Little did I know that at this moment ... before he even started asking me to bend over in front of a webcam for him, he had met someone else and just opted to do us both. So for months, while he was calling 'our relationship' irreplaceable and nurturing me into providing him with some personal long distance porn, he was building a new relationship with her at home. Then he started ghosting me. I gave him space as i know he was having a hard time.... but when i finally asked, I got a casual 'I’m seeing someone else now’ text message.
***Fun fact; when someone ends a relationship over text message the body and mind dont actually register this has happened. Theres no voice, no face, no familiar transmission that anything has actually happened so it doesn't register the same way. This leaves you far more susceptible to the mind leading you to any feelings of hope or light in the situation to make sense of it. Even deluding yourself that it hasn't really happened.
He assured me he was not sure of this new thing & was just so depressed and confused. Assured me we had not seen the last of each other. In my absolute confusion and shock I gracefully accepted this text message and asked for one kindness. I asked if he could avoid sharing this new thing on social media for me to have to watch, at least while i processed wft had just happened for me.
This request was ignored and the very next day and for the next few months, I got to watch their relationship grow. Everything from the dates to the bedroom hangouts and even using the name he had called me. Yes, I put myself through this by clicking on the stories. Humans have an inherent need to understand things and an addiction to pain when no other option is available. Having no explanation as to what happened, no voice, no call only text and then this, I was trying to understand how one goes from ‘I always want you in my life’ and 'you have ruined me for anyone else' to..... completely ejected (but not on social media even when i begged to be blocked).
Theres so many people who dont share their relationships online AND (for those who arent aware) theres features you can use to block or hide it from the one person it’s clearly traumatising further.
Ive always accepted and understood that we cant help who we fall in love with. Ive learnt alot about why someone might behave in this way moving forward but to this day I don’t fully understand the behaviour I experienced. The damage its caused, unfortunately still lingers, as Ive really struggled to even be open to physical intimacy since.
Next month will mark the time last year that i began this new direction. I share this now from a much healthier space but I speak with so many men and women through my work who face this same experience. 10 years ago you would never have to see that person again. Now, you get a front row seat to how little you meant to them, until (if) you can muster the strength everyday to release the need to understand and look away. When asked by my parents why i couldnt just not look, i likened it to telling an addict with a bag in their hand not to shoot up. Studies done on the brain show that familiar pain boosts the feel good receptors in our brain (i know its stupid). This makes the body feel a rush and the brain associates the activity with 'good'. The same receptors that activate when we do all sorts of other healthier activities. However, our brain only understands the feeling and its attachment and has now determined that with a couple clicks of a button we can get that same hit, Thats easier than going for a run so, just like an addict, the brain with encourage you to do that behaviour over a healthy one. It’s no wonder we have a whole generation growing up sick, traumatised, depressed and addicted to the world online more that the world offline.
I’ve learnt a lot about this self destructive behaviour in the space of social media and 2019 was my ultimate test. Im sure there must be so many out there however, who might not have the tools to make it through to the other side, like i did. There were some seriously dark days and i thank god everyday that i had a good community to physically hold me in that trauma shift. I like to think that cycle is now broken. I like to think I won’t have to experience that level of disrespect ever again. I do know however that i am constantly having to retrain my brain to only engage in the healthy behaviours for boosts than the not so healthy.
If you read this and you are watching someone online trying to understand what happened... but it’s hurting you, ask yourself; how can I change this behaviour to save myself?
If you read this and you get into relationships and share them for all to see strait away, ask, why do i need to do that? Is it necessary if i know its hurting someone else? Can i simply enjoy the happiness without the validation of sharing it online?
I get it - this is a whole new world of challenges that no one could have ever prepared us for. We are ALL driven by this dopamine addiction and validation of worth we get from a simple view, a like or a message (yep we get dopamine hits from that too - easy). We also have this deluded assumption that we have an understanding of a situation from a very small & filtered window of reality.
Im glad to say ive been out the other side of this for a while now and i have never really shared about any of it here before. I wanted to understand it better and learn how to overcome it before i offered the help to others.... as it was one of the roughest things ive ever encountered and i want others to have the tools to transcend it, as I did. So, If anyone resonates with this and needs to unpack a similar situation my door/inbox is always open with no judgement. Let’s learn more about oursleves. Lets find solutions together and perhaps become more aware of how we can show up better next time. And pass this on to future generations 💛