“Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, I shall recall the memory of warm, sunny, late summer afternoons like this one, and be comforted greatly.” ―
The poem at the bottom reminds me of the time I was convinced I had a crush on a senior in high school. I was a freshman, we were both in pilot classes. The best of the best.
I was there by brain alone. No prestige no wealth not even looks. He had all of those and more. Naturally, he didn’t want to be associated with me. Avoided me like the plague. I remember enrolling in the woodworking class because I thought he would be there but no, he was in embroidery class. Joined the gardening class hoping to catch him there but what do you know__ he was in the baking class!
He grew up to be the most successful individual I know past and present. Traveling around the world for his job and belongs to crème de la crème in his field. He is never married. To his job by the looks of it. He never stops studying. A Ph.D. here, there and everywhere and still going. I wonder what his motivations are. Anyway whatever it is, he made it.
A couple of years ago, his cousin – who used to be my classmate – and I came across each other online and since she was just across the border from where I live we decided to meet for old time’s sakes. I heard he will be there as well. But at the last moment, he dropped out. I concluded that even after all these years he still doesn’t want to be in the same room with me. I retreated inside my walls and never heard of them since then.
you said you like old stuff
so I bought a vinyl player
and a typewriter.
I thought it’ll make you like me too,
how could I be so futile?you said you’re into painting
so I enrolled in an art class
and practiced drawing.
I heard you wrote him handwritten poems,
oh god, this feels like drowning.you said you’re into bad boys
so I tattooed a dragon across my chest.
I saw you date your nerdy classmate.
guess I’m all too late
see? no matter how many times
I change myself for you,
you still can’t see me.
no matter how fast I chase you
I’m still miles away behind
you said you’re still a virgin
so I stopped watching pornography.
I heard he banged you hard.
God, I deserve a drink.
~from Postcard Promise via Facebook
“And perhaps, you would still cross my mind after two, three, five or sadly, ten years later. Maybe after those times, I’d still wonder how it feels growing old with you. Maybe after those years, I would slowly turn into a blurred image sluggishly subsiding in your memory. Maybe, after all, you will remain as my could-have-been
I will stay as your never-again.”
– Mica Meñez
Philophobia (from Greek φίλος – filos, “beloved, loving”and φόβος – phobos, “fear”) is the fear of being in love and falling in love. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be a chronic phobia.
I have said it already so many times before, I have never been in love yet despite being married more than once. I had my share of flings and affairs but none of those managed to capture my heart. Speaking of heart, mine is never been broken. Not even a dent. I could say I protected it so well but that is not the case. It just happened that I didn’t encounter yet that special someone who is capable of doing the damage.
No, I don’t have a fear of falling in love, in fact, I would like to experience how it is to be desperately, hopelessly, madly in love. And I wish for my heart to be broken once so I know how it feels when others talk about heartaches, sorrows, and pain of loving too much.
Neil Gaiman said:
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.
I want to experience that too. To be vulnerable, to be utterly messed up by someone else, to fall so hard it feels like I’ve been hit by a truck or dropped from a thirteenth-floor window. Haruki Murakami described falling in love as intense, a veritable tornado sweeping across the plains—flattening everything in its path, tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shreds, crushing them to bits. I want that kind of feeling just once so I can relate with those who know how it is like to have your throat cut.
I can only say I have waited for you
through western nights
at bus stops
and the gallows of tears
And then you came
through the forlorn cities of Europe
I recognized you
I set out the table for you
with wine with bread with mercy
but imperturbably you turned your back
you detached your sex, laid it down on the table
and without speaking a word
with your own smile
abandoned the world
— by Ingrid Jonker
I do not have proof.
But, I know it happened. I know because I remember. I know because I was there.
I was six going on seven. I remember what time of year it was—summer—and I remember it was at a party or maybe it was a picnic. I remember it happened in my own backyard behind my house.
It happened with people laughing and talking and drinking in the distance—not watching, but right under their noses. It happened in the woods, in broad daylight.
I remember it was quick. I remember his mouth coming down on mine, how he grabbed and squeezed my little girl face. I remember being pinned against a large rock. I remember his hand, how he put my small hand beneath his big one and worked himself over. How he shoved his big fingers up inside me and told me I would like what we were doing a lot more when I was older.
I remember running away and hiding in my bedroom. I remember that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get enough air, and I wanted to vomit, so I did, right in my mouth—the taste sharp and sour when I swallowed it back down.
I remember how terrified I felt. I remember being mute, unable to speak, holding my words hostage inside my belly, a belly filled with bile. I remember I had no idea what the f*ck just happened to me. Or why it happened.
Because I was six.
I remember the pain between my legs—but no, I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t have the proof you are looking for, but does it count—is my story “credible”—if I tell you about the blood? Because I remember the blood. I’m sorry I didn’t save my underwear. And I’m sorry I don’t remember what time it was, but I remember his bad breath and his curled, wet lips.
Does it count if I remember this? Will you believe it happened if I told you exactly what he said? How he snarled and told me he would kill me if I said anything to anyone? How he called me a f*cking brat as I ran away from him? Does any of that count as proof?
I’m sorry I didn’t talk about it. To anyone. What I told my mother that day was I had a stomachache. That I didn’t feel good. I didn’t talk about it that day or at all until I was 45 years old. I still don’t talk about it.
Tell me, was I supposed to keep my underwear locked in a box, tucked away like a keepsake so I could pull it out in the future to prosecute my attacker, someone I knew, someone who would deny my story, call it crazy, call me crazy, and tell everyone I was lying?
Was I supposed to ask someone how to spell his name so I could write it down on a piece of paper? A piece of paper I could put inside the box, pinned to my underwear? Tell me, what was the best way for a six-year-old to handle the situation?
I can tell you how I suppressed it, though. How I buried the memory. How I held it down, muffled it so that it wouldn’t kill me. How it tried to kill me for years and years, and how I fought with it—my demon memory. How I carried it around inside my body. How I ate and ate and tried to stuff it down in order to control it.
And how it just kept coming back up again. How it still does.
If a branch fell on a woman walking alone in the woods, and she told you about it 32 years later, would you believe her? Maybe you would because she could point to a scar on her arm if she had one. If she had a scar, one that you could see, she could call it proof.
7.6 billion people inhabit the planet. Roughly half are women. One in four women and girls have been or will be sexually assaulted, which is close to one billion women.
When will one billion women be enough proof?
We don’t carry proof around in our purses waiting for just the right moment to “ruin” our attacker’s life. We carry it in our hearts and in our heads.
Our assaults come along for the ride in every relationship we ever have. We carry them on our hips and in our bellies when we turn to food to cope. We carry them in pill containers and wine bottles. They sit next to us in AA meetings. They’re tucked into the folds of our divorce papers.
We carry them like rocks in a sock and we wield them as weapons with our sudden bursts of pent up anger and unexplained rage.
We are labeled moody and troubled and bitchy and unpredictable. We put our proof in a bag and we drag it to our therapy sessions where it sits on the floor, heavy, next to our feet. We pass it down to our children, our daughters—like toxic heirlooms.
Our dysfunction, our depression, our damage are the gifts that keep on giving.
Don’t talk to me or any other survivor of sexual assault about proof. The proof is often invisible, but we are not. We are right under your noses.
A proof is in the moment that haunts us forever, the thing we cannot forget.
We do not “have” proof, we are the proof. Because we were there one billion times over.
~ AUTHOR: KIMBERLY VALZANIA
I know how it goes. I have been there, and I will probably be there again.
You’re sitting around, usually at night, and you’re alone.
Earlier that day, maybe something reminded you of them—a song popped up on a playlist, a girl in line at Target looked like her, a mutual friend brought up his name. Being reminded of your ex can happen in a million different ways, and when it happens we can’t stop thinking about them: the good times we shared, the amazing sex, all the things we should have done, everything that still remains unsaid.
It can be easy to fool ourselves into thinking that maybe they were “the one” and they got away.
That’s when we take to social media to find them again and see what they’re doing, or if they’re single, or if the new partner is hotter than we are (they always are). We may still cherish their number in our phones, or start poring over old texts and emails, looking for a sign that there’s still some kind of a connection.
None of the above.
I say leave it alone, because realistically it’s rare that a relationship can be rekindled successfully. So here are my 10 good reasons not to contact your ex:
When my ex fiancé dumped me, I made a vow never to contact him again because I didn’t want to be the pleading, pathetic, crazy-looking ex. I’d lost a lot with that relationship, but the one thing I knew I could keep was my dignity, and in the midst of a really bad time, that felt good.
We don’t always need “closure” for everything,
and chances are we aren’t really going to get it. The need for whatever closure is, is actually a need to control our circumstances. Accept that we have no control, and live in peace. Allow the distance and separation to heal old wounds, rather than reopening them under the guise of seeking “closure.”
The past no longer exists.
It’s gone. We’ve already lived those moments and replaying them in our heads isn’t healthy or realistic. Don’t dwell on what lies behind you and don’t try to manipulate a future that is based on past expectations. Keep moving forward one present moment at a time. Let life unfold as it will and be pleasantly surprised.
They are exes for a reason.
Chances are, there were plenty of valid reasons why the relationship ended, and most likely, all of those reasons are still there. People rarely change as much as we want or need them to. I realize this sounds cynical, but it’s unfortunately true and it’s better to play it safe and stay away rather than reopen that Pandora’s box of dysfunction.
Resist the urge to write yourself in as the hero of your own tragic love story.
The plots of most romantic comedies involve star-crossed lovers who are continually prevented from being together for a variety of ridiculous reasons, until the end of the story when they finally realize they are meant to be. There is usually a big, climactic declaration of love that takes place at an airport at the last minute before someone is about to leave forever as if phones and emails don’t exist. Good for entertainment, totally ridiculous for real-life, healthy relationships. You are not living in a movie, so stop acting as if you are.
It’s okay to let go.
Period. Think of how light and free you will be. The feeling of finally being over something is ecstasy. Celebrate the miracles yet to come.
We always view the past through a lens of idealism.
We tend to remember the good stuff, and dismiss our ex’s irritating, annoying, or just plain awful qualities. Hindsight has a way of softening things. Try to be realistic about how much of a jerk you thought he was while you were a couple. Think about some of her truly unacceptable behaviors. Don’t get mixed up in that again.
Our exes aren’t really our soulmates.
I don’t really believe in the fairy-tale idea that we have one true love. I think we have several potential soul mates and in a lifetime we can have a lot of different kinds of romantic experiences. The soul mate myth holds us back and keeps us from having a more open mind and open heart about other people and other types of love that are waiting for us to enjoy and learn from.
This is usually more about our own egos than it is about loving someone else.
When we feel compelled to reach out to an old flame, before we act impulsively, it’s a good idea to look at what may be the real underlying cause of our urge. Are we feeling insecure, disappointed, or sad about something? Do we think that maybe this person can help us feel better about ourselves or validated in some way? We likely miss the comfort and familiarity of an old relationship. Do we just want to see if we still “have it” or do we potentially like the sense of power we may be able to yield over our ex’s attraction for us?
Someone is probably going to get disappointed.
Case in point, that time my favorite ex contacted me, for God knows what reason, and I got all excited and thought he was going to profess undying love for me, but instead he asked me if I wanted to have dinner with him and his new girlfriend the next time he was in town, which is absolutely not my idea of a fun-filled evening. It’s possible that we may contact our ex out of curiosity, or friendliness, or to apologize, without seeking to reconcile a relationship with them. But what if they’ve been hoping all along to hear from us and to be with us again? It is unkind to potentially mess with someone’s head this way. On the other hand, what if we are getting back in touch because we are still looking for a relationship, only to find that they are no longer interested? We should try to spare ourselves that suffering too.
When we once had a connection with someone it can be difficult to extinguish that spark, even if it existed more in our imagination than in reality. But it’s important to evolve bravely rather than cling stubbornly to past relationships. Let them be completed, and move on rather than trying to go back and contact ex-loves.
~by Victoria Fedden
“I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.”
I can’t bring in words how deep this quote from Sylvia Plath resonate with me. I know it all too well, the fear of missing out__ what exactly? For there is nothing a lot going on out there in the night unless you’re one of those people who love to party till___. Yet, that nagging feeling persists, that I supposed to be doing___ what____ instead of engaging with some useless occupation like sleep. When I’m feeling drowsy due to the lack of sleep, still I fight it, scared that something wonderful will happen while I’m dozing off, that I’m going to waste time by going to bed, and time is precious and fleeting I supposed to be using it to do something remarkable, important, lasting… and what is exactly that? I have no idea. All I know is I want to go somewhere, anywhere, see new things watch people visit new places do exciting things, anything as long as it makes me feel brand new and alive and elated and fuelled inspired content and for the moment happy. Am I crazy? Probably so. But so what?
“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”
Why it reminds me of a May-December love affair? Or a gigolo manipulating and conning older women for personal gain? Or the grandmother of D. who fell in love with her nurse and holds onto her unshakable faith in his innocence and integrity even after he was convicted and found guilty of cheating his patients out of their money and valuables. Or my mother falling head over heels with one of my boyfriends she was inconsolable and remained in bed for three weeks on ends when he and I broke up. She refused to cook since then till the day she died. Funny people.
He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.
If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.
Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.
But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.
I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.
Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.
I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.
And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.
Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.
And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a told story,
an ending example.
But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
He looks at you
the same way
I see him.
take care of him.