Getting past the pain. We all experience emotional pain once or many times in our lives. For us humans, it is an inevitable fact of life.
Knowing that it goes through stages help us cope and live through it. Let me share how I too underwent the different stages of getting past the pain.
THE PAIN OF BEING CHEATED ON
We all have different ways of coping with difficult situations. When life throws us something that brings us down to our knees, we sometimes drown ourselves in helplessness, wallow in depression, refuse help from loved ones, even question our faith and ask why bad things had to happen to us. Why does life lets us meet someone only for that person to be taken away? We only see the struggles and hardships in front of us and we fail to recognize that there is a reason behind every trial and suffering. But like any wound, bleeding eventually stops and at some point, your survival instinct will kick in and will let you grasp for straws that will help you bounce back.
1. DENIAL AND ISOLATION
I thought I’ve hit rock bottom when my live-in partner of four years left me for a younger woman. I had a lot going for me (or so I thought). I had my own successful career in a very demanding industry. But it turned out he was intimidated by the amount of money I was taking in. I was emotionally stable which I thought at that time was key in making a relationship last. What I didn’t realize was it’ll never have much weight when the other person is emotionally unavailable. I’ve got tons of love to share, enough to cover both of us. I was a very understanding, sensitive, considerate lover. But a relationship is never meant to be dealt with, handled and nourished by just one partner alone. We rarely fought because I was afraid of confrontations and I try to compensate by not arguing, I thought a relationship is healthy when it’s harmonious, no arguments ever escalate into a fight, we have never raised our voices against each other. When he decided to leave me and our son for another woman, I was devastated. My self- confidence was shattered. I started doubting my self-worth. I have given my all into our relationship and it was not enough. If my best wasn’t enough, then I, amount next to nothing. I have a family who depends on me for support so I cannot break down. I have bottled up all the emotions inside. My pride won’t let me show how betrayed I felt or even shed a single tear over someone who callously torn my heart to pieces or that some woman is better than me or so I pretended, pretended he would realize what he lost and come back to me.
2. ANGER AND BARGAINING
Pretending to be strong can only get you so far. I was watching a movie a few months after the split when It suddenly felt like a tub of cold water was poured on me. I felt a tingling sensation from the tip of my fingers crawling up to my arm. Then the numbness started. I can no longer feel my arms. I felt a heaviness in my chest and I started having trouble breathing. It felt like I was drowning, I kept inhaling, trying to gasp for air into my lungs but I got nothing. I started crying then realized I was loosing precious oxygen so I forced myself to stop. I have cried out for my mom in between gasps of air. It was all that pent-up rage, disappointment, and heartache that translated and converted into physical pain. It was anxiety attack but it felt like I’m dying. I was going through psychosomatic pain. Fear, for some would cause panic. For me, fear that my son and my family would have no one left to look after them and provide for them soon brought calm to my troubled heart.
3. RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH
In between my brother massaging feelings back into my arms and my mom’s whispered prayer in my ear that everything is going to be alright, I realized I have to acknowledge that I have been in pain, acknowledgement will help me move past the hurt and betrayal in order to heal. Acceptance of things that I have no control of allowed me to believe that the failure of my relationship was not solely, entirely my own fault. That there are things that happens in our life to teach us a lesson.
My struggle seem trivial compared to people suffering from a terminal disease, people dealing with a loss of a loved one, people in distress and going through desperate times, but each person has a different cross to bear. It’s important not to withdraw from others and try to bear the burden alone. I have felt the loss ten times over because I have based my happiness on just one person, my self-worth based on one’s validation. I have given everything for the relationship and in turn lost myself in the process when the relationship deteriorated.