I wasn’t always lost. I once knew exactly where I was headed in life, or at least who I was headed there with.
We fell in love in 1999, my Junior year of college, and moved in together that Summer. We liked to travel and I spent many many hours beside him in his truck. Just the two of us (and our dog Zoe).
We were creating memories – “Our Life Together: The Early Years.”
I couldn’t wait to tell the kids about it.
I assumed we’d be together forever and the feelings were mutual.
I pretty much considered myself part of his family. His parents even came to my graduation.
After graduating, we moved to Austin, TX – where we had dreamed of living for years. We were ready to start building our futures.
Life was good. Did I have issues? Oh, yes. I did. So did he.
But I was healthier and happier.
Love makes everything better.
Until it can’t anymore.
I wrote here about a dramatic weight loss coinciding with a relationship blow-out. That was 2004 – the last year I spoke to the boyfriend formerly known as “The One.” It was mutual. Our relationship had crumbled; our separation was necessary. Necessary but painful.
What hurt most was when he completely cut-me off. I didn’t stalk him or anything, but I’m the type who likes to be on friendly terms (After a certain amount of time has passed). Not everyone can be friends with their ex. I understand that. He made it clear.
But complete severance from someone who I shared so much with for 6 years? It hurt. The dead silence. It wounded me. Devastated me.
He was my family. My best friend.
I felt I’d been erased.
Like a mistake.
My Aunt Trudy keeps saying “It was that guy. I think he took your heart and tore it up and you’ve never been the same.”
I shrug it off. I’m at peace with things. He didn’t hurt me. Our relationship just had to end. I’m over him and wish him all the best goodies in life. My present day issues have nothing to do with an old boyfriend.
Yet, a certain song can bring me to tears every.single.time.
That’s not normal. I don’t think of him when I hear this song – but I feel the pain that took root in my heart back then. The rejection, the loss, the loneliness, the self-doubt.
I’ve reached an epiphany.
My Aunt is right. I’m broken hearted. Still.
I’m over HIM but I’m not over IT.
The rejection I felt (and feel) has infected me. It’s not about him. It’s not about our relationship. It’s about the wound. I never took care of it, so it never healed.
It’s post traumatic relationship syndrome.*
I’m happy I’ve realized this, because once we know something is broken we can set about finding the scattered remains and piecing it together again.
No, my issues today have nothing to do with an ex-boyfriend but EVERYTHING to do with a wounded heart. <—God-shaped hole
*Not sure if that is a real-deal condition but it should be, Amen?
- Have you had an epiphany like this? Ever realize that you’ve been carrying hurt or anger from something that happened in your past?