I never expected how hard it would be to get over what we had. And when I say “how,” I’m not even talking about the intensity of the difficulty. That was about what I expected. That it would hurt and be strange, but I’d live somehow. Because I always live somehow. And losing you is far from the worst thing that ever happened to me.
I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but once you’ve been homeless, it’s really hard to top that as far as life disruption. It’s hard to overshadow that feeling of worry and insecurity that haunts you long after experiencing pervasive housing instability. Even once you’re stable, which I am blissfully am these days (due to a lot of help from amazing people that I never quite feel I will pay back), you never quite shake the sense that it could all go away.
I survived that. So obviously I could survive this. Not that I wanted to. I had hoped for a long time that we’d make it. Or at least that this relationship would last longer.
Even now, I find it hard to say that the relationship “failed” just because it didn’t last. Because it was beautiful while it did. It truly was.
But now it’s over. And I’m surprised by the way the breakup is difficult. It’s like I told the wonderful people on the Poly Land Discord: I don’t miss you most in the Big Ways That I Feel Like I’m Supposed To.
No, my heart aches whenever I see a dog meme. Because I used to send them to you. Instantly. And you’d write right back, forever enchanted by the floofy puppo I was sending your way. Like a child who can watch the same movie over and over again, forever entertained. Like a child who longs to watch the same movie over and over again because they love it so much. They know what to expect.
We were like that too, once upon a time. Before we weren’t.
And even now, I’ll find myself halfway to sending you a dog meme, before I interrupt myself mid-share, reminding myself that you don’t want to talk to me anymore. That I need to be good and honor what you asked of me.
I hold back. But my heart aches every time.
And I’m not sure why it’s only then. Never in the big things, but only the small ones.
But I keep pushing forward, letting it hurt a bit less every day. After a while, dog memes will just be dog memes.
It feels like that time will never come. But I keep not sending the dog memes. Because this is how you survive a breakup without losing your mind. This and a million other ways, each one unique to the people involved.