The stages of a break-up.
We’re probably familiar with what they are or may have at least heard of them, but they’re the different transitions we go through with our minds and emotions that are really on the verge of a break-DOWN, depending on how involved you are with your significant other, boyfriend or husband. I’m not really interested in the transitions from one to the next but really, the first couple of days after a break-up.
How are you feeling? Hurt, angry, lonely, confused or numb. Blind-sided, guilty (depending on if it was something YOU did) or stupid.
Whatever flows out of the flood gate of emotions, I think that within the first 72 hours of a major blow-up or getting dumped (or being the dumper0, a gag order should be in place. As I still have comments rolling in about my last two posts like last minute absentee ballots trying to have their votes counted, I realize that our urge(sorry ladies, we’re really the ones guilty of this) to share what is going on in our romantic lives probably should be kept to ourselves. At least within the first 72 hours.
Why? I’ve come up with three reasons.
Well first and foremost, in the hours and sometimes days following, a person can be very emotional and very raw. We all know that things pretty much went up in flames with me and Rescue 911 last week (pun intended) and before the end button was pressed ending a heated exchange with him, the send button was pressed initiating a phone call to “The System”. You know the support system known as my girlfriends.
More heated than anything, I recanted the story like it was the latest episode of a soap opera. Chop full with all of the theatrics: pitch, tone and body movement as I took my girls through chapters 1 through 3 which entailed the day and a half of drama which beginning with Rescue’s background, my early morning question and this shitty reaction. Chapters 4 through 7 outlined my attitude of concern, which was stomped out by his attitude of callousness and minimalistic explanation. Finally, chapters 8 through 11 outlining how a text conversation of something so important can lead up to the final curtain call which was my Dear John letter because no, there is no gray area with me and yes, I had to have the last word.
What I didn’t mention in all of my bad chick bravado, the tears. They came in waves, annoying dry heaves and at times I wasn’t sure if I was crying out of frustration or being sad. In fact now that I think of it, those were really tears out of anger.
So what’s my second reason for saying a gag order should be in effect immediately after a break-up?
Solicited feedback you don’t want to hear and unsolicited feedback you really don’t want to hear. Sure, there were a few things being told to me (more like force fed) that may have been true like the riskyness of the situation but seriously, I think the things I was hearing from the System made me feel worse than the situation itself.
I know what you may be thinking, that this is an easy fix because if I didn’t want the feedback I should (1) keep things to myself and (2) probably shouldn’t be blogging about it. Guilty as charged but regardless, but when you feel like your heart has just been snuffed out and that time and energy have been wasted on a failed situation, the last thing you want to hear while you’re still trying to develop a scab for this newly formed wound would be: “You deserve better”, “It’s his loss”, “You should have known…”, “He’s an idiot”, “You’ll find someone else”, “Get back out there” or “His penis was small anyway”.
The last one was totally made up but you catch my drift. Yet still, within the first couple of hours I was all over the place with emotions ranging from violence (seriously, I envisioned my laptop magically leaving the dresser, flying through the air and landing in the middle of his forehead) to fear of having wasted precious time. Hearing nothing but negative things about him or the relationship? Too much, too soon.
Finally, my third reason for keeping it shut within a few short days after you’ve broken up – things CHANGE.
People argue, fuss and fight all of the time but like Ike and Tina, sometimes find their way back to each other to work it out. I think for me is probably the worst part of any situation and I know I’m guilty of having done the SAME thing to a friend within just a couple of days of her breaking things off with her beau. While the circumstances weren’t the same, she really cared for the guy in spite of the red flags, he did something (is it any surprise the men are always goofing up?) that caused her to say bye-bye and then she shared the story with me, sounding like she was in the dumps. Needless to say, I did all of the above by telling her she should heed this, don’t do that, stay away, blah blah blah.
Instead, what I should have done was listen realizing that with things having gone awry in her seemingly great love life just a few days ago, all she probably wanted was just an ear to listen without offering advice or criticism.
Lesson learned in both instances.
Until there’s a cure for the hangovers…