Dear folks who've been dumped, been through a divorce, a breakup, or some other horrible relationship-ending explosion of shit,
How often have you heard this phrase: "Why can't you just get over it?"
If you're like me, or everybody else I know that's been through a divorce, or a breakup, or a death, or getting dumped outta a long-term relationship, the answer is "a fuck of a lot, all the time, from just about everybody you know."
It usually comes from someone with the best intentions -- like, you've just got done with time #2034 of bitching about the ex and you're either angry or sad or some wicked combination of the two, and somebody who hates seeing you like that lets fly with that phrase. It's out of concern, usually (usually -- I'd say that Trix's boss who said to her, snarkily, "it's been a month now, why can't you just get over it" was probably slightly less than concerned for her well being) and its certainly almost never meant maliciously but --
-- here's the thing. It's not like you can switch on a switch and "get over it." That's not the way it works.
As I've mentioned before, the breakup leaves everybody with a list of fucking outstanding issues. Since nobody ever follows my advice on "how to properly break up with people," most of the time they think the best thing to do is to be quote-unquote "honest" and tell the other person just exactly why they're breaking up with 'em, and those psychological scars, combined, mind you, with feelings of abandonment and fear and depression and two thousand other emotions that just come along with any breakup, no matter how big or small, run fucking DEEP.
And the way it works is: you have to work through every single one of them, one at a time, painfully, before you can heal. And just so everybody knows: that can take a really long time. How long? They say that you can't fully heal from a relationship until HALF AS MUCH TIME HAS PASSED AS THE RELATIONSHIP LASTS. Did you hear that? Half as much time as the relationship lasts.
Now, that's just a general rule of thumb. That's obviously not hard-and-fast by any means. Some people heal faster than others, obviously, and some people heal slower. There's people out there who've been through a divorce or death or breakup or whatever who never heal. And sometimes they heal outwardly but are still suffering like damn inwardly. Like: I "healed" from my breakup with The Ex Before Last, outwardly, really quickly. Like I was glad I was out of the relationship, really glad. But I spent three years -- THREE YEARS, and that's just about exactly half the length of the relationship -- having pretend arguments with her in my head. Going over ALL the hurt, all the bad feelings, all the stupid crap I went through bit by bit by bit until somehow, magically, I finally worked it out to my satisfaction.
That's how I do it. Pretend arguments in my head. Or "draft" emails that I never send, that's my current M.O. But other people do it differently.
And this where I get really condescending -- to the folks who say "why can't you get over it," you honestly can't know until you've been through it. You say to yourself "but I've been through all kinds of breakups!" Yes, maybe you have. But every breakup effects everybody differently. And the length of a relationship makes a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference. And how the breakup happened makes a huge difference too, like a really huge one. A mutual "parting of the ways" hurts far less than getting dumped for a supermodel or even a totally normal average person, y'know?
And even if the person you're concerned about is currently happy in a NEW relationship? Honestly, that doesn't make a bit of difference. Again, speaking of the Ex-Before-Last, I was VERY happy in a relationship the entire time I was carrying on arguments with my ex in my head. I know there's some of you out there who feel me -- yeah, you KNOW you should be focusing on the positive, you know you should have your head 100% in the relationship you're in 'cause it's awesome and rad and whatever else, but guess wha? You can't because there's still some healing to do, and it takes how long it takes.
(And furthermore: even if the person you're healing from SUCKS BALL-SACK? Doesn't matter one bit. Just doesn't. Because it isn't about the quality or quantity of the person. It's about PAIN and HEALING and SCARS and all that stuff cannot be rationalized away by saying "well, I'm better off now, aren't I?" Although it certainly HELPS to tell yourself that, sometimes, it is not a cure-all by any means).
So people? Be patient with the healing folks, okay? Honestly. It takes how long it takes. Sometimes it takes a scary amount of time. But it does happen.