When I was about 8 years old I won a cap from Donald Duck magazine. It was the first thing I ever won, and it was amazing. The cap was Donald’s face, and on it there was this little pouch you could put some money in. When my brothers, my friend Hans and I went to the swimming pool, I had to change in the girls’ locker room all alone. Being a shy and awkward little girl, this threw me off so much, that in my haste to not lose my companions, I left the cap with 10 guilders in it in the locker room.
To this day I still think about this cap with regret.
Recently, my boyfriend upgraded his title to ex-boyfriend. Guess he decided his life was definitely better without me in it. (The joke is on him, because I make everything 16% more awesome by just showing up. Fact!) I like to say it didn’t hurt, but since I take human stupidity, global warming and what Peter Jackson did to the Hobbit personal, imagine how I feel about someone leaving me I wanted to spend at least some part of my life with.
I don’t just handle it badly, I take it horrifically unwell. If you ever want to lose all you respect you had for me, date me for a while and then break up with me. Rejection is a strange land, and I don’t get the rules.
I know I’m not completely alone in that. Most people don’t handle break-ups very well. Human beings as a species are ill-trained in dealing with loss. Excluding elephants, we are the only species on the planet that create magical ceremonies around the end of things. Just so it makes the passing seem slightly more bearable. I guess it gives us the feeling we have some control over the situation. That life, in itself, is not some uncontrollable force set out to piss on your shoes and laugh whilst doing that.
And while breaking up is merely the death of a relationship, it comes with its own rules and ceremonies as well. And because I am so terrible at getting over shit, I have set up a few ground rules. So, while all my instincts may be wrong, there’s always something to fall back on and I got amazingly great at breakups by the sheer force of my resolve to not give them the enjoyment of my pain.
In fact, I got it down to a science. Or an Art form even..
Is that possible, you ask?
Yes. Do I ever not deliver on my promises? I’m pretty sure I’m a genius, and I’ve seen my own brain now and it’s pretty big….. so listen and learn.
Breakups…. 9 times our of 10, you see them coming. So make sure the other guy gets the rules. Be fucking, gut wrenchingly clear that if shit is going to go down… it will go down your way or the highway (which may be the only time, those two are the exact same thing).
My boyfriend broke up with me over Facebook. I guess he would have liked to have a platform to say how sorry he was. And he could have picked up the phone, but he didn’t. And now I’ve changed my phone number, deleted him from my Facebook, blocked him in whatsapp. In this day and age, that pretty much means he has no way of reaching me. He can try and email me, but all that will happens is that he gets a pointedly worded email as an auto response. His email will directly go into my trash. I don’t care about what he has to say because there’s no point.
Don’t listen to Adele, Duffy or fucking Mumford & sons. Things aren’t that bad. Not so bad you have to go down that road.
-Don’t torture yourself with all the good times. Those are gone. I can spend hours thinking about how he held me in the middle of the street when I couldn’t stop crying because my dog had just died… Or how I woke him after the first night I stayed over, at 6AM because it had been snowing and we took a walk through the empty park. But whatever, those days are long gone.
– So instead, I’m just fucking angry. Remember all the shit they pulled, and then some. Beautiful memories are for later. But for now, just hate them with the fury of a thousand suns. I make fucking lists… Like remember that time he ruined your birthday because he was so fucking depressed he could barely get out of bed. Or that time you nearly drank his pee because he pissed in a bottle rather than like a normal human being and you spend and hour hurling over the sink trying to get the smell of ammonia out of your nose. Remember all the times he could not bother to call you or text you back, but managed to update his Facebook status with some menial comment about whatever made him look cool. Yea, that guy… Not worth your pain.
– Don’t blame yourself. Not yet. You may have been the worst person ever and lessons must be learned. But that’s for later…. for now. You’re not the one doing the breaking up. You are the one being dumped. Which immediately gives you the moral high ground. So, whatever made them decide you are not for them… That’s because there is something wrong with them, not with you.
And since they are wrong and fucked up…Don’t talk to them. Not until you can look them square in the eyes and go… What the fuck did I ever see in you. Which may be quicker than you think. Thanks to the fact that every thing wrong in your life, is now all of the sudden their fault.
– Even if they want to talk to you, remember they have no claim on your time anymore. They lost that the moment they said goodbye. They may want to explain and make themselves feels great about leaving you. Fuck them. Their reasons may be as legit as they come. Not your problem. You don’t need to hear how he met the love of his life 3 days ago, or how his ex really is the one and you just helped him realize that. They don’t get to explain themselves. It doesn’t matter. In the end, what it comes down to is that they don’t want to be with you. Accept that. That is all the reason you need. You don’t need to hear anything to doubt or hate yourself. Trust me. You’re fine.
Don’t cry. — When I was at the height of being sick, I cried over everything. I couldn’t leave the house. Bawling. Couldn’t open a jar. Tear fest. Forgot to charge my phone. End of the world. Then one day, I decided it was silly. I was wasting my tears. (Like baby eggs, you only get so many in a lifetime. Don’t waste them) I made a deal with myself. If it wasn’t as bad as my dog dying of Cancer, it wasn’t worth my tears. And while writing this, I might be fighting them back… But I sure as hell won’t waste one, on a person who can barely do me the honors of breaking up with me. So don’t cry. They’re not crying over you. Smile instead. It feels better.
Stay busy. Sitting at home alone, crawling in bed, stuffing your face with junk food (or in my case, solitary drinking) may seem appealing… But it only leads to self loathing. And you’ll get fat, which means you’ll have to go to the gym… And if there is anything more depressing than going to the gym… I don’t know what it is. So instead, go out. Have fun. Make new friends. Joke around. Life is too fucking short to be sad.
Set a goal, or do something productively with yourself. Get a hobby, go on holiday, make a plan to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Because there’s two ways you can do it, you can get bitter or you can try and make the best of it. You decide which is more awesome.
Take care of yourself. Drinking is always my first escape. Unless when I’m not drinking. Getting high is a great option too. But know when to stop. If you find yourself with a heroin needle stuck in your arm in an alley six months from now, you have gone too far. Don’t forget to eat and sleep. Because
Know that things will get better some day, and you’ll not remember the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. So hang on to the lists you’ve made. Whenever you think you may want to be friends again. Read those goddamn lists, and decide if they’re worth it. In most cases, they are not. Or you’re just a better person than I am.
Get back all your stuff. It may seem like a tempting option to leave something precious back, so you have to see him one last time. And you’ll end up standing with your crap in front of his house, when he’s all cool and distant because he is fucking over you.
So if I could, I’d take everything that even has a smidgen of my DNA on it with me. I am fucking thorough. Not just your clothes, but letters, presents you gave him, presents he gave you, art work… Anything. Take it all back. Give back what is his as well. You don’t want him to come round knocking for it. Even when you really secretly do want that. Close that door as firmly as possible. Nail it shut, then bolt it, and poor it in cement, then bury it. But definitely make sure you have everything back. Especially the personal stuff. Lock them away in a box, with a note. One day when you’re dead and gone, the curator for the museum dedicated to you will open it up and be all like. Wow… What a treasure. And they will find a letter from you to them, completely tarnishing your ex’s reputation. So he’ll go down in the memory of the planet as a bunch of fucking assholes. He who laughs last is a fucking winner.
Tell your friends. Than shut the fuck up about it. Because you can go on for hours, and days and months about how much you’re hurting and how miserable you feel. But in the end, your ex will still be controlling your life from beyond the metaphorical grave of your relationship. You think they are crying and feeling miserable? No fucking way. So don’t do it. Suck it up. And shut the fuck up. It’ll be over a lot sooner that way.
Oh, but it’s OK to write bitter blog posts about it, Janneke? Yes, because I can do whatever the fuck I want. And if you want to comment or judge, I invite you to start your own blog and piss and whine about it there.