#15

You really do go through the motions after a break-up, though that’s not to say it’s always the same for everyone. One of my strongest opinions is that of humanity’s staunch individualism. I hate it when people say men are like this or women are like that… When people are pigeonholed and categorised. I hate the idea that I am defined the moment I am born; by my gender or my ethnicity or my appearance. People are more than their surface… They are complex; there twists and turns; caverns and mountains; truths and facades. You cannot look at me and know who I am. People are a network of unfathomable profundity. Nobody will ever truly share my mind, or know what it’s like to live in my body.

Nonetheless, I find myself relating to other tales of heartache — to a sort of shared psychology. There seems to be a process that people go through after lost love; a sequence of emotions or rationales. At first I felt hatred and sorrow. I had been hurt and how dare they. Then I felt forlorn and dejected; hatred turned to despair. How dare they became why would they. Eventually, it morphed into the insoluble question — what if.

I found myself thinking what if we had spent more time together, what if we had moved house when she wanted to, what if we got married… Would we still be together? If I did this, or if I did that, would it have helped? These are not good thoughts — they lead to so much regret and self-deprecation. I began to feel that it’s my fault. Could I have made our relationship better? I feel like I was so loving, but the fact is I was abandoned. She fell out of love with me; am I accountable? I try to be a good person, but is it enough? Am I enough?

When we spoke about marriage, it wasn’t an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’ We believed it would happen one day. If I proposed to her, would she still have drifted away? The sad truth is — who knows? Nobody. We didn’t get married and that outcome will never be known. We could have lived happily ever after, or it could have been another path to anguish. But… what if?

I’ve read posts from other people who have gone through similar fluctuations, who begin to blame themselves for being hurt. In my case, I think this stems from a lack of closure; a lack of confidence; a lack of love for myself. I thought my feelings for her would have dissipated at least somewhat by now. It feels unfair that she sill occupies such a prominent place in my mind. She’s gone but she isn’t.

She has a child now. I had a look at her new beau’s social media and there they were. They were together barely a year before starting a family. I was with her for five years and have nothing but pain to show for it. It’s astonishing — she used to hate children. Throughout almost our entire time together, she would tell me that she didn’t want children. She would irk and cringe at even the thought of them. I didn’t have any strong feelings either way. Only in the final days did she admit she had done a complete one-eighty and had decided she would like a child after all. I said I would take that step with her, but I guess she didn’t envisage that future with me. She was already cheating by that point, anyway.

I have a newfound appreciation for the Marc Webb film (500) Days of Summer. Such relationships do happen. What you don’t know with one person, you may with another. What she did to me was loathsome. To hurt someone you loved to that degree — it’s disgusting. There is no justification for it. But I’m starting to think it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know her anymore. I don’t know who she is. It feels like the person I loved disappeared behind the lies and deceit and was lost there forever.

Our lives seem so different now. Whilst she has experienced love and life, I have gone through loneliness and death. She hurt me, but it has not affected her at all. I feel like I’ve been asking this since I started this blog, but how can people inflict so much pain and then go on with their lives without a care? There is no karma. It sucks, overwhelmingly so, that all my best memories were with her. They’ve been tinged with sadness; turned bittersweet. Now it’s like I don’t have any good memories at all.

Still, I felt a bit of closure when I saw that picture. She is truly gone. I am not a factor in her life anymore. In her last communication to me, she said she would be there for me always. What empty words. I would give anything just to hear from her one last time… I long to hear an unprompted “sorry” so I can accept it and move on. It seems so little to ask, so unassuming to expect remorse, but it appears as though she has confined me to a place even more distant than history or memory. It’s like I never existed. I’ve come to realise the only person you truly have is yourself. Perhaps it’s time I stopped thinking about immoral people and started working on my own happiness. I thought I couldn’t attain that without her, but I think now I’m willing to try.

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#14

Hello, there. It’s been a little while. Almost half a year, actually. Has much changed? I can’t say that it has. I completed my degree. I took on more hours at work. I renewed my lease. I’m still alone. I’m not really doing anything with my time. I don’t know what I should be doing.

I didn’t make any friends going back to university. On the other hand, I get on quite well with my co-workers, although I don’t see them outside of work. I don’t mind my job, but I only do a 30-hour week. My manager said I could get full time hours if I wanted, but I m reluctant to give up more of my free time. I feel like I’ve grown accustomed to solitude now.

Ideally, I should have taken those hours and I shouldn’t have renewed my lease for another year. The people who live in the apartment below me are extremely aggravating. They are loud all the time. They drive me apeshit. I work nights, so I come home and sleep, then I wake up in the evening to a racket. It stresses me out. I just want some peace and quiet. I would like to move.

I did well on my university coursework, but fear I may have ruined everything with a poor dissertation. I struggled tremendously with motivation. I kept putting it off until I basically ran out of time. I’ll know my final grade next month, but I feel like I’ve let myself down.

I went to a relatives wedding a couple of months ago. It’s actually the first wedding I’ve ever been to. I wasn’t keen on going, to be honest, but I felt like I was obligated as family. It was held abroad, so we were there for around four days. After arriving at the hotel, I went straight to the bar and got drunk. The first day was actually a lot of fun, but during the wedding I felt like I could collapse. All those lovey-dovey occasions left me bitter. Often I found I had no one to talk to, whereas everybody else was either with someone or had attended with somebody.

I went to London last week to attend the London Korean Film Festival’s Opening Gala. I enjoyed myself, but I know I would have enjoyed it more with a friend or two. If only I knew how to get a couple of those. The people sat next to me at the screening were talking about Bae Doona, an actress I also like. I wanted to join the conversation somehow, but sometimes I feel like I have no voice.

I’ve been having some strange nightmares recently. Well, they’re more like sad dreams. I can’t remember what happens in them specifically, but my ex-girlfriend is there, and my mind seems to recapture the intense pain I felt when she left. One time I lay down for a nap and woke up with tears in my eyes. I realised then that the break-up still affects me very deeply. I miss love and companionship. I feel like life isn’t worth living alone.

It will be Christmas next month, thereafter marking two years as an isolated man. Is it convenient or tragic that my relationship ended on New Year’s Day? It’s supposed to represent a fresh beginning, but for me, it felt like the weight of the world had come crashing down upon me. The year ahead had become wretched and one that I didn’t want to see. I can scarcely believe it has been two years already. Unfortunately, it feels like nothing has really happened in that time. Sometimes I just want to scream — what’s it all about? I wonder if people often feel this way. I wonder how she is and what her life is like. I wish I wasn’t left alone with this pain.

How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep.

Shortly after that dream I mentioned earlier, I suddenly felt like I wanted to get rid of my possessions. I’ve always had a lot of things, but they aren’t essential. I suppose I’ve just never thrown too much away. I’m quite orderly, so a lot of my belongings are packed away neatly in boxes, but I feel like I’m holding onto a lot for emotional reasons rather than practical ones. I want to start cutting down. I feel eager to change my surroundings.

#13

Greetings. It’s been quite a while. I usually only come and post here when I’m feeling very down, so I suppose my absence should suggest an improved mood, but I can’t really pinpoint how I am. I’m here and there. I feel like some sort of quasi-functional person. I work, I eat, I keep clean, and I go out. I’m sure I seem like an ordinary person to everybody else, but sometimes I feel like I’m suffering so much. It gets bad. Sometimes I wish I could just die.

I don’t really know why I’m feeling this way, or at least I don’t think there is any one reason in particular. I’m lonely. I feel abandoned. I’m unfulfilled. I feel like I will never be able to find true happiness again. If you’ve visited here before, you may have read that I went back to university to do a masters degree. I received decent grades, and I should be working on my dissertation right now, but I am finding it so difficult to get motivated. I know this is a good opportunity for me to come away with a brilliant qualification, but often I feel like nothing is really worth anything. What is the point in it all?

I think a lot of these feelings are due to my ex-girlfriend and our past relationship. It’s been so long that I feel silly it’s still affecting me to this degree, but we were together for half a decade. For me, that doesn’t just disappear. When I found out she had been cheating on me, she left within two days. She didn’t answer any of my questions, and didn’t really have anything to say about the whole situation. She returned about a week later, still with nothing much to say. I was a mess all throughout that time, but one night I really broke down. I felt so terribly lonely and broken-hearted. I lay curled up on the living room floor, sobbing uncessantly. All she could muster was to come in and stand over me and ask: “What’s wrong?” I didn’t answer her, and after repeating herself she just walked back into the bedroom. That made me feel so angry. After spending five years together, and after tearing my heart apart, that’s all the sympathy she could muster? I went into the bedroom and said I hated her and wish I never got to know her. I do regret saying that, but I don’t think I was wrong to say those words. How could she be so unconcerned? To this day it haunts me. Did I really know her at all?

I think that’s part of the reason I am finding it so difficult to let go and move on. I want to know what she was thinking. I want closure. Eventually she did come into the living room and sit with me, albeit silently. I told her she was going to throw me away, and she assured me she wouldn’t. She said she would always be there for me. Look where we are now — it’s been over a year since I heard from her.

One of the first things I did during this whole mess was to email to her one of the letters I had written her from before we started dating. I wanted to show her how close we were even before we began a relationship, to try and stress that, although what she did had caused me immeasurable pain, I didn’t want her to disappear from my life. I wanted her as a friend. I even explained this to her, but no difference did it make — still I was thrown away. I feel so insignificant when I think about that. It’s terrifying, the fact that I can be discarded so easily, despite our history. It’s like I don’t matter one bit. I’m nothing. Of no importance. Zero. It plays on my mind all the time. I really wish she would reach out and offer me some closure. I am trapped and tormented by her lies. I just want to hear her say sorry. Did she really care that little?

I actually found out some information the other day. A friend of hers reached out to me, wondering where my ex-girlfriend was. I didn’t know, of course. It’s been over a year since she talked to me. I passed on the name of the person she was seeing behind my back, and her friend then found his Facebook profile. It seems my ex-girlfriend and him have moved in comfortably with each other. I felt so drained seeing their pictures, like my innards had withered away. Here I am utterly depressed because of her, and there she is, forging a new life as though I never existed.

In our last correspondence, I made it so clear to her how low I was feeling. She never replied after that, and guess what — I am blocked from viewing her beau’s profile. She actually went out of her way to cut me off so entirely from her new life. I think that’s so despicable. How can somebody knowingly hurt a person who loved them and cared for them so deeply, and then run away as though they are of no concern and never were. How can you cause so much pain and not feel guilt or a want or need to remedy it. How can somebody do that? I can’t fathom it.

I was freeing up some space on a memory stick about a month ago, and I sort of half-stumbled upon a collection of folders containing memories of us. Half-stumbled because I knew they were there, but I hadn’t actually looked at them in years. There were pictures, emails, chat-logs — all sorts. She and I didn’t live very close to each other when we first started dating, so for the first month and a bit, it was a long-distance relationship. Given that, we used to stay up all night and talk about anything and everything on MSN. You know, that old millennial chestnut. We did this for many months even before we started dating. I saved every single one of those chat-logs without fail. They were so precious to me.

I know I shouln’t have, but I read through some of them. Reading those exchanges made me sad. Many of the things we said to each other and shared with each other were so passionate. It was love, through and through. Some of those times were pure bliss to me. I was so happy. The happiest of my life, in fact. Just thinking about it now makes me cry. How can somebody that meant so much return from whence they came and become a almighty stranger? I thought our relationship was unbreakable, but I guess I was a fool. I still am a fool. What happened to the person I loved? How could she treat me like garbage and dispose of me so easily?

Agonisingly, I know there are no straight answers to these questions. Haruki Murakami’s novel A Wild Sheep Chase begins with a situation that elicits these very ruminations. When the narrators wife leaves him, he talks about their photo album, and how his wife removed every trace of herself before she left. The remaining images make it looks as though the narrator had been alone at birth, alone all his days, and would continue alone. That is how I feel. I was in a five year relationship, and now my ex-girlfriend has made every effort to pretend it never happened.

Murakami has written quite extensively about human relationships and the fallacy of understanding. In The Wild-Up Bird Chronicle, one of my favourite books, he writes:

Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?

I find affinity with his words, and often I feel as though he speaks great truths. I had known her for twelve years, and I felt like I really did know her, but now it feels as though I never really knew her at all. “People change” was her one and only excuse for cheating on me. This same person once said to me that if I cheat on her, she will hate me. She did the very thing that would have once disgusted her. If people can change so drastically, what’s the point in trying to understand anybody? I now recognise how and why people develop trust issues.

I feel that life is so short, and people are so fragile. If you hurt somebody so deeply, to then leave them to deal with it alone is utter cruelty. I feel as though I’ve been suffering inside for so long now. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the mend, but really it just permeates and permeates. I am a broken person, and I feel like the only one who can truly offer me closure is the person who caused it all, but I have a woeful feeling that I will never hear from her again. Why is it all so trying.

#12

Hello. How are you? I’m doing better. Still lonely and down, but not as distraught or lost. It’s been over a year now, both since my relationship ended and since I started this blog. In the weeks and months following the breakup, this point seemed so far off. I couldn’t imagine tomorrow, let alone a year from now. Sometimes I thought it would be better if I didn’t even see tomorrow. I was alone and in a very dark place. Sometimes it does get bad (my previous post was a little unsettled) and I still have a very long way to go, but I am doing better

Today is a free day. I don’t have work, or any studying to do. I might even go to the cinema. I’m not really bound by much, and sometimes I get a little excited about living life for myself, and being able to do what I want to do, but at the same time I miss having a friend, and I miss the shared experiences. It’s one of my dreams to visit Japan and South Korea, but I have nobody to go with. I really wish I could find someone who didn’t mind spending a little time with me.

The truth is, I’m not very good at meeting people, especially now. Despite a twelve year history with my ex-girlfriend and a relationship that spanned almost five years, I was discarded in favour of somebody else like none of it ever mattered — like I didn’t matter. My confidence has been all over the place since then, and now it’s kind of fizzled away. Being betrayed and disposed of by the person I loved most in the world left me feeling half-baked. I feel like I’m not interesting enough, not attractive enough, not good enough. I feel like I’m not worth knowing. I’m sure I give off a “Don’t talk to me! I’m a loner.” sort of vibe. It’s tough. I’ll be thirty in three years and I’ve only ever been in one relationship, and I feel as though I’ll never be in another again. Who would settle for me? Even if a miracle were to happen, how am I supposed to open up? I’m a closed book and I’ll probably always be a closed book.

I try not to think about that stuff, but it does invade my mind more than I wish it did. I like what I study at university, but I dread going in because I feel like I don’t belong. I’m glad there are only a few months of lessons left. I have a rough idea of what I’m going to do afterwards, but I don’t have anything solid planned. I’ve just been taking the days as they come, but I want to commit myself to my studies more, and put more time into my interests and hobbies. I just want to start doing things before I waste away. Please wish me luck.

#10

Me again. In a perpetual back-and-forth between happiness and depression. Sometimes I think, heck — life isn’t so bad. I have to go to work, and earn a living, and take care of myself, but there isn’t a whole lot tying me down. In a sense, I have a degree of freedom, and a world of opportunities waiting for me. So why is it I feel my best years are behind me? I am still young, but it feels as though a part of me was lost somewhere, in the past, and I am not whole anymore. There’s this underlying sense of emptiness in my life.

I think it’s probably quite natural, going from a five year relationship, to living alone. But every time I think something is going to change, something new will begin, it never does. I got a new job, and I went back to university, but I still haven’t made any friends. I make an effort to talk to people, and everyone is generally kind and pleasant, but our conversations don’t graduate beyond small talk. I don’t know what to say, and people probably don’t know what to say to me. Sometimes I think maybe I come across as a bit sad, or mysterious. It occurred to me the other day, that it has actually been ten years since I made my last friend. That was in college — a time where everyone seemed so much easier to approach.

When I look at other people my age, they’re often in groups, and have so many people to meet and things to talk about. Whereas I am alone, day in, day out. It makes me feel rather pathetic, and sometimes I’ll drift off into imagination land, and think about how great life would be, if only I had somebody to share it with. Sometimes I daydream about my ex-girlfriend. I imagine her reaching out to me, and coming to stay, and I think about how I would react to seeing her. I will always carry around a lot of pain because of her, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to see her again. It’s been almost a year since I heard her voice, and saw her face. I feel as though I would break down if we were to meet again, through a combination of devastation and relief.

The worst thing now is that I am used to being alone. It has become the norm. I even drink alone sometimes. Not because I feel particularly down, but because I just need something to break my dreary routine. Christmas is coming up, and I can just see myself sitting around, doing nothing in particular, with a bottle of alcohol. Gosh. I’m going to be alone on Christmas. What a year this has been. What a situation my life has become.

I’ve been thinking about getting a dog. I rent my apartment, so I don’t think it’s actually permitted, but that seems so ridiculous to me. I put down a substantial deposit in order to move in, and I give up seventy-five percent of my income to call this my home. I pay my bills, and live considerately and fairly, and still I am at the mercy of somebody who has never even met me. How can you deny somebody a pet? What a world. I’m lonely.

#09

Hello. It’s me again. Two months have passed since I last visited, but I don’t have much in terms of an update. Mainly I have just been working and resting, whilst I wait for my MA course to begin, which is in a couple of weeks. Everything is very trivial right now — days come and go — but I’m hoping that changes once I resume my studies.

I’ve made it this far… Such a thought came to me the other day. This year has been the most tumultuous and difficult of my entire life, but it will be Winter again soon, and I’ve come a long way since January.

It was the early hours of the very first day of the year when I discovered my girlfriend had been cheating on me. Despite being together for almost five years, and despite knowing each other for nearly a decade and a half, she promptly left and never looked back. Not once did I feel any true remorse from her, and I was hurting for so many reasons — because I had been betrayed, because she didn’t seem to care, because I was alone, and because everything had been for nothing. I didn’t feel like I had a future anymore.

After she left, I spent the first two months alone in our apartment, the contents and very shape of which had become a harsh reminder of better days. Once I got out of there, I spent a couple of months with my mother, step-father and three half-brothers. I am very grateful that I had somewhere to stay, but it was a squeeze to say the least and I was living out of a rucksack. Sometimes I could tell they wanted space, so I tried to make myself scarce. I would walk for hours and think. For half a year I couldn’t be happy.

Once I got my own place, the days became calmer and easier to endure, but recently I have been feeling very strange. The best way I can describe it, is I feel confused, but I don’t really know why or what about. I used to feel as though things were tangible, but now everything feels very warped and disorderly and it makes me anxious. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I feel lonely a lot. It’s difficult to meet new people, let alone make friends. It’s pathetic, really. I am still young, but sometimes I think I’ll just be alone forever. I’m hoping going back to university will be a positive experience, and there will be lots of friendly people to speak to.

I still think about my ex-girlfriend a lot, especially at night when I’m trying to sleep. It’s all my mind can focus on sometimes. Usually I end up feeling angry about what she did and the way she treated me afterwards, but sometimes I miss her a lot. Last night I dreamed that we met up again. I only remember fragments, but it made me feel very fragile how much a part of me she still is, whereas I am completely absent from her new life. It was her Birthday the other day, and I emailed to wish her well, but I doubt she will respond. She doesn’t talk to me anymore. I don’t understand how she can treat me that way. I thought I knew her well, but now it’s like I didn’t really know her at all.

Whenever I write these posts, it always seems like I come back to the same topic at the end, and ruminate about all these things that make me sad. I read a lot online about people in similar situations who have gone through rough break-ups. Everyone deals with things differently and at their own pace, and I am certainly better than I was a couple of months ago, but it feels like a part of me will always be longing for this past love. I don’t think people really do ‘move on’ from experiences like this, they just learn to cope and live with it.