Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Picking up the pieces after a break-up

She wears a morbid, sombre look on her face as she tries to re-live the ordeal she endured at the hands of the one person she trusted the most with her life.

For many of us, the stories of a jilted lover who had been betrayed by a partner are tales of pain and folly shared among friends over a couple of drinks, but for 27-year-old “Pinkie”, it is a harsh reality she will have to live with for the rest of her life, as her live-in boyfriend of the past 5 years who had been living with her under the same roof promised “forever” to another woman right under Pinkie’s nose.

Holding back tears, Pinkie relates how the man of her dreams tore her world apart when he blatantly lied to her for a whole year he lived with her while he prepared to wed another woman.

“For me it was a regular Tuesday; we woke up and got ready for work. As the car left the yard, he paused for a while looking at me, shaking his head.”

Pinkie explains that this gesture did not trigger anything because they were constantly at loggerheads regarding who should close the gate. Her boyfriend believed the passenger should close the gate while she believed no woman should ever have to close a gate in the presence of a man.

“Without a word, he stepped out of the vehicle to close the gate and we parted ways for the day only to come home to a half empty house later that evening.”

According to Pinkie, her man left absolutely no trace of himself but a miserable piece of paper explaining that he no longer loved her and that he wished her all the best for the future.

Taking a break to dry her tears and have a sip of water, she snorts and points out that at least the smell of his cologne lingered for a while after he left.

In pursuit of closure, Pinkie gathered all her strength to face the man who had broken her in so many ways that she felt life was not worth living anymore.

At their meeting, she brought along her sister and her ex-boyfriend brought along a mutual friend who, as Pinkie says, “tried his best to make sense out of the nonsensical saga”.

It was bad enough that the man he had loved for the past five years did not have the guts to tell her to her face that he was leaving, rubbing salt to the wound; it was at that meeting that Pinkie was informed of the impending nuptials.

“I gracefully bid the gentlemen farewell and walked away because my pride would not allow me to fall apart in front of that monster.”

And then the drama: following this break up, Pinkie explained that she developed destructive tendencies, not going to work, neglecting basic hygiene and finding ways to avoid sobriety in order to avoid dealing with the pain and betrayal she felt.

“There is no way of getting over a painful experience without allowing one’s self to feel the pain; avoiding it just delays the healing process,” explained Pinkie.

She further stated how the sight of happy couples revolted her and how she had turned into a cynical, sinister monster that was always too quick to point out the negatives of the happiest situations.

“All this went on until one day I looked outside and realised that while I was wallowing in my misery, life had gone on, a few malls had been built and the CBD had taken shape. No one and nothing cared that I was cooped up in my house drowning in my misery.”

The next step in her healing process involved seeking help from her family. As they are orphans, she explained that it was her sister who suggested she see a psychologist to help her workout her feeling.

“The typical African woman in me was reluctant to pour her heart out to a complete stranger so I instead talked to my sister who did better than any psychologist could have because she listened to me, she held me while I cried; she sat up late with me when I couldn’t sleep.”

Prior to this ordeal, Pinkie says that she had often considered the stories of people going through bad breakups as melodramatic attention seeking people until it hit home.

She got back up on her feet and started to live again and on the day of the wedding, looking like a million dollars, she went to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding just to gloat and show him what he had given up.

When narrating the story to a few of her friends, many advised her to sue him using Universal partnership and breach of promise but she decided otherwise since it would mean having to deal with the man over and over again.

Experts suggest that when the relationship ends, individuals experience not only pain over the loss of the partner, but also changes in their selves. The loss of the relationship has multiple psychological consequences, including the tendency for individuals to change the content of their selves and the feeling that their selves are subjectively less clear and even smaller.

Thirteen months down the road, Pinkie is glowing and happier now than she had ever been all her life and advices every woman out there who has been through this that they should allow themselves to feel the pain of losing a lover and that is the only way to get over him.

Regarding the prospects of a new relationship, Pinkie vehemently shook her head citing that she was not ready yet to trust anyone with her heart.

“Right now, I am focusing on my career, family and myself and will only pursue another relationship after I have completely healed and forgiven him – he almost broke me.”

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