Last week I finally hit the breaking point with my ex. Those of you who followed me over here from my old blog and/or my catharthis blog will know that this has been a long time coming. Considering he dumped me almost eighteen months ago now, I should have hit this point a long time ago, I know.
I'm actually really angry. Angrier than I have been in a long time. And not just angry at him. I'm angry at myself for letting it get to this point. I'm angry at my mother for sewing such co-dependent traits in me. And I'm angry at him for hurting me - there is no way I'm letting him off the hook for this one.
I'm not going to go into detail here about what the last straw was, but suffice it to say that hypocrisy is alive and well on Planet Ex, and it just broke the damn camel's back.
This post isn't about that, though, although that is the precipitating factor. This post is about the process of "Letting Go".
"Letting Go" is one of those things you hear a lot about in self-help lessons and internet forums about being dumped. And to an extent, I think a lot of what you hear about "Letting Go" is a lot of bullshit, but there is some merit to the idea.
For me, I had to learn to Let Go of a lot of things, all at once.
I had a lot of plans wrapped up in that relationship - I was going to get married and have babies and a whole future with him. So there's a big chunk of my future I had to Let Go of. I had to Let Go of the financial stability that comes with having a partner that you're sharing the costs with (in a way that roommates just don't). I had to Let Go of the family I thought I had gained through our relationship, the friends who showed their true colours when I responded to the breakup by plunging into the worst bout of depression I have ever experienced, and the constant comfort of someone to hold me to sleep every night. I had to Let Go of the person I thought had become my best friend, and I had to Let Go of the trust I had placed in him.
All of that was scary, but it was only half of the story. All those positive things I had to Let Go of went hand in hand with other things that I had to Let Go of in order to move on. Like co-dependancy; I had to let go of that (I'm still learning to Let Go of that). I had to Let Go of the pain that kept me attached to him, because at least it was something he was still feeding. I had to Let Go of the belief that I deserved to be treated the way he did, and that he was always right and I was always wrong. I had to Let Go of the belief that he was the only person who would ever love me, and the belief that I would never love myself.
The whole process is terrifying. And I haven't finished it yet. I didn't Let Go. I held on for so long. I continued to pour my energy into a relationship with a man who continued to lie to me and do things that hurt me without feeling any remorse because it was his life, and if I wanted to be his friend, I should respect his choices - never mind that if he wanted to be my friend, he should be considerate of my feelings, as friends just should be. I refused to take that last shred of my heart that he held between his teeth and chewed on from time to time. I held on so furiously, because if I didn't, then all the effort, and all the pain, and all the tears and screams and dreams and hopes and love would have been for nothing.
I had to finally learn that Letting Go isn't always the same as Giving Up, and even when it is, Giving Up isn't always the same as Failing.
A week ago, I finally Let Go, and I did Give Up; I Gave Up wasting my time on someone who didn't deserve it, someone who never bothered to waste his time on me. I Gave Up on him, but in the process, I stopped Giving Up on myself.
The next step will be to Let Go of the anger. I learned with my father that staying angry means they remain in control of you. I do not want him to have any control over me any longer, and that involves Letting Go of my anger towards him and towards myself. That's the next step I have to take, and it is the hardest one that I will take, because it always feels like anger makes you strong. But what it really does is hollow you out, and fill you with rot. I'm done letting other people turn me into something I'm not.
I'm Letting Go.