Monday, October 22, 2007

Emotional Purging (aka: My EXBF Was A Dick)

I'm reaching the one-year mark free from my EXBF and all of the selfish crap he used to do that made me completely miserable while I was with him. The official anniversary of him coming into the living room, sitting down on the chair and saying, "I just can't try anymore," is just around the corner, on November 9, 2007. Pretty exciting, right? I've decided to get all my girl friends together for wonderful weekend of drinking, dancing, manicures, and purging to celebrate. There may be some making out with random boys. Or not. New York is our oyster.

I've also decided to give myself permission to write about my feelings about him on this blog, or to talk about him - to the extent I want to - until November 9. After that, once the year is up, he's officially, 100% (in the words of JT) G-O-N-E. Finito forever. Now doesn't that have a nice ring to it?

For most of this year, when I thought about him (which thankfully has not been that often - Yay Me!), I haven't done all that much writing about him, mainly because he used to check the blog and it irked me that he could be reading my thoughts, thinking that he knew what was going on inside my head after reading just a smidgen. He never understood anything when we were together, and he most certainly wouldn't understand anything now. I knew that whatever I wrote about him, the only thing he would take from it was something along the lines of: She's not over me yet; I'm the greatest. Of course that's completely wrong. I was over him the second those words left his lips, and he most certainly is not the greatest. It's just taken me longer to sort out and move past my feelings for and about him, and how he treated me. It's also taken me a while to sort out how I feel about me for staying with someone who was such a dick (you may be hearing a fair amount of that during the next couple of weeks, only for therapeutic purposes).

I also haven't wanted to want to write because soon after breaking up, I felt like I should be totally over everything relating to that relationship. He was a dick, he made me sad, he broke up with me, I'm 10,000 times better off now than I was with him, so why would I be spending any energy on him reliving old feelings of sadness, hurt, tenderness, or anger? My friends all told me, He's irrelevant, Don't let him upset you, He's nothing, Move on. All good sentiments, all of which I have followed for the most part.

But, do you know what? There's a part of me that is still very hurt and very angry. It doesn't consume me; it just comes in flashes now and then when I'm forced to remember something. I'm OK with the angry part but I'm not OK with the hurt part of me, because I'm not totally OK with the fact that I let him hurt me. If no one can make you feel anything, then if you stay with them even while they're hurting you, then you must be letting them hurt you, right? I've mostly forgiven myself for that. I know that I was in a very vulnerable place when we got back together again and I know that I cared very deeply for him. Being vulnerable and caring very deeply for someone can both be beautiful things. However, they can also position you to be lacerated and chopped into tiny little pieces, which is what he did to me emotionally. What I'm most angry about is that he met me in a place of vulnerability, I gave him my trust, and he took my trust and buried it in a vat of slow-burning acid. It ate away at me bit by bit, until I had nothing solid left inside.

God, do I sound bitter? I don't think I am. For the last month, I was thinking a lot about this concept of forgiveness, thinking that I probably had to forgive him in order to let any residual negativity related to that relationship go. However, something happened over the weekend - a slut that he slept with while professing his love to me popped up on the edge of my social network - that made me tap in to my anger again. It was like a scab being ripped off, revealing some still tender skin. I'm sure there was pus too. I think that's what forgiveness would do, let the pus drain away.

On the other hand, I've never been a fan of letting pustules go their course naturally. I prefer to attack and pop the hell out of them so that the pus goes flying everywhere, never to return. That's how I started to think about anger this weekend - a force that clears away that pus. To be healing, I think anger has to be a specific type of anger. It can't be turned inward or be all consuming; it has to be energizing and empowering. I'm not consumed with anger. I'm happy and loving and was trying to be all zen about this - trying to focus on forgiveness. But, fuck it.

For the moment, I'm not forgiving him. He was an asshole. He treated my feelings and emotions with complete disregard. He didn't prioritize me or our relationship. He was not there when I needed him to be. He had inappropriately intimate relationships with scores of "female friends." He checked out women in front of me. He didn't make me feel loved or cared for or special. He slept with a pathetic slut while telling me he was still in love with me. He slept with that same pathetic slut a week before we got back together. He was a dick to the pathetic slut and just used her for sex (or so he said, but how knows). He made a mix tape of the worst summer of my life and then played it while we were on vacation. He almost never thought of me or my feelings. He always said things like, "I didn't think." Three weeks after I had moved in to his apartment, he wrote an email to one of the girls he had slept with in between us and told her that he still thought about her often and all the fun they had had together. He also told her that he was "trying to get back together with his ex" - keeping the door open after we had been back together for 5 months. I could go on.

But, I won't. Not right now. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that I wrote any of that down. Isn't this a sign that I'm not as far along as I "should" be (by whose measure?)? On the other hand, I'm actively focusing on letting go, and I think that in order to let it go, maybe I first just have to allow myself to express this into the ether.

Blogsphere, Friends: My EXBF was an asshole. I loved him, but he was a dick. This scenario has happened to better women than me. There were things about him that were beautiful and times we had that were wonderful, but overall, he was just a selfish person who didn't have a lot to give outside of the bedroom.

Does it hurt me a little to say these things? These mean things about him? A little bit, which then makes me think maybe I shouldn't have said them at all. Maybe I'm calling negative energy to me by expressing these feelings? Whatever, I'm not second guessing it. I have about two weeks to purge my mind of all thoughts of him before he fades away permanently into nothingness.

I will end by saying I am unequivocally grateful that I was not with him during this past year. Being single and on your own has its challenges. It's hard sometimes to feel like you don't have someone special "there for you" (except for yourself, friends, and family - the saving graces). But, I learned from this last relationship that it's much worse to be in a relationship where you don't feel like there's anyone there for you, than to be single. Compared to that destructive emptiness, being single is a cakewalk.


Starshine said...

Purge away, Buttercup!

I think forgiveness can be an ongoing process sometimes. And maybe part of that process is getting really righteously angry about how he treated you. Your post brought tears to my eyes (and not because of any kind of negative energy). EXBF couldn't see the beauty that your friends and family see in you, and it makes me angry that he didn't treasure you the way you definitely deserve to be treasured. You are a gem, Buttercup!

So feel all those feelings. Purge away. Forgive as you go. And move into the future FREE.

Gypsy said...

Oh, I really like this idea. I think it's great you're allowing yourself the time to purge this stuff then putting a stop to it.

And being alone is better than being with a dick any day. :)

Pas said...

Way to go -- indulging in a healthy purge of your feelings sounds perfect. And helps you recall what's important to avoid in future relationships...

jehara said...

getting all of your feelings out of your body and onto paper (or virtual paper) is a very healthy thing to do. it is part of the healing process. it is not negative. so purge away all you need to in the next two weeks. and the timeline itself is very healthy. anger is just another feeling in the full range of human emotions. it only becomes unhealthy when it is suppressed and unexpressed, which in our society women are encouraged to do. we are not supposed to 'get angry.' so more power to you, for taking your anger and expressing it in a completely healthy manner.

wordnerd said...

It also really angers me that The Dick couldn't see all the beauty that so abundantly shines through in your writing.

For what it's worth BC, in the time that I've "known" (been reading, whatever!) you...I've seen (read) a pretty incredible transformation. I knew right away (first time I read your site) that you were fierce and intelligent....but you seemed to unhappy and so lost about what it would take to actually get to a happy place.

Cut to a year seem like a whole new person....and although I wouldn't wish that amount of hurt and disrespect on my worst've somehow found a way to take your anger, disappointment and hurt and channel it into a force for change. You have changed the path of your alot of ways. I'm not saying things are perfect (they aren't for any of us really) but on the whole, you seem so much happier, more focused and more in charge of who you are and what you want to become. It's a pretty great transformation, if you ask me!

Death (ok, maybe not death, but serious emotional pain and maybe an STD or something) to all Dicks...but power and praise to the women who survive them and turn things around.

Purging is good...and healthy and long as you feel like writing, we'll keep listening. Again, so glad that your life has taken this new direction.

Buttercup said...

Can I tell you all again how much I love each and everyone of you and your comments? Thank you - once again - for the tremendous support.