, but it’s not your whole life. You don’t generally live, sleep, eat, and study at high school. But at college and university, you live there (at least at the beginning – if you end up moving off campus), you eat there, your friends are there, you take classes there, you do your homework there, everything is all there in one neat little package. Your entire social life, while it may be moved off campus, is based around the idea of school. You and your friends hang out when there aren’t classes, nights and weekends, during the day, whenever you want, whenever you’re not studying. Then suddenly you don’t have that anymore. Your friends move away. You have to find a new apartment, or move back home. You need to get a job, or move on to higher education. You eat in your own house or at restaurants. And that social life? It changes. Suddenly you’re alone more often, even if you’re surrounded by people at work, because your friends are also working, and when they’re not, everyone’s tired. You have to plan going out in advance. You still have nights and weekends, but you have to remember to get up for work the next day. Everything is…different. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just not the same.

For me, that loss was extremely difficult. My depression was getting worse and worse, and suddenly I didn’t have the support network that I used to. Sure, I still had plenty of friends around and there was always my family, but we didn’t hang out like we used to. I felt isolated and very, very lonely. It was hard not having that community behind me – supporting me and distracting me. Suddenly I was on my own, struggling with my mind, struggling to find a job, just struggling in general. But at least I had my boyfriend, for a few months at least, because then suddenly I didn’t have him either.

Loss of Love

My boyfriend broke up with me as my depression was reaching a boiling point, about five months after my graduation. He was such a big part of my graduation celebration that today made me think of him, and how much fun we had, and how much I miss him even still. It made me think of how much I loved him and how wrapped up in that love I was during my graduation. But I lost that love.

I don’t think he stopped loving me before he broke up with me – he broke up with me because he couldn’t deal with my depression anymore. He told me he still loved me. But that didn’t stop him from breaking up with me. And that hurt – a lot. Losing my boyfriend was a loss that took me about two years to get over, most likely because my depression didn’t let me mourn the relationship properly, it kept bringing it up. Regardless, I suddenly had lost a pillar of love and light and support, and in its place was nothing.

That really messed me up. I’ve written about it a little bit in my posts on depression itself, but I was utterly and completely heartbroken. It’s what triggered my first trip to the hospital, I stopped eating for 2-3 days, I wouldn’t stop crying. And I just didn’t know what to do. I still don’t know what to do about it. I don’t hurt as much anymore, and I’m not in love with him, but I still miss him. I miss being in a relationship, and I miss being in love. There’s a hole in my heart where love used to be, and maybe will be again, but for now it’s just empty.

Loss of a Friend

For this one I have to go back to my freshman year in college, six years ago. That’s when I lost my friend Kat to suicide. This is why I was sobbing at my sister’s ceremony today.There was a memorial song for a girl in my sister’s class who had died of an infection, and it just made me think of how we lost Kat. How she never got to graduate. And sometimes, I just miss her so much.

For three years, her death was the only thing that kept me from killing myself – I knew what it felt to be on the other side of a suicide and I couldn’t do that to my friends and family.

I remember the night she died. I had been trying to reach her all day with no success, but figured she had been studying, as sometimes you do in college. We didn’t always eat dinner together, so no big deal. I was with three of my friends, and as we left the dining hall and approached the dorms, we saw ambulances. It was a Tuesday or a Thursday, I’m pretty sure, and we commented on how someone had probably had too much to drink, because that’s why we usually saw ambulances. But then an acquaintance of ours ran up to us and said, “It’s Kat. Kat’s hurt.” We all ran to the dorm and up the stairs to her room, and ran into a mess of administrators who we didn’t know. We told them we were Kat’s friends, and asked what was wrong. They told us to go wait in the lounge downstairs. We did, and then nobody told us anything for hours.

We all tried to do homework, but no one was really focusing. We knew it was bad, but none of us suspected she was dead. We thought she had slipped and cracked her head open in the shower, or something, and was on the way to the hospital. I was mentally preparing a note to my professors about why I didn’t get my homework done, and getting ready to go to the hospital as soon as they told us and would let us. I remember little details – like one of my friends asking the RA (resident advisor) how bad it was but he refused to tell us anything. I remember frantically wanting to call Simon, who was Kat’s boyfriend at the time. I remember another friend staring off into space, tears in her eyes, like she knew something was coming. Then three people came to talk to us. They looked uncomfortably around the room and one of them said, “As you may know, Kat has died.”

We were stunned. We sat there in shocked silence, unable to breathe, unable to cry as that man /kept talking at us/. We wanted him to go away. We wanted to be alone together. We wanted to cry. But these people kept looking at us and talking at us about how we were feeling and should be feeling, and we couldn’t even cry. Then, another friend, who had just gotten out of class, walked into the lounge. I remember the way the three administrators; heads whipped around to face him, and the moment their gazes were not on us, we burst into hysterical tears, almost in unison.

There’s obviously more to it than that, but I can’t tell any more of the story now. I don’t want to relive it again and again. But I think it was important to type out that much. This is the biggest loss I’ve ever experienced. And I hope no one else ever has to experience something like this, though I know that’s impossible.

To the Future

Commencement is not supposed to be about loss or the past. It’s supposed to be about the success of the students, and the bright futures they are about to lead. But I can’t help but think about all the things I’ve left behind. On this joyous occasion I celebrate my sister, but I also needed to take some time alone to write this. To be sad. Because my last few years have not been the bright future I was promised at my commencement, they have been very dark indeed. And ultimately, we always leave things behind, that’s how we grow – but it’s hard when we don’t leave them on our own terms.

Not _____ Enough

One of the things I still feel most of the time is that I’m not (whatever) enough. I’m not pretty enough.I’m not bi enough.   I’m not happy enough. I’m not depressed enough. I’m just not enough.

Now that the word “enough” has lost all meaning, I’ll simply say that being me is insufficient.

Not Pretty Enough

I’m not pretty. Period. I don’t even need to put an “enough” there. You want to know what’s messed up? I feel bad that I’m not pretty enough to be catcalled, even though (1) that’s sexist and wrong and (2) the few times I have been catcalled I felt very scared and unsafe. But the fact that people, typically men, don’t find me pretty enough to harass makes me feel bad about myself, and then I feel worse for feeling like that and I begin to hate myself for both not being pretty and for succumbing to the misogynistic culture of our society. I started that Selfies for Self Esteem Daily Challenge 65 days ago, and while it is generally helping me like the way that I look better, that still doesn’t mean that I’m pretty. And physical appearance is how most people initially judge others. How am I supposed to find a partner if I’m not pretty enough to attract one in the first place? I know I shouldn’t want to be pretty for other people, and I do want to be pretty just for me, but it still makes me sad that I’m not pretty enough.

Not Bi Enough

I am biromantic asexual which for the intents and purposes of this essay, will be equivalent to bisexual. That in and of itself is part of what I mean when I say I’m not bi enough – since I’m not bisexual, I’m biromantic, it doesn’t count. Even though I’m still attracted to at least two genders. I feel like I’m not bi enough because I’ve only dated two people, and both of them have been cis dudes. Since I haven’t dated a woman, I must not be bi. Furthermore, I am more attracted to men than women, even though I’m still attracted to both, and there are times when I’m only attracted to men and others when I’m only attracted to women. And since there’s so much discourse surrounding bi people that involves “the right way to be bi”and I’m on the wrong side of it, I just feel like I’ll never be bi enough.

Not Happy Enough

This one’s pretty straightforward. I am depressed, therefore I am not happy. Even though I am taking medications and doing therapy and I’m feeling a whole lot better, I’m still not happy. I don’t know how everyone else in the world feels – my ex once told me that happiness is a myth, and everyone is sad just trying to find the joy in life, but it turned out he was depressed too, so there’s that. I get the feeling though, that most people without depression have ups and downs, bad days and good days, but are generally content or happy, with periods of sadness. I, on the other hand, have those same ups, downs, bad and good days, but I’m a generally sad with periods of happiness. (I would like a couple of people to tell me if this is basically true?) How am I supposed to function in a society that is basically happy if I’m basically sad? I’m not happy enough.

Not Depressed Enough

This one seems contradictory to the last one, but it is just as true. It’s the idea that because I’m feeling better now, I must not have been depressed in the first place. Or, in other words, I can’t prove I’m depressed so I must not be depressed enough. Furthermore, even when I was showing extreme symptoms of depression, I still never attempted suicide, or self-harmed for the most part, so I couldn’t be really depressed now could I? If all I felt was overwhelming sadness, there are so many people who had it so much worse and hurt so much worse than I did, than I do, that my depression didn’t count. I wasn’t depressed enough.

Being Me is Not Enough

Enough for what? I don’t know. But I feel invalid and unfulfilled. Unimportant and irrelevant. I am simply not enough for whatever it is that I’m not enough for. It’s an empty feeling inside, and it’s not sadness. It’s just emptiness. It’s what’s in my head when I dissociate. It surrounds me at all times and is like a refrain in the back of my mind, even when it doesn’t actively bother me. It’s still there. I am not enough.

Leibster Award

This is a little different than my normal blog posts, but expect a regular blog post later today. So I was nominated for the Liebster award by natalieschriefer. It’s an award that helps you find new blogs to follow, and I think it was really nice. Thank you so much Natalie! The below is copied directly from her blog.

Liebster Award - Discover New Blogs!

What the heck is the Liebster Award?

In essence, the Liebster Award is a chain letter for bloggers, but unlike its email counterparts, it serves a purpose: the award promotes new blogs (and therefore helps readers discover them). I know it’s a little silly, but all of my writing has been very serious lately and a lighter, sillier topic (like this) is a good change of pace. Besides, who doesn’t love the splash of confidence that accompanies an award nomination?:)

The rules are as follows:

Six Rules of the Liebster Award

So now it’s my turn to answer questions!

  1. How long have you been blogging for? If you count tumblr blogging 4-5 years. If you just count wordpress, then only a few months
  2. Why did you start blogging? I started tumblr because all my friends were doing it and it looked like fun, and I started wordpress because I wanted a place to explain what I was thinking, and write how I was feeling
  3. What do you do to relax? I don’t relax, not anymore. I just sleep.
  4. What’s your favorite travel destination? I’d love to go to England again
  5. Do you prefer physical books or e-books? Physical books, definitely.
  6. Did you ever do those chain letter emails?😉 I did when I was a kid
  7. What do you do when you have writer’s block? I usually don’t write, or I do stream of consciousness writing
  8. Who is your favorite author? Brandon Sanderson
  9. What about your favorite genre? Sci -Fi/Fantasy
  10. What do you prefer to write? (Fiction, poetry, personal essay, articles, etc.) Personal essays and poetry, mostly
  11. What are you most passionate about? I’m passionate about helping widen access to mental healthcare. I haven’t gotten to do much about it yet, but it’s really what I want to do with my life.

 

And now for 11 facts about me!

  1. I’m a cosplayer
  2. I have a huge Pokemon card collection, and I’m still collecting
  3. I love to travel, but can’t do it much because of money
  4. I have a stack of books that I can’t seem to read, even though I want to, and I’m constantly adding to it
  5. My favorite food is sushi
  6. My favorite book right now is The Alloy of Law
  7. I just went to PAX East
  8. My favorite youtuber is Inthelittlewood (Yogscast Martyn)
  9. I have one sister
  10. I’m moving in July
  11. My favorite movie right now is the new Star Wars

Man, coming up with 11 facts is hard.

 

My nominations:

I don’t actually know 11 blogs on here. I don’t interact with the community much…I don’t know how to really. So I’m going to nominate my  seven followers, and a couple of people who have liked my posts, with the exception of Natalie who has already been nominated. I love you Natalie, but I figure you don’t want to be nominated again.

  1. J E N N I F E R 
  2. annalisemsinclair
  3. Chris Karl
  4. writingmywayoutofdepression
  5. melancholicmakena
  6. Peppermintfrost
  7. facetioussoup aka MLWA
  8. Musings of a mad woman
  9. Justice Parker
  10. Kamala Thompson
  11. Tony Vega

I don’t know any of these bloggers well, but their blogs are cool, and I’d like to promote them. Please only do this if you want to. There is absolutely no pressure.

 

My questions:

  1. How do you deal with sadness?
  2. What’s your favorite thing to blog about?
  3. Have you traveled anywhere exciting?
  4. Do you like to play video games or board games?
  5. Favorite animal and why?
  6. What makes you feel good about yourself?
  7. What’s a skill you have that you’re proud of?
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  9. How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?
  10. What do you like to read?
  11. How long have you been writing?

 

Thank you again Natalie for nominating me, and I hope this is a fun little exercise for some of my followers!