There was a bad breakup, sort of. It was eight months ago. I’m past it now. But I had to experience that for the first time. I don’t think I handled it as well as I could.
At the time I couldn’t grasp that maybe it wasn’t anybody’s fault. Maybe I just wanted to be with the person for longer than they wanted to be with me. But accepting things that you don’t want to happen is really, really hard.
It’s like: ‘Why do they get to walk around, and keep living their life, while I’m miserable all the time?’ It didn’t seem fair. So I might have reacted in a way that was disproportionate, to make the person feel more guilty than they needed to.
Sometimes that’s your only recourse when someone hurts you: feeling aggrieved, and making it known. Not that it keeps you from suffering. But there is a sense of power in it.
It allows you to redistribute the pain that you’re feeling. You can make their life a hassle for a bit, hurt their feelings, and tell everyone they’re a big asshole.
When the truth is: maybe they were just living their life, trying their best, and you got hurt. There’s not always a villain. Sometimes you just get fucked up by somebody exercising their own autonomy.
This particular photo essay from Humans of New York generated so many insightful comments from the readers. Here are some of them:
“This is the most self-aware post I’ve ever seen. What a perfect way to summarize what happened. It’s clear you’ve gained immeasurable growth in this experience. Well done! Wishing you much future happiness.” – Melanie Allgood Hygema
“Forgive yourself. YOU WILL BE JUST FINE. These are the 5 most powerful words when someone is going through a breakup that I wish they would hear and believe. I’ve been there. I think most of us have. At the end, we come out wiser, and hope that the next time, it’s better. Forgive yourself first and foremost. Allow yourself to heal. Allow yourself to grow. Allow yourself to be. Finally, allow yourself to live, and happily. To anyone going through it at the moment reading this.. You have a very high level of emotional intelligence. You will be just fine” – Mohammad JD
“First, this photo looks like a classic painting. Second, I love her mature self-awareness and wisdom.” – Cindi Gale
“I feel this deeply. More so with friends that have left, than romantic partners. I was raised knowing couples break up or divorce, but I was not at all prepared for the notion that sometimes friends grow apart or leave.” – Meg Meg Birch
“Sometimes it feels so much better to place the blame somewhere… that it really is someone’s fault. But that is not always the case, and it takes a LOT of maturity to realize that. It doesn’t make it hurt any less, but hopefully, it will help you begin to heal. Best of luck to you.” – Allie O’Brien Lovette
“Not every person is a villain. Pain will happen and it isn’t always someone’s fault. I think it’s our way to find someone to blame instead of accepting the truth. I’m still learning despite being immature & bratty sometimes lol but I’m learning to not hold anyone accountable. I’m becoming happier because of it. I can let go without feeling guilty or causing guilt. Focus the energy on yourself. Focus on love & positivity.” – Marlene Romero
“This is accurate and painful honesty. That takes some growth so the relationship wasn’t a waste because there are clearly some lessons that have been learned. I hope they can take this experience and allow it to help them navigate future relationships, or at least to have a better understanding of themself.” – Brandi Anfield
About the author:
This story first appeared on Humans of New York Facebook page and is published here with permission. For more amazing stories and photography buy the book HUMANS by Brandon Stanton.
(If you wish to submit an essay (reflections on life), personal story (inspirational or humorous) or something that you witnessed that inspired you, please go HERE.)