My ex-husband moved out at the beginning of February and our divorce was final in July.
Rebound knocked on the door in April. Around a month ago, he scored his final touchdown, did a little end-zone dance, and kept running.
(Let me grab my calculator.)
That equals around two months of being on my own. My point? I haven’t had much, if any, emotional healing.
Speaking of emotional healing…
People offer loads of advice on how to go about mending a broken heart. In fact, it’s the very same advice I myself have offered many a wounded-heart warrior. And, it’s great advice, which is why I’ve decided to do exactly the opposite.
Don’t listen to music that reminds you of your ex.
I tried this at the beginning, limiting myself to hard core gangster rap and death metal for seven days straight. But, since there’s a lengthy list of songs that remind me of our short but intense time together, all this resulted in was a big game of musical sniper. Can I really live my life ducking, dodging, and hitting the floor anytime someone turns on the radio? I think not.
So, I came up with a solution tailored especially for me: musical immersion therapy.
(oh, yes, she’s serious.)
For the past few days, I’ve purposely picked songs from my iTunes library that remind me of us.
The first time I listened to Rebound’s Soundtrack of Summer Loving I cried. And, not the “cute, single teardrop” kind of cry, but the “WHY GOD WHYYYYYYYY (followed by random hiccups for an hour) red-faced ugly” kind of cry.
However, I’m happy to report progress! Towards the end of my three hour journey yesterday, I decided it was time to conquer the song that scared me most.
Holding my breath, I hit play. My bottom lip began to quiver, the knot in my stomach tightened, and I began to cry all the feels out…but that only ended up being like seven, maybe eight, tears total. Had I been wearing mascara, it wouldn’t have smudged a bit. I made it to the end of the song feeling better than anticipated, and then promptly congratulated myself with some old school Snoop and a Happy Meal.
Show him how happy you are. That’s the ultimate revenge! Don’t give him your power by allowing him to see how much he hurt you. GIRL!
First of all, don’t give him my power? What the hell does that even mean? Like, does he carry it around with him in a little box that has “Allison’s Power” scribbled on top in purple Sharpie? Or, does he place it on his kitchen window sill – his very own Allison-Power Chia Pet?
Here’s the thing.
Orchestrating my feelings to prove something is giving my power away, and wrapped up pretty to boot.
Does he think I have naked ivy-league educated male models feeding me grapes, and making me laugh so hard they’re forced to administer the Heimlich Maneuver when I choke on these grapes? Or, does he know the truth? That, last night, I stabbed the roof of my mouth with one of the Doritos I had for dinner, before washing them down with a huge glass of wine, topped off with some (a bag of) gummy bears?
Answer: I DON’T CARE.
And, what about him? Is he sitting around like Mr. Burns, rubbing his hands together and feeling accomplished? Or, feeling bad about the way things went down? Or, maybe, just driving himself crazy trying to remember the name of the last girl he did it with because it’s…right…there….on the tip of his tongue.
Answer: I DON’T CARE.
This is about my feelings. My sometimes happy, other times sad, and occasionally numb feelings that I refuse to camouflage or run from in some pointless attempt to prove….what again?
That’s not my idea of moving on, either.
Go out! Visit new places, but definitely not anywhere you two made memories.
People tell me to go out, flirt, and have some drinks. You know, get my mind off things for a bit.
No more. That’s how I’ve dealt with shitty situations my entire life – by slapping a band-aid on and not allowing them breath, then waking the next day only to find they’ve deteriorated even further.
I’ve always used noise to quiet the thoughts in my head and numb emotional pain. But, without fail, every time I’ve reached out for one of these quick fixes, the muted thoughts and emotions have always returned, twice as loud and with double the kick.
Lately, I’ve been test driving a new coping mechanism: jumping head first into all the things I want to run from.
I’m embarking on adventures, no matter how intimidating, inviting only my feelings to tag along. This has been incredibly healing.
I’m visiting new places and rediscovering old ones. With each journey, I feel stronger and more empowered.
Gradually, the hurt is being replaced with clarity, and the fear with excitement.
Realizing I don’t need anyone to do the things I love, and that I can still be happy doing them, has been the greatest gift I’ve given myself. The best medicine!
I refuse to alter my plans or give away places that bring me peace, because of a few bad memories.
So, instead, I’m just making new ones.
In a little under two weeks, I’ll reach the summit. I’m heading out west to witness hawks during their peak migration period (whatever, you’re a nerd). Back when my life was a bad Danielle Steele novel, I visited this place with the very person I’m slowly deleting from my hard drive. I felt such a peace up there, with the thermals, the view, the quiet, the…everything, and promptly Googled the best time to visit, before loudly demanding, “You have to take me here in October!”
I was this close to bagging the whole idea, until I realized how easy it is to replace a couple of words.
“I have to take me there in October!”
I have a feeling it’s going to be even more peaceful.
And, this time, I don’t have to share.