It feels like they never leave us, the ghosts of relationships past. I know I’m not alone here, it affects us all in someway. Especially when we are trying to heal, when we’re trying to move on. It can be literally anything that gets us, naturally just hearing the name can affect us greatly in the initial phases, when things are still very raw, very fresh. It’s like everywhere we turn or everything we do we are given a stark reminder of someone that hurt us and left us to pick up the pieces.
For me it does feel amplified and of course I may not be alone here but I can only speak about how I feel and about what I have experienced. With my situation, even though I knew it was coming I called the three markers before D-day fell upon me. Yet it was still crushing. I still felt like every cell in my body had been individually stabbed, but there was relief too, relief that something no longer might be over. Yet it didn’t, and if I’m truthful still doesn’t stop those ghosts. Personally I don’t know if it’s because of the time we shared together or the nature of the end but for me the ghosts were everywhere. I know it hasn’t helped by the fact that now knocking on the door of two years in I haven’t had a home exclusively to myself. Having to religiously delete search history, remove and replace files, hide post and documents has not been a healthy environment. It’s been a horrible time that has only managed to compound the feeling of a ghost, and with things moving around the house it has been more of a poltergeist. Maybe that’s it, that would explain how and why one of the cats went missing without a trace, or the doodles on my daughters whiteboard. It’s a presence that can and will affect you, it gets in your head. Although it does push you in the right direction, it keeps the reason ‘why’ at the forefront of your mind and it actually kind of shouts it back at you daily.
As long as you can get that vision of it all being over in your thoughts, if you are busy working hard on yourself , not thinking backwards. Thinking about the what ifs, the why’s, the who else, the when’s. If you remove all of that from your mind and put yourself slap bang in the centre of your own universe then you give yourself a reason to keep going, you have a bonafide purpose each and every day.
The point I am making is, people can, will and do act very strangely after a break up but it is paramount that you focus your efforts on you. Not spending a second wondering how they might be feeling, wondering if they are thinking about you or if they have anything they want to say to you. Because the answers are they’re feeling great, no they’re not and no they haven’t, and if those answers are right or wrong the are the answers you must work to in order to progress forwards. Give yourself that hard reality check, dust yourself down and pick the baton back up and rejoin the race.
Ghosts are ghosts because although it can feel like it, they’re not really there and if anything it may well be the ghost wanting to be there rather than your thoughts of a presence remaining. An essence of touching the past to make sure it’s still there or that it happened. But those ghosts can take the form of anything. I know along the way if I saw a certain car it would instantly give me a chill, even driving back into my town I would become anxious of seeing one even though the odds are relatively tiny, that all not long after getting over not expecting to see a different car! My examples can keep coming if I let them, probably a very clear sign of how bad I was hurt and certainly an indication how much I was in love. Like right now, it’s 5am, the house is completely still apart from Tom Petty’s essentials playing in the back grounded my one surviving cat perched on the radiator. I look around and although I’m living here alone now, no more secret visits or drop ins my eyes still see ghosts. You know those scenes in movies where people are moving around then they fade out of the scene leaving a desolate room with one person left, its like that. The memories shifting around and then fading.
I do ask myself if these experiences will end, I would assume that once we finally move from here it will truly free us. I’d guess then it will only be those ghosts of memories that come along for a ride but I know they’ll fade too and the relationship ghosts will remain in this house as I close the door behind me.
So this probably seems like am still very much in the thick of recovery and to a certain extent that is true but I feel the best way to convey how it feels, how these relationship ghosts can make us feel is to give a first person account. Me dipping into the past to grab feelings in order to best translate what we all feel when we’re there. I am in such a better place now, across the board. Mentally, physically, financially, spiritually that I feel comfortable enough to express what I have lived through and experienced emotionally as I know it’s a conduit for support. We can so easily feel isolated, like the entire universe has turned it’s back on us when we needed it the most. For me I had to cut loose so much more in order to survive, reasons I never gave and never needed to give as we have to protect ourselves in order to heal.
The ghosts you feel around you in the aftermath of a breakup aren’t created to hurt you or trick you. It’s a reflection of how much you cared. After all, if you didn’t care there wouldn’t be a second thought about them right? Exactly. Being a caring person is not a crime, it needs to be celebrated. You should be able to move on, it’s pretty much the only way to treat a person when the end comes about. Let them be free to heal. It’s so much to process and spirits still shifting around the place or in your mind to me, is just cruel, selfish. Allow space and if that is there, maybe with enough time a mutual ground can be found. Without that level of respect for a persons emotional state and privacy it just continues to push away every element that may have remained.
Don’t think that this will last forever as it won’t, think back beyond this hurt to past relationships. Previous ex’s and I’m confident you don’t get tied up in knots thinking about them or have negative reminders of them in your life. You may well have bridged past all that and see them on a semi regular basis. It’s all how we ‘choose’ to move on. i chose that the best course of action for me and my daughter was a clean break, removing all of the bad apples from the cart and seeing what was left. There was enough left to make me see and think that this is going to be ok, the future won’t be so bad. I mean yes, it was bad but now, now good things happen daily and my relationship ghosts don’t haunt me. It took a while to work through them and I still have things that catch me out but I know they’ll continue to fade.
Be free from your relationship ghosts, don’t allow yourself to become tangled up in them or their activities. Put yourself first, put healing yourself first and you in your own life first. Ghosts are always going to do what they do, we have no control or say in that but we do have a say in how much attention we pay to them, in how much of our time we allow them. It’s a sliding scale, time fades all those things, all the things that hurt and that are negative. Concentrate on you and your road ahead. As I am daily, and I know that sooner or later I won’t even see 421 everywhere I turn or every time I check the time. We have to consciously break out of the loops. Recognise that they are there and make slight adjustments to adapt.
It’s all just part of being human, our minds are like sponges filled with memories we have made and absorbed over the years and they are hard to ring out. The key is really to accept they are there and then move on. Start creating more memories. It doesn’t erase the old ones but it puts newer ones at the forefront and it lights the path to closure. Whatever it is you need to do to form those new memories start doing it today and don’t look over your shoulder. Those ghosts actually only move a s freely as we allow them to.
If we choose to ignore them then even though you come home and your post has miraculously moved from the doormat to the kitchen worktop they don’t have a bearing on the present. Ghosts are a representation of something from the past and it is the past where they stay.
After all, ask yourself.. are ghosts even real?