It’s been a while.
I am thinking, “This is stupid, writing about my heartbreak of late 2017.”
I badly want to free him from my narrative because he hasn’t been in my life for more than a year now, nearly two years actually, but that’s not possible because he will always be a character in my story.
As Anne Lamott would say in her Instructions on Writing and Life,
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
So. You will always be a part of my narrative. It can’t be helped.
I know this sounds silly but the cat was the final straw. I just got back from an out-of-country trip and was already making a big issue out of him changing his profile picture in Facebook to that of our male cat. We’ve always had the same profile pictures. I know, the cat picture was stupid and us always sharing the same profile picture was too teenager-y. But the breakup had to happen one way or another, I was desperate to make a mess out of something stupid. Even before my trip, I felt something in our relationship had just fundamentally shifted. It was different that time. I had tried to break us up a couple of times before and it always ended with us hugging each other like neither of us would ever let go. But that last time was different because he just walked out and played basketball and I was left staring at the wall.
I easily got bored. I still easily get bored and I will always need to be doing something. Anything that would make me feel more alive.
Herson was content with watching movies and eating at RUB every f*cking weekend. There were the rare out-of-town trips and, the ones on beaches, he hated because of the heat and humidity.
I lived with this man for nearly three years and I realized that I was living my life only through his. Most of the things we did together were the things he wanted to do and I was okay with that. I was supportive until it was too much. It was never going to work out because that was not the life I wanted. It was not exciting. It didn’t make me feel alive.
There was also the issue about the way he behaved as an adult. He didn’t have a proper job — he wrote on demand as a freelancer for a living— and I was okay with that but he started neglecting his clients and playing too much basketball and buying too many shoes. I didn’t need his money, and he didn’t need mine but I wanted him to be practical. So at my urging, he took a job in the same company where I work— where we are both working now. And, thanks to me, he found himself a new girlfriend.
It was the same girl who consistently liked and would occasionally leave smart comments on his Instagram posts and not once, not even once did I ever suspect that there was something going on. Perhaps I was naive or just damn too complacent. He was a guy who was still friendly with his exes and I was okay with that.. I wasn’t a girl who easily got jealous. Not even once did he ever show the slightest tendency to cheat. But he did anyway.
I thought she was a smart girl because the way she wrote was.. kind of the way he wrote. She was smart, that I know for sure. She outsmarted another girl after all.
I can’t imagine doing the same thing to another girl. Woman to woman, she ‘stole’ something from me. That’s what it felt like. To me. Perhaps they never did anything intimate while we were still together. But if you are a woman, and you are aware that this man has a girlfriend, it doesn’t matter how rock bottom their relationship are at the point you start innocently flirting with him. You just don’t do that to another woman. Woman to woman, you will avoid him. You will not allow him to pour his heart out to you because he has a girlfriend. Having issues with your own boyfriend doesn’t also justify your need to pour your heart out to a man who happens to be there just because you share the same workspace.
But that’s her story. Her own discretion and infidelity, and although I know parts of it, it will not be a part of my narrative. I felt bad for her then-boyfriend.
Nobody deserves to be cheated on. I don’t understand people who can start another relationship without properly ending their previous one. It is cowardly. It is barbaric. It is not something I can imagine ever doing in this lifetime. It is just unthinkable to break another person that way. To make them feel that it was somehow their fault. To make them not believe in love again. To make them feel afraid to love again. To transform them into these paranoid, jealous individuals who couldn’t hold their next relationships down.
A couple of months after the breakup, I started dating this guy who also liked to travel. I broke things off nearly a year after we got together because apart from traveling, there’s little else in the relationship. I easily got jealous at all of his female friends, maybe I was being unreasonable or maybe there really was something to my suspicions and at that point, I didn’t like my behavior, I didn’t like that I had turned into this jealous, control-freak. Soon after, I realized that I never loved Mark and up to now I suspect that he was a rebound.
A few days after, I jumped into another relationship which I identified immediately as a rebound so I had to end it again. It was very not me and I didn’t like that part about myself.
Rebound after another. We do stupid things in the name of love, or the lack of it thereof. But it is not something to be ashamed of. We are after all more than just sentient beings. We feel too much and think too much, and we love other people too much even when sometimes, they don’t even deserve the love we give them.
Had it ever crossed my mind to give us another chance if the circumstances would allow? No.
The cheating is enough. It doesn’t make sense to trust someone not to cheat on you again. He did it and he could do it again. Maybe he won’t, but it will always be at the back of my mind. The trust will never be restored.
But, looking back, I would say that the cheating was merely the tip of the iceberg. We were just incompatible. I am too much of an extrovert, I thirst for adventures. He’s the exact opposite. We clearly weren’t meant for each other and we would never work out and he hurt me more than anyone had ever hurt me before.
Being able to write this truthfully, in my own version of the truth, I guess I have moved on. Yes. Maybe. I am not even mad at him anymore. I was mad at him because he didn’t even have the decency to tell me about his discretion/infidelity before we broke things off or even after. I had to learn about it weeks after and from someone else. I was angry at myself because he bounced back much faster than I did. That was a hard punch to my ego.
When I thought I was finally free, it felt like waking up after a very long hibernation.
I started to travel more. At first, it felt like running away. I was going to so many places.. Visited several countries and numerous cities in and out of the country within one year. At first, there was emptiness after running to these new, far off places. I ran in so many different ways, did so many things I’ve never done before. But the truth is, time is the distance that I needed to navigate. I could never run far enough away. I realized I had to stop and wait.
So I began the process of stopping and waiting.. stop being so afraid of giving my heart and my all again.. stop deciding a timeline of when I can move on.. stop running away from dealing with my emotions, from love.. stopped being ashamed of love and the vulnerability that comes with it. That’s when I knew that I have begun to let go.
I have forgiven him although he never apologized, and, really it is no longer necessary. I want him to find real happiness, or if he is on his way there, I want him to keep going towards it, with my forgiveness. I mean it. There’s a part of me that can’t believe it, but I do. I know I will always care about his well-being. He will always be a part of me. He wasn’t a monster just because of one big mistake. In another time, Herson loved me, took care of me, wished the best for me. I loved him, or I guess I will always love him a bit or the person he was or, maybe, just maybe, I love just the idea of him.
I suck at writing endings so I will leave this with something I have read somewhere: the glass is neither half-empty nor half-full. It is refillable.