Finished reading part 1?
If you’ve just stumbled on this post, then I’d suggest you to read this first. 🙂
Welcome to part 2!
The dating incident didn’t allow me to think straight for a while. Partly, perhaps because for the three of four years of my uni life I didn’t go out much for most time and I wasn’t used to dealing with such things. Last year was my fourth and final year, and in this period I wasn’t only struggling with academic difficulties, I was looking for part-time work to manage the financial stress of covering up my fee shortfall and on top of all that I was dealing with my mental health. Often, I didn’t just miss my parents, but I just went numb, my thoughts working tirelessly, I working to avoid them and focus on more important things to do, I couldn’t deal with broken heart emotions adding onto it all. All sorts of questions, self-doubt, negative feelings were now rising and out of nowhere, I was thinking, ‘what did I do wrong?’ While my best friends told me it wasn’t my fault, I still couldn’t stop blaming myself. Thankfully, rather than sitting around I had new ways of coping with this numbness and mental barriers. Since, it now began to leave me more frustrated as I dislike not being able to do things just because of my mental barriers so I just hit the gym to do some power workout or just punch the bag or if I can’t go to the gym then there’s dance therapy. I blast the music in my ears (loud enough to not make me deaf) and just dance clumsily or as recently I’ve been doing; I just contact a friend to hang out for a bit. Depending on my mood, each of them make me feel way better.
So, with the date not going well and my mind going haywire after getting to know several things. One day tired of all the petty feelings growing bigger in my head, I sat down to talk to myself. It may sound crazy but it’s the best thing to do when you’re most conflicted. My conversation with myself was somewhat along the lines of ‘There’s way more important things that need to be done now. You can’t stop now, not when we’ve come so far. I knew there was a chance this won’t work, I knew the guy was a little messed up previously, I even knew all the warnings other girls came to give me and at that point I did tell myself that if it didn’t work out I won’t let it affect me. So, think back calmly, even after knowing most things about him, even after girls coming to you telling you their experience why did you choose to go out with him?’ The simple reply I had given to myself earlier was that I was giving him a chance. But now that I was thinking, I had to accept the fact that that was just one part of the truth. The other part was that I was giving myself a chance too. A chance to feel wanted by someone who’s not my sibling or best friend, I guess. Every single person out in the world knows that there are days when you are surrounded with people in relationships talking about their partners or just see their social media etc. etc., even though you may have everything or you may be trying to figure out your own life but a part of you wishes you had someone you could come home and cuddle with after a long tiring day. I guess I liked this guy so much that I started fantasising such little things. Realising that, my next question was ‘ok… but you’ve got a family that loves you so why is it that you want to feel wanted by some stranger?’ My heart simply replied, ‘I don’t know, I’ve just felt lonely for a long time.’ Why the loneliness though? you’ve had everything you ever wanted. A nice room with your favourite coloured walls, some nice new friends at uni, good times, and most importantly a free life.
This was when it hit me. I backtracked to all those years when my mom was excessively protective for me. It was right after dad passed away; she would say no to everything I asked for leading me to never ask for anything. Later I got into sports, but she wasn’t comfortable to let me go to the tracks to practice. She wouldn’t let me out much, if I went out to play, she’d be angry, if my friends called at home, she’d snap at them asking them if they had no study to do leading to none of them ever calling me again. There were very few moments when she allowed herself to trust me for little things, usually it was after she would refuse and break her promises leading me to cry and fight. I eventually got tired of fighting for everything and stopped asking her for anything and when I did, it would depend on her mood. But here and there if I ever mentioned any little thing to my sisters like wanting a watch or a dress for school Christmas party or just some chocolates, they’d always somehow remember like our dad did for them. However, by the time I was 16-18, my silence, cooperation and just being there for mom with any expectations of getting anything in return changed her behaviour tremendously. I rarely asked for anything and when I did, she’d happily get me.
This isolation of mine was also self-inflicted. At 16 years old, one of my so-called best friends, somehow managed to turn all my school friends against me. My very first experience of an actual “betrayal”. She had been excessively good to me but later I found out she’d bitch a ton lot and an incident of my friends getting on a conference call saying things I didn’t expect led me to shut myself out to everyone. I had just given my 10th ICSE boards exams and was considering changing my school. The reason we gave everyone was different to what my personal reason was. At my old school, there were several hurting memories that I didn’t want to relive every day, so I thought changing school was the best option for a change of environment would help me forget things overtime. One year later, another friend of mine did something awful that left me numb for at least two days. By this time, I had grown closer to mom, she couldn’t handle my silence much, so she’d speak too but not like the old times when she’d go on ranting for an hour. She just said a few meaningful words, but she’d understand my reactions more if I was even listening or if I knew already.
In retrospect, I’m very thankful to these events. They not only gave me a reason to get closer to mom, but they kept on teaching me new lessons then and even now. In retrospection, I also have come to understand mom’s fears and how difficult it was for her being all by herself taking care of me while working an 8 hour job Monday-Friday, doing all the grocery shopping most of the time, later after I was 15 taking me along to drive. In all that mess of her own difficulties she made a mistake of letting her fears rule her judgements. The first time I got angry realising these things, I called her hypocritic for being a strong woman herself, fighting all odds and telling us to be financially independent as soon as possible but never really letting us out fearing that we are frail girls in a society where we had to show we’re in desperate need rather than demand what was fair. I had’t ever realised how her fears made me mentally frail in several ways, but the good thing is that now that I’m aware of what happened I make an effort to change it all. It may take me some time to get out of the conditioning of her fears’ aftereffects and of all the isolation of 6 years that I conveniently got used to but at least I have begun to fight my mental barriers.
This gift of finding a piece and the root of cause of almost all my troubles from my date’s actions, that caused me a lot of pain and perhaps a second heartbreak, is something I am actually secretly excessively grateful for.
Also, there’s another thing, sometimes you come across people whom you observe to have certain qualities that you realise you have as well. Even though previously plenty many people around you have pointed these qualities out several times but you only understand them when it somehow affects you.
So, I’d conclude that yes, loving has been hard and losing has been even harder. Once you love and lose, you may start to guard yourself and that’s ok. As Hopper wrote to Eleven (Stranger Things 3), ‘Make mistakes, learn from them and when life hurts you – because it will – remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave.’
My childhood and ongoing experiences have helped me not only become a better version of myself but have also helped me share my thoughts with my close friends who sometimes go through similar incidents. So, I want share some things with you that the universe has helped me understand:
- Take your time to acknowledge how you feel. There will be times when people around you will tell you their opinions when you ask for it and and even when you don’t, but you’d only hear not listen. That’s because your heart/mind has other thoughts, other ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. So, ask yourself questions, prodding ones that make to reply to yourself and then help you make decisions. Never rush it, take as much time as required.
- Do listen to those you know would give you an honest opinion. This one is hard, one of my friends almost gave up on me but he continues to be honest to me because he knows I need it and for which I can’t ever repay him.
- Experience, lessons and growth only comes by going through it, not by running away from it. In my experience, every time I ran from my pain, I only delayed the process of my growth. In order to grow in life (in terms of wisdom not age), it is important to go through the happy, sad and excruciatingly painful events of life. It will never be easy, but in my experience it has been worthwhile. Scary… but worthwhile.
- Don’t force your lessons onto someone else. Everyone has their own way of experiencing life and learning. Most of us go through quite similar events of life but all of us dealt with them slightly differently and that’s ok. You don’t have to follow someone, and no one has to follow you. It should be your and their choice to do so.
- Even though life is short, but it doesn’t mean to do stupid shit by giving yourself that excuse. Do things when you feel right not when you feel desperate. Try things because you want to try them not because your friends have all done it. Say things you mean not because you think they need to be said for someone else to only hear/listen. Don’t say things you don’t mean just to later say “I was only angry and didn’t mean it”. If in anger you said mean things to hurt someone, you definitely meant to hurt them. There is no excuse of being “angry enough to say it”.
- Make the choice for yourself only. Make the right choice is an ambiguous way of saying do the right thing. But what is the right thing? The right thing is when you consider your mental happiness but aren’t inflicting any physical or mental pain to anybody else. Right thing would be when it’s the matter of your life, your heart and your mind and no one is really affected by your choice and that judgement you’ll have to make. You can never make the right choice for anybody so don’t even try but do it. Encourage people to follow their hearts by asking meaningful questions that’ll help them answer their own dilemmas.
- Be open to loving and accepting love in any form. Love isn’t only from a stranger bonding with you to form a romantic relationship. Love is between siblings, between best friends, good friends, friends with whom you haven’t defined your friendship levels but you’re simply comfortable sharing most things no matter what their gender is. Love is between you and your parents, your grandparents etc. etc. etc. Love hard and when it feels you’re only loving and not receiving much, pause your giving and focus on where you’re receiving it the most. Try being content with that and when you can continue giving again. You need to be able to see the abundance of that one love that could be only from your siblings. And never forget that a love that has helped you grow is the truest love of all and would never ever come easy.
- Share your deepest darkest secrets only with people you feel comfortable with. 😉
That’s all for now. Keep shining and keep living! ❤