Firstly, I am still trying to make sense of this and process it all, so please bear with me if I am rambling on. And if you want to read something cheerful right now, better leave this post for another day.
It is now 9 weeks and two days ago (not that I am counting) that my world shattered into the tiniest pieces. Since then I am trying to somehow hold at least the corner pieces together. You know, the corner pieces and the outer edges are the basic structure for any puzzle. It is like the structure of my life and I was able to only hold on to 3 corners, one is lost, not to speak of the rest of the frame…
What happened? The Golfer broke up with me. After 1 year, 9 months and 12 days he decided that he does not love me anymore. Was it expected? No, it absolutely wasn’t, it came like an earthquake. I was shocked and paralysed to my core – we had just been away for the weekend, attended a friend’s wedding. We were in a really good place. We talked about what was on our mind, what worried us and were committed to resolving any issue that stood in our way. I loved (still do) him so deeply and uncompromisingly, I had no doubt in my mind that this is the man I would spend the rest of my life with. His dad and I were very close (which I cherished immensely), I so enjoyed spending time at his sister’s house with his nieces – being part of a family. And then that day in October came – and honestly I could not make sense of it. I heard him say the words, but did not understand them. And since then it hits home, bit by bit, but not gently but it always feels as if I am hit by a train.
The first couple of days after were a haze, I was in so much pain that I spend most of the time rolled up in a ball in my bed or on the floor, collapsed somewhere on the way to the bathroom or kitchen. I cried so much that it would make more sense to count the minutes of the day that I had not tears streaming down my face. The pain, oh my god, the pain! I never thought anything like it existed. I cried and howled and sent hyper desperate text messages to friends and to him. What the hell had just happened? This couldn’t be, my mind could not compute it. I did not go into work for two days, when I went back on day 4 after I had a meeting mid-morning, where I broke down in violent sobs. My colleagues quickly retreated from the room, and I cancelled all my meetings for the rest of the week (and I usually have a heavy meeting schedule).
I was in a bad state. Seriously bad. So bad, that after a week and a half with regular (at least twice daily) panic attacks friends started to suggest gently that I should seek help, speak to a counsellor or therapist. Slowly, painfully slowly, I managed to contain the attacks so that I battled it out with myself only, not so publicly anymore, hiding it. I felt I had exhausted my friends to such a degree that I could not burden them anymore with my sorrow and grief. I exhausted myself, I can only assume what it did to my friends, who all have their own little package to carry.
So now I got better at showing a ‘you look well’ exterior, to appear happier and ‘on the road to recovery’ to anyone who just looked at me, who judges on face-value what is presented in front of them. The sad reality is though, that I have hidden away my pain, and it continues to burst out in very regular intervals. As it did last night. When I lay in my (hotel) bed, sobbing so badly that I struggled to breath. Another massive wave of hopelessness and loneliness hit me with full force.
About 5 weeks ago the Golfer deleted all of our pictures from any social media site. My life with him, the nearly two years, all erased from his platforms. When I saw that (because yes, of course, I still check his Facebook and Instagram daily) I was so desperate, that even though I was in the middle of the Sri Lankan rainforest (I was on a long planned holiday), I called two friends who really tried their best to calm me down. How could he erase all of our memories? I understand that this is how he dealt with it – fair enough – but it hurt, burned a hole in my heart, another one. It opened up the gaping wound that I had tried to stop from bleeding (it was far from being closed).
Him and I are also still linked in some other respect, there are still issues to be sorted out and returned (him doing the sorting out). We had agreed on a timeframe and structure, this will take a while to be settled. Still joined by a thin thread.
And of course, not wanting to open the biggest pity party now, there are also other factors that add to the hopelessness. If you’ve followed me for a while you know that my relationship with my family is not the best. And I live in a different country. In fact, I have not spoken to my mother in 3 years, same for my sister (and nieces and nephews). Family means a lot to me, probably because I don’t have it. I cannot blindly rely on them, they are not there – invisibly – ready to catch me if I fall, no matter what. So being close to the Golfer’s family meant the world to me. And now it’s gone, I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye.
I have lost my everything those 9 weeks ago. I have experienced (and still am) so much deep pain, in my soul and my body, that I had never thought possible. And yes – shush – I know I am more, everyone keeps reminding me of the good life I had before the Golfer, about my strength and independence, my successes and achievements. But that’s just stuff, for me the matters of the heart are always – and will always be – the most important things in life. Shattered. Gone. A far cry from being on track again. I’m no one’s priority.
Friends. They were my rock in the past few weeks and I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone. They deflected a lot of my desperation, handed me tissues, listened, comforted. Friends can be family, but only partly. The part of ‘unconditional love’ does not exist in this equation. I still contemplate if I can call or message them in case I am overloading and becoming a burden. Family just deals with it. Not quite the same.
I am writing this early in the morning of Christmas Eve. Lying in a hotel bed in a strange city. When it happened, I called one of my best and oldest friends from home and without hesitation she and her husband agreed to go away with me for Christmas. This is such an important time of the year, I love the Christmas build-up, I love spoiling friends and loved ones, baking Christmas cookies and indulging in cosy catch-ups over a glass of mulled wine. I had already made plans with the Golfer’s dad and sister about the Christmas Day menu, who would cook what. I am immensely grateful for my friend and her husband to spend these days with me. I will probably not make it easy for them, although I will try to keep my pain to myself. So here I am, in a hotel bed and strange city. Feeling utterly alone.
I don’t want to leave you all depressed and so here is what I say: Always speak your truth. Say how you feel. Tell those around you that you love them, and cherish every moment with them. Because all we need is love. Merry Christmas.