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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#66 Mindf*ck today, crisis averted tomorrow

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

I want to say that I wish I had words to describe how I feel, but the reality is that I know exactly how to describe what I feel. Rather, I can’t find the energy to put the words together (nor do I have the motivation to find it. I’m afraid that anyone reading this will think I’m exaggerating or being melodramatic. I understand the research that says that the brain reacts similarly to emotional and physical pain. I feel the same strain of hopelessness, despair and anger as I did freshman year of college after my first heartbreak. I should’ve spent time with friends this week to distract myself, but I didn’t have the energy. Besides, I kept hoping that something might magically change, (even though I knew it wouldn’t) and I wanted to be ready for it. You know, in case.

The pain in my chest transitions seamlessly between dull and sharp. It’s always throbbing, but it goes dormant every few hours, as if resembling low tide in the ocean. The tears and fits of anger are welcome distractions from the pain, if only to make it ten times worse moments later. Seeing a man attempt neck curls while getting a nasty shoulder pump actually made me feel worse, not better. That’s how I know it’s bad. I’d do anything to make it stop, but I know that I have to let this “bleed out” until there’s nothing left to feel or it will come back to bite harder and I’ll have to start over.

Mornings are alright. I wake up each day hoping that things will get better, or that something will magically change. It helps that I wake up with abs too, because I’m in too much pain to feel hunger and can’t taste anything. I’m grateful that my job makes me feel needed. Nighttime is the worst part. As soon as the clock strikes 8pm, I suddenly realize that nothing’s changed. I’m remain in the same situation as day before, but another 24 hours elapsed and reality hits me all over again.

I’d do anything to make the throbbing stop, but my soul knows that each second of pain now is saving me years of hurt and destruction. No matter how much time I spent convincing myself otherwise, there was something off in each previous romantic situation. I ignored every red, yellow and even white flag because I felt a strong emotional attraction each person. You know, that charisma that I’m perpetually in love with? I think it’s far closer to narcissism than people skills. Were any of those men capable of caring about me in the slightest? I see the differences between the guys I chased and guys that cared for me and looked out for me but that I didn’t want. The pain today comes from more than the most recent ending, or realization that I was cheated on. Instead, I finally see the unreciprocated energy I invested in people that weren’t interested in investing any of it in me. I’m angry because I let myself get treated so poorly, and made excuses for others because I still cared about them. I’m hurt because other people were willing to invest energy in me, and I egged them on by not being willing to communicate how I felt, while I tried to convince myself to feel the same way, knowing full well that I never would. I feel like a helpless child in a divorced woman’s body. I never considered the possibility of how wrong could possibly be about my dating choices or that any of these things could happen to me.

I’m struggling to figure out if any of these men ever had true feelings for me in the first place. I spent many nights awake refusing to believe that they actually had feelings for me, trying to piece together why they were lying to me. I wasn’t even sure if I was convincing myself that they lied about their feelings or if I knew the whole time they weren’t right and was using this as a defense mechanism. (I remember one famous situation when I would just look at the guy and say “mindfuck” each time he told me gave me an original compliment and tried to wipe my tears away.) The really charismatic ones would successfully convince me of their feelings. I’d let myself be vulnerable and show how much I cared, only to find out I was digging my own grave. Was my gut right the whole time? Perhaps I was as much of a challenge to them as they were to me. My love life came crashing down the last few days because I no longer believe that any of the things that those men said to me. I re-convinced (realized?) that each of these men was lying the entire time and never meant what they said. I’ll never know if it was a lie or if reality just changed so quickly. It’s not like I’d be able to trust the answer anyway. You wouldn’t do that to someone you cared about that much, right? Regardless of romantic feelings …Or maybe the guy wanted to love me but knew that he ultimately didn’t? If these men were narcissists, it means they were wired to pretend to care so that they could earn care from me. Given that I can sum up 98% of heartbreak I experienced in this one pattern… Clearly there’s a problem.

Despite all of this, I’ve never been more confident that I will find the person I’m meant to be with, even though I’m still trying to convince myself that he exists. What’s he doing right now? Is he in Seattle, Chicago, or Boston? Is he looking for me too? I’m the opposite of spiritual. I hate the word and idea of “soul”, but if there’s ever a use for it, it’s now. I’m looking for exactly one partnership. I’m searching for the person that appreciates me, and that gives me butterflies without ever letting me question if he respects me or how he feels about me.

Has everyone who is married gone through this? If finding the right person is so difficult, how have so many people done it? Or, is the harsh reality that many people continued on the wrong path and ended up with the wrong person? I’m 1000% certain that any potential marriage I would’ve entered into before this would’ve ended in divorce. I knew it before too, I just didn’t want to admit it. This sucks balls, and it sucks even bigger balls that I have a difficult journey ahead. I could fall into the quicksand again and again if I’m not careful. Dating is no longer a game for my heart and ego to run wild together. Until I find someone worth playing the game with, this is now a logic puzzle. I want to find my person so much that it hurts, but I didn’t go through all of this to rush it.

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