When SCL broke up with me the second time, I think what really freaked me out the most was remembering what it had been like the first time--and truly believing there was no way in hell I could go through that again.
The truth is, this time things are different in some ways. I'm no longer living in our old apartment, surrounded by SCL's things and stuff that we'd bought together. I have few if any thoughts about SCL changing his mind and wanting me back. The times when I actually feel like seeing him or calling him are few and far between. And he's not sleeping in the same place a few nights a week. All of these circumstantial things make it all a lot different--and for the most part, better. I'm not pining, not clinging, not yearning for his company like I did then.
The first time around I thought I wanted to do the break-up thing differently, try to remain cordial and even talk to SCL sometimes. I realized that was more about me wanting to treat him well than it was about treating myself well. Because it tortured me. It reminded me of how things used to be and had my head spinning, trying to figure out why it couldn't be that way again. He seemed more present for me in the break-up than he had been in the relationship, and it confused me. It made me want him back. No wonder I didn't think twice when he said he wanted another chance.
The first time around I felt like I could change to make it work. The second time around I recognize that SCL refused to change--or he simply couldn't. I don't want anyone changing on my behalf anyway. He's got to first recognize where he falls short and want to change for himself. I know better this time around.
And yet, my feelings for him seem like they're the same. I know because on my way out to dinner last night, I thought I saw him coming toward me on the street. My stomach dropped. My pulse raced. I felt like I was going to vomit and burst into tears at the same time. It wasn't him, thank God, but it took me a good five minutes to calm myself down.
I know that even though things are different this time around, some things--like my broken heart--are exactly the same.