The First Heartbreak

“Be sad that it’s over and happy it happened.”

B.J.

My mom used to be married to a man who said he couldn’t wait until I experienced my first heartbreak. I used to hate that a man twice my age would wish such hurt into my life.

Now, I’m kind of happy it happened. I am going to come out of this stronger, more care free, and more in tune with my emotions. This heartbreak is helping me be okay with feeling.

I’ve been reading Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, and there’s a part of the book that says “It’s possible to go months without seeing a longtime friend and still feel close to them, but new friends require steady investment.” I thought we were still steadily investing.

Now I can’t help but wonder: are you consistently hurting me because I hurt you? How? Why? What did I say? What did I do? I’m consistently torn between feeling the need to apologize and wanting to cry my eyes out from pure frustration.

As I deal with a new part of my heart falling apart, I keep switching between the same emotions: anger, sorrow, remorse, & gratitude.

Anger.

All of a sudden, there’s no communication. Everything’s a secret. Your voice lowers when I come around, like I already didn’t know more than the average individual about your life.

My bad for thinking we understand each other. Woops, thought we were closer.

You arrived with the intention to remain distant and disconnected, and it took this heartbreak to figure that out. The honeymoon phase was over, and you flipped the switch, made it known that I was just another temporary thing in your life.

I hate that I find you in everywhere I look around me. That you avoid my eyes. That I still want to hang out with you, but you seem so out of reach.

I hate that you’ve left me with so many questions and won’t answer them.

Do you know what I hate the most? Despite the silence and emotional turmoil, I would still welcome you back into my life with open arms.

Sorrow.

It feels like there’s no pain greater than this pain. I thought there was no one more perfect for my life, more in tune with my thoughts, values, morals, beliefs. We connected so quickly and deeply that I thought it must be fate.

There was a post on Facebook that said, “Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through expectation.” This, along with many other things, activated my floodgates. I tried so hard to not have any expectations for you, given my track record of being let down, yet look at where we ended up; I guess I failed at not having expectations.

I know I’ll never stop caring about you; I think I love you a little too much to ever do that. But, I’m done wondering how every aspect of your life is going. If I see you, I’ll pretend like I don’t, like you keep doing to me. If you want to pretend that we never existed in each other’s lives, fine. Yes, it rips my heart apart.

What’s even more heartbreaking is you were the one to initiate the first conversation we’ve shared, and you were the one to end the entire connection; I was fine before the past few months happened. Now I can’t help but wonder: was I just being strung along? Every time I see you and the thought passes, it takes everything in me to swallow the sorrow, even for a millisecond.

Remorse.

Maybe I spoke the end of us into existence, and I hate myself for it. Though, I wish you would fight a little bit more; instead, it seems like you gave up first.

I keep finding myself thinking about everything that’s wrong with me, all the out of pocket stuff I probably said. Guilt has consumed me for the past couple of months, especially since I don’t know what I actually said or did (gosh, I hate ghosting). For a while, it felt like you were robbing me of the opportunity to improve without telling me, whether indirectly or directly, what went wrong.

No matter how much guilt I feel about literally everything, I refuse to let you make me feel bad for having a loud mouth, for being obnoxiously loud with my laugh. My laugh brings other people joy, and that fills a special hole in my heart your laughter once filled.

I am learning to not feel guilty for the way things went down. As with anything involving two people, I played a part in whatever happened. Though I think this is completely on you, considering you shut everything down, I will take ownership in whatever part I played.

Gratitude.

Thank you for your lack of communication. Even though I don’t know what I said or did to cause such a riff, I am going to come out of this more independent, and I have you to thank for that. Thank you for being my first heartbreak and teaching me that, truly at the end of the day, I only have myself.

Thank you for showing me the kind of people I need in my life, the kind of partnership and big friendships I deserve.

I stopped sleeping so I wouldn’t feel nor remember. The memories are too sweet and making the confusion & hurt worse. I can hear your voice in my dreams or when I’m by myself or when I’m dealing with my family, and though our dynamic is no longer, it brings me comfort. I’m taking the comfort you provided, treasuring it, and running with it.

You brought me so much joy, even when we had a disagreement or had our moments of confusing communication; at least we were communicating.

If fate shall have it, we’ll reconnect one day, but I’m done stressing and overthinking about it.

To the man who unknowingly broke my heart,
I love you, and I will never stop caring about you.
Thanks for the clarity. Sorry I trusted you.

about the author

Jamilah is a college graduate in her early twenties who wants to live and learn and love herself while fighting the anxiety fight.

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