You can't find someone new, until you let go of your past and find peace within yourself.
Originially published on As We Write It
Somewhere between the point where it ended and that point in my life where I knew I had to leave New Jersey, Sasha dragged me to Atlantic City. We walked around, we talked, we saw a fortune teller. Who in five minutes looked at me with tears in her eyes and told me that no one deserves to be as heart broken as I was. She took my hand and told me about my Bad Love...about Matt, only she referred to him as a soul mate connection and that that love had changed me forever. She foretold my life for the next year - the move, the friend that ultimately betrayed me, everything. It was pretty creepy and spot-on.
I was thinking about that today because she had given me a stone to sleep on, telling me that it would take away the sadness. I thought she was crazy, but she read me so well I figured that it couldn't hurt. For three nights, I slept with it under my pillow and surprisingly, I did begin to feel better afterward. I still think it was more power of suggestion as opposed to anything else, but you never know.
I found the stone today as I have been trying to organize my life and unburden myself of stuff that I don't need. I saw it and it took me back to that point of my life. That year where everything I knew changed. Tom and I had broken up. My Meghan had died and six months later, I watched my great aunt die from cancer as well. It was a really hard time. On top of that all, I was graduating college which is a big thing when you've been a student your entire life. It's big, scary and actually something that really brought a depression on once my degree was in hand.
And while all of it was going on, I had begun talking to Matt. We talked pretty much every night for months and then we saw each other again and it was a whirlwind of craziness. I had never felt for another person what I felt for him. It was intense and passionate from the very beginning. It scared me, because I knew those kinds of feelings give someone a great deal of power over you. And with him, the rules were often a double standard and changed a lot. However, I was invested, I was in it and because of that, I not only knew that my life with him was going to be very limited, but I also knew at one point it would meet an end.
I just wasn't ready for how it ended. How by the end of it, there were so many other people in the middle of our relationship or how the person that I truly came to love, could one day look at me and say "well I never loved you." Stuff like that should really kill you instantly. It surprises me how I did manage to survive that.
Somehow I did. Somehow I found the strength to cut him out, to remove myself from him who, for whatever reason, still wanted to remain in my life in some weird way. At first, I was so broken and hurt that I did not know which way was up. There were several months where I didn't eat, didn't leave the house except for work and secluded myself from just about everyone except from people that really didn't know me. That's the beauty of acquaintances, they are not comfortable enough with you to call you out on your shit.
Next, I did the normal girl stuff that we do when we break up with someone. I dyed my hair. I then cut all my hair off. I went shopping. A lot. I "dated" people that I never would have even given a second glance to in my normal mind-set. I played games with them, and then totally just stopped answering the phone all together. Afterall, if Matt didn't want me, well, then I could totally prove that someone else would. Pretty dumb, eh? I was pretty into that idea for awhile too, largely because in the middle of all of this was someone who I once thought was a good friend of mine. Only a good friend does not smack talk about you to your then boyfriend. I just kept picturing them both sitting there, having great fun at my expense, exchanging snarky comments because that's what she is like and he, in my eyes at that point, had pretty much picked her over me. Oh the maturity that was going on then...my my.
Then came New York, my ultimate disconnect from everything. I was away from any close friend. I was away from Tom and the rest of my family. I was a stranger in an alien world and no one called me out on my shit. I got to wallow while I proved to myself that if I wanted something, I could do it. Had I really wanted to live in New York, I could have done it and once I reached that point, I realized that I didn't need to be there anymore. It was time to go back to NJ and go to graduate school.
My return signified the point where I began to piece my life together. I started to move away from the hurt I felt from Matt to just being so damn angry at him. I felt angry, ashamed, lied to, used, etc. The weird part of that though was I was still holding onto him. He was still around me with the mementos I refused to take down, the photos I just could not put away...I knew I was angry, I was jilted, I just felt so much, but I still could not let go.
I was piecing my life together though, and Matt no longer had a place in my life. I knew I had to do something to just let go of it already. I started to write him letters. Ones that I never intended to send and never have nor will. It was just a release, a way to get everything out and begin to move on. By the summer time, he had left me. I was ready to start dating again and I did.
What I was not ready for at this point was how that by dating, I would not be reminded of him, but I would be reminded of his rejection. I was not ready to have that happen to me. To have a budding relationship not work out and to get so upset over it, not because of the new guy that was involved, but because of how it reminded me. It scared me how fresh that old pain can get you and how bad it can be.
This was when the insecurities came in. I felt like I would never again be a good girlfriend. I would never be able to let go of what happened. I was screwed up forever! Yes, I had a big dramatic confrontation with it all in September, but then here came the weird part. I got over it and I even forgave Matt for what happened. I forgave him for lying to me, for not sticking up for me, for falling short, for everything I felt happened between us. I was not only over it, but I was ready to be done with it.
And today as I sat looking at that stone, the symbol of all of that emotion, I realized that I had not only found forgiveness, but I had let go. I didn't need to refer to him as Bad Love anymore when I spoke about it, I could address him by name. I didn't feel anything towards him, not love, not hate, not anger, not sadness. He had at last become someone I used to know.
And while this all happened, I realized that I had also grown up. I am no longer a young college girl, I am a grown woman with a past and a really bright future. My mom once told me during the worst of the Matt break up that if anything, it would have taught me to not be so quick to fall for someone. At first I agreed with her, but now as I look back with old eyes and a healed soul, I think that I rather love honestly and if in the next relationship it happens just like that, then so be it. I think if it does, that I will be better equipped to handle those feelings and since we would be adults and not kids like Matt and I were at that point, me and whoever I get serious about next will have a much more stable relationship that does not have ten million people in the middle of it.