The Breakup I Thought I'd Never Survive
Love is mysterious, but good; it's the only thing that triumphs over evil. When all hope seems lost, hold on to love.
Love can be observed through many lenses, and it is easy to find any form of judgment to view the love between two people. But can we ever fully understand the love of just any two individuals? What makes it work, and continuously thrive? And what doesn't? Or predict whether it lasts or not? Truth is there's never really a way of telling, except through letting what is love be.
A little over a year ago my boyfriend of four years proposed at a concert we were attending in Chicago, at the House of Blues. Of course I said yes! I had been dying to marry him since two years before, and quite frankly I had begun to wonder if this goofball would ever pop the question, but he finally did! We had it all figured out. Well, at least we thought we did. We had the date picked, we had the location, we knew the colors, and the rest we slowly decided on together as the next few months came and went.
Never had I imagined in this whole wedding planning craze that my boyfriend-turned-fiance would break off our engagement five months later, and tell me he no longer wanted to get married, or be with me, instead he wanted to pursue a WWE wrestling career and live all the dreams he felt I smothered whenever we got together. As you can imagine I was crushed beyond belief.
I was so far from repair that I even lost my mind for a little while, ending up in a hospital bed in the Mental Health Unit for a few days, due to episodes of breakdowns and an unsuccessful suicide attempt. I was being diagnosed with something the doctors called an "Adjustment Disorder"; to put it frankly they theorized my breakdowns were due to the sudden end of my engagement, and the grief of losing the man I loved left me drowning in sorrow.
I couldn't begin to explain where it all went wrong, it took me a moment, but it all became clearer with time. How could the picture perfect love I thought we had suddenly bloom into something wilting in agony and pain, becoming lifeless with the passing days? How had we both been so blindsighted we didn't see that all along we were distancing ourselves from each other and falling apart? There were so many signs, so many different ways we were both failing in our relationship, but neither of us were willing to be the one to face it and say it aloud until my then fiance said enough was enough.
Things got really hard when my ex fiance then decided to date a girl he worked with, that I had suspected for a while was in love with him despite his many denials, just a day or two after he had finalized our breakup and had chosen to distance himself further from me, because it was over right? That's what people do after a breakup... they move on. Or try. At least they're supposed to.
While he had began his attempt at moving on I had just been released from the hospital. I was equipped with the mindset to get back in the swing of things by taking a few days to myself to feel comfortable being in my own skin again, and to try to collect the rest of my fragile pieces before I'd make contact to try and setup a meeting where we could talk things over, and find proper closure. After all, he'd been the love of my life for the past four years, and I just needed a proper goodbye than how we had left things before. However... life has a very interesting way of adding unexpected twists, to throw you off, just when you thought you were holding it all together.
Due to our breakup we had missed out on one of our best friend's birthdays, and completely forgot about it in our selfish fighting, and I had planned on making it up to him by treating him to dinner the day before everything hit the fan. Hard. Little did I know that this was only going to come back and bite me in the behind. I should have heeded the warning of "a picture speaks a thousand words", but I had innocently convinced the little voice of warning inside my head that everything was going to be alright. That night, during dinner, I tried my best to seem myself, to not bring "him" up, or even talk about the breakup, but I wasn't succeeding because my friend could tell, and would ask if I was going to be alright, seeming to worry more as the evening stretched on. To distract him from the dreaded topic of my breakup, I piped up and faked a brightening smile and said, "Hey, we can't forget a birthday celebratory photo now, can we?! Come here," and with just a click of a button, I captured a sad moment of my attempt at doing something as normal as celebrating a friend's birthday. After posting it on Facebook, captioning it exactly for what it was, a celebration of his birthday, I couldn't help but feel pathetic and miserable. It was time to go home. I had no more fake smiles to spare.
Just as we were leaving my friend turns and says uncomfortably, "I hope he doesn't get the wrong idea about you and me and all this... I know how he gets," and at first I was confused, but then I understood. My face warmed a little, unsure how to answer him. I sighed and shrugged before answering, "We aren't doing anything wrong. I just came to celebrate your birthday, it's harmless. It doesn't matter what he thinks. I'm your friend too," and with that we departed. After dropping him off, I got back on the highway for the long stretch home. I felt the weight of everything all of a sudden. As if the invincible cloud, that had held all my problems while I pretended to be normal for a bit, had just popped, releasing all my burdens for me to bear once more. I thought about him, wondering where he would be right then, if he'd be sitting on the couch at home watching a wrestling match, maybe a movie, or perhaps playing Madden. Little did I know that the last guess had been very much close to home, except he wasn't playing Madden alone. These details I eventually found out about in the following days. But as I had innocently let my mind wander and miss him, drifting along the road to home, I had no clue just the shattering truths that would await me the next day.
A photo was all it took for my fragile world to crack into tiny pieces again. The power of moments captured in a photograph is unmistakeable.
I had been invited over the next evening to bake some apple pies with some friends; usually I observed as they baked since they were the masters. But I hadn't been over for long when I received a text from my sister revealing more than I was ready for. In her text was a photograph of the man that was once mine half smiling in that ornery wolfish way I was used to, and leaning in to the young girl sitting next to him in a car while she took their selfie, her face stretched out in a gleeful smile almost as if to say "I won," or, "Yay, he's finally mine"... she had posted their picture on her Instagram with the caption "Perfect night with the perfect guy" ...and it's interesting how such things can rake you from the inside out.
I felt bitter, hurt, screams of betrayal and the "I knew it," and the "I told him so" came screaming into my mind and soul. I was filled with so much hate I felt as if I could crush anything with my bare hands. Confronting him suddenly couldn't wait any longer. I felt I deserved an explanation. After all the hurt he put me through, and after we had just broken off our engagement, months before we were to be wed, he owed me an explanation. For all I knew he and this girl had been planning this all along, that somehow they had been wanting to be together this entire time, and I had been cheated on while I had thought we were getting ready to be married. I felt all out of sorts. One could say I felt hysterical.
Without delay I left my friends to their baking, and raced like a mad horse to his house. I messaged his stepmom if she knew if he was home, to which she replied that as far as she knew he was, and then I asked if she could let me in because I needed to discuss something with him. Thankfully she did. Once inside his house, and in front of the basement door I had remembered countless times walking in and out of, I suddenly came back to myself... feeling the numbness prickling at my skin, every inch of me throbbing with my anger at being stupid and blind, believing him when he had ended things saying he didn't feel like being with anyone anymore, not me, not even the girl from work I claimed liked him, not anyone. He just wanted to focus on him and WWE.
I felt betrayed even though we were over. Pure electric shock raced through me with every heavy breath I exhaled. I couldn't believe that it hadn't even been days after he ended things, and he had already taken on a new relationship. I was outraged. His stepmom opens the door for me, I must've waited a bit too long, and she called down for him, saying someone was here for him. And to this I hear him coming up the stairs, his stepmom turns to go back to bed and says to talk but to not be loud, and as soon as he rounds the corner and sees me he cusses and turns back around and retreats to the basement. I follow, and say we need to talk to which he responds, "Oh yeah? About what? There's nothing to talk about."
I of course dive right in about the meaning of the photo on his new girl's Instagram, and how he had lied to me about not being interested in her, and that he didn't want to date after we broke up, etc. And he scoffs and claimed at first he asked her out just to prove me wrong about her liking him, but she ended up saying yes, then he figured it'd upset me, but then he ended up actually liking her. She understands and accepts his WWE dream and encourages it, and she also plays Madden, something I didn't do because I didn't understand gaming stuff all that much. The more he spewed about what he liked about her the more I couldn't bear it. So I said fine, and began to retreat and run away, as I felt was all that was left to do, he of course comes after me heatedly questioning, "What about that photo of you and him last night? You guys seemed to enjoy yourselves... did you have a nice date?"
And I yelled back, "It wasn't a date damn it! We forgot his birthday! I went to be a good friend and celebrate with him by treating him to dinner... I would've asked you to come but I wasn't ready to face you yet..." and he cuts in.
"Sure could've fooled me... you guys sure looked cozy. And for your information I was sitting at home with nothing to do last night! So you could've asked."
I tried to fight back tears. "We were not being cozy, in fact I was so unhappy, and no matter how I tried to not talk about you here, and there, he kept assuring me you and me would work things out... but then I find out about you and her like this..."
I gave up and cried. All he did was shrug as he sat there on the steps with me. I told him I guess there was nothing more to be said. And with a "guess not" in response to me, I wished him well with his new girlfriend and left, barely feeling my legs under me.
It was the first time since before my hospitalization that I had been reminded physically that "we" were no more. It was done. That painful truth vibrated through me piercingly. I never imagined that such form of pain could exist, or that it was happening to me. I couldn't believe that something you can't see could hurt you the way this did. It was the same pain I feared and had gone to the hospital to escape... this pain of heartbreak. I did the only thing I learned that helped me best survive this same pain while I was in the hospital, rush to take the magical pills that would numb it all, that would help me forget the memories, just for a few hours so I could sleep. I needed to escape this. And the many prescribed pills I was given by the experts were my sanctuary.
I could tell you that this is where it all ends. In the exciting, imaginary, and thrilling world of stories it would have probably been the perfect ending here to state that I had ODed on my medication, and got sent to the insane asylum for the rest of my days, while he and his new fling lived happily ever after. Perhaps in a world where we were not meant to end up together after all... this would probably have been the perfect ending to write, but it was not the ending meant for us. Oh no. The power of love is mysterious and good, it's the only thing that can triumph over evil. Come what may.
Would you believe me if I told you they dated for at least two weeks (while he and I were both trying to work through our confused feelings) before he ended things after he gave up denying the fact that he still loved me? You probably could. Even crazier still, what if I told you we got happily married about a month ago and we are now expecting our first child come April? I bet you didn't see that ending coming. Trust me, it is a far cry from the ending I had imagined: Booze, endless dating fails till I gave up, and just traveled, and lived a penniless life doing just that.
Although as sweet and blessed as things turned out for us, it would not have been possible without learning from our mistakes, the power of forgiveness, the courage to love again and more, and trusting in the faith that we had in each other. All these things came out of all the bad and hurt we experienced, and all of it has helped us realize just how important it was to support one another in everything. Even with crazy dreams. That's what had been missing all along, support. Equal amounts between you and your partner can do wonders. Take it from me. I'm fortunate to have learned this lesson, even if it was the hard way. Just remember that it's one thing to tell someone you support them, but another to act upon that. They do say actions speak louder than words, and in this story that is very much true.
I'm thankful everyday we got a second chance. We are blessed to be able to grow even stronger from the trials and tribulations we underwent, that our love survived after all, and grows, and strengthens with each passing day, as we await, and prepare for our biggest blessing yet.
We are definitely one of the lucky ones.