• jess

Learn to enjoy saying goodbye to people you love

Alright, this might be a controversial/polarizing one. But that's sortof what I specialize in, yeah? If you didn't enjoy being called a Motherfucker and pushed with unsettling concepts, it'd be easy enough to close this window.


Well, I'm back with a new fire! Writing more than ever to make you question some former beliefs and maybe piss you right off into a mindset shift. Sorry if it hurts. Suffering is the catalyst to growth if you stop wallowing. I'm pretty good at all three (laughs nervously).


If you haven't seen my Journal post about turning your universal-worst-fears into strengths... Well, this is one of the messages that I briefly touch upon. But, that entry is probably even more blunt, upsetting, and tough-lovey than this is about to sound. I guess that makes this a breeze:


You can learn to enjoy saying goodbye to people.


Even when it's unexpected and abrupt. Even ones that you deeply love. Even the ones that fuck you right over.


Save yourself some strife. Learn to enjoy saying goodbye to people you love.






Learn to say goodbye to people you love.


This is difficult to comprehend and fully believe, at times for me, too.


Something inside of me puts up resistance and shouts "no fucking way, a loss is a devastation, a travesty in human experience." And I can sympathize with that part of my brain. It's only natural to view it as a have and have not situation.


When you feel like you have something special, a unique connection or "history" with someone, it feels like a disaster when things end. Like a piece of you is actually ripped out of your body and lost forever. There is physical pain, as if you're experiencing a real, fleshy wound. Your brain goes haywire, recounting all the good times on repeat and obsessively flashing back to the individual when you least appreciate it (i.e. all night).


When you feel like you have something special, a unique connection or "history" with someone, it feels like a disaster when things end. Like a piece of you is actually ripped out of your body and lost forever. There is physical pain, as if you're experiencing a real, fleshy wound. Your brain goes haywire, recounting all the good times on repeat and obsessively flashing back to the individual when you least appreciate it (i.e. all night).

It is a physical, mental, and spiritual (whatever you believe/don't believe in) event in we emotional little human animals. It seems like the end of the fucking world.


And no, it's not limited to losing people. You know who I still sob for, 14 months later? My dog and best friend in the fucking world, Jake, who was taken from my life when I left my abusive ex. I thought of him, so you better believe I'm crying right now. It fucking hurts, like someone is choking me while ripping my stomach out of my chest cavity.


Give me time though. I can eventually pull myself back into the right place. A place of appreciation for the time we had. A feeling of fulfillment and knowing that this is part of the whole messy journey. And even a gratitude for the void that's left in his wake.


Give me time though. I can eventually pull myself back into the right place. A place of appreciation for the time we had. A feeling of fulfillment and knowing that this is part of the whole messy journey. And even a gratitude for the void that's left in his wake.

Sounds like flowery bullshit? Yeah, it probably does. You know I fucking get it.


But it's this different, challenging perspective on loss that changed enormous portions of my life and helped me to stop seeing things through guilty, fearful, mourning lenses. It's all thanks to something my therapist said that exploded my one-direction-thinking brain. And now, about a year later, I can't spend much time wallowing with loss; my brain auto-corrects to this alternative view.


Side note: I don't want to get too deep into death, in particular, because I'm lucky that I haven't personally have that sort of trauma in my life. (Don't be too jealous, it just means all my loved ones will die sometime down the road and I'll have no experience to deal with it.) But I don't think (? could be wrong) the events are totally unique/separate from each other.


Lezz talk about losing and loving anyways.


Is it possible, or am I just getting delusional with old age?




This year of "Loss"


Why not make this uncomfortably vulnerable? Let me talk about the secondary and tertiary inspirations for this post. The shit that HAS ruined me before.


Besides losing my best friend dog Jake, I've gone through a few major exoduses in my life in the last year that have been "good practice" for this perspective. An experiment in keeping myself afloat and learning about autonomy. And this perspective has made me capable of dealing with all the losing trials without breaking.


So, there's more to the story than just saying goodbye to my favorite pooch in the world. At the same time, I was losing my ex, losing our shared friends, and losing people I had at least temporarily considered "family." Shortly thereafter, I'd lose another significant other, with even less closure than the rest. Why not! Pile on the trial.


So, there's more to the story than just saying goodbye to my favorite pooch in the world. At the same time, I was losing my ex, losing our shared friends, and losing people I had at least temporarily considered "family." Shortly thereafter, I'd lose another significant other, with even less closure than the rest. Why not! Pile on the trial.

Saying goodbye to my abusive ex, well, honestly it wasn't as easy as I sometimes make it sound. I figure, no one wants to hear about the back and forth wavering in your mind when you know someone is bad for you, you've started taking steps to get rid of them, and somehow you're still feeling lost at the idea of ending it with finality.


I was hurt, even though I knew I was right to leave. I was sad. It felt like a death, of him, of our relationship, and the life we had planned together.


When we were breaking up, it actually took a while. There was about 3 weeks between me telling him it was over and moving out. Why? I was scared of the idea of truly letting go. Then, after I left with my armload of shit, there was a little less than a month when we bickered back and forth through email and therapy. The relationship still wasn't "lost" until we finally had a group therapy session when we hugged, cried, and said goodbye. That's when it was over, in a moment of final determination (well... for one of us).


It got a lot nastier after that... and then I had a much easier time saying "See you never, you sick fucker," but for a few weeks, it was still a painful sensation of loss and grief mixed with the relief and fear.


Besides that idiot, I weirdly also feared losing his family. We had been close and I looked forward to having them in my life forever. That goes for his parents, his extended family, and his 5 year old son who I adored. I felt the absence of their presence in my life. Especially the little guy, who I truly love and think of often to this day.


It was like cutting off half of my family tree - and, letting go of my stepson, was like saying goodbye to the entire future of a person who I had deeply cared for. Never being able to witness all the things he'd accomplish. Never being there for him as a stable force and emotional support. It kill(s)ed.

What was even more impactful and persistently-terrible was losing my own support system at that point. My core group of "best friends" made a mass exit from my life right after my life-destroying breakup, you know, when I needed them the most.


What was even more impactful and persistently-terrible was losing my own support system at that point. My core group of "best friends" made a mass exit from my life right after my life-destroying breakup, you know, when I needed them the most.

I can't speak to their motivations, other than being told that I "expected a lot of my friends." Well, yeah, when I was suddenly stranded in a city 1000 miles away with no one, no money, and not even my prior support of Jake. So... I don't doubt it, I probably did overreach my friendships for comfort and companionship.


I guess the surprising part was hearing that there were limits to overreach, at all. It was news to me.


We had always been incredibly, transparently close. We all considered each other to be family. I was a part of their kin, literally called a "second daughter." We had ALL been through rough patches that we survived through leaning heavily on each other. I had sacrificed many times, many months, over many years, to one person's particular issues. We all continued to speak on a daily basis and saw each other every month or so, even when I lived half a country away.


And now, I was told that I was just a bit extra for them to handle in that moment of my life completely exploding. Peace out. Better shit to worry about.


Essentially, one left, and the rest followed. A real middle school experience, at least from my POV. I could have it all twisted, but those are my lenses. It completely devastated me. It shook me to my core. These people who I had relied on so heavily and vice versa, who I had considered to be my chosen family, were gone, just like that. I never, ever foresaw that happening, and the loss was crippling for a while.


Essentially, one left, and the rest followed. A real middle school experience, at least from my POV. I could have it all twisted, but those are my lenses. It completely devastated me. It shook me to my core. These people who I had relied on so heavily and vice versa, who I had considered to be my chosen family, were gone, just like that. I never, ever foresaw that happening, and the loss was crippling for a while.

Lastly, I've gotta admit (you know, if you're up on the podcast episodes) that I stupidly let myself slide into another romantic relationship that was chocked full of toxicity, mental illness, and substance abuse.


And, as such, it ended in an abrupt loss about 2 months ago. Big surprise! Who'da thought an alcoholic would do alcoholic things?


There is a lot to say, but at the core of it, I fell for another mentally sick boy without knowing the full extent of it. Story of my MF life. For about 8 months together, I played the "stable captain of the relationship" throughout his repeated punches when he randomly disappeared, suffered from unhinged anxiety, drank himself into physical illness, and later gaslighted me for addressing any of these issues.


For the last 2 months of it, it actually was getting better, which enabled my "waiting for the other shoe" response. I was extra tense, sensing that this was a temporary peak and sudden fall waiting to happen. Somehow, it felt like we were working things out together, though.


Wouldn't you know, then he went AWOL out of the blue at the beginning of May.


After all the times I coached him through anxiety attacks. The hours I drove his drunk ass around the state while he cried and called me his super hero. The times we spent together, as close friends and confidants. The big plans we had for fun future projects and blended dog families. My strongest supporter in Atlanta.


Forget it, it's all over. I have literally never heard from him again. Not a peep.


After all the times I coached him through anxiety attacks. The hours I drove his drunk ass around the state while he cried and called me his super hero. The times we spent together, as close friends and confidants. The big plans we had for fun future projects and blended dog families. My strongest supporter in Atlanta.
Forget it, it's all over. I have literally never heard from him again. Not a peep.

Does this rapid dissolution fuck with me, even though I was ready for it all along? Yeah, it still does. Even knowing everything I know about him and after 8 months of ambiguous alcoholic's hell... I still motherfucking miss him and feel a sense of loss sometimes. Eesh. I am a martyr and a sucker. What can I say.


So. We're talking loss number... I don't know, 10 or 12, in a year?


"lol universe." Thanks for the lessons.


As someone who's always been obsessed with her personal relationships (see: anxious attachments ruin my life), How the fuck have I been dealing? Here we go.




Purpose in what was had


This is going to dip into the "woo world," so buckle up. But, what if you were meant to be a part of someone's life, and vice versa, for a particular reason?


What if, for some point in time, you gave each other something absolutely critical? Somehow, you progressed each others' intended life journey in a way that was crucial? And that's all there is to it?


What if, for some point in time, you gave each other something absolutely critical? Somehow, you progressed each others' intended life journey in a way that was crucial? And that's all there is to it?

If that's the case... can you feel less negative about the experience and the absence? Can you lean on the notion that everything that happened is exactly what was meant to happen?


I know, call bullshit. It's cool.


But think about the ways you meet people. How it can feel "directed by the universe" at times. How you fall into each others' lives with a deep understanding or immediate bond that you can't explain. And, how it can fade just as fast as it can materialize.

What if that's not an accident? What if you serve your purpose to each other, learn some lesson, move the dial in your larger meaning... and then, it's over? It's time to move on? There's a new step to take, and a new connection might be the missing piece of the puzzle?


If that doesn't ring true in your experience, well sit the fuck down for a second. Consider something else. Maybe the connection was not to benefit YOU. Maybe it was to benefit THEM.


What if YOU made a lasting impression, or helped them to be in the right place at the right time, or said exactly the right thing one day to change their entire life? You don't know. People don't share things like that; people can't necessarily even recognize things like that. And, motherfucker, you can't prove that it's false. Go ahead, prove me wrong. I'll wait.


Sure, this is a spiritual, "everything happens for a reason," sortof bullshit perspective... but I think it can also have some materialistic, practical hold for people who don't believe in that brand of Woo.


Sure, this is a spiritual, "everything happens for a reason," sortof bullshit perspective... but I think it can also have some materialistic, practical hold for people who don't believe in that brand of Woo.

Here's a fact-based argument.


Maybe it's too Woo to say that I was meant to have and lose all these people, to go through domestic abuse, to be stranded in Atlanta on my own... because it pushed me towards (what I think is) my life's purpose of starting this C-PTSD project and challenging myself.


But can you consider the idea that meeting my ex enabled me to leave my stagnant life in Champaign-Urbana, to start a new career or three, and to learn to live entirely on my own?


In that practical way, my ex still served a major purpose. Our relationship and it's eventual dissolution weren't complete wastes of time, energy, and emotions. I didn't "give up" anything to be with him - I just changed what I had in my life. And none of that has to be conspired by the universe for it to matter.


In that practical way, my ex still served a major purpose. Our relationship and it's eventual dissolution weren't complete wastes of time, energy, and emotions. I didn't "give up" anything to be with him - I just changed what I had in my life. And none of that has to be conspired by the universe for it to matter.

The facts are, thanks to him I left my unsatisfying life in Science, miserable apartment, and (it turns out) fair-weather friendships, and learned that there was so much more to living. I eventually got a handle on my fucking trauma responses, anxiety, and depression in the woods of Atlanta; whereas, they had been controlling my whole life and outlook in Illinois. Then, I learned how to lose everything and take care of my damn self.


When we "lost" each other, it was at a point when I was ready to grow again. My triggered mental illness in that relationship dynamic was holding me back from my next moves. So was he, himself. When I started getting better, he started getting worse. And he despised that I was focusing my attention on a bright new potential future. He didn't want me to change and he tried to hold me back, but it couldn't be stopped. The relationship had to be lost.


He served a purpose. That purpose was accomplished. We were no longer in the same place as people. We split ways. And I started living with a new purpose, one that I never could have imagined.


He served a purpose. That purpose was accomplished. We were no longer in the same place as people. We split ways. And I started living with a new purpose, one that I never could have imagined.

You know, I can actually think of this human and feel grateful for the time we had. Not because it was great or because he was the absolute best... but because it did help me. Even the worst of it, the battles we went through and the challenges of his narcissistic abuse after the breakup, were enormously important to my personal progress.


It's weird, but I can appreciate him in both a woo and a realistic way. He sure taught me a lot. So did the subsequent loss of everything and everyone I relied on.


It's weird, but I can appreciate him in both a woo and a realistic way. He sure taught me a lot. So did the subsequent loss of everything and everyone I relied on.

And hell, I like to think that I did some good in his life before departing, too.


The friend-exodus that happened as collateral damage? Well shit, that taught me a lot and pushed this new direction of my life further, too. It was a blessing in disguise; something that I could only see in hindsight.





Re-examine things. Thanks, hindsight.


It's easier to let go when you can reflect with new insight and information.


When my friends dipped on outta my life, I really didn't see how it was even possible. I didn't see a purpose to the loss. It felt like I jumped out of a boiling pot only to land on shit-ridden carpeting, and then the rug was pulled out from under me and I found out the floor was lava underneath.


When my friends dipped on outta my life, I really didn't see how it was even possible. I didn't see a purpose to the loss. It felt like I jumped out of a boiling pot only to land on shit-ridden carpeting, and then the rug was pulled out from under me and I found out the floor was lava underneath.

I was so sad. Demoralized. I felt deeply rejected and betrayed. My head was so broken that even my BEST FRIEND for the last 7-8 years couldn't stand to have me around. And I convinced myself that I was the problem.


Have you ever done that? Because, lawd, I can convince myself that I'm the crux of every failed relationship even when there's a multitude of evidence to say otherwise. The problem is, sometimes we disregard the shit times. We don't see the other people clearly. We throw away the evidence and fail to integrate it into our narrative.


Instead, we can easily find ways to blame, shame, and guilt ourselves. It's a unique skill as a Traumatized Motherfucker. Thanks, as always, inner critic and FUCBs (fucked up core beliefs - my term, thank you).


When I lost my buddies, I lost all faith in myself as a person. I truly almost gave up on human interactions, because clearly, I just wasn't worthy of them.


Then... time passed, and I had a lot more insight on the situation.


When I lost my buddies, I lost all faith in myself as a person. I truly almost gave up on human interactions, because clearly, I just wasn't worthy of them. Then... time passed, and I had a lot more insight on the situation.

The reality, which I only began to comprehend with the clarity of days gone by, is that I outgrew those friends. Looking back, now I can see the ways their friendship contributed and kept me stagnant and sick minded.


The reality, which I only began to comprehend with the clarity of days gone by, is that I outgrew those friends. Looking back, now I can see the ways their friendship contributed and kept me stagnant and sick minded.

They weren't exactly good influences on me when it came to dealing with emotions, being accountable, controlling my substances, or having healthy relationships. They were doing unwise, unhealthy shit all the time, themselves. Their activities impacted mine, transiently and directly. But I hadn't seen it that way when I was in the weeds.


Hell, they were closely linked to my staying in my abusive relationship; repeatedly telling me my BF was such a great guy, always trying his best - it silenced my own instincts. That was born of their own FUCBs and insecure attachments, not reality or insight on the relationship behind closed doors. There were many negative personal beliefs in my friends that I had never noticed before, let alone, pondered how those influences affected me.


With time, with more personal growth, and with distance, I realized... holy shit, these people might be fucking wild, themselves.


Here, I've been beating myself up for months or a year, telling myself I'm the worst. I'm broken. I'm to blame. I can't do anything. I shouldn't have people in my life. And the whole time, these folks were operating out of an incredibly sickly place. Directly or indirectly influencing me to do the same.


Here, I've been beating myself up for months or a year, telling myself I'm the worst. I'm broken. I'm to blame. I can't do anything. I shouldn't have people in my life. And the whole time, these folks were operating out of an incredibly sickly place. Directly or indirectly influencing me to do the same.

As my closest confidants, I considered them to be authorities. In reality, they're just the same as me and the rest of us; traumatized little critters, making their own mistakes and operating on whatever buggy programming they've accrued for the past 30ish years.


With more time and space, you can look back and see things for what they really were. In my case, a group of people clinging to each other in our mutual dysfunctions under the delusion that because we were all smart, accomplished, and supposedly emotionally-informed, we were doing the right things. Passing our judgments on the world (and eventually each other) while we personally fucked up our own lives under the pretense of being evolved, healthy, humans.


With more time and space, you can look back and see things for what they really were. In my case, a group of people clinging to each other in our mutual dysfunctions under the delusion that because we were all smart, accomplished, and supposedly emotionally-informed, we were doing the right things. Passing our judgments on the world (and eventually each other) while we personally fucked up our own lives under the pretense of being evolved, healthy, humans.

Fuck. I could go on. I've seen a lot and learned a lot about this situation. Things that really makes me pause and wonder if it's maybe worth reaching back out to them because, damn, maybe they need me more than I ever needed them.


But... then I realize that it takes two to have a relationship. I wouldn't want to "overstep" their boundaries again by trying to be friends. Plus, I'm way healthier and happier without them. I don't want to say that they dragged me down for a while there, but... *crickets chirp*.


At a minimum, they enabled me to be emotionally weak, personally desperate for validation, and substance-abusing. Even if they were just doing their best, I didn't need any help with those shortcomings.


At a minimum, they enabled me to be emotionally weak, personally desperate for validation, and substance-abusing. Even if they were just doing their best, I didn't need any help with those shortcomings.

And, you know, not to mention that the void they used to occupy is better filled with other purposes.


Taking care of myself. Learning new skills and life practices. Writing, podcasting, and hanging with other people who want to improve.





Power in the void


Okay, this point can go woo or realistic again. Choose your own adventure.


So, humans (or beloved pets, or belongings, or whatever you love) leave your life. Now what? Mourn the loss? Fear the emptiness left in their wake? Or, try to see it as a brand new opportunity that you’ve secretly been waiting for?


Can you feel it as a message from the universe? Or just dryly say that happenstance that changes your life direction as you adapt to change?


Either way, who fucking cares, really.


I don’t care if you’re into “fate” and “life purpose” or not. The fact is, something was present, it left, and your life can rapidly shift afterwards thanks to the crevasse it once filled.


I don’t care if you’re into “fate” and “life purpose” or not. The fact is, something was present, it left, and your life can rapidly shit afterwards thanks to the crevasse it once filled.

So, when my ex and I broke up and my life was suddenly “drained” of obligations, you’d better believe that new hobbies, personal connections, and fulfillment in myself filled that spot – and eventually another romantic interest crawled into that cavern, too.


Fact.


When my friends had better things to do, you motherfucking know I started filling my free time and loneliness with creating a connective resource for others who might be going through the same isolation, while I simultaneously built a new support system in my own head.


Fact.


Again, does that sound like some “look on the bright side” sortof crap? I know, it might. So, here’s a harder example for me to deal with.


My ex-dog and constant companion, Jake. He was innocent in all of this. He didn’t choose these circumstances, unlike my ex-partner and pals. That’s harder to spin into a positive.


It pains me to say, but when I lost Jake, it created a new void for me to be able to adopt other forgotten animals. First, myself. Then, a new dog.


It pains me to say, but when I lost Jake, it created a new void for me to be able to adopt other forgotten animals. First, myself. Then, a new dog.

Facts.


When Jake was taken from me, the opportunity to focus 100% fully on taking care of me was actually a huge thing. Then, the chance to adopt a new friend, some little pup that desperately needs a home, came along too. And that is actually really beautiful and comforting to remember.


Before, I couldn’t have a pack of animals, because Jake wasn’t a fan of other furry friends. Now, there’s nothing but my financial stability and rental agreement holding me back from helping another buddy or five.


Even that devastating absence of a beloved animal friend has created room for something new to grow. Did he serve a purpose in our time together? He sure fucking did. And I did for him, too. We loved each other with a loyalty I've never felt. Now, I have a new purpose, and maybe some unwanted pooch sitting in a shelter is waiting to fulfill their new role in my life.


Even that devastating absence of a beloved animal friend has created room for something new to grow. Did he serve a purpose in our time together? He sure fucking did. And I did for him, too. We loved each other with a loyalty I've never felt. Now, I have a new purpose, and some unwanted pooch sitting in a shelter is waiting to fulfill their new role in my life.

(I’m working on it, btw. But I sob every time I look at adoptable dogs and I'm poor. I’ll get there.)


To make this more current, how am I dealing with my most recent loss?


You know, when this latest alcoholic romantic interest disappeared in early May (trauma loops on Mayday), my brain suddenly had the time, focus, and energy to make sense of my next steps… and I started working harder on this personal trauma passion again.


With the void created by “ex-one,” this project started. When I got involved with “ex-two,” in this story, he demanded a lot of my time and attention. My focus shifted away from TMFRs to take care of this traumatized animal that was quite literally writhing around in pain right in front of me.


With the void created by “ex-one,” this project started. When I got involved with “ex-two,” in this story, he demanded a lot of my time and attention. My focus shifted away from TMFRs to take care of this traumatized animal that was quite literally writhing around in pain right in front of me. Now, with the new space created from his departure, fuck man – I’m back.

Now, with the new space created from his departure, fuck man – I’m back. I’m here with you guys and with myself. I’m not distracted with worry and anxiety. I’m free. I feel whole as my own human. I’m not consumed with someone else fucking things up all the time. And I have a whole new lease on how strong, independent, and capable I am.


In the wake of adapting to this new void, I don’t even want to consider giving that up for a new person. I don’t want a man to come expand into this space. This place I’m at now, filling myself up with my own ambitions and personal progress, is way better than any of the shit-lationships that have created a void for me to fall into.


It’s confusing and complicated, but it really has been a blessing to lose that boy.


Another point that worth mentioning quickly, something that gets clearer every time I say goodbye... it's worth playing with the idea that you don't need anyone. If you can stop shitting all over yourself, stop looking for validation from others, and stop fearing the idea of being on your own, you'll feel a lot better about other humans or lack there of. Confident. Fulfilled. Safe, whatever you do and no matter how alone you are.


Do I see these losses as a blessing for the space they created in my life and the ways they've taught me to stop worrying so damn much about what my relationships mean to my entire existence?


You're fucking right I do.


And, at the same time, I can acknowledge that I still have the feels. For him, for dog, for my old friends – even for my fucking ex sometimes.


Because the love doesn’t have to disappear with the entity.



The love doesn’t disappear


This one’s tough for me.


But this is what transformed my ideas about loss and personal devastation. Even though I was actively losing my best buddy while my ex decided that it “was for the best” that I didn’t ever see Jake again.


I was broken by this purposefully-cruel "ruling."


One day, as I cried again in therapy, my therapist told me something helpful. “Jess, just because he’s not physically with you anymore, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Your love for him still matters. It’s still real. It still exists. And it doesn’t have to go anywhere. Your feelings for each other aren’t dependent on seeing each other every day. He can feel it, and so can you.”


It was the first time I ever considered that. A "loss" doesn't have to mean that ALL the good things you had together are invalid. The benefits don't just go away after the fact. The 'momentary' gains can last a lifetime, if you let them.


It was the first time I ever considered that. A "loss" doesn't have to mean that ALL the good things you had together are invalid. The benefits don't just go away after the fact. The 'momentary' gains can last a lifetime, if you let them.

And I still cry like a baby when I absorb that.


To this day, I sit down and send love to Jake once in a while. I trust that he can feel it. That he knows I wouldn’t have left him if I had a choice. That we aren’t completely separate, even though we are. And even on the day that he dies (he’s an old man), the love that I have for him still isn’t going anywhere.


I don’t have to mourn him. I can celebrate what an amazing, transformative connection we had. All the things that we brought into each other’s lives. All the care that we both felt for the first times together. All the power that he brought me during the chaos, abuse, and loneliness of my relationship.


I don’t have to mourn him. I can celebrate what an amazing, transformative connection we had. All the things that we brought into each other’s lives. All the care that we both felt for the first times together. All the power that he brought me during the chaos, abuse, and loneliness of my relationship.

That’s love. Love is energy. And science says it can’t ever be destroyed.


I hold that energy for Jake. I try to mentally send it in his direction. I keep a space for it to be inside of me.


When I’m feeling lost, alone, or helpless, I tap into it. I remember how comforting it was when I had nowhere to go and no idea what to do. When I would run out of the house because things were escalating, with no one in this distant city to call for help. I would ALWAYS take Jake, he was attached to my hip 24/7. We would flee from the house to Destination Nowhere together.


Somehow, just having him as we waited for the hours to pass and temperaments to calm sitting in a parking lot somewhere, I was okay. I had my best friend. We had each other. The love was undoubtable. And that got me through SO many bad times.


That intense love isn’t going to die. Even if he’s gone now, I feel it. I really believe that when I gather it up and try to reach him through the ether, somehow he feels it too.


That intense love isn’t going to die. Even if he’s gone now, I feel it. I really believe that when I gather it up and try to reach him through the ether, somehow he feels it too.

.... Okay, sadness and joy cries happening over here.... I love that fucking dog.


On a less beautiful and sentimental note… this little twerp who ghosted me 8 months into a committed relationship. I can even hold a space to love his wounded little ass.



Forgiveness for all


It’s one thing to move on to bigger and better things. It’s another story to hold love for a lost pet or genuine connection.


But how do you let go of the anger that comes – towards yourself and towards the other party - when people eventually let you down and disappear? Plus, what about the times when you can convince yourself it's all your fault?


But how do you let go of the anger that comes – towards yourself and towards the other party - when people eventually let you down and disappear? Plus, what about the times when you can convince yourself it's all your fault?

No one needs that nasty critic telling them that they fucked it up. So, it helps to get critical with your thoughts. Examine what you're telling yourself versus what's undoubtedly real.


My usual advice; see if you think that your negative thoughts seem fair if they were being spoken by any other human... or if you'd tell that person they were internally being a real dick.


For starters on putting things into realistic perspective, maybe go back to the beginning of this post... Was there a purpose to the relationship? Did it end on it's own, because it was time? Because you naturally grew apart? Because circumstances changed? Or did you personally, individually fuck things up? Probably the former.


When multiple adults are involved, that means there are multiple parties capable of reaching out, talking things through, and moving forward together. If you didn't block the person, change your number, or move away without giving them a forwarding address... well... the split was in their court, too.


When multiple adults are involved, that means there are multiple parties capable of reaching out, talking things through, and moving forward together. If you didn't block the person, change your number, or move away without giving them a forwarding address... well... the split was in their court, too.

Shit can be overcome when people want it to be. But, you can't take it too personally if they don't. Their life just might be different now than it was when you first connected - nothing deeper than that. Is that hard to accept? You're fucking right it is.


I promise, I've spent years contemplating the ways I pushed people away. But at the end of those wasted periods of time - like 10 years of wasted time - nothing is different. It didn't help to take on all the blame myself, and I see that was reductive, cruel, and unrealistic to do.


I'm good at pointing the finger in my own face. I'm bad about still feeling like a victim of my brain. Because the thing I'm usually disgracing myself over is my mental health' letting my dysfunctional brain shame my brain for being dysfunctional, well, it's going to make me spiral into a hole that I might not climb out of again.


Be realistic. It takes two to interact. You probably didn't solely cause the disintegration of your lost connection. Be accountable for what you did do. Explore ways you may not have been at the top of your game. And then learn your lesson and forgive yourself. The easiest way? To prove that you're improving to yourself by enacting that lesson in your current and future relationships. Be better. That's all anyone can ask of you, and all you can ask of yourself.


Be realistic. It takes two to interact. You probably didn't solely cause the disintegration of your lost connection. Be accountable for what you did do. Explore ways you may not have been at the top of your game. And then learn your lesson and forgive yourself. The easiest way? To prove that you're improving to yourself by enacting that lesson in your current and future relationships. Be better. That's all anyone can ask of you, and all you can ask of yourself.

DO I still beat myself up over my friends saying that I was "too much" for us to continue our friendship? Chyeah.


Can I spot the fallacies in that whole story being my fault based on the facts I know for sure, both about our pasts together and where I was at in that period of time? Oh, fucking, yes.


Can I learn to set strict boundaries between me and the people I love before our emotions mutually destroy each other? Working on it every day.


Cool, be fair and don't take it all on yourself. Forgive yesteryear and be better today.


So, let’s talk about this last lost relationship that came with zero closure. How the fuck do I feel okay about that, especially in regard to my painger towards him and my “what were you thinking / what were you even doing” abuse towards myself? Is it really true that I forgive him for ghosting me like a random Tinder date, rather than his committed partner who carried his ass for 8 months?


So, let’s talk about this last lost relationship that came with zero closure. How the fuck do I feel okay about that, especially in regard to my painger towards him and my “what were you thinking / what were you even doing” abuse towards myself? Is it really true that I forgive him for ghosting me like a random Tinder date, rather than his committed partner who carried his ass for 8 months?

Yep. Pretty much have.


Why/how/wtaf?


Eh, by taking a step back to see the bigger picture it makes everything less emotional and victimizing. Not only in our relationship, but in my life narrative overall.


He’s not a villain purposely throwing me off-course from my hero’s journey. He’s a sad, unwell animal, mutually drawn my direction like two oppositely polarized magnets. We both had something to offer each other and we benefitted from our leg of the journey as companions, but we were both damaged in our unique ways that made the partnership temporary.


Gotta get back to our own ventures in this world; our paths went different directions.


I wasn’t wrong for trying to help him or for rolling the dice on this admittedly “bad idea.” He wasn’t wrong for doing the same. (The disappearing, avoidance, and emotional abuse… eh, could have done better in that area, though.)


So, I can still foster a soft place for the guy, rather than only holding onto jagged edges that hurt us both.


I feel empathy for him. I know he’s been struggling for a long time. I don’t know for a fact, but I can hypothesize that he’s still not doing great now. And no matter what he did in the past - out of alcoholism, anxiety, or outright-cruelty, I can still send love from where I am now.... at a safe distance.


I feel empathy for him. I know he’s been struggling for a long time. I don’t know for a fact, but I can hypothesize that he’s still not doing great now. And no matter what he did in the past - out of alcoholism, anxiety, or outright-cruelty, I can still send love from where I am now.... at a safe distance.

And I do. Every few days, I find the calm, resilient, knowing energy inside myself that reiterates “you cared about this human and, ultimately, you still do.”


I can thank him for the things he did do for me… The semblance of a social life that he brought to my lonely existence in Atlanta, the reassurance of having someone to call when my car wouldn’t work, the meals he cooked me, and the good intentions I think he had… I can still honor all of that.


I feel the love that was there, even though it was dysfunctional. It doesn’t have to break me because “it’s over.” It just gives me more strength because it happened. Good people exist, even if they’re fucked up in their own regard. New, pure, connections are possible where you least expect them.


I feel the love that was there, even though it was dysfunctional. It doesn’t have to break me because “it’s over.” It just gives me more strength because it happened. Good people exist, even if they’re fucked up in their own regard. New, pure, connections are possible where you least expect them.

Fuck, if I can give anyone the gift of understanding where they’re at and what they’re being crushed by, I hope I always will.


Even if it’s inevitably going to end in loss. The relationship doesn’t have to be resented; the breakup doesn’t have to be a tragedy. At least we tried. At least we both absorbed some love and understanding for a while there. Something we both needed. A purpose we filled in each other’s lives at that point.


Even if it’s inevitably going to end in loss. The relationship doesn’t have to be resented; the breakup doesn’t have to be a tragedy. At least we tried. At least we both absorbed some love and understanding for a while there. Something we both needed. A purpose we filled in each other’s lives at that point.

And we can carry that with us while we wait for the next person who’s going to fill – and ultimately re-create - the next void.

Besides... Motherfuckers, I have to be honest... You know how I said that it takes two for an interaction to occur?


Well, I'll be damned if I didn't do my own ghosting in this example. I went near-silent for a week, and then we both went full-silent. My "attempts" at reestablishing communication? Two texts. I can't really feel like a victim of a lost relationship after that pathetic display.


I love the dude. I felt the loss. But I ultimately felt that our purpose in each others' lives shifted more than some lingering feelings could overcome. Message one: Can we talk? Message two: Alright, here are my final words then.


I accepted the disappearance - I was even a little relieved.


And believe it or not, because I've gone through these trials in loss and moving forward, my "final message" was chocked full of kindness, compassion, appreciation, and love. It wasn't about outrage or what I'm "owed." I don't have to be emotionally provoking because we can't be together. I don't have to take the change personally. I don't have to beat myself up or make it into a bigger narrative about my life.


And believe it or not, because I've gone through these trials in loss and moving forward, my "final message" was chocked full of kindness, compassion, appreciation, and love. It wasn't about outrage or what I'm "owed." I don't have to be emotionally provoking because we can't be together. I don't have to take the change personally. I don't have to beat myself up or make it into a bigger narrative about my life.

I can just send my unwavering love.




Wrap it


Fuck yeah. That felt terrible and amazing to get out. Talking bout what I'm always thinking bout - saying goodbye to the people who felt like they formed my life. It's relieving and difficult, all at once.


Revisiting all the shit is always a battle. Touching live wires on purpose, wrapping up a paragraph, and grabbing for it again. It’s a lot. But these are really the things that I tell myself and work on, daily. Losses and lessons I’m still coming to terms with, sometimes on repeat.


Do I get down, dirty, and depressed about these abrupt dropped connections here and there? Yer motherfucking right. Emotions pop up, I let them happen, and then I redirect my thoughts to the perspectives I’ve outlined above.


I feel like they’re true. I believe them. And hell, even if they're all bullshit, they're real to me. My mind shapes what’s real. Everything is a hologram, anyways.


As far as I know, all of this is true. It’s 100% fact if I say so. I can’t prove otherwise, no matter how hard I try. Besides, I’d rather believe that there’s a point to everything, there’s meaning to even fleeting relationships, and love is an accruable resource over a lifetime, rather than the opposite.


As far as I know, all of this is true. It’s 100% fact if I say so. I can’t prove otherwise, no matter how hard I try. Besides, I’d rather believe that there’s a point to everything, there’s meaning to even fleeting relationships, and love is an accruable resource over a lifetime, rather than the opposite.

It’s worth it to me to keep trying at relationships (and best friends, and dogs), even though they’ll all probably be lost one day.


Choose how you want to proceed with your existence, but I’m going to keep finding meaning in connections and holding onto them with kindness and mutual respect when they dissipate. Who knows what they’re opening me up to be able to experience next.


That, MFs, is how it’s possible to enjoy saying goodbye to ones you love.






Fun bonus fact for the Woo lovers out there - "Learn to enjoy saying goodbye to people you love" - is a phrase I took from the jacket of a poetry book that ex-two lent to me.


His sister wrote it in there for him, probably in regard to his last lost relationship. I haven't opened it since we went radio silent, but it wasn't ever forgotten. Those words always felt weighty, and they have echoed through my head.


Funny - it's the only book he ever loaned to me, and it's been huge in helping me process his own loss.


Thanks, Universe. Message received.




Traumatized Motherfxckers

Not doomed. Not damaged.

Not dead yet.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • reddit-round-logo-rubber-stamp-reddit-ic
  • Spotify
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr

Atlanta, GA, USA | Chicago, IL, USA

© 2023 by Woman PWR. Proudly created with Wix.comTerms of Use  |   Privacy Policy