Feb 5, 2013

Single Life

The new room. I don't think you could fit a
queen size bed in here sideways, but I like it.
I've struggled about writing this post, because it's sort of whiny and self-indulgent. But blogging things out was one of the primary methods by which I survived the Peace Corps, and if for no other reason that for the sake of my own sanity I'm going to blog this one out too. So here's how I'm doing so far. (In other words, if you understandably don't want to read a bunch of tedious mopey bullshit, here's where to stop.)

First of all things are okay. I've got a deliciously cheap place to stay, the new roommate situation seems good, great even, and my rapidly accelerating job is keeping me quite busy. I've got a raise and health insurance coming in ten days.

But Jesus, this hurts. It's the worst breakup I've ever had. It's several things, I think. First of course it sucks to get dumped. There's the getting-your-heart-ripped-out feeling, of course, everyone's familiar with that, if only from the umpteen bazillion love songs on the topic. It's also a big hit to the self-worth, and you pretty much can't help but conclude that in the other person's eyes at least you're just unworthy in some way or the other. They couldn't take your shit anymore, or just stopped loving you, or didn't love you enough to work through whatever was bothering them. This is part of life, some part of me realizes; and only partially my fault. You can't be the right person for everyone, and you can't force love. But especially when you were quite seriously considering the other person as the endgame for the rest of your life, all the little egocentric bits of yourself, the parts in charge of status symbols and resentment, are stomped flat. The humiliation is awful. It's stupid and petty, but I doubt anyone can help that feeling.

Second is the shock of it. I'm an oblivious asshole (see previous paragraph), but I literally hadn't the slightest suspicion what was coming. I've been dumped before, but I've always had some sneaking feeling that it was coming, and I think at that point your emotional systems start to preemptively shut down the relationship subroutines. It's like when an electricity company knows a power plant must be taken offline, they can take steps to brace the system and minimize outages. But when unexpected disaster strikes, you get chain reaction failures all over the place. I didn't even get the "we need to talk" text so I could brace myself—I just walked in, said hi, and got completely flattened.

So it feels like I'm having to stumble around my mind, manually burning out all the old circuits when I trip one by accident. I feel like I'm finally getting a handle on things, and then I see something like a can of beans from our old house labeled "K&R" and I'm cut clear to the quick all over again, blinking back tears. All kinds of activities—shopping, watching Jon Stewart on the bed, grilling some onions and bell peppers, cutting my hair—are saturated in painful associations that are going to take time and effort to replace.

To be clear, I don't blame my ex that much for this. (The lack of warning, that was shitty, but on the other hand I've done that myself in the past.) Because all the pseudo-wonky rationalizations aside, I reckon ninety percent of the pain is just the simple fact that I really loved this woman, and my heart is broken. No way to avoid that pain short of erasing your memory.

But I'll be okay, in time.


  1. AWWWWWWWWWWWWW :( I'm so sorry, Ryan. Really. I've been dumped real bad before too, once. It sucks big time. Until one day it doesn't suck so bad. Always here if you wanna talk

  2. Borrow my Dory and row row row. Pizza with anchovies helps too.