And then I started to cry--tears of anger and hurt. It's been just over three weeks since SCL told me he was breaking up with me, and I swear the pain of it is worse now than it was the day after. The reality of what all of this means is beginning to hit me: having to move out of our apartment (HATE), being alone (HATE), carrying groceries by myself (HATE), not having SCL's companionship in my daily life (REALLY HATE). All this rage building in me makes me want to do some crazy shit. One of my mother's suggestions was to take his $300 coat which I bought him for his birthday this year to Goodwill. Better than destroying it because someone else would wear it, but he wouldn't be able to wear it. If I did this with all of the clothes I purchased him, then all he'd have left to wear would be some ratty pairs of boxers, mismatched socks, and dingy college t-shirts with pit stains. But, I digress.
C asked me if I had any more insight into what I want our time together to be about. I started crying. Again. I managed to get out something along the lines of, "My impulse to care for myself isn't as strong as I'd like it to be." That's the reason I contacted SCL over the weekend--because I wasn't thinking of myself. I didn't really have a reason to contact him; I just did it. And I felt like shit afterward. It makes me even more confused and angry. And I'm beginning to wonder about how, if at all, SCL can be in my life right now.
As "homework," C had asked me in our previous session to write down things that I do to care for myself and how I feel before and after. Here's what I wrote down:
- Napping: Exhausted--> Refreshed
- Blogging: Full, heavy--> Relief, release
- Exercising: Anxious--> Empowered
- Cleaning: Chaotic--> Accomplished
It's really interesting to be looking at my life through a lens of "Is this helpful for me?" I'm beginning to realize how important those little things--taking a nap, going for a run--really influence the way that I feel. C encouraged me to keep adding things to the list, so that no matter what I'm feeling, I'll have a bunch of choices, like a self-care menu of sorts. Brilliant. She's brilliant.
C asked me what this break-up means for my life. Tearing up again, I actually said, "There are some good parts." I feel like I'm reclaiming my life. All of that energy I was using to hold the relationship together I can now turn toward myself, and that's liberating. But it also means that I'm alone. Dealing with the loneliness has to be the hardest and most painful part of it. Being here in our apartment, the space we shared, is a constant reminder of what I've lost. When I'm not sad, I'm angry about it. I had thoughts of taking a hammer to his computer monitors, taking a Sharpie to his dress shirts, doing something destructive to his things because they're constantly mocking me. They're constantly saying, "He's not here anymore. He doesn't want you. He doesn't love you." I wish I could throw all of his shit out the window. We are situated right above the dumpster; it wouldn't be that hard.
Bottom line: going to therapy is not just a good thing right now, it's a critical thing. This week's "homework" is to examine how the relationship wasn't meeting my needs and to identify what I need right now and in a future relationship. I look forward to thinking beyond SCL and into my own heart, focusing on me instead of him. It's taking a lot of energy to do that because I'm so conditioned to think of him first. But I'm trying really hard to re-learn how to put myself first.