“It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts even harder to hold on.”
When we are deeply involved in something, it is hard to see clearly and to take advice from other people. It’s hard to focus on a solution when faced with the real problem.
It’s like the difference between playing and watching a game of chess. It’s so much easier to watch a checkmate unless you’re the one playing the game.
That happened to me in the last five years.
I spent every moment of my life with a man and was unable to listen to those who watched me fight. I spent five years doing everything I could to force a person to love me, forgetting to love myself.
I was after him for five years. I implored him. I cried like crazy. Nothing seemed to work. He came over when he wanted sex and threw me away when he got his shot. It was an endless cycle of depression and humiliation.
I destroyed my reputation and slaughtered my dignity with my crazy behaviour, and I still could not understand why he treated me with so little consideration. But how could he not? I treated myself with so little love and respect, why should he treat me differently?
Still, I could not stop. I was afraid he would forget me if I did. For five years I lived in fear of losing someone whom I deeply loved but never really had.
And then I got pregnant, in the midst of the chaos and passion that formed our relationship between the two of us.
Everyone around me was pushing for an abortion. I knew they were worried about me, but that was not for me. I do not know if it was because I was carrying a child from a man I had loved for so long, or guilty, but I just knew I had to keep our son.
And although my ex did not want children in life, I blindly believed that he would bring up our child. While everyone told me that he would disappear again, I vouched for him. I made friends and fought with those who dared to accuse his character.
Yes, I was wrong.
From the moment I told him, he made it clear that he would not be there for me. He seriously injured me during the most sensitive time of my life. Months later, he told me he loves me.
We did this back and forth game throughout my pregnancy. It felt like an eternal emotional rope pulling. It was exhausting. It was humiliating. It was hurtful. But every time he left I was after him because it was the only thing I could do.
I was scared of him.
I just wanted him for me.
I wanted to have him for our son.
I wanted him for the house and the family I had built up in my head for so many years.
I wanted him because I was ashamed of how others would see me. That people would think that I was not worthy enough for him after I got pregnant was more than I could handle.
And most importantly, I wanted him because I was emotionally ill.
Although I was able to wear it a couple of times after my son was born, only to be pushed away weeks later, I was hoping that one day he would wake up and realize he loved me. And the three of us would finally be a family.
Of course, that never happened. My son and I never had this family. And I know now that we will never experience it.
I think the hardest part of this five-year ordeal was to accept that my perspective of reality was just a fantasy that I had created in my head.
For the longest time I stuck to this idea of love and my ex. I put him and our connection on a pedestal. I adored and worshipped every single part of him.
But when he shut me out of his life and left our son fatherless, this pedestal collapsed and shattered every dream and every good feeling I had for him.
It was hard to go to my friends and say, “You were right.” It was even harder to deal with the reality that he was not perfect.
Part of me hates me because I’ve been holding him for so long. I could have spared years of heartache and tears if only I had accepted that I could not make him love me. Instead, I spent years wondering why he could not.
I spent another year forcing him to be a dad.
If only I had tried harder. If only I had been kinder. If only. If only it were. It took me years to accept that his actions had nothing to do with me. Just as my uncontrollable behaviour and emotional instability lay beyond him, his actions were about him and himself.
He got his first two children in their early twenties. He then had his third child with another woman in her late twenties, and then he had our son in his thirties. Four children. Three different women. Three different types of circumstances and times in his life. Always the same result.
It was never about my son and me. There is nothing I could have done. There is nothing that I could have been. The result would have been the same: He went out the door. Or more precisely – he threw us out the door.
He is in love with someone else now. As expected, a childless woman. And he is committed to it – which proves that a human being, if he wants to bind himself, is also committed. We do not have to beg and persecute him.
If a man does not tie himself to you or your child, he just does not love you.
It may sound harsh, but that’s life.
Loving someone who does not love us back, or worse, someone who loves someone else is the most painful thing in the world. But the most important thing we can do for ourselves is to accept that certain things are out of our control and to take responsibility for the things that really are.
We have to listen to that inner voice that tells us that we deserve to be loved. And we have to accept that some people will never love us no matter what we do.
The grief and pain will pass someday. And that will open the door for us to find someone else who truly loves us and gives us everything we wanted with our ex.
But first, we have to give up hope. It will never be the way we want it to be. The person you are waiting for will not wake up one day and realize that she loved you the whole time.
Giving up hope is the hardest part of moving on, but it’s the most important.
We can not complain about anyone hurting our feelings if we let them pass. We can not complain that someone treats us badly if we keep coming back. And we can not complain about wasting time when we are constantly in a circle.
If I had spent the last five years putting the same amount of effort into myself as I did, chasing, controlling, and trying to get my ex to love me, I would now be the President,
I will never get the last five years back. It was a lot of wasted time and it was a lot of wasted effort.
Wasted time is wasted life.