When you’re left by the one you love, you wonder what you did wrong. You wonder what made them stop loving you, and you wonder if you could’ve done anything to change it.
When you’re the one leaving, you hear the thoughts they leave unspoken. You feel like you know exactly what they’re thinking and you wish you could stop them from ruminating on these distorted beliefs. You know they’re trying to piece together the spaces you left open, but not even you know how to fill in the gaps. You didn’t realize leaving would be so difficult.
When you’re left by the one you love, your hurt manifests itself in different ways. Sometimes the hurt comes out as anger, as spiteful words you use to hurt them back. Sometimes the hurt doesn’t come out at all, and lives in deep denial. Sometimes the hurt numbs you to anything else so that hurt is the only feeling.
When you’re the one leaving, hurt causes a different type of pain. You don’t feel the force of the initial impact, but you see and feel the bruises that form and remain long after. You feel like the hurt you’re feeling is unfair to be felt, but you’re hurting because of the hurt you caused in someone else.
When you’re left by the one you love, you hope time will heal the pain. You count the days, weeks and months that go by and ask yourself if it’s actually getting any better. You think it’s time that’s lessening the impact, but really it’s just living.
When you’re the one leaving, time is insignificant. You don’t feel it passing or standing still, you just sort of know it’s happening. You don’t stay up at night thinking about tomorrow, you just take it day by day.
When you’re left by the one you love, you’re reminded of them at every corner. They’re waiting for you in the restaurant you ate at on your birthday, in the park where you had your first date, they’re everywhere. And even when you try to avoid these places, in fear of the memories they’ll bring up, there’s no running or hiding that will make them go away. Even in your own apartment, you sit on the couch you both had to build together.
When you’re the one leaving, the memories still follow you around, but the avoiding is less of an undertaking. You don’t feel the excessive need to run or hide because that restaurant doesn’t scare you, and neither does the park. They make you remember, but you don’t mind the memories, you actually enjoy them.
Being left and leaving are two different things, but it doesn’t make either one any less difficult.