I’ve got a song in my head and I’m embarrassed it’s by Fallout Boy. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” is the song, and the line that is resonating with me is :”a constellation of tears on your lashes/burn everything you love then burn the ashes”.

Backstory on why this line in particular is so meaningful to me. When my ex and I broke up, we tried to stay friends. I’d known him since I was 14 years old and we had (and still have) a billion mutual friends. It was hard not having him in my life in some capacity, and the fact that I made him the center of my universe didn’t help matters any. He moved on quickly after our breakup, however we kept texting and calling each other, me providing updates on how well I was/wasn’t rebuilding my life. Things went downhill rather spectacularly. I don’t believe exes can ever be friends. There was a lot of lying by omission and I finally realized I needed to let him go, as painful as it was. I was a bitch. Oh lord, I was awful. I have a lot of regret about that, but regret doesn’t change things. I got it in my head that the only way to let him go was for him to hate me. So, much like the song lyric, I set it all on fire. Only I got burned and am struggling to grow new skin.

It is better that we don’t speak. It helps me keep focused on making my own life without him. But I don’t like that he (and his girlfriend) hate me. I can’t do anything about that now. All I can do is heal and try to be a better person, to let go of the anger. They say burns hurt worst when they are almost healed. I hope that’s the case with me. Some wounds go deep…I know mine do. I worry sometimes they will never heal. I worry I will carry this hurt and lack of trust around with me like the scars on my side.  I hope that, like the phoenix, I will rise from the smoldering ashes of my former life. That I will emerge, renewed and strong and amazing.




4 thoughts on “Burn

  1. Hurt and pain are powerful things. We become their advocate when we’re overwhelmed by them, and we act on their behalf, even when we know the costs are too high. I don’t know a person in the world who doesn’t have regrets, even as useless as they are. The only way to let them serve some purpose, and for the pain and hurt to be worth all it costs us, is to find our way to kindness again, to learn about the depth of our compassion… starting with ourselves. Sending light your way my friend.

  2. Oh, that sounds rough, and I’m so sorry you had to go through that awful post-breakup purgatory period. A few relationships ago, I had a similar situation where he insisted that after two years of dating we could be “just friends” (as though we were robots with switches that could be flipped). I completely agree that being friends with an ex is never something that’s okay in my book, unless several years have passed. I’m just too sensitive, and it’s just too raw… and it seems you’re the same. Good for you for cutting things off; I truly believe that’s the best decision you could make in that situation.

    Here’s something to think about when you worry about dragging the anger and hurt around with you (I’ve been meaning to post this on rebuild, but keep forgetting!): I have an older friend who was in an abusive marriage when she was younger, and understandably that experience and the divorce were traumatic. She shared with me that at the time, her hairstylist (of all people!) told her something really wise. At first, you carry the weight of that hurt around with you like a huge, overstuffed suitcase. Over time, the weight becomes smaller, and you’re carrying a duffel bag– still heavy, but smaller. More time passes, and the pain and anger could fit into a purse. And eventually, it will fit into a small little box that you can tuck away in your closet. It will always be there, you will see it now and then, but it will NEVER be the burden it once was.

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