Goodbye to Romance, Hello to Romance

I feel a little more qualified to talk about romantic relationships than I did a year ago, so I say: let’s do this. I think romantic relationships are such a volatile subject because to really understand it, you have to experience it yourself. No advice that anyone else gives you is really going to get through to you until that happens You can listen to what people tell you, you can try your best to follow through with whatever advice they give you, but until you learn that particular bit of advice yourself, you’ll never understand why you were doing it in the first place. Or, with some things, you can’t do them WITHOUT first truly understanding.

I guess we all start from different places and we all have different things we need to learn about relationships before we can make anything successful, because we’ve all had different experiences and the relationships we’ve had with other people, romantic and non-romantic, set us up for whatever other relationships we’ll have. This can be really tricky if we’ve already had bad experiences. Repeatedly. I think sometimes it’ll surprise you if you’ve been treated badly by people your whole life and you suddenly find someone who…doesn’t do that. And goes to these lengths no one else has gone to for you. You don’t really know how to react to it and you feel wildly unprepared. It can be scary having someone treat you well when you’re not used to it. You might feel like you want to run from it and like you don’t deserve it and like it contradicts your destiny that you decided a long time ago was ETERNAL MISERY. But no matter how well or badly someone treats you, I think either way, it teaches you how to treat other people and how you should want to be treated by people.

A lot of the time, it depends on which phase of your life you’re in. For example, I dated someone I didn’t care about when I was in a phase of my life when I was apathetic towards everything because I had just tried to kill myself and I felt like nothing I did mattered anyway. It almost seemed like because I betrayed my own trust, I subconsciously decided to stop caring about what was best for me. Maybe I never did at that point in my life. I really don’t know. All I know is, I let myself be treated badly and I wasn’t cautious, but I am now and I can’t just jump into things anymore. Probably for the best. My second relationship came at a time when everything was falling apart for me. That was the rest of my downward spiral. And I guess that had to be part of it. I really can’t explain it any other way. And I think my problem is that if things start getting really bad for me, I will push people away from my darkness. I bring all the rain upon myself.

This has been kind of a touchy subject for me for a while now. Both of the relationships I’ve had up to this point have severely traumatized me. The first one was horrible and forced through and through, and the second one ended really badly and it was the first time my heart was really truly broken. Anyway, I think I went on a date yesterday. I had a really great time, and then I went to sleep and I woke up a little past 3 in the morning, and I replayed it in my head again and I felt so calm and excited at the same time. I immediately thought of the night after my break-up, when I also woke up around that time and immediately started sobbing. What a fucking contrast. Anyway this is kind of terrifying for me.

I think a lot of success has to do with how open you are with the other person and how willing you are to work through your issues together. I can say that in my last relationship, I was pretty secretive, and I had my reasons, but that’s who I am and I can’t change it. Can I? I have my secrets and I need to keep my secrets. I have to keep some things to myself. I don’t know if I can unlearn that or not. I don’t know if I should try. I can feel myself doing it again already, maybe more than ever, and I feel terrible about it but I can’t stop.

moi mwa (Actual footage of me) XOXO

I blame my horrible experiences with romance for my melodramatic obsession with Roy Lichtenstein.

Even though I was in an indescribable amount of pain after the second break-up, the first thing I noticed right after was how much mental clarity I suddenly had. It was unmatched. For the first time, I felt like I could keep track of all of my thoughts and where they came from and where they were going. I think it was this quality of not having my train of thought muddled by anyone else and just being able to be alone with my thoughts, because in a way, I really was, so alone. I couldn’t talk about this for a while. I tried a few times, and I felt like whenever I did, I never really heard what I needed said to me. Everyone just told me that I needed to move on. And that didn’t help me deal with what I was actually dealing with, which was not yet moving on but just living with myself in this state for a while. I think I really tortured myself. I wrote about it obsessively (I’m glad I did exploit my pain like that), I replayed everything in my head, every day I would relive the whole relationship again like it was still happening and then at some point, I had to snap out of my trance realize it wasn’t. A lot of living inside my head that way. It was a miserable time, and it was torturous for those few months that I was heartbroken, but I don’t feel anything about it anymore. There was one week last month that I looked at everything that reminded me of that relationship and I can honestly say that I didn’t feel a thing. I don’t remember anything that happened and I don’t remember how I felt. There’s a hole torn open in my memory. It’s a little scary, but it’s better than being in pain all the time, and I finally feel free. I psychologically feel different. From the inside. I think I rewired myself to get here. It’s good.

And honestly, the thought of being in a relationship again freaks me out. I don’t know if I am ready. I don’t know if I have learned enough. I already feel myself pulling away sometimes. Sometimes, I won’t talk about things, because I don’t even want to THINK about them. And so I keep running away from the idea. And then I’ll run with it for a while. I guess that’s what made me say yes to last night. I just wanted to do it finally. It’s been building up so long. I didn’t want to wait and stall anymore. I just wanted it to happen. I guess the thing that scares me is reaching this point of no return and I don’t know what that point is or if I will recognize it or if it even exists, maybe it’s just something you slowly sink into until you realize you can’t safely back out.

I always feel trapped. I am great at feeling trapped. I guess what I want most is to not want to back out. But I’m afraid I’ll get scared. I’m afraid I’ll close up. I’m afraid I’m afraid I’m afraid. But I had an amazing time last night. Maybe I shouldn’t worry. This really feels different than anything else.

Sometimes I get paranoid about not being able to keep my energy levels up all the time, but I don’t think I need to be paranoid. I feel like the closer I get to people, the more I pull away from them and the less I want them to know about my main preoccupations. It’s like some paradox. I’d feel more comfortable telling strangers about these weirdly personal things than someone who will judge me and try to correlate it with what they already know about me and whom I have to see on a regular basis. I also think there’s this effort paradox. I think I am confusing myself with all these paradoxes I keep pulling out of thin air. Shut up!!!! If you overthink it, you KILL it.

This is the song he wanted to play in the car last night, but he forgot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUW5vRcgNHM

I don’t care, I like him.

~Kasia

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