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Six Months

October 22, 2010
woman with clocks

Watching time go by, Photo Courtsey of Brandon Warren

I read this post earlier this week about how it’s been six months since Danielle’s breakup, and I can’t stop thinking about it. As of this week, it’s been six months since my breakup as well. April 19 was the day that everything went down, and all the lies and the tears and the end took over my life. Six months to be a whole different person, but to be the same person all together. Six months went by in a flash, but at the same time they were the slowest six months of my life. They were especially slow in the dark moments when the happy memories all but overcame me (and made me feel desperately sad because they were gone). But damn it, I survived. It reminds me of this post on one of my favorite blogs celebrating that we survived the summer of 2010 – I feel exactly the same way.

Six months have passed, and thank God the oil spill is done so that ridiculous countdown can end (if you are a new reader, my breakup corresponds with the BP oil spill. Check out my Open Letter to BP from awhile back). In Danielle’s post about her six months from her breakup, she says, “Eventually I’d like to be able to be in the same space as him without feeling so resentful or without having my heart jump out of my chest.” She talks about her anger toward him. I’m almost bothered that I really don’t feel much anger anymore. Things were easier when I wanted to call him bad names for breaking my heart two and a half months before my dream wedding. They were easier when I could talk about this jerk of a man who did me so wrong. The other day, when trying to describe what had happened, I said, “He was not a good man.” And even after I said that, I didn’t believe it to be true anymore. He made mistakes. He did some things that were completely unforgiveable, but that doesn’t make him a bad man. He just wasn’t a good man for me, anymore. Maybe he never was.

My scenario of sitting in the room with my ex fiancée is much different than Danielle’s. I don’t think I’d be overwhelmed with anger, and I certainly don’t think I’d have a hard time being civil to him. I think I’d be overwhelmed with my desire to talk with him. To see how he’s doing. What’s been happening in his life. To reconnect with this person that was my best friend for so many years. I found out recently his father was sick, really sick and in the hospital, and I felt terrible that I couldn’t be there for his family. That it was no longer my place to visit the hospital, to comfort my ex, to be a part of their family. This was an incredibly sad realization.

So the anger is gone, for the most part (it creeps back every once in a while, and usually corresponds with alcohol intake). It’s interesting to me – I used to always think, how do people stay with someone that did them wrong? How do they take that person back, knowing what they did, seeing it in their face every single day? How do they eat cereal across from someone at the kitchen table each morning, and not want to yell and scream because of the pain this person who supposedly loved them caused? I never understood how someone could take that person back and continue to live life as though nothing had ever happened. It’s not as hard for me to comprehend as it used to be. The pain of what that person did to you, the lies, the cheating, whatever they did, it becomes part of you. The longer you know about it, it stops shocking you so much. It’s just a fact: This person did me wrong. He has green eyes. We started dating in July of 2003. He has one brother and a dog that hated me. I never saw him without facial hair – not once. And he did me wrong. Terribly wrong. But it’s just a fact, like his green eyes or his beard. This man hurt me, but now that the shock and the overwhelming sadness over it have passed, I can live with it. That’s a strange realization and I’m still trying to figure out what it means.

Another significant date is coming up – October 31. For most people, this is the day that you take the kids trick-or-treating, you dress up for Halloween parties, you use the day as an excuse to eat a dozen miniature Snickers bars (the calories don’t count when they are miniature). For me, October 31 marks a year since my ex proposed to me. It was the day that I moved in with him and he proposed to me on one knee out in front of his house. I can remember his hands shaking he was so nervous, and I can remember the excitement as I paced around his house, calling anyone and everyone to tell them the news. It’s funny, those people I called were the first people I called when it was all over.

I’m not sad I’m not getting married anymore, those feelings passed (thankfully) shortly after my unwedding day passed. But you know that question people ask in business, “What keeps you up at night?” What keeps me up at night is that I will never feel so loved ever again. The feeling when he proposed to me – that I knew that this man, this man that I’d loved for as long as I could remember, wanted to marry me. He wanted to spend his life with me, have children with me, share his future with me. I’ve never felt as special – as unconditionally loved – as I did on that day. I’m afraid I’m never going to have that feeling again.

So it’s been six months. I’m happy where I am now. I love my friends and family. I’ve had a lot of fun times. I’m excited about my new friends I’ve made, through this blog and also just by being more open to new people and experiences. I love my apartment, and I’m starting to feel like this life is actually the life I was supposed to have.

Six months have passed and I’m excited about the person I’m becoming. When October 31 comes, I hope that I’ll be eating candy and thinking about the fun I had at a party in my ridiculous bumble bee costume, instead of what it felt like to be proposed to. And I can’t wait to see where I’ll be six months from now, a year from now, ten years from now. It may not be the life I’d expected, but it’s the life I’m learning to love more and more every day.


41 Comments leave one →
  1. natasha permalink
    October 22, 2010 9:30 am

    Fantastic post 🙂 You’ve grown so much since April – we are all so very proud of you. I truly believe you are a better person now and I’m proud to be your sisterbff 🙂

    • October 25, 2010 11:22 pm

      Natasha: Thank you sister/bff. I appreciate you being here for me these past six months :). I’m proud to be your sister/bff too!!

  2. October 22, 2010 9:31 am

    Oh Catherine, thanks for making me cry before my work day even started! The months after my breakup have been months of incredible growth, and it sounds like they have been for you too. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’m going to Chicago for the weekend on November 12th, and I may or may not see him and I can’t worry about that right now, but I do.

    Thank you for sharing this post.

    • October 22, 2010 9:46 am

      Just read this quote from one of my Tumblr friends & thought of you: “We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.”
      — Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

      • October 25, 2010 11:24 pm

        Hi Maggie:
        Sorry for the delay in my response! It has been a couple of crazy days! Sorry to make you cry… but here’s what I think: Oprah makes me cry at least weekly, so I just pay it forward. LOL jk. I wish you the best of luck on your trip – I know how hard that can be.

        I LOVED the quote you shared, thank you so much. Very moving, and I agree completely.

  3. ashley permalink
    October 22, 2010 9:55 am

    When we first started communicating you told me that it would get better. I’ll admit that I didn’t believe you. You told me that you were finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I thought, okay, great, I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point. Your 6 month mark comes remarkably close to the 4 month mark for me and I’m happy to say that you were right and I finally believe you.

    I didn’t think I’d ever get to this point, but I can truly say that reading your blog and corresponding with you has definitely been instrumental in dealing with my overwhelming sadness and, more importanly, in knowing that things would one day be okay. It certainly isn’t the life I envisioned for myself and I’m still very unsure exactly what path I’ll be taking but, I’m slowly starting to accept this life. I’m not quite at the point of learning to love it, but talk to me 2 months from now and I may be singing a different tune.

    Thank you. We’ve never even met but your words and your support have meant so much to me.

    • October 25, 2010 11:28 pm

      Ashley:
      First of all, thank you so much for this comment. Your words brought tears to my eyes, and I am so thankful that I met you as well. I’m glad that my blog has helped you, and I can’t tell you how much our email correspondence has helped me (even though I’m soooo slow to respond, and am continuously sorry about that). I’m so happy that you are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You are such a strong person, and I see so much good in your future. Just the fact that you had to leave your home and friends and go to a whole other country to start over – you are a remarkably strong woman. I can’t wait to hear from you two months from now, two years from now. I know it’s going to be great.

  4. Danielle permalink
    October 22, 2010 10:46 am

    Our stories are so similar (but so different) and I have found great comfort in reading your blog. I know that one day we will BOTH find someone worthy of our time, effort and energy.

    • October 25, 2010 11:24 pm

      I know that we will too. Just patience, I think. 🙂 Thanks for reading and for your comment. I also appreciate knowing someone is out there on a very similar journey as me. It’s comforting.

  5. Just Saying permalink
    October 22, 2010 11:17 am

    Excellent post!

  6. Michael permalink
    October 22, 2010 11:20 am

    One day, the sage gave the disciple an empty sack and a basket of potatoes. “Think of all the people who have done or said something against you in the recent past, especially those you cannot forgive. For each of them, inscribe the name on a potato and put it in the sack.” The disciple came up quite a few names, and soon his sack was heavy with potatoes. “Carry the sack with you wherever you go for a week,” said the sage. “We’ll talk after that.”

    Throwing this potato out of your sack may take a long time, but just maybe…..

    • October 25, 2010 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Michael! Appreciate your sharing this story on the blog (and also for coming to my office to tell it in person). I think you are right, holding on to the anger and the things you can’t forgive is only hurting you. I appreciate you pointing that out in this post – has given me something to think about. Because I called some of his actions unforgiveable, but who does that hurt, but me?

      Appreciate your thoughts 🙂

  7. irispandia permalink
    October 22, 2010 12:40 pm

    Goodness, I have had such a busy week I just spent my first hour of work catching up on all of your posts… oops. I wanted to let you know I’m still reading. Your posts, especially this one, are so open, so honest, and so real! It does not amaze me that so many of us reading your posts have had similar experiences or felt similar emotions. What amazes me is how well you are able to write about those experiences and emotions.

    I have also struggled with finding the balance between what my role use to be and what it has become. Feeling hurt when a relationship ends seems to be an inevitable part of life. For me, ending of the romantic relationship was not nearly as horrible as facing the realization that I’d been so badly hurt by my best friend. I was his friend too and as time passes I find that I am less concerned with being bitter and angry. I hope he is well, I hope he is also moving on with his life, I hope is family is well, and sometimes I think I’d really like to spend a cold fall day sitting on the sofa playing video games with him. But time goes on, life goes on, and our friendship will never be what it once was.

    • October 25, 2010 11:18 pm

      Irispandia:
      Sorry to distract you from work! haha. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, so nice to know that you are reading. I appreciate your kind words.

      I know exactly what you mean about your ex being your best friend and wanting to just sit on the sofa and play video games with him. For me, I just miss having someone who knew what I was thinking and I could talk to about anything. He truly was my best friend, but you can fill that hole with another best friend. That’s what I think anyway. And maybe someday you guys can be friends enough to experience those things together again. I don’t think I’ll ever be recovered enough to be really good friends with my ex… but again, I don’t think that you should “just be friends” after a breakup anyway. One person will always be let down and feel like it’s not good enough – and want to be more than friends. Just what I think.

      Thanks again for your comment. I appreciate your perspective!

  8. Claudia permalink
    October 22, 2010 1:10 pm

    Really great to read this 🙂

  9. October 22, 2010 4:15 pm

    Hun, there’s no way in hell you’re not going to find that again. FACT. And he’s going to be so much more -er than your ex!

  10. October 22, 2010 5:08 pm

    Catherine,

    this post resonated with me more than any other you’ve written—so much it gave me chills. Our breakups were only 4 days apart, so I too have reached the 6-month mark of being single.

    Like you, I’ve had some good times and some bad. However, I’ve been thinking all week that I’m not (emotionally) where I wanted to be at the 6 month mark. I thought by now I’d be less emotional, missing him less, etc.

    But I’m still working through it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    -Lucky

    • October 25, 2010 11:15 pm

      Lucky,
      Wow, I’m very flattered. I’m glad it resonated with you. I didn’t realize our breakups were so close together… Congrats on the 6-month mark (time heals all wounds right? haha). I mean, you survived right? And you write an awesome blog :).

      I know what you mean about measuring yourself against where you “should” be by this time. But, I don’t think there is a timeline we need to stick to (this is what I tell myself anyway). It just needs to happen more organically. Because if you are tied to some arbitrary timeline, you are just setting yourself up for failure. And you never know what setbacks will come your way (or what epiphanies you may encounter) that will completely take you off the timeline. For what it’s worth, you seem to be doing just fine and I’m excited to see what’s in store for you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  11. Matt79 permalink
    October 22, 2010 5:12 pm

    It’s great to read that you’re happy where you are now and excited about where you’re going – I think that having that passion and enthusiasm is the most important ingredient to creating a great future! I hope it all continues getting better and better.

    • October 25, 2010 11:11 pm

      Thank you, Matt! I do too. I think there may be some setbacks (there always are, and I’m a pessimist enough to remind myself that it’s not going to be rainbows and butterflies consistently forever), but I do hope that the overall progression will be improvement and happiness. Appreciate your comment.

  12. October 22, 2010 6:34 pm

    Wow…thanks for sharing. This is hard stuff to get out, but it’s like sucking the poison out of a snakebite.

    Love to you!
    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    • October 25, 2010 11:10 pm

      Thank you! That’s a good analogy. It does feel better and better when I write posts like this and am able to get it all out. Cheapest therapy ever!

  13. October 22, 2010 7:36 pm

    So beautiful, Catherine. What wonderful writing.

    Listen, a soul like yours will not be lonely for long. When he finds you, or you find him, it will take your breath away, and you’ll be so glad for your ex, because he prepared you for something even better. You just have to have faith that “it” is out there for you.

    • October 25, 2010 11:09 pm

      36×37: Thank you very much. Your encouragement means a lot to me!

  14. October 22, 2010 9:15 pm

    “This life is actually the life I was supposed to have.”

    I think that’s a very important point, and you need to remember it. Trust me, I spent countless nights while my marriage was falling apart fretting over the “why”s and the “how come”s but, in the end, the simplest answer is exactly that: it wasn’t meant to be.

    THIS was meant to be.

    Has THIS been perfect? Not by a long shot. But it’s certainly given me experiences and adventures that I’d never have dreamed of just a few short years ago.

    So, embrace this new life of yours. And I’ll bet you anything you’re wrong about never being loved that intensely again, too.

    • October 25, 2010 11:08 pm

      Mark: Thank you for calling that out (this life is actually the life I was supposed to have). I agree, it’s something of which I need to keep reminding myself.

      Thanks for sharing the background on your marriage troubles, and I feel for your pain. It is hard to just say “it wasn’t meant to be.” But, sometimes it is just as simple as that.

      I appreciate your kind words and comment. I’m sending good vibes your way too!

  15. October 23, 2010 10:31 am

    Great post, and what I love about it is the writing about it is all part of moving on. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, maybe not the day of, but in due time. Things are only going to continue to get better, you’re going to learn more, become a smarter person, etc, and find someone better than before. Keep your chin up as you always have.

  16. October 23, 2010 11:25 am

    Great writing Catherine. I think you put it beautifully. I am one of those people who went back after I had been wronged. And you are right, it becomes just a characteristic. It’s not easy. And there are days when I wonder if I will EVER get past it completely. But I think if you just accept it as a fact and not a continuing experience you will move past it. I would have never in a million years believed that I would be the “girl who went back” but sometimes love makes you do crazy things.

    Enjoy the path you are on. Accept the fact that you will have good days and bad days. And know, that one day, you will look at where you are and say “aha… THIS is why THAT had to happen.”

    • October 25, 2010 10:59 pm

      Rambling: Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and for your kind words. Thanks for sharing your perspective, as you are a person that went back. I think you make a really good point here, about it not being a continuing experience. The pain is there, but then somehow it becomes bearable and you almost forget about it. And the initial shock usually doesn’t recur (for a while anyway), so that gives you time to recover blow after blow. And that’s one of the main reasons I think people are able to go back (although I try not to have judgement for those who do versus those who don’t. Not my life, not my decision). I also do hope that I look back and see the path more clearly. I hope it all makes sense in the end!

  17. October 25, 2010 7:01 pm

    Methinks you’re remarkably well adjusted for six months. You go girl! 🙂

  18. October 26, 2010 4:03 am

    I love reading your blog and following your journey. I don’t always know what to say though, so I just wanted to let you know that I’m reading, every post. And I’m rooting for you.

    I’ve only had one serious break up- I was 20, been with him since I was 17, lived together, first love etc. For a month I cried, screamed, for a year I drank myself into a stupor every night, pretending I was ‘having fun’, drinking til I couldn’t walk and didn’t remember my name, let alone his, turning up at my job still drunk… I was younger though, a lot more immature, but what I’m trying to say is.. you’re doing so well 🙂

    • October 27, 2010 1:51 pm

      Aw, this was the nicest comment. Thank you so much for following and reading. I enjoy reading your blog too – although, I admit, I’m a bad reader during the week. With work and everything, I usually have to read on the weekends :). I’m rooting for you both too! It’s funny that you said you are reading but don’t always know what to say, because I read your blog and haven’t commented much either. Sorry about that!

      Thanks for telling me about your breakup when you were younger. That sounds really hard. Trust me, there were a few days when I drank way too much engagement party wine and didn’t want to get out of bed. I just found that I became more and more sad when I drank, so I tried to nip that in the bud. It would be fun the night of, but the following day I would feel awful and even more depressed. That seems like common sense, but it took me a few rounds to really get it. So in that sense, I really am doing much better. It’s so nice of you to say that – because I find myself beating myself up, but it’s a good reminder that things could be worse, for sure.

      Thanks again for your comment!!

  19. October 29, 2010 1:15 am

    I think you are doing a great job of paving a new path to a better way of living and enjoying life. I love reading your posts about your everyday journey 🙂 — Believe it or not when I read your posts it lets me know that I’m not the only one that has been devastatingly hurt by someone I trusted. And if you can dust yourself off, and start over.. I know that I can do it. So just know I’m rooting for ya. You’re an amazing person and I believe that some day you will meet a guy that will make you his world.

    • October 30, 2010 3:47 pm

      Queen: Thank you very much. I’m glad that you are able to empathize with my posts, and it’s nice to hear I’m not the only one who has been through some heart ache too. But, we’ll survive. I’m rooting for you too!!

  20. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    October 29, 2010 2:03 am

    This post broke my heart and gave me so much hope at the same time. If it makes you feel better, I already love you and I’ve only read one post. 🙂

    • October 30, 2010 3:47 pm

      BeneathTheSpinLight: Aww, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words!!

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