Ahh…it is the old story….
I met an ex boyfriend recently who I had parted badly with – yes. That joy. I had found out in despair many years ago now that he had cheated on me left, right and centre..and then some more just for good measure. Even with prostitutes. It was strange seeing him again. Still the same guy and no doubt with the same problems. What was even stranger was how different I felt in his presence. I felt nothing. This guy had severely broken my heart and I couldn’t believe my own reaction. I felt nothing at all. Zero. The aftershock response of having experienced severe grief…numbness.
He was older than me by about 20 years and I was 22 at the time all this drama had unfolded. Not old enough or with enough experience to know what I was really dealing with. He was a man I had felt happy and safe with. I enjoyed his company so much and he really made me laugh. I’m sure he saw me and thought to himself ‘easy prey, a sitting duck’. I thought we had shared some great times and I suppose in some ways we had (in my own delusional mind at the time). In the end though, all I had were tears. Finding text messages from other woman on his phone was the tip of the iceberg.
I caught him in the act eventually. (The act of sex, not the act of love I might add). Serial womanisers are unfamiliar with what love is. The only feeling they have is limited to one area and it isn’t their heart. To love someone means you care which means you have feeling and would know what it means to hurt someone who trusts you. So from sex, we went to ex fairly quickly – instantly in fact. I had cried myself to sleep every night for weeks on end. I could barely eat for the emotional knots and anxiety in my stomach and I had wished the world would leave me in peace to grieve my loss. But – I had to go to work as usual the next day. Life goes on. Fun, fun, fun!
His words to me on the last day we were together were as follows – ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I know I’ve f****d up. I’m so sorry.’ I think my words were in response:
‘Yes, well that’s lies for you. They’ll screw you in the end. Your penis would be proud.’ (or words to that effect – I’m still quite hazy on how I replied. I had blocked most of it out for obvious reasons!
Now, we were standing on a street corner during a busy lunch hour making irrelevant smalltalk. We were total strangers now. It was surreal to say the least. It was almost as though time had stood still for a moment, almost like a sarcastic joke thrown down to me by fate to see how I would deal with it. I don’t think I dealt with it in any shape or form. I just…felt nothing. A void. To be honest, when we had been together, emotionally we were strangers to each other as well. All the lies he had told me had torn trust and honesty apart at the seams before I was even aware of it. And you know what they say about trust and mirrors…
He had been living a lie with himself. If I had stayed and given him another chance, it would have been me living the lie as well. It wasn’t even the fact that he had been with other woman that bothered me most. It was the fact that he had deceived me. The hurt and the betrayal was what hurt me so much. Those feelings of anguish and pain that I was now struggling so hard to recall. It was another lifetime ago to me. What I had thought in my naive younger years to be intimacy, love and trust was a comeplete lie. My god had I changed since then and as I walked away, I thanked my lucky stars I had made my escape when I did.
Along with numbness, I also felt so much relief that I was no longer anywhere near him. I just hoped he wasn’t in the process of screwing up yet another poor woman’s life and trust in the goodness of people. Hope springs eternal.
‘Goodbye’..the best word ever sometimes…..
How many of us out there are living a lie? (albeit very subtly sometimes – denial can be a force to be reckoned with). Telling lies is almost as bad as living a lie. Perhaps when you tell lies, you are then living a lie as you have to convince yourself to believe in the lie. If you don’t believe the lies you are telling, then how can other people believe it? If you do want to live a lie, I would say – do it on your own time and not on someones else’s.
Walking away is hard but it is a simple solution…end something that clearly isn’t working. And this, to me at the time was right in my face…and not in the good way!
Keep heartbreak to yourself if you can’t treat your partner with basic respect!
Grr! I hate meeting an ex…it can be a journey to bitter and resentful land, city central if you let it but too much water has passed under the bridge for that….a life lesson for sure!
Forgiveness is healthier and easier to accomplish than holding a heavy and painful grudge. In all honesty, it just isn’t worth wasting the energy…use the same energy to love yourself and others instead.
Time well spent!
Christina McDonald 2014.