The last few days have been interesting, to say the least. A lot has happened and while I’m still processing most of it, I have come to some realizations that I feel ready to share with all of you.
To start off with, today would be the 7-month “anniversary” for my boyfriend and I, if he hadn’t broken up with me on Friday night. It came out of the blue, and I wasn’t the only person who was extremely shocked to be faced with this decision; many of his friends and family had believed he was very happy with me. I still see, in my mind’s eye, the look in his eyes when he was sitting on his bed playing his Xbox, with me stretched out behind him playing around on my phone, and he would turn for a moment to look down at me and smile. I always felt amazingly special, and very cared for, when I met his eyes and smiled back. I have never had a harder time believing I was losing someone for real. I simply could not accept that he wasn’t happy with me, when all the evidence spoke to the contrary.
Along with the simple heartbreak and destroyed dreams, I have had a much more practical problem to deal with. On Thursday I had a job interview at the mall near where Josh lives. It’s a part-time job, and since I live 45 minutes away and my car isn’t the most fuel-efficient vehicle out there, I was meant to stay with my boyfriend sometimes to cut gas costs and to make things easier on my car’s transmission (it’s not the greatest, either). In addition, we were planning on getting a place together in the near future, and at every turn Josh was there agreeing with me, encouraging me, leading me to believe he was just as interested in moving forward in our relationship as I was.
On Friday morning, I was offered the job, and of course I accepted. I completed a couple hours’ worth of onboarding forms and such on the website they sent me, for which I’m supposed to get paid, and I sent Josh an excited text letting him know I was going to have orientation on Monday (today). That night, he sent me a text asking if I had time to talk, and of course I was excited to talk to him since we weren’t in the same place at the time and I love talking to him. When he called, however, I could tell things weren’t going well, and when he told me he wanted to break up, I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach. I don’t remember what I said, only that I was in shock and didn’t offer much of an argument. I didn’t feel like I was even awake, that he was really calling me to say what he wanted to say.
I spent most of the weekend either pretending nothing had happened, or sobbing relentlessly and trying not to throw up. I had nightmares and dreams about Josh, about breaking up, and whenever I woke up I half-expected to find that nothing had happened at all, and that Josh and I were still happily dating. I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it with more than a handful of people, as I held on tightly to the hope that he would change his mind, that I could convince him to take me back. Talking about it was too painful, anyway. My mom had no idea what happened, but she knew I was sad. She asked me if I wanted to talk, and I had to go to my room because I couldn’t keep from crying. It truly has been a nightmare, facing all of this.
In my struggle to understand why Josh would say he hadn’t been happy in the relationship, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering, examining our relationship and looking for the clues I missed that would have warned me something like this was coming. Initially, I couldn’t find much at all, so I talked to Josh some more and he answered the questions I had. Sadly, he convinced me that he was serious about breaking up and he had legitimate reasons to do so. It was extremely hard for me to hear, but it was helpful in giving me something specific to look for as I tried to figure out what I could learn from this experience.
What I’ve realized since Friday night is that it is all too easy to take for granted the goodwill of others when they offer it uncomplainingly. Josh is a really nice guy, and he understood that my depression wasn’t something I was making up to be annoying, that it was a real challenge I was facing. So he was there for me, was kind to me. I knew I should make an effort to lessen the burden he was agreeing to carry, but I let myself expect Josh to be there for me and I got used to him rearranging his daily routine to accommodate for my lack of motivation. Understandably, this made life a lot harder on him than he felt it was worth; he didn’t feel as strongly for me as he felt he should, due to the fact that I wasn’t a very likable person most of the last few months, and it “just wasn’t working” for him.
Yes, I wish he would have told me he was tired of me throwing myself upon him emotionally all the time. But I realized I’d been taking him for granted, and rather than being a support for him, I became deadweight he had to drag around everywhere. I ache so badly to go back and do it over again, or to have another chance at doing better, but I have to accept that it is what it is, and I may have irreparably damaged any romantic connection between us.
So I looked at the past, at the mistakes I made, and I resolved to do better. If I get another chance with Josh, I will work tirelessly not to make the same mistakes again. But if I don’t, which is likely, I know what I need to strengthen in myself before I date again. I know what weakness I have to shore up, and I know I can’t let it slide like I have in the past. No matter how amazing I am, no matter how much someone cares about me, there’s only so much people can handle when it comes to carrying someone else around day in and day out. I never should have done that to Josh. I intend never to do it, to anyone, again.
I’m sorry if this writing is a lot rougher than what you may have come to expect on this blog; I’ve been sleeping all day and my brain is scattered, unorganized, and unfocused to a degree I rarely experience. I’m feeling extremely lost and confused, and I hope this passes soon but I have a lot of mourning to do yet.