A Reason & A Cold Season

Sometimes life is a puzzle and certain pieces that once fit snugly into the picture’s perfection, no longer seem to fit, no matter how hard you squeeze.  Today was one of those hard days, those days in which I had to let someone go because our lives were no longer fitting together, the bonds no longer fused tightly in place.  I hate these days and as I get older and realize my own worth, these days seem to occur more frequently.  I am realizing what I deserve and don’t deserve, and while I am grateful for greater self-clarity, I am crumbling because it is so hard for me to say goodbye to what once was. 

After I said my goodbyes and feebly tried to close a chapter, I sat and stared at the nothingness the four walls of my bedroom offer for a long while.   I wept and I realized I had not felt this way in such a long time, almost two years in fact.  As I reflected on the pain of letting go, my eyes landed on a memory box sitting near the base of my boudoir.  Black and white and featuring a dainty mannequin, this box held all the memories and emotions of the past.  While staring at this little box, I realized I haven’t cried this hard or long since breaking off my relationship with my ex.

As the last days slowly rolled along, my past relationship had started killing me, from the inside out.  The last few days and hours were a blur of fights, tears and verbal torture.  I haven’t revisited those dark hours until just now, as I sit here and share this.  But they were black with hate and I was a target of abuse.  I knew then I had to leave, had to say goodbye, but just as it is now, it hurt and I didn’t want to.  I couldn’t let go of the old and familiar, even if it was my death sentence—I was willing to die for this crazy sense of love I had been brainwashed to believe existed.

But it didn’t. And as I lay on our bed, exhausted from another countless stormy fight, I called my mom for help and advice.  As I listened to her plead with me to leave for what must have been the thousandth time, my eyes locked on the black and white memory box.  Her voice drifted to the background as I dumped out the remnants of the treasured box.  There, spread out before me, was my six years.  The laughs, the trips, the silly faces—it was all there.  Tickets to every place one could think of visiting were there, sprawled out, like a map of our relationship.  And the tears streamed down my face.

When I finally moved out and returned to the safety of my family’s home, I dumped out the box again, only this time there were no tears.  It was as if something had taken over me and my emotions were dry, almost cold.  All those trinkets I once held so near to my heart had become reminders of something so cruel and thoughtless.  I immediately dumped every photo and piece of scrap paper into a box and swiftly sent it to my ex’s apartment.  I was empty—and so too was my memory box.

Maybe you’re only alloted a certain amount of tears per man; and I’ve used mine up.—SATC

I’ve become almost an emotional-bulimic.  Too frightened to ever purge food, I purge emotional attachments.  This has been the coping mechanism I’ve adopted since the end of my relationship.  For six years, I had two scrapbooks full of memories, countless pieces of jewelry, photos, clothing, trinkets—all displaying the love I once had for my ex.  All those things—six years worth of things—had to go.  Nearly two years later, I have nothing, not one item to indicate the existence of my ex in my life.  Jewelry has been sold, clothing given away and trinkets cast to the weekly garbage.  I didn’t need them, I detached. 

Until today, I hadn’t realized just how detached I was.  I reached out to my best friend, my mom, for support today.  Letting this person go was killing me, bringing up all these feelings that I wasn’t sure quite what to do with.  Confused, I asked my mom why I felt so terrible today, why I missed this person so much. 

“I haven’t felt this way since my ex,” I told her. 

“Maybe, it just means you are finally alive again after your ex.  Maybe all those feelings you pushed away have reached the surface and have gotten too close.”

Leave it to a mother to hit the nail on the head.  I love my mom.  And she was right—I’ve been working so hard on me and dedicated myself to moving on, that I never really grieved what happened, never really said goodbye.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to—believe me when I say my ex is the last person on this Earth I wish to see again, but some part of me tried so hard to get rid of him so fast, that I couldn’t.  The only thing my defenses knew how to do was detach, and so I have.

It’s not to say that I didn’t care deeply for this person I let go of, because I did.  But maybe people really do come in your life to show you something buried within yourself… and for me, it was the emotional attachment I once had to my ex.  Even though I thought all the hard work and painful memories were over, it seems I still have a lot of work to do.  I’ve numbed myself for far too long and now it’s time that I remember to feel, and that it’s ok to feel.  It makes you human.

As for my crazy, pathological ex, who stalks my moves and even reads this very blog, I will learn and work on forgiving him.  I will forgive him for his abuse.  I will feel all the pain, all the cries and tears associated with remembering him and his actions.  And then I will forget him. 

Some people come into your life for a lifetime, some come for a season. You got to know which is which. You’re gonna always mess up when you mix them seasonal people up with lifetime expectations. We got people that got married with people they only supposed to be with for a season, and they wonder why they have so much hell in their life. That was a person that was supposed to come and teach you one thing. You didn’t know it so you just fell in love, and now you wonder why don’t got no peace anywhere you go.–“Madea’s Family Reunion”

The person I let go of today meant a lot to me for the short time he was in my life.  Maybe the poem is true, maybe people really do come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  “When you figure out which it is you know exactly what to do.”  This time I do.  I am placing him in my box full of new and amazing memories and will remember him for a reason.

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