“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” – Ronald Reagan
And now everything has changed, I am more ‘me’ than I have ever been before.
Because, after everything that had happened with my ex husband, I thought my deepest insecurities has been confirmed: I thought I was completely unlovable. All of my previous fears of loss and rejection had now become the most unbearable of realities.
But in reality, that heartbreak was nothing compared to the one I experienced some two months ago. You see, 12 months ago, I met a man that completely swept me off my feet. And he gave me butterflies so bloody much, I should have considered opening a zoo!
He still makes me feel this way to this day. And in all honesty, I doubt I will ever feel this way about anyone else.
The problem was, walls I had built as a means of protection, ended up hurting me in a way I could have never imagined. He spent so long trying to reassure me that he wasn’t like the rest of them, that I lost sight of the reasons I had fallen in love with him in the first place. I second guessed every single word he said and I eventually pushed him away.
I believed that one day, he would do the same things to me that my ex husband had done. I thought all men were the same. Except, I actually did think he was different. He absolutely was not like my ex, or anyone before or after him. But I only had an 8 year relationship and a few mixed up months to go on. This, mixed with my anxiety and PTSD, meant that I always tried to keep him at a distance. The walls I had put up to keep me safe needed to come down in order for it to work and as quickly as he was chipping away at the bricks, I was putting them back up. I had not dealt with the heartbreak and pain that I had been through before meeting him and unfortunately, being stubborn means that I find it difficult to admit when I am wrong, so much so that I rarely do it. So when something would upset me or annoy me, my immediate reaction was to run.
I would tell him it was over, never actually wanting it to be. I never meant a single word I said when I would say it, but I would say it anyway because I thought it would be easier for him to walk away early on and that in turn would save me the heartbreak in the future. And every single time, he would tell me I was being silly, that he loved me and that it would be fine. Except that last time.
This time, something was different. This time, he agreed and told me he thought it was for the best.
I felt as though my world had ended all over again. It felt as if all the love I’d known had been extinguished in a single second. And I was absolutely heartbroken. And in spite of his willingness to let me go, I held on to him in the hope that this despairing situation would somehow turn around. If only I could win his heart back, we could have everything we had really wanted…
I think what hurt the most, was that he was so unwilling to talk to me about it. That he had promised he would always be there. That he would always fight for ‘us’ when I was unable to do that. I was so angry at myself for believing every single word he had said and that once again, I had let a man break my heart. And this time it hurt so much because I actually loved him so much.The man I once adored. The man I once wanted to grow old and grey with. The man I had trusted, had made me feel like I had never meant a single thing to him. That I was just someone to fill some time. That every bloody thing he said to me was nothing more than a twisted lie!
It’s kind of messed up isn’t it? How all of a sudden, someone just decides that they don’t want to talk to you or see you again. No real reason. No explanation. No words really said… They just leave you hanging like you never meant anything to them and what hurts so much more, is how they make it look so easy when your heart is breaking into a million pieces.
And it is hard. It is really really hard, leaving a relationship without any real closure. Without any real reason why it had to come to an end in the first place. It makes moving on extremely difficult. I don’t think you can ever forget someone that once was the reason you smiled everyday.
For months, I have completely blamed my self for the break down of our relationship. I thought it was all down to me. My insecurities. My inability to move on from what had happened in the past. But half of this is on him. Because it takes two people to make a relationship work. When I needed him the most, he turned his back and walked away. He chose to lie to me about how he really felt about me. He chose to not fight for us like he had promised. He chose to leave the woman he ‘loved’ when she was suffering with mental health problems without a second thought about it, because it didn’t suit him.
And that is not down to me. That’s down to him being lazy and being a complete coward. And I was stupid enough to think he was better than that. He was not the man I fell in love with. He was not the man he made me think he was. And do you know something… I have absolutely no regrets about ending it that morning, because at least now I can see him for who he really is. At least now I can see that I deserve someone better than that. Because despite the battle I had going on in my head, I fought for us, for him, for two and a half months. I tried and tried to get him to see that this was the wrong decision for both of us.
And I meant so little to him that he wouldn’t even allow us to have a conversation, like he had promised. And whilst now I realise I should have characterised him by his actions, not been fooled by his words, I am glad I allowed him to fool me. I am glad I fell in love with him. And I am glad he walked away. Because I can now move on knowing I don’t need him in my life, despite him wanting to keep me in his by being his ‘friend’. I am an all or nothing kind of a girl… and you don’t get the have me halfheartedly! I just don’t work like that!
I am more than grateful for the lessons I have learnt from this relationship. I do not regret loving him for a second. And I am absolute at fault in parts. I realise that I did not give him the respect and love that he deserved at times. I am aware that I didn’t try as hard as he would have liked with spending time with him and his friends and family. But, he let me down by not realising that I had no control over my anxieties and that all I needed was for him to support me through my recovery. He let me down by walking away.
If you have ever suffered from anxiety, you will know that you have zero control over the way it makes you feel. You have no control over the deep fears in the pit of your stomach and the actions that these fears make you take.
If I had control over my anxieties, we would probably still be together. But in turn, he should have seen how much I needed his help and he should have got off his lazy ass and supported me, not walked away!
Thankfully, I have now learnt how to deal with them in a way which does not let them consume my life anymore. It has taken months of hard work and determination and believe me, my recovery is far from over, but the hard work I have done so far has resulted in me being ready to show him just how incredible this could have been. To show him just how far I have come and prove to him that I could still be the girl he fell in love with, but better….
But now I realise, that because he found it so easy to walk away when I was at my worst… that now he absolutely does not deserve to have me at my best.
We end up in toxic relationships because we don’t stand up for ourselves when red flags occur. We let them slide, simply because we fear losing a companion. But how long do you let disrespect and neglect go? At some point, you need to develop healthy barriers for how you are going to allow yourself to be treated.
And regardless of how much it hurts right now, I know it will pass. Every day gets a little brighter and a little easier.
I know now that if your heart hurts after letting go of something or someone, that is an acceptable way to feel. It just shows that your feelings were 100% genuine.
No one likes things coming to an end. No one enjoys the pain it brings. But sometimes, we have to put things that were once amazing to an end after they end up turning toxic for our wellbeing.
You have to understand that not every new beginning is meant to last forever and not every person that walks into your life, if meant to stay.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that one day, probably sooner rather than later, he will realise just how much of a mistake he has made. He will realise that he should have fought a little harder and held on a little tighter. And when he does, he has my number to discuss it if he decides to get off his lazy ass and do something.
I did try to be his friend like he had wanted and I couldn’t, no matter how much I would have liked to have kept him in my life.
I had to say goodbye.
I had to let go.
I have finally realised that the man I once loved, had become a stranger to me.
And I guess that is what saying goodbye is always like – It is like jumping off the edge of a cliff. The worst part is making the choice to do it because once you are in the air, there is nothing to do but let go.
And there is a huge difference between goodbye and letting go.
Goodbye means “I’ll see you again when I’m ready to hold your hand and when you are ready to hold mine”.
But letting go means “I’ll miss your hand and now I realise it is no longer mine to hold and now I will never get to hold it again.”
But sometimes, you just have to let go, regardless of how much it hurts you. Regardless of how much it keeps you awake at night,
And one day, you will meet someone new; and ultimately they are going to find out how you chew, how you sip. How you dance and sing. How your face looks underneath makeup or how wild your hair looks in the morning. How you love strawberries and chocolate or a chicken and crisp sandwich. How hyper you can get after having too much coffee.
How certain songs and movies make you happy or how cranky you can get when you’re tired. They will still think you are beautiful regardless of all of that.
They are going to know almost everything about you, the good and the bad,
And do you know what?
They are still going to love you regardless!
I know he is still the man I fell in love with deep down. I don’t know where or why he lost the part of him self that he gave to me: the self he had let me see and love anyway. And in all honesty, I think he does still love me.
Everyone saw the way he looked at me. I looked into those eyes and saw complete love and adoration and I know that doesn’t disappear, even after a few months.
So who knows, one day I may just get the conversation that he promised me. And if I don’t, that is fine too… because losing him meant that I was able to find myself. And for me, that makes losing him worth every second!
© 2017 Belle’s Notepad (Laura Denton)