Note: Even though the title is Goodbye’s, it’s where I’m choosing to start my new journey. With every goodbye comes a new beginning. And that’s exactly where I find myself now.
The day had come. One last lunch together then I’d be leaving my almost 4 year relationship.
Was I really going to do this? Could I do this?
I had to. It was what was best for us both. At least that’s what I think.
I only started seeing my therapist more than a month ago, but it’s already proven to be the best choice I have ever made. Along with therapy, a fight that shook me and gave me the final blow I was going to take, gave me the courage to finally do what needed to be done.
Our relationship was good at the best of times, but tragic at the worst. And the worst happened way too often. I was broken, and it was time to heal.
So I finally made the decision to leave. I knew I had to be the one to walk away. I knew I should have left years ago, but I could never seem to. She always told me that if I ever leave she’d end her life. That was one of the reasons I didn’t feel like I could leave. But it was now or never.
Loading up my car with all I owned, everything felt unreal. Not only was I leaving my relationship, I was moving to a whole new city. Moving in with my parents until I can get on my feet. Starting over. Writing the next chapter of my life.
I’ll never forget the face of the woman I love as I pulled out of the driveway. It took every ounce of strength I had, to not go back, gather her into my arms and tell her how sorry I am. That I’ll stay.
Driving away, a dream like cloud settled over me. And then nothing. I was out of the town when I realized I had just lost 30 minutes. In my own world. A blank world.
The one person I wanted to hug goodbye more than anyone else, was my therapist. Even though she has agreed to continue working with me through Skype, she was the most difficult to walk away from. I wonder what she would have done the day of our last session if I had tried to hug her. Would she have pushed me away? Would she have been mad? Or would she have allowed it, if only for a second? I’m too afraid to ask her. I might not like the answer.
One thing I’ve found is that with every loss, memories of previous losses seem to flood my mind until they become one coherent whole. They all seem to merge. Until all I’m left with is the overwhelming feeling of abandonment and rejection. The pictures all disappear. “Faces” disappear. Events and moments disappear. Only feelings remain… My mind a black hole. Once the tears have dried, the emptiness takes over.
With all the goodbyes I’ve had to say in my life, I’ve learned something. There’ll always be portions of your heart that belong to everyone you had to let go of, and they rest there. But the pain gets better. There will forever be moments when you miss someone so much and wish you could go back and change things, but they become fewer and further between. And as I mentioned above, for me, there are moments of intense longing for someone (or a few people) that still feels raw years after, but I get through them. Maybe it’s the same for you. Eventually you realize that things worked out the way they had to. Although I know this is something that a person doesn’t want to think about in the moment, and is often hard to comprehend.
Goodbye’s are painful. They are terrifying.
But once we’re on the other side, we just might see the ‘good’ in the bye.