Save the Date

Save the Date

April 22, 2017 I moved in with Jake* which was one of the happiest moments I ever shared with him. At that point, marriage seemed so inevitable I created a new gmail account using my future married name. Little did I know it was all a fairytale and my new email address was the equivalent of getting Jake’s* named tattooed on my body—the ultimate relationship jinx.

Dates to remember became a key narrative in our relationship… we had so many. From the first time we met on Cinco de Mayo in 2012 to the first time we signed a lease together. It seemed like every month we had an anniversary to celebrate but now it’s all a thing of the past and the celebrations have stopped.

As I sit here waiting for my date to arrive, I give a secret cheers to Jake.* This would’ve been our one-year mark living together but we weren’t strong enough to survive. I know now to hold off on creating any new email address with what I assume will be my married name until I am actually married.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

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On a side quote,

On a side quote,

Immediately after Jake* and I broke up, I started reading quotes as an alternative form of therapy. Through them, I discovered my faults in the relationship as well as Jake’s*. There were so many that resonated with me and so many more that I wanted to share with Jake*.

Often times, I was lost with words and couldn’t effectively convey to him how horrible he made me feel. He was a know-it-all who closed himself off when faced with a difference of opinion but it was his inability to accept criticism that caused the most frustration. Jake* had no problem pointing out all my faults but if I dared to slightly challenge his “angelic” character, his defensive nature ensued. In his eyes, he could do no wrong it was always me. And because I was so insecure, I believed him.

After spending an entire evening reading quotes on Pinterest, I began to wonder if my relationship could’ve been saved had I been able to recite the perfect quote during the heat of an argument. Was a Pinterest board all I needed to communicate with Jake*? I pondered that for quite some time until I read, “No relationship is perfect, it’s not a fairytale. There are going to be ups and downs, but if you love someone, then you fight for what you have. A real bond never ever breaks!” Is was at that moment I realized I needed actual therapy. My relationship with Jake* wasn’t as genuine and unconditional as I had psyched myself into believing and maybe he was right when he said, “you wasted five years of my life!” We, in many instances, had destroyed each other and only a professional was going to help me heal from that wake-up call.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

It’s Not Me, It’s You…

It’s Not Me, It’s You…

Getting to know someone on a deeper level allows you to see a side to them that is kept secret from the masses. This was something Jake* and I learned the hard way. He had no idea I could be so callous and austere and I had no idea he could be so mean and verbally abusive.

When Jake* and I first started dating, I was cold towards him more often than not. He was so excited to finally have me as his girlfriend yet I treated him like shit. I was no longer the free-spirited woman with an irresistible mystique that initially intrigued him. Instead, I was an angry soul whose heart had turned to coal. I slowly started to soften up and transform back into my old self (the version Jake* fell in love with) but it was too late. He was emotionally scarred and could no longer see the good in me.

By the time I was ready to fully love Jake* and nourish our relationship, he had lost faith in us and was never to be the same. During moments of divide, we assumed two roles… I was the bad guy and Jake* was the good guy. Everything was my fault and he was the perpetual victim. I felt like I was stripped of my rights to be upset. It was always, “how dare you question me after everything you’ve put me through.” If I had issues, Jake* didn’t “have time to deal” with them—he would either brush them off or place the sole blame on me.

Jake* was destroying me. I was falling deeper and deeper in love with him yet I was tired of how he was treating me. In the heat of an argument, he would say the most hurtful things and every time I would hate myself more and more. No one had ever made me feel so unlovable and unhinged as he. There were so many times after a fight I’d stay up and cry the night away but Jake* didn’t care because to him I deserved it.

All I ever wanted was a beautiful, loving relationship with Jake*. One filled with trust, honesty, happiness and loyalty. I prayed for us on a daily basis. I believed we could get through anything but Jake* felt differently…

“You’re a sociopath. You’re a narcissist. You don’t deserve someone like me. You need to grow up. You’re going to meet another great guy and treat him like shit like you treated me. You don’t know how to take responsibility for your own actions. You don’t appreciate what’s in front of you. If I told my friends everything you’ve done to me, they would tell me to leave. You need some serious help. The only thing you’re consistent with is inconsistency. You don’t have any remorse. I can never be with someone like you. I call bullshit on everything you just said. I’m not going to apologize because it makes me seem guilty for something I didn’t do. You damaged me. You don’t respect me. You’re unreliable. All you do is self-sabotage. The world doesn’t revolve around you. You are not the victim here. You think you have a right to be upset?! This is all my fault, I didn’t set boundaries with you. I wasted five years of my life with you. All you do is attract drama. You’re being dramatic. All you think about is yourself. You’re being a dick. You killed my baby. You don’t know how to treat people. I’m not going to sugar coat things to make you feel better about yourself. You crossed me one too many times. It’s too late for us. I’m starting to resent you. You embarrassed me. You need to be with someone who will always agree with you. You only want me when you can’t have me. You’re being manipulative. I didn’t make you feel like shit, you did that on your own. I can’t even have an adult conversation with you. I’m not going to change my phone habits just to make you feel comfortable.  You’re emotionally abusive. You’re ungrateful.” — Jake*

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

Social Me-Dia(ry)

Social Me-Dia(ry)

It had been two weeks since I moved out of Jake’s* apartment. Our last morning together was so surreal I couldn’t even process it. I just remembered us saying our usual off-to-work goodbyes but only this time it was our last.

Adjusting to my new reality was tough. I no longer had the right to know what Jake’s* plans were and he no longer had to text me his whereabouts. However, thanks to Instagram, I was able to get a snapshot of his post-breakup life. It felt like one post could tell the whole story. Lovis*, one of the women Jake* cheated on me with ironically started liking his pics again and within no time he started to like hers as well. I knew they never stopped talking, Jake* didn’t respect me enough for that and thanks to Instagram, my “theories” had been “proven” right. Each virtual interaction they shared was a sting to my heart. Jake* had betrayed me so much yet I was somehow the devil for my week affair with Aaron*.

In addition to Lovis* was Gisselle R*, Jake’s* new classmate from Brazil. She started to like every pic he posted and every time I saw her name in his likes, my stomach dropped. Everyone seemed to know but Jake* that liking posts on Instagram was virtual flirting. “I don’t follow these social media rules” he would always say but maybe he didn’t remember I found out he was cheating on me with Lovis* a week after he started liking all her pics on Facebook.

Stalking Jake* on Instagram became an unhealthy habit. It got to the point where immediately after waking up, I would go to his page to see if he posted anything new. Afterwards, I would go to my activity feed to see whose posts he was liking. It was a sick and horrible addiction yet I couldn’t stop.

The tipping point to my insanity came when Jake* posted a pic from Paris. There he was on yet another trip we were supposed to take together without me. Words, even to this day, couldn’t describe the emotions that ran through my head. I could barely concentrate at work. I just wanted to be home so I could cry. I did however, wish Jake* safe travels and a great time.

His trip lasted for two agonizing weeks and consisted of four countries. My stalking went to unprecedented levels and I was becoming deeply ashamed of myself. Who had I become and when was this new me going to fade away?

The only thing that was keeping me happy was looking at old pics Jake* kept of us on his page. They reminded me of our happier times and of all the potential we had. But then, one dreadful day, they were gone—Jake*, in a matter of seconds, completely deleted me out of his existence. It was the final straw… I could no longer allow Jake’s* virtual-self control my actual-self. Shortly thereafter, I blocked his account which was something I should have done the moment he said “I just need you to be out of my life.”

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

New Year’s Epiphany

New Year’s Epiphany

It seemed like the entire world was excited to end 2017 and begin 2018. There was an unsurmountable amount of energy about the upcoming year that I had never witnessed before. Social media became the death of me and the longer I stayed on it, the worst I felt. I was alone and everyone was happy but me. I made a last-minute attempt to go out with a friend but shortly after accepting, she opted out. Luckily, an old colleague extended an invite to her place which got me out of the apartment and allowed me to meet a great group of people. However, too many things were weighing me down. I had become severely depressed about the breakup, I missed having a family and I was miserable at my job. It was the beginning of my rock bottom. Death seemed like the only way out and I was mildly excited about the thought. It felt like giving my two weeks notice on life—I no longer had to care.

I woke up hoping to feel better about 2018 but I was too far gone. It was a normal Wednesday morning… I got up, took care of Lotus (my adorable peekapoo) and headed off to work. I arrived at the office earlier than usual so as not to see anyone. I dropped off my laptop and badges, grabbed a few personal items and left. I had never been so apathetic about life—I  just wanted it to end. When I got home, Lotus greeted me with her usual excitement and grabbed a toy for us to play with. After about five minutes of catch, I laid down on the couch with not a care in the world.

I had done a bit of research about dying from dehydration and concluded it would be relatively simple. A few days of initial discomfort but overall bearable. Day one was a breeze. It was almost too easy. It even prompted me to type in my date-of-death in my calendar; but by day three, I was a wreck. I couldn’t resist the temptation to drink water and even though I was only allowing myself a glass per day, it was prolonging my life. Reality started to sink in and for the first time ever, I was scared to live and scared to die. I went into full panic mode and spent hours crying and pacing back and forth in my apartment. I wasn’t eating so I was wasting away by the second.

I texted Jake* the day I thought I was going to die. I told him I was scared, lonely and on the verge of a major breakdown. He responded in an indifferent tone and at that moment I realized I hit had rock bottom. I completely threw away my life because of a breakup. Jake* on the other hand did the opposite. He got a job of his dreams, was doing well in school, made a new group of friends, and became the best possible him. He no longer cared about me and was doing better than ever.

I finally decided to reach out to my friend Liz* who determined I was in no shape to be alone. She picked me up on a cold Saturday morning and drove me back to her place, an hour away from the city. What was supposed to be a one-night stay lasted for eight. Liz, a die-hard vegan, cooked the most delicious meals while I was there. Each day, I was being fed nothing but organic fruits, vegetables and grains all while drinking amazing wine. It was like being on a vacation from life. During the day while Liz was off to work, I was enjoying many leftovers, crap tv, and solitude. Occasionally, I would have a dark period but a quick cry or shower would make things better. I didn’t want to leave but I knew eventually, I was going to have to face life again.

Our last night together, Liz and I went to a Witching Hour hosted by her acupuncturist Holly, a healer who has helped transform many lives. The ceremony and women who attended were all so spirited and when I told my story I received nothing but an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement. The purpose of our meet was to come into our highest power and self-trust. It’s crazy how life synchronizes when you need it to most. I needed to be at that Witching Hour and had I not reached out to Liz eight days prior, I wouldn’t have known about it.

I went to LA for a bit as another way to escape what was waiting for me in New York. Coming home was scary, as it housed nothing but negativity and deep despair. However, I knew it was time for a change. I knew that I didn’t die because I still had a life to live. Lotus deserved better too. I lit my sage stick, turned on some music and danced the negativity away.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

My Big Fat Breakup

My Big Fat Breakup

Jake* and I had an on-again, off-again relationship that lasted for almost five years. Breaking up became such a regular occurrence that we were conditioned to expect one every three to four months. Ultimately, we rewarded our “healthy” and “stable” relationship, by moving in together—a decision that would later prove to be one of the two biggest mistakes I made in 2017.

Once my lease ended, I got rid of all of my furniture and independence to move into Jake’s* two-bedroom apartment. I was so excited and happy. At first, everything was amazing and living under one roof seemed to be the answer to all of our problems. However, that was short lived and my branded form of crazy started to question everything. Jake* cheated on me in the beginning of our relationship, which left me with perpetual doubt on his ability to remain monogamous. Little things began to bother me that I couldn’t explain. However, it was his phone behaviors that became the biggest divide in our relationship and what ended up being the catalyst to our breakup. I was 100% convinced Jake* was being unfaithful again, there were things I found out that I kept to myself just to avoid arguments. Things progressively became strained in our relationship and we started to have talks about either breaking up or going to therapy. Jake* frowned upon therapy but I knew in my heart it would’ve done wonders for us.

The breaking point came when Jake decided to go to Mexico City without me—a trip we were originally supposed to take together. I was devastated. I was convinced he was going to meet up with someone else. The day Jake* left, I was angry and hurt. He knew I was itching to take a vacation and we hadn’t been able to do so prior because of his school commitments. Jake* had a great way of ignoring my emotional/security needs because to him, I was always the bad guy. I was always this difficult person that treated him like shit. No one had ever made me doubt myself as much as he. He shredded my soul and I was slowly becoming a woman with no spirit or joie de vivre.

There I was in the spare bedroom, watching mindless tv while he was posting pics every moment of his trip. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned became my truth. For the week Jake* was gone, I occupied some of my time with Aaron* a bartender from our neighborhood bar. At the time I had no remorse because Aaron* saw me in the way Jake* used to—sweet, funny and full of life. I felt beautiful on the inside and lovable.  Aaron* and I had an emotional affair. We were two souls suffering from deep emotional pain. Me because of my failing relationship with a man who could no longer see the good in me and him because of a recent breakup and a rough childhood that often left him suicidal. We hadn’t engaged in any sexual activity but our last night together I became extremely amorous.

The day before Jake* was due to come home, I was ridden with guilt. I felt awful. I was so lost and so disconnected with reality. Aaron* was developing feelings for me and I betrayed the man I so much wanted to be a Queen for. This was also my second biggest mistake of the year.

Everyone was excited about the solar eclipse yet I kept feeling like something tragic was going to happen. I left work early once Jake* called to let me know he was home. My heart pounded the entire walk from the train station to our apartment but I just figured it was unsettled nerves. The minute I walked in, I knew my horrible little secret was no longer a secret or little. Jake* broke up with me immediately and that was the end to my life, as I knew it.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.