People always refer to ‘letting go’ as some sort of art, that when we are faced with something painful, it’s beautiful and almost easy, to just let go of it. Just like that. As if we are able to wake up one morning and decide to not think about whatever it is that twists up our insides and wreaks havoc with our mind. But unfortunately, at least for betrayal, letting go just doesn’t work like that.
When someone who loves you chooses to do something they know will break you, you can’t just forget that. When someone lies to you, a lie which is connected to a forest of roots, tangles and tangles of other lies buried so deep you feel like you’re drowning trying to discover where and when it all started, you can’t just let go of that. When every single moment since that betrayal feels false, when you have to question every word spoken, every kiss, every laugh, every single time you felt as if the world was finally granting you happiness, you cannot just move on from that.
Letting go is not art, it is not beautiful, it is exhausting.
It is constantly having to re-direct your thoughts whenever your mind wanders. It is having to not be consumed by anger, pain and jealousy whenever a film or t.v. show triggers you. It is having to remind yourself over and over that kissing is a loving act, a fun one, a beautiful one – it is not a representation of betrayal, of someone being more than you, of a stupid decision which has thrown your entire life off course.
It is constantly finding yourself back there, in that moment, imagining what it looked like, imagining how it would feel to see it with your own eyes and then trying to make it stop, but not being able to.
Letting go is trying to hold on to your future and not re-write the past. It is trying to figure out when you started to mean something, when the lies stopped, when you were not just playing ‘make-believe.’
Letting go is knowing the decision you made and living with it, it is looking him in the eye and wondering what other lies are buried behind them. It is feeling his lips pressed to yours and trying to stop picturing him kissing her. It is falling asleep afraid that you will see them both in your dreams. It is being reminded in every day conversations by the mention of a place or an event or someone else with the same name, and trying not to wince or grimace. Trying to just hold your shit together but feeling like you will fall apart.
It is having to tell yourself every single day that you matter, that you are worthy, that you deserve love and still not believing it. It is waking up each morning and deciding today will be better – today you will not cry, you will not picture it, you will not be passive aggressive or make snide remarks or say hurtful things in the hope that maybe he will feel a fraction of what you do. It is feeling confused between love and hate, anger and calm, forgiveness and a grudge. It is always feeling just that little bit unsteady.
Letting go is slow, it is hard work. It is forever battling with your own demons, insecurities and fears. It is trying to trust him again and not knowing where to start. It is being terrified of every vibration of his phone and forever feeling the need to keep asking questions, to discover more.
It is holding on because you’re afraid that if you let go, it will happen again. It is second-guessing everything, it is worrying that if you forgive, he will forget. He will think it is okay to hurt you again. It is wanting to get back to that place when you believed him to be someone else entirely, someone different and wondering if that person even exists.
It is missing how you used to feel, it is knowing everything is based on a lie, it is asking yourself if you are even capable of letting something so hurtful, so disrespectful and so selfish go.
It is building a wall between yourself and your feelings, it is wanting it to be easy, it is wanting to move on, to be happier, to feel weightless.
And not being able to.
It is accepting that letting go is not how everyone tells you it will be, it uses up the last of what you have left, it is giving yourself up to experiencing something like this again.
And you can’t, you won’t survive.