And After the Storm…

Even though you might have given a relationship everything you had to give, sometimes it still ends. Then the grief comes, and it feels as if it will never end. You replay every moment, good and bad, wondering what you might have done differently. If you had only said this instead of that. If you had been more patient or more understanding or somehow could’ve handled more pain, you would still be together.

If you could only kiss them one more time.

You wait for their return. You wait for them to realize how much you meant to them, or how much you meant to each other. You check your email and texts and Twitter and Facebook, hoping for and at the same time afraid of a message from your beloved, but there is none there.

They are gone.

The devastating truth is that love is not enough to make a relationship work. Sometimes there are other factors, too many things going against a relationship. It ultimately fails, shattering one or both of you.

The grief chokes, leaving you gasping for breath. The tears seem endless, and just when you think they are gone, they come again. And they bring friends. You awake each morning to a brief moment of peace before you remember the torment that is now your reality. You wish you could just be unconscious all day, weary from the constant anguish.

As Margaret Atwood so succinctly puts it in The Handmaid’s Tale, you “feel like the word shatter.”

Especially if your relationship had elements of abuse and/or you discover your beloved deceived you. Lied to you. Cheated on you. You wonder if any of it was real. You feel as if your entire life has been a lie.

Then comes another layer of torture: realizing you have been fooled, duped. That you are going through all this agony because you trusted the wrong person, because you believed in someone with no integrity. Somehow, you tell yourself, you should’ve seen through them. Somehow you should have known. You feel deeply ashamed.

You grapple to fill the void with anything, but nothing can fill it.

A wise friend told me this: “The fact that he was false in his emotions is valid, but you weren’t false in yours. Your life, for a time, was made better. Which makes the sting of the deception all the more painful.”

You loved. There is no shame in love.
You believed. There is no shame in believing the best in someone.

Now you are in pain. And it seems to be unending, but it is not. You’re in the middle of a storm. It ebbs. And it flows. Some days will be worse than others, but as time passes and you heal, the worse days will be less and less. When the wave of pain returns, and it unfortunately will even months later, it will be less intense. It will not last as long.

You take one day at a time, sometimes doing anything just to make it through the next few minutes. Take a walk, movement certainly helped me. I think I’ve walked more in the past few months than I had in the past year. (And I dropped 10+ lbs between that and not being able to eat.) Listen to uplifting music or audio. Read books on grieving and surviving loss. They are very validating.

There are stages of grief, but don’t expect to march straight through them. They are cyclical, and you will go around and around the different stages, feeling as if you’re trapped on a sadistic merry-go-round; however, it will eventually slow down enough to accept that although this isn’t the reality you wanted, this is the only one you have.

The most important thing during this time is to take care of yourself. You’ll find your true friends during this time. Let them be there for you. I grieve as I do everything in my life: openly. Let the tears come when they come. Wail. Scream. Get Angry. Let the emotions come as they do, and let them out in healthy ways. When they subside, let them go. Don’t hold onto them because, believe me, they’ll come back soon enough.

Ultimately, you will heal, and although your beloved might always be in your heart, for I know that is how things are with me, one day you will remember them fondly and wish them the best. You will see their deceptions as their problem, their character flaw, not a reflection of your worth, and you will pity them for it. You will let them go with love, and hope they can find happiness and the strength to heal themselves.

More importantly, you will be stronger, wiser, and you will love again. Yes trite, but it is true just the same.

Surviving the loss of a love is no small feat. For many people it is the most devastating loss one can experience, especially when you’re losing not only a lover, but your best friend as well.

Know you are not alone. Know that you will get through it. Know that you will fall in love again. Next time with someone who respects you, who cherishes you, and who deserves the love you have to give.

Namaste.

-_Q

Books, audio, and online content to help you through your grief. They have helped me through mine. Still are.

How to Survive the Loss of a Love
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing
Heal My Broken Heart – Online Step Program
Dr. Phil: Healing a Broken Heart
Dr. Phil: Moving Forward After Infidelity (works also for victims of deception)
Dr. Phil: Letting Go of Love
Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth and The Power of Now
Can’t Let Go of a Bad Relationship?

-_Q

After the Storm – Mumford and Sons

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won’t rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

I will die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and mine so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

-_Q

Please read my other articles on relationships and romance.

Polyamory as an Alternative to Infidelity
Dispelling 5 Myths of Polyamory
Talking to Your SO About Polyamory
Healing Your Relationship
Healing Yourself
Writing for Survival
Suicidal Tendencies
The Morality of Love and Sex

~ by omgrey on February 7, 2011.

4 Responses to “And After the Storm…”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by christinerose and O.M. Grey, O.M. Grey. O.M. Grey said: And After the Storm… http://wp.me/pQA3i-aL […]

  2. Recently someone described perservering through this struggle as an act of courage. That it was courageous to grapple with that pain. To endure it, like a barrage. I had never considered it so, only something that must be done. I thought it was part of being alive, but perhaps it is.

    Perhaps it takes courage to continue on after part of your heart has left you.

    • I think it does take courage to go on afterward in some cases. It definitely takes courage to trust again, especially after cases of abuse.

  3. […] And After the Storm […]

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