Broken Hearted vs. Broken Lusted
This may be familiar. There's just you, him and the slight chill of the rain, falling softly, gently. There's the heavy feeling of dread, knowing that this will be the last. There's the bittersweet pain of ending a supposed love to last a lifetime. Then, he walks away, in the rain, behind the shadows of the night, and you remain rooted from where you stand and you wonder: how are you supposed to pick up the shattered pieces of your heart strewn all over the pavement.
For people in love, being brokenhearted is a lot like being Wily Coyote, waiting for the anvil to fall on his head or the dynamite to blow on his butt, and Road Runner (your partner) sweeps by, beep-beeping his way.
When one ends a romance (whether budding or wilting), the after effects are always the same.
Numbness: Moving in slow motion or auto pilot comes naturally and reaching the point where you don't and cant care anymore
whether you stink to high heaven because you haven't bathed in three days But for awhile there, you take comfort in the numbness because its safe and harmless and anything more than safe and harmless is too much to feel. Slowly, like trickles of sand, the numbness wears off, only to be replaced by anger.
Resentment: How dare he walk away from this? From you? What utter nerve and unmitigated gall! And then you curse in five dialects and throw him the one-finger salute just to let him know just how bitchy you can be. But as it gets too strenuous and taxing to be angry all the time to everybody. You're angry for your boss for letting you redo the sloppy work you did three days ago (which, to your thinking, was not sloppy at all). You're angry with your co-workers who are dizzy in love with their latest amore (Brokenhearted folks tend to get antsy and crazy to those who are in the throes of love). You're angry with the passenger across you who doesn't have the fashion sense because she's wearing turtle neck in the middle of summer).
The little and the big things will drive you crazy until you begin to feel resigned acceptance.
See, when you begin to accept that it didn't work out, you conduct a post performance evaluation and assessment plan. In other words, you begin to wonder; just where in the hell did you screw up? And it is in this phase that you realize either of the following:
- It's your fault. You didn't trust him enough. You didn't love him enough. You didn't
(supply the missing words).
- It's not your fault. He couldn't commit. It's not in his nature to do so. He found someone else. He didn't stick up for you from the wrath of his parents (wimp!).
- It's nobody's fault. Clichéd as it may sound, "you were just not meant to be". "You were like two ships passing in the night and never shall meet" (for to do so, would mean one big explosion) or (this is my favorite) "you're two parallel lines set out on different courses in one Cartesian plane.
To my thinking, casting blame is moot and academic. It's the healing that counts. And where we can intellectualize the causes and effects of a broken heart, nobody has the cure.
On an interesting note, when one ends a relationship based on carnal lust, hot wicked sex or red scorching talons of eroticism, it's a slightly different case.
For people who don't want commitment, and all the hassles of this gigantic, overwhelming and costly feeling called "love", one usually resorts to commitment-less, casual, carefree relationship, commonly referred to as a "THING". As in, "hey, we had a THING going". As if, it is compared to golf balls and cat food or something equally trivial.
When a "thing" ends, no matter who ends it, its always taboo to:
- Cry. You can't grieve out in the open. Many may agree that when one can't grieve, there's no full sense of closure. You can't cry because that would mean you made a big deal out of it. You got attached. (That's the number one rule in a casual relationship: NEVER get attached. Once you do, you lose). Easier said than done.
- Carry a grudge. You have to try to remain friends or at least be civil even if it kills you. There should be no drama's, no throwing of knives or pot, pans or for that matter, bread.
- Dwell on it. Move on man. I wasn't a big deal anyway. A few laughs, some rough tumble in the hay or car or wherever. It was an incredible joyride. Its over.
You wonder, why indulge in this abnormally normal situation? For a variety of reasons:
- It's cheaper. You don't have to go out, watch a movie or dine in restaurants, buy gifts because you'd just as soon as spend it on drive-in motels at Php 333 for ten hours.
- It's less draining emotionally. There are fewer demands. Fewer demands mean fewer expectations.
- Too afraid to love again. For those who have been burned several times, they tend to be a bit gun shy. They tend to wade in the water not take the plunge.
- Too busy to be in love. Who has the time and the energy?
I wonder though, when it ends, who hurts more? The ones who love and lost or the ones who lust and lost?
For those who fell in love and lost, they could openly cry, hurl insults and invectives and be comforted by friends with cheap wine and cases of beer. For those who fell in lust and lost, they are denied this privilege because after all: it wasn't a big deal and you have to keep silent and bear it all in.
Losing someone is always painful. That's the universal truth. Whether it was a 9-year-old dog or 9-year-old child or 9-month-old love affair or 9-day-old "thing". The awful misery and bittersweet pain will throb, especially at night, when everybody's asleep. And its just a stone cold sober you, the bright moon and the soft whir of the ceiling fan. In this rite of passage to adulthood, you realize, it doesn't matter whether you loved and lost or lusted and lost. Because in your head and in your heart, you've grown up a little.
And you smile. After all, you didn't entirely lose everything... You still have yourself, the moon and the ceiling fan.
Shanidar Cabaraban is freelance journalist and monthly relationship columnist for whymenare.com, an online magazine for women.
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