Yesterday I broke up with my boyfriend of more than two years.
It sounds so simple, so easy, when it's put like that. People break up every day. I know that. And I know that it's never easy, or simple. Not for the people involved. Everyone knows that. Everyone has been there. And they all say the same things when it happens to someone else.
People keep telling me that I'm brave, that I'm strong. They say that because I chose to end the relationship, and did it not out of anger, but because I saw that our personalities weren't quite a perfect fit. I chose to end a good relationship because I know that I could have a better one with someone else, even if I don't know who. So everyone tells me that I'm doing the right thing, and that in the long run this will be better for both of us.
I try to believe them. Sometimes - most of the time - I actually do know that they're right.
But the truth is that when I think about the break up, I don't feel brave or strong. I feel like a coward, because I knew for more than two weeks that this was coming, and didn't say anything. I tried to take the easy way out and ignore the problem until a "better" time, feeling more and more like I was lying to him every day. The only reason we broke up when we did is that he could tell it was bothering me, and asked what was wrong.
One of the first rules we set in our relationship was honesty. He asked. I answered.
I feel broken because this amazing person I just left is someone I have loved deeply for two years. I still love him. I hate the fact that I hurt him this way. I hate that I have to push him away, even knowing that I'm giving us both a chance for something even better. I'm trying very hard not to hate myself for doing it.
Once before I had to break up with someone with whom I was still in love, for all the right reasons. That break up was the trigger for the severe depression that I have written about elsewhere on this blog. I hated myself then. Even knowing that my circumstances are so different now, that I have a support system and a greater self knowledge of where my emotional limits are, a part of me is terrified that I'm going to fall into that darkness again.
Another part of me, smaller but present, is tempted by it. The depression brought with it numbness, and it is tempting to prefer that over the pain. Sometimes I feel like my heart has been stabbed and the knife still in the wound, cutting deeper with every breath. It would be so easy, this part of me whispers, to run from the pain, to hide so deeply inside myself that it could never touch me.
I know, of course, that that is a false promise and a temporary refuge at best, so I bear the pain. Instead I talk about it, write about it here, and if the sharing doesn't ease the hurt, at least it makes it easier to handle.
To everyone who has offered or will offer me comfort and support, thank you. With all of your help, I know I will make it through this, and be stronger for it. Your kindness means a great deal to me, even if I'm not always able to show it as I go through this process.
Lots of Love,