The tears have really flown today. It is as if everything seems to set them free. They say grief happens in 5 stages: Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Anger and finally Acceptance. I think I have been in the denial and bargaining phases for some time. I have realized since October that things weren’t right and happening like they should. I noticed then a slower cadence in our relationship, a reluctance within him to follow through on things he had promised, a certain amount of secrecy that hadn’t been there before. I have been flipping through all the stages of grief for a while now, but mostly I have been living in the stages of denial and bargaining.
Denial is easiest because you can just pretend everything is hunky dory. You start making excuses like:
Oh, he’s busy with his child.
He has so much work and I’m sure he is thinking of me.
He’s been really sick lately, and is unable to pick the phone up.
When you are in denial you can pretend. You can pretend that you still matter and nothing has changed. You can make up excuses for their behavior. You can give them forgiveness and acceptance because you give them a pass for their actions, or lack of action. This phase allows you to believe that everything is just fine and he actually does love you as much as you love him.
Bargaining is also easy, because it gives you a sense of power and control. It makes you feel as though you might be able to fix it. If I just do this one thing…he will love me again. Maybe, I am too needy, too fat, too chatty, too emotional, etc…If i just change these things he will be different. OR, maybe if I talk to him and explain my feelings he will make some necessary changes to make this work. Bargaining makes you feel like you actually have a voice in how the relationship progresses. The reality for me is to either accept how things are or don’t and leave. it doesn’t matter what I look like, how I act, what I think or feel. I showed him the best of me and that wasn’t enough for him. When I met him he was looking to protect his family and have a thing on the side. He never said that but his actions told me by hiding he was married, his children, where he lived, and giving me a false last name for the first few months. His actions told me he was looking for something on the side and wanted an intact family life. I let his words and sweet gestures persuade my logic. i allowed my love for him to persuade my mind to believe him, have faith in him, see the good that I thought was him.
Depression this is the tough one. This is where reality smacks you up the side the head and makes you take notice. You can no longer hide under the proverbial rock and pretend this isn’t happening. You have come face to face with the fact there is nothing you can do to change the circumstances of your situation. This is the phase where you surrender to the heartache. You let the pain ravage your body, beating you against the rocks with each crushing blow of memories, empty promises, the dreams for a future that will never be. This is where you can feel the pain squeezing your heart so hard at times you feel you can barely breathe at times. The face of contentment that you wore for so long no longer fits and it feels painful to attempt to wear it. Somewhere in the midst of things your body decides for you that food or any other forms of nourishment should be banned from your body. Sleep becomes something of the past or something you used to do. Every normal task now feels as though you are trying to complete it while wearing a wet, heavy, cold winter coat. It sucks. It sucks really bad. One day can feel like forty as you go minute for minute through your day. Any reminder of him can create an avalanche of emotions that can catch you off guard at any moment. It is the lowest of lows and the darkest of days. During this phase all you can do is look for slivers of hope, any silver lining you can find to grab onto and celebrate the tiniest of victories. This is a tough phase, the toughest in my opinion. You feel powerless and helpless when you need to be your strongest.
Anger, for some this is a scary phase. For me it is easier to be angry than it is to be sad. I know from a psychological stand point that anger is always a secondary emotion, much like green is a secondary color (a mixture of blue and yellow, which are primary colors). Anger is usually born out of hurt, frustration, irritation, etc. I personally think that anger is easier to feel than the gut-wrenching sadness. Anger can motivate a person towards change. Anger can be constructive when channeled properly. Think the Phoenix rising from the fire. To me anger has always represented fire and depression represented water. Water and fire, both change you, but fire often destroys everything and leaves a new canvas, whereas water can be cleansing and cathartic, but you are left with the same canvas.
Acceptance, sweet acceptance. This is when you can look back and remember the good times without falling apart. You can appreciate the relationship and person for who they were in your life. You feel stronger and ready to maybe think about giving your heart to another individual. You begin to feel good about your future again and you have hope where before there was none. Some people never get this to phase. Psychologists say it is because people try to bypass the stages of the grief. Instead of setting fire to the rain they try to go around it. it’s tempting to try to go around the stages of grief instead of going through them, but to fully heal one must go through each stage. It is strange to think that it is necessary to claw your chest open and rip your heart out and grind it in to the ground in order to feel better…eventually…but I am told that this is the only way to heal.
I am pretty sure I have entered the depression phase. Funny, how it feels so familiar. I have been here a lot in the past 8 years, I just never thought it would be W to put me here. He was so convincing with his words and actions. I still haven’t told him how I feel. The words seem to fail me when I try to send them. Fear…I don’t know what I am afraid of. He’s already gone. Maybe I am afraid of shutting the door for good. Afraid to say goodbye to someone who is/was so important to me. Someone I never wanted to live a day without. Afraid of never seeing the man whose face I see every time I close my eyes again. Right now I don’t even want to contemplate a day without him in it, but I know with time I will heal and that will pass…I hope. I have never loved another person like this in my life. This is all new to me. In an odd way I have the same strength of love for him that I do for my children…Not the love like I feel for my children a different kind of a love, a romantic love, but I love him with the same strength that I love my children. Nothing about this is easy. Nothing about this makes sense. What is wrong with me? How did I get here? How did we get here? Why?