Heartbreak is inevitable, you will experience it in many shapes and forms but it’s important to mend your heart back together overtime. This Valentine’s Day, as opposed to last year, I’m having a more difficult time than I thought I would. Even though I was technically single last year, I was still in a weird limbo with my ex-boyfriend. However, I didn’t end up doing anything with him because I got sick that day. We still texted and he got me a Wag walk for Cash. I also sent out presents to my friends along with getting him a gift. Although I wasn’t doing much that day due to being sick, I was so happy to give the special people in life gifts. It felt really good to think about others and spread the love that day.
This Valentine’s Day I feel a bit differently because I still am mourning my relationship with my ex-boyfriend. We had a long journey of 8 years (5 years on and 3 years in a weird limbo) together. I thought he was the love of my life, who I would marry, and start a family with. He was there for so many milestones of life and some of my traumas. He was there for me right after John attacked me and stood by my side during the Dirty John premiere. He was also there for me on several other occasions before and after John attacked me. Even though we tried to stay in each others’ lives and support one another, we had to take time a part, so we could grow up, find our own identity, and process what led up to our breakup.
It has taken a while for me to accept and realize that this chapter with my ex-boyfriend had come to an end. He was not a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath like the men I try to educate women to be weary of. It was difficult for me to let him go because I thought he was a “good guy”. I bonded with him before and after my traumatic experience with John, which made me identify him as my “safe person”. We continually re-connected and continued to entertain the idea of being more than friends. I truly believed we were in love and that I could never fully move on from my relationship with him no matter who walked into my life. Although this was a struggle to overcome, I now understand the real reason why it was so difficult.
Even though this break-up had been a long time coming, I had to sit down with myself and be honest about why it didn’t work and what I wanted, needed, and deserved moving forward. Acknowledging and processing these factors as well as identifying what makes truly makes me happy, which is not dependent on any man/person, allowed me to overcome the heart-break.
Prior to coming to this realization, I fooled myself into thinking my ex-boyfriend would come back after he ended our relationship and said he didn’t love me over the phone.
I was so caught up in the pain and loss of my relationship that I tried so hard to protect my heart from the truth and meaning behind my ex-boyfriend’s hurtful actions. I just could not believe how he broke my heart during that last phone call. I thought if the love of my life couldn’t love me then how could anyone else. What was even more hurtful was how he would react to PTSD triggers/episodes after John’s attack. He was slowly no longer becoming my “safe person” because he couldn’t handle my symptoms of PTSD, which made me think if he can’t deal with me then no one can. Seeing this relationship drastically change before my eyes made me start to believe I wasn’t good enough. Throughout the process of accepting this new reality of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, I had mixed emotions of sadness and anger. Deep down I knew I didn’t deserve to be treated in this manner and that I had to value my own self-worth as well as what I have to offer my future partner.
Many people adopt negative cognitive distortions such as, “I am not good enough”. It’s important to process the heartbreak, challenge these negative thoughts, and replace the thoughts with more uplifting messages. You need to build yourself up and know that you ARE good enough! When you adopt these negative thoughts about yourself, you will either allow toxic people in your life or be closed off from perfectly healthy relationships. It’s so important to heal from your heart break, so you can go on to have healthy relationships in all aspects of your life. The past couple of months I have been doing so much work on healing from my relationship with my ex-boyfriend No matter what, I believe that everybody deserves love and respect in relationships.
Since my ex-boyfriend and I had been going back and forth during the last 3 years of our relationship, it created this feeling (as I mentioned earlier) that he would always come back. I thought I was over him after the phone call because I was so angry, but I was not. I was still waiting for him to come back. At the same time, I had this fear I would go back and allow myself to get my heart broken yet again. I had to realize and understand why I went back to him. I learned in therapy that he was my “safe person” and my “co-dependent”. Even though there were times where it should have ended, I couldn’t bear to lose someone that I felt so safe around. I felt that I needed him there as a source of comfort.
Since I understood why I went back, it was time to understand why he really wasn’t “safe”. I learned that I can protect myself, I didn’t need him. In my attack, I did the work and he wasn’t there. This just goes to show how powerful women can be! We are beyond the classic stereotype of a damsel in distress. We are badass ladies and our own safe person!
Understanding that I was safe on my own was still not enough to let my ex-boyfriend go. There was another thing that was stumping me, I needed to mourn this relationship. It still hurts that it didn’t work out and feels as if I’m a failure. However, I’m not a failure because I gave this relationship my all. Since I’m a child of divorce, I have seen so many relationships fail. I didn’t want to follow in these footsteps and experience failed relationships as well. I had to really sit down and process the loss of this relationship. Being able to write a letter expressing my feelings and burn it, I released it all. This process allowed me to realize there were so many reasons why it didn’t work out and that it was okay it didn’t work out. I’m a woman who is now open to accepting great love in my life.
I have felt frustrated because I’ve done so much work and I am ready for a new journey with someone special. I want to have a healthy relationship and build a family. Sometimes you think that after you have done so much work that everything will come right away. The Universe, God or whatever you believe always has its own timing. What keeps me going is I know that since I did the work on myself someone amazing will come into my life and I will be able to cherish that love.
I hope that in reading this you were able to realize that sometimes relationships end and it’s hard to let go. In order to let go, you need to see why you were with that person in the first place. You need to release your hurt feelings with that person and say goodbye. The sooner you accept this and put in the work to move on, you will be in a much better place to make the next relationship work. If you are like me and have done the work and just got finished mourning that relationship, be patient! Your time will come and if you continue doing things that make you happy you will find your soulmate. So keep your chin up this Valentine’s Day and give your mending heart some extra lovin’.
Xoxo Terra Newell