The Thing

I did The Thing.

You know, the one thing you are not supposed to do after you break up with someone.

Okay, let me start off with this disclaimer: I know it’s been almost a year (HOLY COW) since my infamous break up, and I swear I’m not harping. I’ve actually kept pretty quiet about all of the events that have happened in the last few months involving my ex and all of the drama that unfolded, and I’ll stick to being vague about those things (because what would Audrey Hepburn or Taylor Swift do?)

But I should tell you this. It has not been a quiet year. Have you ever heard the song “All You Had to Do Was Stay” by (duh) Taylor Swift? That song describes literally every single one of my post-breakup relationships. Every. Single. One. That is five, everybody. Five times have guys dumped me (or been so awful I’ve dumped them) and then come crawling back, asking for another chance.

This time was different though. This time that ever-familiar text message came at me about once every 6-10 weeks.

“Let’s go get coffee and talk.”

“I miss you.”

“I was wrong. I want to keep pursuing you.”

Now, here’s the problem: this almost sounds romantic, doesn’t it? A knight in shining armor who has been humbled, coming back to you heart-on-sleeve, admitting you were right all along and professing you’re everything he’s dreamed of and he will fight for you no matter what. Sounds almost like a rom-com doesn’t it? A fairytale romance unfolding in front of your very eyes.

I had made up my mind though, and there were no third chances here. But despite my asking (which turned into pleading which turned into demanding) that he leave me alone, he kept coming back. And you know what? That’s not romantic at all, actually. It may sound good on paper to have someone pursue you like that, but it actually feels awful to have your wishes – your opinion – completely disregarded. Which left me wanting to scream or cry or do a weird mixture of the two.

Taylor Swift says it and I’ll sing at the top of my lungs with conviction every time, “This was what you wanted. You were all I wanted, but not like this. All you had to do was stay.” Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

Anyways, it’s been a month or so of quietness, and I’ve delighted (and if I’m honest, doubted) every minute of it.

Which leads me to The Thing.

You guys, I instagram-stalked. I know, I know! I’m sure you’re shaking your head right now (probably in empathy – don’t try to tell me you haven’t stalked an ex on social media before… I can’t be the only one), and thinking “ohhhh noooo…” Oh yes, my friend. Oh yes.

I fell down the rabbit hole. Or, rather, I knowingly jumped headfirst into it. And let me just tell you, I was not exactly jumping for joy with what I found. Which was a girl (who, by the way, looks shockingly like me).

I’m sure you can guess my emotions. I felt like I was smacked in the face with a freezing wind that was so cold it actually paralyzed me. I was shocked, hurt, relieved, confused, incredulous. I couldn’t tell if I should laugh or cry. I kept scrolling, I couldn’t look away.  A video stopped me. My heart hurt, my stomach filled with panic. I could have told you where they were and what they said before I even watched it. He used to do the same thing with me. And suddenly every moment and every memory I kept alive came crashing over my head, soaking my thoughts with a chilling realization. All those things about our relationship I had preserved, all of those moments that were over but still regarded as special and unique were nothing of the sort to him. Every date, every adventure, every conversation and video that I thought was solely for us in our little world suddenly seemed like a formula he had created and followed. Do this, make this, say this, take her here, show her that, tell her this story. They were not things he did for me because of who I was, they were things he would have done (and would continue to do) with any girl. Every moment I cherished was tainted.

Which leads me to another idea. If he did all of those things not for the sake of me, of who I was, who was he doing them for? I think I know the answer, but I’m sure he doesn’t.

I’m torn in two. Do I pout and panic because he’s not pining for me, or do I try to be happy for him? Honestly, I don’t want to do either. Both are ridiculous (trust me, I realize I sound crazy). I didn’t want to date him, so why should I be upset about it? But I don’t want to be happy over this echo of our relationship.

So here I am. Sitting in a room in my mother’s house with my laptop burning my bare knees writing out a semi-frantic and painfully immature-sounding piece trying not to sound too snarky while still getting my point across (honestly, if you’ve made it through all this, bravo to you. I owe you candy or something). Why did I jump into Wonderland and how do I get out of here? The window is open and the cool night air brings me back to life. I’ll do neither of those things, I think. I think instead I will go back to letting those memories fade into the darkness where they belong.

Because someday when I’m ready someone will stay and all those moments will be organic and meaningful. It really could be easy. Until then though, I’ll keep going through my list, beginning new adventures, and learning to enjoy where I’m at right now. No looking backwards or forwards.

Also, no more instagram stalking, I swear. Worst idea ever. Remind me to read a book next time or something. Or at least stick to insta-stalking fashion bloggers, those are safe (and yet super addictive)!

If you have a story you want to share about insta-stalking, share it in the comments!

4 thoughts on “The Thing

  1. I can relate to the rabbit hole, I’m sure everyone here can. I had a similar experience very really (though this didn’t result in any stalkage) when my ex wife decided she wanted to be with me again. She left me almost 3 years ago, and in appropos of nothing we had built, she says she realizes that I was everything she ever wanted. That she was a fool to cast me aside. That all the things I wanted our young family to have are things she wants now. Too late, for almost every reason imaginable. But I digress…

    Seems like you’re already aware that you’re not alone in experiencing these feelings and situations. All I can do is nod knowingly. Maybe next time I see you I will.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This was beautiful! I was so excited to see another post from you! My break-up is going on a year too..Oh gosh and I fall for the insta-stalking…but she’s the complete opposite of me…hahah wonder what that says?

    Anyways I love this post! ❤

    Like

  3. When I saw there was an update to your blog my little heart leapt for joy. I could read your words endlessly. You’re probably aware of this but girl you are so gifted with writing. You know when you’re reading a book alone in your room, and sometimes you read the dialogue out loud to yourself in the voices of the characters just for fun? You know, cause the writing is really good, and you’re invested in the characters’ lives and words, plus it’s just… fun… (is it only me?) I always feel like doing that with all of your entries. omg

    ANYWHO I can relate to the dreaded insta-stalking and believe me none of your readers are judging you for it. I’m confident we’ve all been there. A lot of us don’t talk about it (because how does that make the situation look, really) but it’s definitely a Thing, which we all do. In my case, though, my (most significant) ex-girlfriend was never really a social media person so even in the moments when I’m terribly tempted to make myself feel crappy because of the ~lies~ and ~falsehoods~ of relationships passed, I don’t have much of an option. Her facebook is riddled with posts from others, but not a single one from her. I’m bitter… albeit also relieved. I guess it’s better not to know. I am sending you the strength and the will not to venture into Wonderland again! Stick to the addicting fashion instagrams. They will also be painful but in a much different way. (i want it aaaallllllll)

    Lots of love to you! You’re amazing and strong and beautiful and we’re all proud of your journey! 😃

    Like

  4. My most recent ex, and girlfriend of four years, broke up with me about a year and a half ago. We ended on fairly good terms, and while we don’t make it a point to hang out, we still get along on the rare occasions we do see each other (she actually set me up with my little kitten). Seeing as we didn’t end on bad terms, I didn’t feel the need to block her from any social media, so I’d see pics of her with new people. And while I have no intention of going back with her, it did hurt to see her move on so fast. It made me feel our time together wasn’t really special if I could be replaced so easily, and admittedly it hurt my pride a little for her to immediately find someone while I’ve still been single the whole time. However, I do find some solace in the fact that she’s been through two short lived relations, while ours lasted four years. Not out of malice or spite towards her, but that maybe ours did mean something more if it lasted longer.

    I’ve also been in the position of breaking up with someone and asking to have them back when I was 21 or so. The girl said no, and while I was upset, I respected her wishes. While at the time I regretted the break up, I’m grateful for the experience. I learned that breakups need to be taken serious and you can’t just do a take back. Some days, this is the final decision and you have to live with the results. Yes, it sucked at the time, but it taught me more respect and appreciation for making a relationship work and sticking out through the bad. My room mates boyfriend broke up with her because he was tired of certain aspects of her, but treated the break up as if he could have her back whenever he wanted. Once another man entered the picture, he realized what he lost and tried to get her back, but it was too late.

    Anywho, those are my little things I related to and lessons I’ve learned through life.

    Liked by 1 person

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