Then Her Heart Hardened

I have some very important information for all you out there in cyberspace: break ups suck. It has been over a week now since Army blindsided me and I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt more drained. I’ve arrived, however, to the point where I am sick and tired of all things lovey-dovey. I find myself glaring at couples I pass, I laugh maliciously at sweet little notes found on Pinterest, and if another rom-com movie trailer is played on my TV, I swear I’m going to go live in a cave somewhere. I am just sick of love. And I’m sick of caring.

***EDIT: Okay, so this post was written on Monday, June 29 and scheduled to be posted on Friday, July 3. It is now Wednesday, July 1 and I’ve realized something crucial: I am stronger than the girl I was on Monday. However, instead of simply deleting this text and moving forward, I’m going to let it post. But not without a bit of editing to be shared at the end. For anyone going through a break up experience right alongside of me, take note. In only two days I’m already better! So onto the original post…

I went out Saturday night with some of my best girlfriends. It was meant to be an evening of fun and laughter and girl time, and for the majority it was. However, being a good looking group of girls, the night proceeded to bring numerous guys. By the time we left the second bar, I had six drinks bought for me, four of which I had to give away (you’re welcome, ladies from Cadillac) on account of needing to drive home safely. The night continued with me being poked, prodded, and forced to stand awkwardly close in order to hear their slurred, cheesy pick up lines. By the end of the night I was left with a banging migraine and an aching heart.

I felt the need to let my girlfriends know how much fun I had though. Perhaps this was to try and convince myself, but I think it was more so I wouldn’t hurt their feelings. They wanted me to have fun; that’s why they invited me out. They wanted me to forget; that’s why they kept pushing the night to continue. They wanted me to know how much they care, and though I am glad they do, in my heart I can’t seem to muster that kind of want in return. I just no longer want to care.

I keep being told things like, “Don’t let this harden your heart.” “Get out and just meet someone else.” “He isn’t worth the pain.” “You’re far too amazing to even care.” And I appreciate the support, I really do, but I can’t help but feel that the advice is falling on deaf ears. I feel so drained of all feelings right now. I’m just… empty. I feel as if I allowed myself to gain all this momentum into happiness and then crash into a wall. Just like a butterfly, I had burst out of my cocoon just to find my wings clipped. No matter how much I try to live day-by-day, the past and the future keep pounding me into a submissive, wallowing shell of a woman.

I thought that X was the pinnacle of the hurt in my life. Every person I dated following X left a bad taste in my life. They were liars, cheaters, immature bullies, and far-too hopeless romantics to be taken more seriously than a first date. The exception was Army. He broke every rule I had set for myself on the dating front; he was someone I could actually see myself being in a committed relationship. (I mean, just read Drag Out My Demons for the full disclosure of what Army was and is to me.) Then he broke my rule for relationships: I fell in love with him… and I told him! My one rule! Do not be the first one to say those three words. Yet I did. I feel like an absolute idiot for letting myself become so entwined.

Because, in the end, he too became the exact thing I feared: someone okay with leaving.

Sometimes I laugh at myself. This week I’ve been laughing a lot. Looking back, I’ve taken so much pride in things that make me weak. Caring about someone as much as I did (do) Army is a weakness. It’s a weakness that is physically, emotionally, and mentally harming me. And being one with a low tolerance to pain, I’m calling quits. I’m tapping out. I’m surrendering.

It’s time to just let it go. Let go of the care and the sadness and the feelings of need for anyone but myself. I’m sick of being the one continuously trampled upon. It’s time I thought about myself and focused on myself more than every other person in my life.

From here on out, I no longer care.

*** EDIT: Pathetic, right? Not even two days ago I was going to allow this one person to beat me into a raving, uncaring crone. I was going to enable this guy, who cast me aside for his own personal selfishness, to change me. For the worse, may I add. No, no, no…

Ashley, caring is not a weakness. Caring is actually one of the strongest ambitions a person can have. Seriously, look at the world. Were there more people who truly and genuinely cared about others, the world would not be turning the way it is now. No, caring is not a weakness, and you are far from being weak.

Today I was told by a friend that I am the most emotionally strong woman she knows. I have not felt very strong lately. But you know what? It’s been only a week since I was hit by a train of loss and grief. And within that week I have forced myself to smile through the tears, gone to work when all I felt like doing was crying, enjoyed time with family and friends, met new people, planned a short summer vacation, and simply continued living. All while refraining from reaching out to the one person that I wish were there for me at this time.

I’m not weak.

I’m incredibly strong. 

A caterpillar can become a butterfly after a lot of time and effort. However, no matter how hard a butterfly tries, it can never be a caterpillar again. Army helped me grow out of my cocoon and become the person I am today. I will be eternally grateful for his assistance. It is not possible, though, for me to diminish into a lowlier person. I will not let it become a possibility.

I will keep living my life as the “f****** amazing” person Army left. I will not stop caring, I will not stop feeling, and above all I will not stop being happy. This is simply a bump in the road, and though my heart still hurts, I know deep down that he’s the one who’s losing out. Not me.