Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Letting Go
Apr 2011 28

Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Letting Go

Posted In All Things SG,Blog,Booze,Food & Drink,Love,Relationships,Sex,Society

by Laurelin

Heartbreak. It happens to everyone, and people deal with it in different ways. I remember the first time I ever felt it, the impossible sadness and emptiness that just washes over your body in a wave when someone decides they don’t want you anymore. I was in high school, having dinner with my family and the phone rang. He always called around that time. We talked for hours every night. That night was different.

“You didn’t see this coming?” He asked. “L, school’s over. I want to be free for the summer.” I hung up the phone, wanting to scream and cry, throw the phone through the window…but I stayed silent. I swallowed it all, and in that moment I decided that that’s how I would get by. I walked calmly back to the dinner table, smiled and carried on. My parents never even knew anything was wrong. Inside, I was crushed and angry, outside, I was calm, cool and collected.

I didn’t date anyone else for two years, but eventually high school ended and college was a new start. I met someone, and it was a fairy tale. I still consider myself lucky to have known anything like that. It ended well enough, looking back, but it took me another solid two years to get passed that one as well. After we agreed to call it quits I just wanted to give up. It couldn’t be over, but it was, and it was next to impossible to move on. But, after college, just as before, I did move on. The next guy and I dated on and off for a few years as well. He was different then the rest. He was a bit controlling, but I was all too ready to accept the roll of housewife after spending the last few years drinking my face off in dark bars. I didn’t go out, just came home after work, crawled into bed, and loved him with everything I had. My friends didn’t trust him; I thought they were crazy.

And then one day he was just….Gone. We had fought that day, and I came home from work and all of his things were gone. There was no trace of him, no phone, no email, no contact. It was the cruelest thing that has ever been done to me to this day. That boy broke something in me, something worse than the rest. I had changed my life for him, and he just left. It was as though he had died, but he hadn’t. He just chose to leave and never look back. It was the same as the others, for a year I couldn’t even look at guys. I was cold, dead, game face on all the time, always on guard, always smiling. It was a lie. Every time the phone rang my heart would leap, but it was never him. I was forgettable, replaceable, and with every passing minute being driven crazy.

And then one day, one year later, my phone rang. Just when I had stopped looking for him, there he was.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I miss you. I want to come home.”

One year of silence, almost to the day. He sounded exactly the same, and I crumbled and let him come home. So much changes in a year; I had become a monster. It was silly of me, thinking I could forgive him and just have things back to the way they were. I had spent that whole year angry and hurt, and all of a sudden what I thought I had wanted back seemed suffocating. He accused me of being heartless, of not caring about anything, of never talking about my feelings, and of never getting angry. He said he never knew what I was thinking, and I would never tell him. He begged me to say anything, and I remember wanting to say so much, but I didn’t speak one word. How could I? He was just going to leave again. And eventually he did. He met another girl who wasn’t broken, and he was happy.

I had managed to convince myself that I was better off alone. If you’re alone, no one can hurt you. If you don’t talk about your feelings, they don’t exist. Never show weakness, never let anyone in. I got used to it, cultivated it and convinced myself that this stoic person was me.

But it’s not me, and in the past few years I’m happy to say I have figured that out. I’m not sure when it happened, but one day I just…wasn’t that monster anymore. I know what I want. Heartbreak is still very real, but every day that goes by it gets easier. It’s been seven months now since my last boyfriend and I broke up, and not even one inch of me wishes we were still together. We are great friends and I am all the better for it. It was pretty rough in the beginning, but just knowing that time really does heal all wounds got me by. This too shall pass.

The things I have dealt with in the past have all but been erased. I’m not angry, jealous, or guarded anymore. I don’t mind telling people what’s on my mind, and it makes me laugh when it makes them uncomfortable. I don’t have time for games after playing them for so long myself. Everyone else my age might be getting married, having kids, working a normal day job, or going to school. I don’t have any of that stuff figured out, but I don’t care. All I know is that when I smile at someone I mean it, and I don’t have to worry about their baggage matching mine. Check that shit at the door, or better yet, toss it in the Charles. Baggage makes you who you are; you’re shaped as a person by the things that happen to you, there’s no doubt about that. But too much baggage gets heavy, and there is no better feeling than just…letting go.

***

Related Posts:

Life Beyond the Bar Scene: He Broke Up with Me on a Post-it and Other Travesties
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Starting Over and Other Stupid Resolutions
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: When it’s Time to Move On
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: The Dating Game
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: After a Few Beers Everyone Looks Good and Other Love Stories
Life Beyond the Bar Scene: Does it Exist?

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