She smiled shyly the first time she brought me flowers-
They were my favorite colors.
She wanted me to remember
That someone was thinking about me
And that I was not alone as I navigated my grief.
I later took pictures of the bouquet from all different angles
And sent the photos to all my friends
Who were so impressed by such thoughtfulness
She smiled proudly the next few times she gifted me a flower arrangement
Some were roses of different sizes,
Others were seasonal blooms
The flowers were to honor our anniversaries,
Or to celebrate my accomplishments
I took pictures of all those flowers
And I changed their water daily
To extend the time I could admire them before they wilted
At some point, her smiles weakened
Sometimes even tears stained her cheeks,
When she handed me beautiful flowers
In an attempt to seek forgiveness,
To seek reassurance of my love for her
I always accepted the flowers graciously
And put them in a vase
To be admired until they died, or until they stank too much
The last time she brought me a bouquet, she was crying hysterically
She had been waiting an hour for me
And I had been waiting for weeks for things to improve between us.
Her shoulders slumped as she offered me the flowers
This time…I told her to keep them
She put them in a vase,
Placed the vase on her nightstand
And sent me a picture.
© 2019 Vic Romero
I’ve begun watching Sex and the City, and it is an addictive show. First of all, I love 90s/early 2000s shows, and I also love shows that center around a group of friends that I can connect with. Lately, I’ve been connecting with Miranda in Season 2, who so far is bitter in regards to dating. She is closed off to getting serious with someone because every person she dates proves to be scum.
While I am not dating casually and thus I am not meeting scumbags, I think I’ve become bitter and closed off to dating. One of my hometown friends pointed it out to me on the phone recently. She affirmed my suspicion that I need more time alone to heal, but she also warned not to be closed off to dating in the future. Unfortunately, I currently don’t envision myself being open-hearted anytime soon, especially considering how I’ve sabotaged my breakup healing process time and time again. It’s as if I keep picking at the scab, which causes it to hurt and bleed, yet I wonder why the scab is taking so long to heal…
Let me provide an example.
A few days before my sister graduated from college, I found out my ex was in a new relationship. While it has been about four months since our breakup, up until the week prior to her committing to someone new, we had been talking nearly daily.
Yes, I know that this was not the best way to handle a non-mutual breakup.
Unsurprisingly, we weren’t talking amicably as friends. She would confess that she missed me, that she still wanted to be with me, etc. I would reciprocate the feelings of missing her and still loving her, but I repeated that I stood by my decision to end things.
Anyway, finding out that she was with someone new caused me to completely lose all control over my emotions. Hysteria transformed to despair, and then to possessive jealousy that inspired me to hook up with my ex in her car after a night of bar-hopping together.
No, I don’t know what I was thinking because I wasn’t thinking.
I gradually came to accept the situation, albeit with some bumps that still need to be smoothed out. Those bumps are called nostalgia with a few dashes of illusion: I miss who I was when we were together, I miss how we were together, and most confusing of all, I miss who I thought she was and/or who I wanted her to be.
Clearly, I am not emotionally capable to casually date, let alone get seriously involved with someone. Instead, I want to spend time with my friends and family and mingle with new people. I want to focus on my full-time job, on teaching and studying yoga, on reading, and on creating. I think I’ve been pretty successful in doing these things, although it takes a lot more energy to do them rather than mindlessly watching TV, which was what I was doing previously.
When my energy feels low or when I get trapped in the nostalgia/illusion bumps, it’s helpful to reflect on why I ended things with her. There are a few reasons: I didn’t feel like I was being treated the way I deserved, no matter how many times we talked about our issues, and I didn’t want to be held back anymore. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy on our relationship, partially attributed to the fact that it had become taxing and toxic. Most importantly though, I broke things off because I wanted to focus completely on myself. I wanted to be selfish and I didn’t want to feel bad about it.
I do believe that I’ve attracted more positivity into my life since releasing the heavy, negative energy of my last relationship. However, waves of loneliness crash on me sometimes, especially when my friends share stories about or pictures of their serious relationships. It causes me to crave the rush of falling in love, of being in love, and feeling at home with someone. It simultaneously causes me to desire more single friends I can commiserate with about dating, like in Sex and the City.
Anyway, I will have to manage with the occasional loneliness because I don’t want to put myself out there yet. I wouldn’t be offering my best self because I don’t feel like my best self even to myself. I want to finally allow the scab to heal and I want to smooth out all the bumps around it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did when my first ex and I split, but even if it does, I want to have my own fun in the meantime.
So…tell me how it all happened.
Did it begin when you sent her a flirty text?
Did you send that text between professing your love for me
And conveying how much you missed me?
Did you ask her out on a date
Between wrongfully accusing me of dating my friend,
and expressing how upset you’d be if that were true?
Did you hold her hand after texting me
To ask if you can still see me this summer
Because you couldn’t imagine your life without me?
Did you kiss her between writing about me
And confessing that you’re still grieving the relationship?
When did you begin to fall for her?
Around the time you blew up my phone
To call me a coward
For not responding to your texts
About hopefully getting back together again in the future?
I don’t know when you finally found the closure
I tried to give you at the end of our relationship,
And I don’t know when you found someone else to love,
But these endings and beginnings seem to blur
I think you only began to respect my desire for space
Because you became distracted by her.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
One day I will have it all: A bountiful, dynamic, creative career, and a satisfying, secure, love life. That day is not today though.
Today, I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. For months I was stressed about my professional life and not worried about my romantic life at all. Now, my professional life is flowing, and my romantic life has been torched to the ground and then pulverized for good measure.
I’ve become a little numb to the devastation of my relationship. This is both good and bad…good because I’m able to function relatively normally at work, with my family, and with friends. It’s bad because my feelings aren’t really being addressed since I opt to distract myself, thus this numbness has been hampering my creativity.
So…below is a little check-in with myself based on my breakup-recovery checklist from a few weeks ago.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it. I did land a job! It’s fantastic!
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out. I did organize a little bit…but this is still a huge “to do.”
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself. I did get a haircut, but I never painted my nails.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need. I’ve been doing my best to plan small outings with friends on the weekend. It’s definitely been helpful.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing. Yes, but more importantly, I need to allow myself to grieve.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work. I get along with my coworkers really well! We plan to go to a Thai meditation center together next week.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now. I haven’t finished this book, but I’ve finished about three or four other books. This is still a work in progress.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students. I haven’t done this.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine. I did it for a bit but my meditation habit continues to be inconsistent.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym. Yes…I’ve accomplished this.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity! I have been journaling…it helps.
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment. Lately, I’ve been engaging with people primarily at work.
One thing I’d like to add to my list is below:
13. Allot time to grieve weekly.
Do you have any breakup recovery tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a splendid weekend 🙂
I stared up at the ceiling fan as it whirled overhead. It was attempting to provide a breeze in the sweltering evening heat but to little avail. My oversized t-shirt clung to my back, sticky with perspiration. I raised my feet into the air, feeling the slight breeze tickle my soles. Then I rolled onto my right side and stared directly into the electric fan. The wind it created was aggressive and loud. My hair blew off of my face and I sighed blissfully.
Then my phone pinged.
I glanced at it, unamused, and snatched it off of the chipping, white side table. It was Ashley.
I heard what happened to you and Tom. I’m so sorry.
I frowned and turned off my phone. She’s not sorry, she is probably thrilled that he’s now available. She always liked him. I could tell by the way she looked at him and how she talked to him.
I rolled back onto my back and resumed staring into the ceiling fan, hoping to be hypnotized into a deep sleep.
Sleep. What a foreign concept to me at this point. I haven’t slept since we broke up a week ago. It’s been even longer since I’ve slept alone. Two years. It’s been two years…I don’t know how to sleep alone anymore.
I closed my eyes, hoping that if I pretended to be asleep, I’d eventually trick myself into falling asleep this time. Instead of looking at the back of my eyelids though, I was confronted by Tom’s face hovering over me, illuminated by the moon through the window. He was smiling mischievously, some locks of his golden hair falling into his eyes. Then I felt his warm, calloused fingers draw circles on my right arm. His breath was warm when he leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Tell me what you want.”
I smiled, relieved that he was back. He tenderly kissed my face, but when I tried to kiss him, he shook his head, his grin widening.
“Tell me first,” he said, kissing my neck. The sensation sent chills down my body, and simultaneously ignited my skin. “Tell me what you want.”
I slid my hand across my hot stomach and brushed the top of my pubic bone.
“I want you,” I gasped as my fingers dipped lower, probingly.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked, kissing his way down my chest.
My touch sent a wave of warmth over my body. “I want you to…” I panted.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked, looking into my eyes.
“I want you to—”
Then my body shook, and everything felt like it was on fire.
When my breathing slowed and I relaxed, I whispered, “I want you to be here.” I opened my eyes expectedly as if I had just performed a spell to summon him. All I saw though, was the whirling ceiling fan in my dark room. I was alone.
My face crumbled. The satisfaction that I created dissipated and tears streamed down my cheeks.
© 2018 Vic Romero – Performance Poetics Spring 2018
My best friend at college, Tatiana,* is amazing. She understands that I don’t want to hang out with the guy I mentioned in my previous post. He usually texts me but he’s stopped because he’s fucking other women, which proves he was only talking to me because I was willing to hook up with him. We were never friends, and we’re not friends now.
Anywho, she understands how I feel about him, and she knows how I want to connect more with her boyfriend because he’s super cool, so she brought us all together to go out to eat dinner and then party. I had so much fun, I got super drunk. We all took our shirts off and we were dancing on each other and it was just a ton of fun. I ended up going home with them because I was too drunk to navigate my way back home. Tatiana passed out and her boyfriend and I talked about the guy that they’re both best friends with and that has only made me feel like garbage, because he wanted to know what was going on. It was a great conversation, despite both of us being super drunk. Having that conversation caused me to want to do some snooping on my ex. My drunken logic was if she could treat me poorly and find love, then there is hope for me too, although it’s taking a hella long time for someone to come around.
The next day, Tatiana came home with me for spring break. She only spent Friday night at my house before flying back home to California. We went out to eat dinner because she’s vegetarian and I didn’t tell my mom, so my mom was ill prepared to feed her. My old job has very good black bean burgers, so we went there. I hadn’t been there in about eight months or so. The last time I worked there, only two people from the “original squad” were still working there, so I didn’t think I would see anyone I knew. Well, I was mistaken because the first person I saw when my friend and I strolled in was my ex. She was taking orders at the register.
Today was like a lukewarm shower: it’s hot enough to be comfortable and do what you got to do, but it’s too cold to really enjoy the shower and feel refreshed.
My day actually ended with a lukewarm shower because the showers on my side of the dorm are fucked up again.
I think deciding that I need to break up with my ex was a really great idea.
First of all, when she told me she wanted to take another break I was like “…are we going to get back together…? It seems unlikely…” I stopped wearing the bracelet she got me, I changed my background picture to my sister, and I started wondering what my life would be like with out her…like I was mentally preparing. Sure enough, my preparation was not futile.
There was this subconscious fear that if she left, I would be alone. If you have been following and reading my posts for awhile, you would know about my complicated past with my parents and how my ex has always been there for me…she was my support system. And I have feared without her that I would be alone as I navigate through life…alone when things get hard with my parents again.
Well…the morning after I spammed my ex and her sister while intoxicated was a really eye-opening experience for me. An experience that made me realize that I need to get out of this toxic thing that my ex and I had…and once I accepted that, I realized that I’m not alone.