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How do I fill a gaping hole?

In my last post, I joked about losing 320 lbs. Days later, I’m still trying to find the humour in losing someone that I care about. 

So I decided to do some reading about how to get over a break up. My biggest concern is how long it will take to fill this gaping hole in my heart. What a cliché – gaping hole—ugh. The hole is metaphoric, and it’s in my heart, and it feels fucking huge. 

One of my challenges, is patience. I couldn’t wait for my ex to figure his shit out. I couldn’t wait for him to get his finances in order. I couldn’t wait for him to let enough time pass so I could be a legitimate part of his life. I couldn’t wait for him to figure out a way to introduce me to his son. I couldn’t wait to start my life with him. I couldn’t wait for his promises to come true. 

Brandy Enger, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist specializing in relationships notes, “The truth is that most couples cocreate their issues. Most people lose sight of the nuances of how they failed each other and develop simplistic, all-or-nothing statements about each other.” Although it sounds simple, that’s exactly what we did. He failed me and I failed him. Even though he wasn’t making decisions to intentionally hurt me, he was destroying my self-worth and my confidence. Because I was so hurt, I slowly began to build my walls back up. 

I kept adding brick, after brick. The higher the walls, the harder it became for him to climb them. I’m sure at the end, they must have appeared insurmountable. Numerous times he stated that he couldn’t do anything right. Everything he did upset me. To a certain extent, that was true.   We ‘broke up’ so many times. He was done with me and I was done with him. What made this last time different? The time I spent away from him, showed me how little of his life I really was a part of. We didn’t spend Christmas together. We didn’t spend New Year’s Eve together. We didn’t spend the last two together so why was this year any different? This year, he felt the pain and loneliness I felt every time a holiday came and went. He never understood what I was going through when I told him how lonely I was without him. 

I was afraid to google the words ‘gaping hole’. I thought for sure I would have been presented with hundreds of porn site options. I’m delighted to say that did NOT happen. Instead, the first hit I got was about a highway that was destroyed: 

So, this is what my heart feels like right now. I miss him. I’m impatient about that too. I want the feeling to go away, and quickly. 

Upon further research, engineers found a way to repair this gaping hole. There are always reasons to be hopeful. 

How did I manage to lose 320 lbs in one day?

I read something today, “I overthink, but I also over love”. That pretty much describes every relationship I have ever been in. I thought I was truly in love with the man I was with for over 2 years. I let him into my life, I let down many of my walls and most importantly, I introduced him to my children and my family. He made me promises and I believed them. Typical stupid girl, right? You’d think that by now, I would have figured it out. Well–clearly, I haven’t.

I have suffered with anxiety for years and it’s like my body and mind are trying to tell my heart things that it should already know. I should have ended this relationship months ago. The thought of talking to him made me anxious because most times when I would try to tell him how I was feeling, he would get angry. But when I say angry, I mean livid. He would threaten to leave. Sometimes he actually did. He would bang his hands on the steering wheel, he would call me horrible names and he would yell.

I have been in a physically abusive relationship before. My first husband left physical and mental scars that very few people have seen and even fewer know about. I kept that part of my relationship with him to myself because I was ashamed and embarrassed that I failed and that I didn’t see in him what everyone else did. However, I don’t hold this experience against all men. I am not bitter and I don’t think every man is the same. If I thought for one second my most recent ex would have put his hands on me, I would not have stayed with him for as long as I did.

Recently, several famous women have come forward with their stories of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of powerful men. My story pales in comparison with some of theirs. I was never forced to stay with anyone. I made my choices and I own them. Should I have left sooner? Absolutely. Would I ever stay with anyone again who physically abused me? Absolutely not.

I was not afraid that he would hit me, but I was afraid of losing myself to him. I didn’t see right away that I already was. Everything we did was dependent on his schedule and his finances. When I voiced my disappointment at not being able to spend as much time with him as I would have liked at a decent hour and not just when he was done with all his other commitments, I was presented with ultimatums and threats. He told me straight out that what he was giving me was all he could give. It took me a while, but I finally told him that it wasn’t enough.

We are treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated and I allowed myself to be treated disrespectfully. So why would he change if he had been treating me this way for so long? Needless to say, he didn’t change and I told him that I wasn’t happy.

It was not and even today, over a month later, it is still not easy. I tried to be civil. I have never broken up with someone and been on bad terms. He still has a copy of my key and yes, stupidly, I lent him a very small amount of money. He never responded to the voicemail or email I left him about getting those things back. After over two years, I mistakenly expected more from him.

I am by no means saying that I did everything right. I am far from perfect. I am sometimes painfully aware of my imperfections and I own them and will apologize for them if I hurt somebody else because of them. I know I hurt him and I’m very sorry that I did because that’s not what I want him to remember what he thinks of me.

I have also learned that I cannot control how anyone else feels or behaves. If he hates me, as much as that bothers me, I can’t change it.

The universe tried to show me that he is not my person. On a positive note, I lost 320 lbs in one day.

How did my dress end up in the fridge?

As this is my first blog post, I thought it would make sense to explain the name of my blog. I am assuming that in keeping pace with my life, my blog will often consist of me making short stories longer. 

Yesterday at lunch, my manager wanted to buy a new outfit for a television interview to promote her book that had recently been published (so jealous!). Across the street from my office, there is a fantastic ‘discount’ retailer whose stock changes daily. Needless to say, I make my fair share of purchases there. So while she was shopping, I did a little browsing myself and chose to buy (another) little black dress that I can dress up or down. 

I also began a 30 day fitness challenge yesterday. It consists of daily exercise and meal planning. I do not make New Year’s resolutions, because I spend the first day of every year with my parents. My background is Italian and my mother is a kick-ass cook. So there is no point in declaring my resolve to go on a diet when the spread is prepared by Mamma Angela. 

So how does this relate to my dress in fridge? 

After paying for my new dress, I went to the grocery store to buy some healthy snacks. In an effort to reduce the number of plastic bags I accumulate, I opted to put my snacks in the bag containing my dress. 

When I got back to the office, I put my snacks in the fridge. It wasn’t until this morning when I was lying in bed trying to mentally decide on an outfit that I remembered my black dress chilling in the fridge. 

I did it! End of 1st post.