Has anyone else ever noticed that the blogosphere seems to have good and bad times together? Someone starts it, and there’ll be a sudden flurry of bloggers announcing engagements, weddings, new jobs or glamorous trips. On the other side, the bad stuff seems to happen in groups too. I don’t know what it is, but lately, there seem to be a lot of bloggers I follow navigating the nastiness of break-ups, divorces and loss in the family. How you maintain your blog through the bad times is a difficult question.
By it’s nature, blogging can be very personal. We share a lot of ourselves out there in the internet, but there’s a lot of difficulty to sharing quite so much when we’re not writing about happy things. Some bloggers maintain a policy of silence on the bad times, while others are baring their souls. For most of us, there’s a balance in the middle. We acknowledge the bad thing happened without dwelling. I think there’s a fear of being perceived as someone wailing about their bad luck in a public way, and alienating a readership who come to you for tales of shopping, silliness and sales bargains.
But sometimes, there is a comfort in reading from someone else that you are not alone in feeling like absolute hell. It takes the pressure off ‘being ok’ to know someone else is in the same boat. And frankly, maintaining a bright front, online and in life, is bloody tiring.
I’m reaching the stage now where people are starting to gently tell me I need to ‘move on’ (as though this is something I don’t know), and ‘let go’, or maybe ‘start over’. I have started to reach the time limit allowed for wallowing in self pity and ice cream and should be in the far more fun for other people stage of dancing to ‘Single Ladies’, dramatic hair cuts and partying. Trouble is, I am not done with the god-awful, gut-wrenching, feeling like you might die of the pain stage. I am too tired to maintain the outward, “It’s hard, but I’m doing ok and getting through it” mask.
I am not doing just fine. I haven’t slept through the whole night for weeks. I’m tired. I’ve had to move from a flat I loved and was expecting to live in for a long time, to one I am actually pretty indifferent about, no matter how many people tell me it’s ‘much nicer really’. No. It isn’t. It’s small, and dark and it just isn’t home. I am fed up of people who think that the best way to make me feel better is to list Tom’s faults if they know him, or if they don’t, resort to standard, “Well, he’s a prick, anyway.” Actually, no he isn’t. He’s lost and hurting too. I don’t want to hear what an arsehole you think he is, because when I do it makes me want to sob hysterically, or possibly punch you in the nose. It’s not true, and it hurts to you horrible things about somebody who, if stupidly and pointlessly, you still love very much. It’s also pretty agonizing when somebody casually tells you, when you’re telling them you’re actually really struggling, that they always thought you were very incompatible anyway. Right, thank you, that’s very helpful of you and not at all like twisting the knife when it already hurts enough.
Instead of getting better, I feel worse now than I have at any point of this break-up. This is the longest we have ever gone without speaking, and it’s killing me. I haven’t just lost my boyfriend. I’ve lost the pretty amazing team we made, my best friend, the person I trusted most, had the most fun with, who made me laugh like nobody else can. I’ve lost my home. I’ve lost what seemed like a bright future, with a solid partnership. I’ve lost all those future plans that made me happy to have, even while it was hard with him away working. Relationships are made in the small moments that make you happier than you thought something so trivial could. He might have been a nightmare for stealing my socks and leaving the fridge open, but I’ve lost those small things. All our inside jokes, and the tiny silly things he probably never knew mattered to me, are lost.
On Saturday, I went back to our flat for the last time. It was empty and all wrong. Locking the door for the last time and walking away was the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far. I can’t bear the thought that we will never be there again.
It’s incredibly hard. I miss him desperately and I am not ready to be ‘moving on’ yet. A break-up is very like grieving, and cannot be gone through on someone else’s timeline.
I am incredibly grateful for my amazing friends who doing their best to look after me. Sorry this one turned into such a novel. If there is one other person out there who feels the same way, and needed the permission to answer honestly when someone asks how you’re feeling, I’ll be glad I wrote it. You don’t always have to say ‘fine’.