Our apartment doesn’t look like our apartment anymore. In a few weeks, it won’t be.
Cardboard boxes are stacked in the corner so that
our his blind dog doesn’t run into them. All our my art is packed away or wrapped in towels or stowed away in plastic tubs and the walls of our the apartment are bare, with little holes reminding us of where the homeyness used to be. The storage area outside is labeled—this is his box, this is my box, his trunk, my table. Utilities are scheduled to cancel on May 1, the anniversary of the day we first moved in together.
I leave in two days, and he stays another two weeks. We don’t really talk about it, because what’s there to say?
It’s actually happening.
The end is actually here, and our separate lives begin very, very soon.
The breaking up happened months ago, but the splitting up and severing of this particular tie is happening now.
Life is a constant stream of adjusting to changes just in time for everything to change again.
Time to Move On
It’s been a weird couple of weeks.
I feel, in ways, disconnected from myself because of all the changes that are happening.
In addition to the upcoming move, normal work stress, and the everyday balancing act, we’ve made some interesting progress in trauma therapy.
It’s really good that I’m finally addressing some of the things that happened to me in China, but it’s emotionally draining revisiting some of the most traumatic points in my life that I have kept so buried for the last four years.
I haven’t been particularly in touch with my feelings, and I think that’s in part because I’m in survival mode to get things done so that I can get to where I want to be—moved into my new home, into a semi-routine, financially stable, organized at work, at peace in all its meaning– and part of it might just be reluctance to really feel it all.
This last weekend, reality finally hit me.
I’m moving out.
My relationship is actually over.
We tried it, and it didn’t work, and now our life together is officially over.
It’s okay, and it’s good, and it’s 100% what’s best and what we both want, but it’s still sad.
I try not to dwell on things like this because I’m the type of person who has always gotten overly attached to people, and it makes me sad when I think about all the people I used to know, and no longer do.
Who wants to focus on the type of loss that is inevitable?
People come and go from our lives, even if we loved them with everything we had at that one point in our lives.
Send out the love to the people you care about, and then live in the moments you have instead of focusing on what was had and lost.
It’s really weird to think that these are the final days of living with my ex.
It’s weird to take a look at the boxes and see the disappearing remains of our year of cohabitation, and the small home we built completely and totally change into an empty apartment filled with boxes, labeled with our names.
When I ask him if he’s mad that we got rid of so much of his furniture when he made the move from his house in central Illinois, to Chicago—he shrugs and shakes his head.
“This wasn’t the plan. It is what it is.”
It’s a reminder, that for a minute, we thought we had chosen our version of forever.
We both thought that we’d never have to live alone again or have a roommate again or have to move without this person.
It made sense to get rid of his furniture—we were using the furniture that I already had in Chicago. It made sense that he got rid of some of appliances because his things and my things became our things—we didn’t need two blenders, two kitchen tables, two coffee makers.
We never thought we’d have to do this again.
But this wasn’t the plan.
The only certainty is nothing is certain.
There haven’t been those moments of total despair—tears, exhaustion, incomprehensible sadness.
There’s been some waves of drama, but it’s mostly felt like a better version of our normal.
And I think that’s weird too.
Maybe this is what adult breaking up looks like, what healthy breaking up looks like.
Maybe because it had been a long time coming.
Maybe because we both know it’s exactly what we need.
Maybe because it’s kind of a relief to admit that it wasn’t working.
But it’s still weird.
The parts I almost always lose when I find myself in a relationship.
I always lose my ability to put myself first.
I get tunnel vision and focus on what the other person needs, and what I need to do to meet those needs.
Then I get angry because I’m not putting myself first, which then results in an eventual outburst of anger that then sends me flying in the opposite direction, demanding that I get some space and ultimately hurting the person I’m with because they weren’t even remotely aware of how I was feeling up until that outburst.
I always lose my ability to set boundaries.
I don’t know how to say “no” in relationships. My answer is almost always yes, and when I do say “no” I feel guilty, as if my boundaries are selfishness.
Aren’t relationships supposed to be about being selfless? Maybe I’m just not built for that. I get antsy and anxious because I want to say “no” and do my own thing and be my own person—but this guilt and need to please drives me to say “yes”.
I always lose my ability to trust my gut.
I second guess myself.
I don’t trust when something feels wrong. I question my intentions and my reactions and my feelings and my own worth.
I stop trusting that what I feel deeply and decide for myself is what’s right for me. Period.
I always lose my ability to stay balanced.
It’s hard balancing life AND a significant other with needs.
I’ve never been good at staying balanced between all of life’s demands, but when I’m in a relationship, I use my relationship as a crutch to NOT be balanced.
I cancel plans with friends to order pizza and ice cream on a Friday night because with a partner, that’s cozy. That’s date night. That’s not checking out from the world—it’s checking into what’s important.
But what I really need is a night with friends or a night alone or a yin yoga session to really decompress and destress.
Friday night leaks into the weekend and becomes habit because staying in and not doing true self-care in the form of movement and what makes me feel good in a lasting way, is much easier and immediate.
I always lose sight of what I want, and ultimately what I need.
This is the heavy hitter.
I always make compromises that I don’t actually want to make.
Whether it’s ceasing to do the things I love for one reason or another, compromising on major life decisions, or even questioning my uncompromising beliefs—some things you should never feel like you have to compromise for another person.
I’m not sure why I do these things.
I’m not sure why I decide to compromise who I am and what I want when I enter into a relationship.
Compromising Yourself for Your Relationship is Not Romantic
Maybe it’s because we’ve been trained to believe that compromises are romantic, and the more extreme the compromise the more passionate it becomes.
Maybe it’s because I struggle to find validation in my own identity and dreams at times.
Regardless of what that reason is, I’m working on it.
I’m not going to date anytime in the near future, for fear of losing these parts of myself all over again.
Dating is the last thing from my mind right now, as I take a deep and meaningful dive with my therapist to figure out why I do some of the things I do, and how to change those particular tendencies.
Despite the weirdness of the last couple of weeks, I still feel really good about this next step.
I feel hopeful and excited, and I like that I’m noticing these tendencies and recognizing that I need to figure out some of these things before I ever decide to date again.
I’m hopeful that trauma therapy will help uncover some of the reasoning’s for why I do what I do, and I’m very motivated to see what happens.
In other news, I want to make a sort of disclaimer or announcement. I’ve been receiving a few messages/comments/etc that have made me decide to address this.
These posts are not cries for help—they are explorations of what I’m feeling, experiencing and thinking.
I am not suffering– if I am I’ll be sure to make that clear.
I am growing and learning.
I am stronger and more rooted than I have ever been before.
I want to make it clear, that this is NOT a space for pushing products or services.
It is especially not a space or invitation for diet, weight loss, or “healthy living” advice and/or services.
If you are trying to promote or suggest your services in regards to what I’ve mentioned, your comments/messages will be deleted.
I know that the thoughts, and suggestions come from a good place, but if selling diet and weight loss tips is what you’re after, this is the wrong blog for you.
I am here for exploration, mental health, and a safe space for expression. This is not a platform to sell the exact type of bullshit that I rally against.
Anyway. Lots of love to you all. THANK YOU for all of the encouraging messages, love and support especially on my last post. I love, love, love hearing from you, and please never feel weird or ashamed or nervous for reaching out (unless you’re reaching out to give me diet and weight loss advice). That’s why I’m here– to connect and to express and to learn and to spread some love. <3
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