Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do

Wow. Being the breaker-upper is not much better than being the breakup-ee.

As some of you may have gathered from my last post, or from my facebook status change last week, my boyfriend and I broke up.

I’m the one who did the breaking. It was something that I’ve needed to do for a long time. Safe to say we both saw it coming and yet we both didn’t really want to do anything about it. I finally made the move.

We were together almost four years. It would have been four years April 15.

Like I said, I know it was the right step to take but it wasn’t easy. Despite my own feelings, despite my friends’ prodding, I put it off and off and off because I was afraid. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of losing a friend. A best friend, really. Afraid of how I would feel after. Afraid that I wouldn’t find anyone else to replace the empty feeling in my heart that I knew would only get bigger once I actually said the words that needed to be said: I think we should break up.

And I had never broken up with anyone before. (I was the one who was completely devastated-- several times I might add-- by my high school-into-college boyfriend.) I wasn’t sure what to do or how to say it.

As far as breakups go, this one was … nice? I don’t know the word. Calm? I simply said that things weren’t working out and that we both deserved better-- to find someone who truly makes us happy and gives us what we need. I didn’t feel it was necessary to delve into all the things that I think he has done wrong. Or how he hurt me. What would be the point, really? I knew that once I got those words out-- I think we should break up-- there would be no going back. Nothing he could do to change my mind. Pointing fingers wouldn’t solve anything and we still have a dog together that we both love. And mutual friends. We will still occasionally talk and see each other so I wanted to make the breakup as “nice” as possible.

I think he did, too, because he didn’t get defensive either. As sad as this fact might make me, he pretty much agreed with what I said. It would have been nice if he had tried to fight for me, but I knew going in that wouldn’t be the reaction and it wasn’t. Which is exactly why I knew it all needed to end. So it did.

Luckily, last week was as busy as usual and work kept my mind off of what had happened. Valentine’s Day was a Monday and I had a horrific City Council meeting to attend. (Horrific because it lasted six hours. Longest meeting of my life!) I had meetings almost every night last week in fact. And those deadlines to meet. But then the weekend came and bam! Everything I didn’t want to think about has hit me. The rainy, gloomy weather didn’t help either.

I never really talked about my relationship here and in general I try not to get too personal, but I decided to write this all down because I just called the ex and it left me a bit rattled. I called because he still owes me some money and the bill is coming up this week. (Another reason I did my best to keep the split amicable.) I was slightly dreading calling him but it was harder than I imagined it would be. 

The moment I got on the phone with him and he asked me how I was, it took all the strength within me not to burst out crying. My voice cracked a little and I had to cover my mouth. I didn’t want him to know that I was hurting. It was me, after all, who did this. Surprisingly, for an ultra-emotional girl like me, I didn’t cry that much during the actual breakup. But this weekend, in the privacy of my room, under the covers of my bed, tears have soaked my pillow, coming down heavy like the rain outside.

I still know that I did the right thing. For both of us. But it still hurts. My heart aches because I miss my friend. Heck, I miss my dog. And I hate feeling so incredibly alone. Thankfully, my best friend just returned my call and I’m already feeling a bit better, just being able to talk to her and let out all these emotions swirling inside. Writing it all down has lifted some of the weight, too.

Today, the sun broke through the clouds and I know that this internal storm will also pass. Until this weekend I wasn’t letting myself feel the pain and I’ve realized that even though the breakup was expected and needed and my own doing, it is still okay to feel sad. I spent the last four years of my life loving this man, even if he didn’t love me back the way I needed. I shared my hopes and dreams and fears with him. He saw me laugh and he saw me cry. He was there to talk to when I had a bad day. He was there to go to dinner with and see the latest movie. It’s hard to lose all that. So it’s okay to be sad.

I’m going to let myself feel that for a while and then I’ll get back to the regular, cheerful programming. If you made it this far, you’re awesome. Thanks for reading.


Saw this photo today on Etsy and it seemed to capture my feelings. Find it here, by tamgutlich


Shoshanah said...

Carissa, I can only imagine how hard this must have been for you. But I'm sure with the relationships end, better and brighter things are in your future! I'll be thinking of you, and hoping you're feeling better soon

bianca said...

Breaking up really is hard to do. But when you know, you know. I'm glad that it was calm and you feel good about it. And you're right, the storm will pass. I'm sending hugs your way!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Aww I'm so sorry Carissa. Thinking of you. I don't really know what to say, so I'm going to point you to this beautiful quote (which I think sums up these kinds of things perfectly). One of my good friends turned to it A LOT lately when she was going through a break-up.

Thinking of you. XO

Erin {pughs' news} said...

I want you to know that I think you are incredibly brave to make the hard decision to end your relationship. But by the sound of it, it was the right decision, and you will be so much better and happier for it in the end. Of course it's okay to be sad, but I've got a feeling you'll soon be embracing your newfound freedom and making the most of a fresh start.

Sending you a big hug!
Erin xo

Mo Pie, Please said...

I'm glad you had the courage to do what you felt you needed to do. Not everyone can say that. Not everyone can find it within themselves to be so strong and courageous, to help not only yourself but someone else so close to you to know it's time to move on. Good for you. I know you'll find someone who makes you happy, or enjoy being on your own. But you deserve happiness so well done at giving the chance to let it truly find you.

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

This is so beautifully written, Carissa!

I just stumbled upon your lovely blog and was captivated by your writing and openness.

I am so sorry to hear about your breakup, they are never easy, but as you said sometimes it is for the best in the long run and in time it will get better, just as they always say.

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading it and am sending you a few extra smiles! :) :) :)

Liesl :)

Dionne said...

Awww, hun! I'm sad for you, but I know that you'll get through this. I had the same experience. Not 4 years though - but 2. I knew that we weren't right for each other, and even though he wasn't a bad guy, he just wasn't right for me. I knew all along, but fear of being alone stopped me from breaking up with him 3 months into the relationship. It wasn't until 2 years later when I decided I had to end it. So I know how you must feel. But hey, the sun comes up tomorrow, and its a new day - life will get brighter soon! <3

Heather Taylor said...

Hang in there sweetie. Break-ups are awful, but I know you made the right choice. Sometimes you just have to listen to your heart, even if what it says doesn't always sound the way you wanted it to. Lots of love!

{lovely little things} said...

Breakups are hard. I feel for you. Keeping busy and around my friends helped me all those years ago. Best wishes as you navigate through this rough time.

Ashley said...

I'm sorry Carissa. You were very strong to do what you had to do. I recently had to stop talking to someone I really cared for and it was more difficult than I expected. I can only imagine ending a relationship of four years. I hope things are going well for you.

alli/hooray said...

Hi Carissa, sorry for the late response to this, and for possibly bringing up old feelings again, but I just wanted to send my support. It was a brave choice you made. I can relate to this situation (well somewhat, it was years ago...I did the breaking up because it was for the best, but it was hard to lose that person in my life). Wishing you a fresh start and lots of support from the people in your life!

Helen said...

I know this post was from awhile ago, but my heart goes out to you! I can relate, and I also can assure you that you did the right thing! You need a man who loves you the way you need to be loved.

Anyway, you are gorgeous, young, healthy, and smart. Live your own life, fall more in love with yourself, make new friends & continue to appreciate the old..... and I promise you'll meet someone who was made JUST for you will come around the corner. :)