Esther Greenwood

Getting Over It

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 at 12:18 am

“Do you believe in life after love?”

– Cher

This past weekend the subject of ex-loves came up.  Maybe it was due to 9/11 and the fact that everyone was thinking of the past and where they were when the tragedy happened eight (eight!!!) years ago.  But I spent most of the day in contemplation, considering my life’s present and its past.

So it didn’t surprise me that I found myself somehow recalling an event/how I had been hurt over a year ago.  In February 2008, a boy I had been crazy about for years told me he was single and slept with me.  A few days later, I found out Fuckwad was not single and was in fact still with his girlfriend of five years.  I was destroyed.

I hate being lied to, so when I was recounting this tale which was already a painful memory I got a little emotional and vehement about how what Fuckwad did to me was absolutely awful.  The person I was recounting this to turned to me and made a joke, “Well you’re obviously over it.”

And the thing is, I am over it.  I’m over the guy.  As Leah would acknowledge a few days later, you can be over the guy/paramour in question and still be hurt by the events.


“Getting over things doesn’t mean restoring reality to the state it was in BEFORE the thing happened. It means literally getting over it. Moving on. Accepting the new reality.”

I think traumatic events, like first heartbreak, always stay with us.  I know people (not just me!) who have certain songs they can’t listen to due to past pain, and yet they’ve moved on (I hope) and found new love.  We’re changed by the events of our past, and possibly a bit more timid, more careful, more scared to love, but if we want to, we can move forward and love again.  Or at least take those steps towards that.  (Now I’m sounding like a Self Help book or Dr. Phil.)  I’ve learned a lot from some very painful past mistakes and relationships, and while I wish I hadn’t let myself get so hurt or screwed up in the past, I’m thankful for the knowledge it’s bestowed on me, knowledge I can use to make current relationships work.  Knowledge I can use to grow.

I don’t spend too much time mourning the past, because that’s useless.  What happened, happened.  But I can’t run from the past, either.  It’s who I am.  It’s who you are.  And hopefully, we can all love one another both through it and due to it.

  1. My dear Emily,

    I definitely agree that we’re changed by the events by our past- and it definitely applies to our views on love in terms of fear and security. But I also think that breakups (for me anyway) is not a singular thing when it comes to epiphanies or changes in perspective. I believe that sometimes
    ( and this is coming from a person who was in an unhealthy relationship for a while…as you know)- we use the guise of love as a blanket we can hide underneath to kill time while we procrastinate on dealing with what we should be dealing with in life ( I.E the scary things you don’t want to deal with to take care of yourself) I believe, due to my own past break up trauma that when it comes to relationships ( as you very well know about) there are people in life who just teach you everything you’re not supposed to be focusing on. There are people who you cannot grow with in a parallel- especially if you or he is on route to self-discovery (a common challenge for peopl our age) because it’s difficult to go through the things that we’re forced to deal with in our early twenties, alone. Thus- a relationship becomes an escape rather than a partnership. And those escapes don’t tend to last because it’s built on a false sense of comfort, happiness and accomplishment. There is especially an intense fear of being alone and the comfort of being next to a warm body when you’re having your next identity crisis-or if you’re an artist – your extremely unstable and purgatorial life can seem invaluable. What’s dangerous to forget though- is the value of accomplishing something alone without anyone else there to baby you. It takes a certain strength and bravery to focus on your self with nobody there holding your hand. On the flip-side, it can be equally hazardous to be the hand holder. I think my problem with my past relationships were that I was attempting to play the role of “hand holder” as my exes were through significant changes – and it was making me terribly unhappy on top of depriving me from paying more attention to my own work. I think some men ( and i emphasize SOME and I don’t want you to think I’m bias because this case is true in some women as well) retort back to childhood when in young relationships and start to unconsciously depend on the woman as a caretaker ( which may eliminate some romantic desire). Simultaneously though, they may be inadvertently accommodating the woman’s subconscious desire for motherhood. Creepy. In both of my long term relationships that ended horribly (both cases involving a lot of mutual emotional destruction, one-sided infidelity and lies) – I can honestly say that I attempted to value the other person’s happiness over mine. I am 24 and at 22, I was routinely cooking for my man who I shared a room with while secretly resenting him while he gobbled down while watching South Park instead of making conversation with me unless I pried. It was so weird. But of course, don’t most 23 year old boys enjoy being alone in front of the television set scarfing down food? In turn, shouldn’t I, as a twenty three year old woman-have been having happy hour with my girlfriends or working on my writing as an aspiring playwright should at that age instead of making a man a dinner? Most people cannot love others before they love themselves. And when you’re struggling to figure out who you are and what you want- it’s hard to retain focus. I was channeling a love I wish I could have held for myself by the way I treated many men who may not have deserved it much. When I didn’t get that hand holding back ( aside from having a warm body effortlessly holding me at night in bed and paying half of the rent)- I would lash out and become frustrated. And that is not a way to grow during such a period of rapid growth. As a former serial monogamist- I can’t help but wonder about the authenticity of a love coming from a person who jumps from one long relationship to another. When I went through ( and am still going through) the worst breakups of my life- I learned a lot. But I don’t believe the most important questions I asked myself was ” how will I love again ” but- “how do I hold security and love in my own heart?”.
    I know this is coming from the girl who is always asking about advice about the multiple guys she’s dating at once- but the lessons I have learned about self protection when it comes to love would never be valuable without the year ( and counting) time I’ve been single. I’m so happy I am taking my time and not jumping into a relationship. The fulfillment that one can gain from being alone while learning to love yourself, I hope, can make you a good candidate to find someone in the future who you can have a healthy love with- void of unhealthy attatchments that signify a security blanket more than anything else. Besides, ever since romance took number 2 in my book- my career started to improve 100%. strange how that works.

    :)thanks for your blog. I love these posts.


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