I have grown. Some may argue I’ve “changed”. But me? I call it growing. My bullsh*t tolerance has decreased significantly, and I have started to figure out my worth. I’ve learned so much over the last few years. I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad today seems, life really does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter if you wear your heart on your sleeve or if you lock it up in a box away from the world, because in the end – everyone gets hurt. Have you ever heard that quote by Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that you can’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”? Yeah, I’ve learned that too. Above all, I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve had my share of heartache. I’ve been fortunate to never be involved in a physically abusive relationship, but let me tell you – heartache comes in many forms. So tonight, I am writing for the girls who have had their hearts broken. The ones who have been lied to, walked on, promised something, and fed bullsh*t. The ones who always saw the best in him, not believing he could ever possibly be as terrible as he turned out to be. The ones who are trusting someone over and over and over..AND OVER again, because you really want to believe that what he did was a mistake, and he’s changed. Let me let you in on a little secret, he won’t change. I know you may not believe me now, and you might think I just don’t understand… but, I can promise you, I do. I’ve been there… and it sucks.
Someone once told me; “if someone shows you who they are, believe them“. The way he was and the way he is – is the way he will always be. Honey, if he lies to you, he doesn’t feel you’re good enough to hear the truth. If he is breaking a promise, he’s showing you he is okay with disappointing you. This is going to sound a little harsh, but as much as he says he does, he doesn’t really care about you. Excuses mean nothing. Nothing. Nothing he could possibly come up with could fix what he did.
Everyone is standing in a line, not literally, but figuratively. We’re all waiting for life to screw us over. One by one, we get called to move forward. I don’t know why we all hang on to something we know we’re better off letting go. It’s like we’re scared to lose what we don’t even really have. I’ve had people tell me they would rather have something than nothing. But if we are being honest with ourselves, isn’t it harder to have it halfway than not having it at all?
Love happens, and it is so incredibly messy. For years I thought my ex and I were going to end up together, so much so – that I didn’t really care about the “when” of it. It finally came to a point though, that the long road started to seem like an infinite road. Sure, we played those games where you break up and get back together. He would lie to me, cheat on me, and make me feel crazy. He would get caught in a lie, and manage to turn it around on me and before I knew it, I felt like I had done something wrong. I would spend hours on end crying and wondering what is wrong with me. Why do I always have to upset him? Why am I so crazy? Is he right, am I really all those awful names he told me I am? He must be right, no one else could ever possibly love me. He’s the best I’ll ever have. I’m lucky he even gives me the time he does…. right?
Wrong. Oh so freaking wrong. Let me be very clear, I was not a victim. I allowed someone to treat me terribly, and I kept going back for more. I played a part in my own heartache. There were so many times I should have put my foot down, packed my crap, and said NO MORE! But, I didn’t. Now, that doesn’t excuse him from emotionally beating me into the ground. It doesn’t excuse his controlling and manipulating ways. It doesn’t excuse him from the terrible things he said to me, the awful way he made me feel, or from taking every last dime he could get out of me. It doesn’t excuse him from those nights he went out and cheated on me, and it sure as hell doesn’t excuse him from being the plain all around jerk he was.
I spent so much time wondering why I wasn’t good enough – I spent too much time over analyzing, over-thinking and overreacting. I wasted so much time putting myself down, so much that I wasn’t stopping to see that I was truly good enough. I was spending more time defending him, and wanting to believe he was a great person underneath it all. I would convince myself other people just didn’t get it. They didn’t know him like I did. They didn’t see the amazing person he was capable of being. Maybe they were just so judgmental because I told them about our fights and I failed to talk about the good times. That was my fault. They didn’t have a clear picture of him or our relationship, because I wasn’t explaining it right. I was too emotional, I was too dramatic, and sometimes I was even just being jealous… at least, these are the things I used to tell myself when I tried to justify why it was okay for someone to be so awful, and why I had to keep running back for more. On a less serious note, this reminds me of that Dane Cook skit where he is talking about girls staying in a crappy relationship. The friends are telling the girl to leave her boyfriend because he’s a jerk. The girl says something like “I can’t just go. It’s just not that simple . My CDs are in his truck. I can’t just walk away from 40 or 50 CDs. It’s gunna take 2 or 3 more years of abuse until I can leave with my CDs”. I love Dane Cook. He is hilarious. But, they say there is always a little bit of truth behind every “just kidding”… and I think that skit sums up the majority of crappy relationships and crappy excuses to stay in a crappy relationship – perfectly.
I was spending my days with my head down, and nights with my heart closed. I was missing the chance to look up from the ground and see the sun is shining and tomorrow is another day. When I finally reached my breaking point, when I finally decided I had enough. When I knew, I honestly couldn’t take anymore, that was the start of a new beginning. As cliche as it sounds – it was life- changing.
I stopped dwelling, and I stopped watching my phone. I stopped looking for him and I focused my energy on moving on. I decided to meet people, and most importantly – decided to live. Have I forgotten the the nights I used to wish he was there? Have I forgotten the things that shouldn’t have happened? Have I forgotten all the times I opened myself up to let him in, just to get hurt again? Absolutely not. But, I made it a point no matter how hard it was – to continue moving on. I had to ignore his efforts (if you can even really call them that *insert eye roll here*) and I told myself it was time to be strong, and stand tall (well, as tall as you can stand when you’re only 5’3 😉 ). I won’t forget the lesson I learned & I will certainly not forget the hell I was put through to learn all this, to become a better person.
If you’ve ever experienced heartache, you know who I’m talking about – because I bet you’ve been envisioning someone while you’ve been reading this. Hell, if you’re like me, you may have more than one person in mind. Some of us just have to learn the hard way, and that’s okay. There’s nothing like the boy you were so afraid to lose, the boy that changed you, changed your expectations, changed the way you looked at yourself and the world. The one who shakes you up, tears apart your ego a little bit, shows you your obstacles and addictions, & makes you feel so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.
I know what it feels like to be so broken, but have to somehow, someway, find the strength to let go. I know what it feels like to hurt so badly, the idea of ever loving again is laughable but I had to keep my head up anyway. I remember thinking if I took him back (again) that it would put all the pieces back where they belong and everything would fit, but instead I had to accept the cold hard truth. I had to learn from my mistakes (and trust me, I made more than my fair share). I couldn’t stop moving forward, even when I felt like I was taking 10 steps back. I remember what it felt like the first night I woke up with no missed calls, and then the second night… and the third… but learned to smile anyway.
Ladies, I know how much this sucks right now and I know it seems unfair, but when it’s all said and done with, this will all make sense. All this pain you are going through at this moment will eventually teach you some of the greatest lessons in life you will ever need to learn. Sure, you might periodically miss the past, and your wounds are still healing. Break the chains to your unhealthy relationship, & be strong enough to stop looking back no matter how tempting it is – focus on the road ahead. Somewhere out there, there is someone who is meant to be the love of your life, your best friend, the person you can share all of your wildest dreams with, and he’ll smile at you when you tell him, but he will never laugh at your heart. He’ll be bursting to talk to you each morning just to hear the sound of your voice. He’ll look into your eyes and tell you that you are the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen & for the first time in your life, you’ll actually believe it. I know, that’s the kinda stuff that only happens to other girls, right? That only happens in the movies? I totally know what you mean… I felt the same way. I never in a thousand years would have ever thought I would find the man, I now call my husband. But I did, and I am confident you will get your happily ever after too.
I don’t regret the heartache I went through. I think it does a person good to go through heartache at one point or another in their lifetime. Because after I got to the healing part of all that pain, I realized how much love I have to share. I am glad I decided not to stop because of a broken heart. I appreciate my husband in ways that even I cannot understand. I am so much stronger than I was before. I will always be soft and loving – and the world will never turn me hard, so my heart will always be vulnerable to break. That’s just who I am. But I will not let a broken heart stop me from loving. And I will not let a broken heart stop me from bringing light into the world. I will make a change, and I’ll pour love out even if I don’t always feel it pour back in. If I can reach even one person so they feel less alone in the midst of the chaos, that is enough for me. <3