My being calm and collected does not make me naive/innocent/in denial, this is what acceptance looks like.
I recently had dinner with my maternal grandparents (celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary), my great aunt and her daughter, and my aunt. At one point my cousin asked if I was still with the same guy. I told her he’d left and made a comment that it was all for the best.
My aunt then requested permission to say one thing against him, she was granted that permission, and then the item which upset her (the timing of the breakup) was addressed because — of all the things to be upset about regarding the end-times of our relationship — that wasn’t one of them.
I wrapped up what I had to say making a note about communication issues and differences in trajectories before once again asserting that it was all for the best. My cousin then started cooing “Oh, look how innocent she is” and I didn’t address that statement at all because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep a civil tongue if I did.
Here’s the thing. I’ve handled the breakup like a goddamn champ.
Were there moments of denial and bargaining and offers to fight for him and offers to wait for him? Yes. Of course there were, anytime the brain perceives a disruption to one’s safety (including the social safety of a long-term relationship) every possible course of action is taken to remedy the situation if such a remedy is possible.
In order to convince your brain of something contrary to just one of its deeply held beliefs/routines, it must be flooded with information. That includes flooding itself with every possible rejection from the object of one’s affections at the end of your relationship.
So I went through my paces trying to hold onto to him, and then when every possible action had been taken to win him back, I focused on evaluating his behavior leading up to the breakup.
That’s when I got angry. I’d been a “little” angry already from the way he’d handled/not handled getting his stuff out of the apartment in a timely manner (after I had spent a whole day getting it all together in boxes and bags for easy retrieval for him).
Then, I focused on turning that anger to productive pursuits; writing the guided journal, putting a proper dent in healing my hoarding, iterating my daily routines for better OCD-management.
There’s plenty for me to be mad at, but the timing isn’t one of them. And my calm is not a sign of naivety.
You want to be mad at my ex? Then go to your root anger: You trusted this person to be good to me and then he broke my heart and that pisses you off. That is what you true and proper get to be angry about.
Everything else is for me to be angry about, it’s not for you to drudge up and keep me angry when I have better things to do.
You want to be calm and wise and on my side? Then acknowledge the sh*t-tonne of work I have done to get passed the hurt, log the lessons that needed learning, and get on with my life.
Neither my hurt nor my healing are points of entertainment, they are simply mine. And I’m doing the best that I can with what I have.
Also published on Medium.