It’s 3:37am, and you have checked the time again. But your body is still tossing around and your mind is racing at 120 miles per hour.
You are thinking about him again. You’re frustrated that he is still on your mind. And you are frustrated that you are still frustrated with him.
It’s been 16 months since he broke up with you, and 4 months since you last saw him.
Yet, you can’t help but replay his words from that last meeting, like a broken tape recorder.“I am sorry I was being a shitty boyfriend…”
People thought that an apology would offer relief or solace.
But I know it didn’t soothe you. Instead, it has enraged you more than ever.
It feels as though all the anger and resentment you have accumulated, quietly concealed by sadness and grief, just resurfaced in every inch of your veins, tearing at your chest and mind.
But he is no longer part of your life. Despite his genuine remorse, there is nothing he can do to undo what already happened.
And yet you can’t forgive him. You simply. just. can’t. forgive. the way he treated you.
How could he? How could he do that to me? And he knew that wasn’t right? He knew he could’ve done better! Have I been the only one trying too hard? But…he apologized at least, right? What more can I ask for? What more could he possibly do? Come on, I know it takes time but can we just move on…
You keep circulating these thoughts and questions that trap you in exasperation.
Exasperation then turns into exhaustion with your inability to let go completely, to have no feelings left for him, not even anger.
Oh my dear self.
You are stuck because you haven’t forgiven yourself first.
Yes, you can’t forgive how you betrayed your boundaries and allowed him to cross them. That you said yes when you really wanted to say no.
You can’t forgive how you tolerated his dismissal of your anxiety. That you always felt tense sleeping next to him but all he could reply was to get some pills from the doctor.
You can’t forgive how you never had the courage to voice your likes and dislikes. That you would rather hide your needs and prioritize his.
You can’t forgive how you didn’t walk away sooner. That you gave into his inability to see and understand you for fear of abandonment.
Why was I being so foolish? So naïve? So people pleasing?
These inner voices keep berating you, as if punishing you for just wanting to be loved.
Oh my dear self.
What is wrong with wanting to be loved, when that was the first time you felt something close to the so-called, falling in love?
What is wrong with wanting to be loved, when some of his actions once made you feel cared for in ways your family didn’t?
What is wrong with wanting to be loved, when most of what you have carried since childhood are the shame, fear, loneliness, and insecurity?
So perhaps, it is okay that you had desperately tried to be chosen.
If that was all you ever felt for the first time, if that was all you knew at the time, to avoid re-experiencing the old pain, how could you blame yourself for holding onto the fantasy for as long as possible?
But my dear self.
Here is another truth:
You’re angry at yourself because you’re also angry for yourself.
Deep down, you know you deserve someone who is willing to put in the effort with you. Someone who listens to your needs, embraces your triggers, and cherishes your values.
Someone who sees through both their and your imperfection and still wants to grow alongside you, just as you would do for them.
Someone who loves you not despite, but because.
So now, every time you feel the anger, frustration, and bitterness toward him, instead of getting impatient with your healing process, and criticizing yourself for lingering feelings, remember this:
I am still angry at him because I am still angry at myself. But I did the best I could at the time, when my old wounds were triggered, and I was overwhelmed by fear and shame.
It’s okay to feel these layers of anger, for they’ve shown me, what I wish he could have understood are exactly the things I now know, to look for in a healthy and loving partnership.
Oh my dear self.
May you find the grace to forgive yourself for neglecting your needs when you thought pleasing others was the only way to be loved.
May you find the freedom to transform your anger to a more tender reflection on your desires and needs in all your present and future relationships.
May you gather the courage to continue learning and practicing giving and receiving love in ways that feel the truest to you.