Working Through Grief After Being Ghosted
First, I want to say that I am tired (and I know my friends are, too) of talking about this person, and I want it out of my brain once and for all. I wish I could say this is my last time talking about it, but I’m not sure I can say everything in one sitting.
If anyone could flip a switch to turn off anxiety, depression, or symptoms of grief or trauma, you bet your ass they would! So when someone says to “get over it,” they are clueless as to what you’re going through. There have been times when I don’t even understand why I feel the way I do, so I don’t expect others to be helpful, but insensitive comments are not appreciated.
Grief is a peculiar thing, and the five stages don’t always go in order. I am just now discovering this about OC, the guy that ghosted me two and a half years ago. About six months ago, I became angry about the situation. I am not a hateful person, and I cannot remember the last time I felt hate towards anyone, so why would these feelings suddenly emerge?
In case you’re not a regular follower, here’s a recap: We met on a dating app, dated intensely for 3 months (together 4-5 nights a week and weekends), fell head over heels for him, met some of his family, led me to believe we’d be together in the future (he spoke of plans for months ahead), said things to me like “it would take a lot to leave you.” I went to visit my family for a week, I even invited him to come along, he said he missed me, then he became uncommunicative (around this time my gut cringed), then he sent me a confusing text three days later telling me he had to take care of some work and financial stuff and that he didn’t mean to hurt me. He never actually said he didn’t want to see me anymore; I thought at the very least we’d remain friends. Then he never spoke to me or texted me again and blocked me from social media. We ran into each other all of the time, but he refused to look at me or speak to me, and at times he’d either hide or leave the place we were at. However, six months later, he unblocked me from Instagram and started liking my posts. I sent him several messages (usually after drinking, oops!), asking him why he did what he did and that I deserved an explanation, then eventually I told him how much he’d hurt me. He would read all of my messages yet fail to answer. About three months after that (this would be nearly a year since I’d met him), he matched with me again on a dating site… but never said a word. One of his family members was also following me on Instagram and liking my posts but would not allow me to follow his private account but would speak to me in public, another family member told me OC said that I was a “cool chick.” Total mindfuck! So, you can see how this would drive anyone batshit crazy that was still going through the stages of grief from this horrible un-breakup. It would have been easier and more forgivable to deal with an actual death.
Viewing the stages of grief this morning, I think the first stage I experienced was denial. I thought something happened and he was just dealing with it in his own way and I’d hear from him eventually. I mean, no one that spends so much time together and appears to be so close and honest just ups and leaves, right? Wrong! Plus, we’re in our 40s and he was so sweet to me, so there’s no way a man this age would do that, right? Wrong! I remember hearing a truck down my street thinking it was him coming over to talk to me. Wrong! (It was my neighbor’s truck.)
First, I think I was in the bargaining stage. I asked myself what happened? What did I do wrong? I blamed myself for doing something that I wasn’t aware that I did. It took me a long time to realize I did nothing wrong at all. I had just dated a cowardly asshole that couldn’t face the truth.
Depression was the stage that hit me immediately and didn’t go away for nearly two years. (I had been depressed about other things, but specifically this situation was different.) Again, I blamed myself. I didn’t eat for four months. I didn’t lose weight, either, because I did plenty of drinking during that time. Every time I saw him, I felt anxious to the point of a near-panic attack, then depressed, almost obsessive about it. I wanted nothing more than for him to speak to me, because I felt horrible. It didn’t help that he was liking my shit on social media, which I did eventually block him at some point.
Then came the anger. I didn’t think it was possible for me to be as angry as I’ve been for as long as I’ve been. (Perhaps middle age has something to do with it?) When I get mad about something, I stay mad for a bit, and then I’m over it. Maybe after having dates with multiple douchebags triggered something? Or maybe it’s just the stage I need to be in so that I can continue to heal?
One last incident: On New Year’s Eve, I went out with a friend to watch a band play. OC was there. The place wasn’t that crowded, and my friend and I both noticed him walking the long way around so that he passed by our table. Twice. He could have gone a shorter way away from us, but he didn’t. I’m so glad that my friend was there as a witness, because people think I make this shit up. She asked if he was trying to antagonize me. I replied, “I don’t know what he’s doing, but it’s weird!” Was he trying to get me to notice him? Fuck him. He doesn’t deserve it. The entire night I pretended I didn’t see him and kept a far distance, kept my back at him, even went to the opposite end of the bar to order drinks. And that’s when I realized I can do so much better than him.
Tomorrow I will write about the other stage of grief – acceptance.