Ze zegt, Adele gaat uiteindelijk in bijna alle liedjes schreeuwen.
Nu ik het hoor is het zo.
Het is een hete nazomer, de regen moet nog komen.
Ik probeer zoveel mogelijk mensen te spreken, zodat het vernis van de dingen afgekrabd wordt.
Je kunt gerechten rechttrekken met een bouillonblokje en genoeg knoflook.
Je kunt je leven lezen.
Karley Sciortino schreef ‘I was dumped’ op 24 september 2014 voor Vogue. Het begin, het midden en het einde van het verhaal zijn niet per se het begin, het midden en het einde van het verhaal. Timestamps maken chronologische ordening mogelijk maar vertellen niet alles.
Op het web zoek ik hoe het nu met Karley gaat.
Het hele verhaal?
Het dumpen, het weer bij elkaar komen, het opnieuw uit elkaar gaan, alles gebeurt tegelijk, tot het stopt. Op het web is sprake van één plot: till death do us part.
It’s been two months since my ex-girlfriend and I broke up—or since she broke up with me, I should say—and I’m miserable. We all understand that breakups are meant to be difficult and painful. They’re the inspiration for endless songs and movies. But as it turns out, heartbreak is a feeling you truly don’t know until it happens to you. We’ve heard that “love hurts,” but that’s just a romantic abstraction until you’ve actually spent 72 hours in your room crying, your only human interaction being with the Seamless guy, who by the way is terrified of you. We imagine that the worst days will be the earliest days, that we will feel progressively better with time. That’s unfortunately not the case. There are good days and bad days. There are moments of total normality followed by sudden, intense waves of sadness that literally weaken the knees. And maybe I’m old to be experiencing my first true heartbreak, but at the risk of sounding naive, I just didn’t think it could be this bad.
It now seems ridiculous, but I will admit that, in the past, I’ve actually wondered if I was above heartache. I relished the idea that I might be vaguely sociopathic, because at 28, I had yet to feel deep loss or sadness in connection to a romantic relationship in the way that so many of my friends had. When friends of mine wouldn’t shut up about their breakups, I avoided them. Rather than feeling anything like empathy, I always had a pragmatic reaction. A breakup is simply an opportunity to upgrade and an excuse to be a slut for a while. You’re allowed one month tops to be sad, during which you get wasted and fuck a bunch of other people, and then a few months down the line you start looking for Mr. or Ms. Better-Than-the-Last. In retrospect, it wasn’t that I was being insensitive, but rather that I just couldn’t relate.
Now that I’m on the other side, I’m desperately clinging to anyone who can identify with what I’m feeling, or who will at least entertain me while I word-vomit Sylvia Plath–isms. I’m a broken record. And while I appreciate my friends for being there for me, none of them has actually made me feel any better. Everyone essentially says the same thing: “Oh, yeah, breakups are the worst. It will be a year before you’re fully back to normal.” It’s like: Thanks, guys. . . .
Something else I never fully grasped before is that, after being dumped, your ego goes on hiatus and you become a more shameless, more embarrassing version of yourself. For instance, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m now someone who sobs at random times in public places. The man who works behind the counter at my local Turkish deli knows far more about my breakup than is necessary. I often wake up hungover in the afternoons to find that I’ve sent my ex a series of manic texts, like: “I know I’ve hurt you in the past, but from now on I just want to buy furniture together at Crate & Barrel!!!” (In all caps, no less.)
A couple weeks ago, while at JFK, waiting to board the red-eye to London, I found myself crying into my McFlurry, confiding in a nearby Swedish woman who 100 percent did not care about my emotional trauma but who had kindly come over to ask if I was OK, unaware of the landslide of oversharing the question would unleash. Part of the desire to endlessly discuss a breakup is the delusional belief that you can talk your way out of it. That if your argument is good enough, you can win the case. That you can rationalize your ego back to life.
Someone who has been particularly helpful to me these past couple’ months is a friend I’ll call Kate, who, on the evening that the breakup went down, said something I found really valuable: “You are a machine now. You are going to have to be a robot for a while. But eventually, your humanity will start to trickle back, and you will start over.” She slept over at my apartment that night, and when I woke up, I found she had written out a list of the things I had to do that first day: “Brush your teeth; eat something; take a shower; call me.” I did it all, robotically. I did not feel like myself, but rather someone acting like myself. There are still moments when I feel this way.
There is a rulebook of things you are supposed to do after a breakup to help distract yourself, heal, and move on. You’re supposed to immerse yourself in work, and to use your sadness as a creative force. You’re supposed to have mindless hot sex with randoms, or become preoccupied with a passionate rebound. You’re supposed to eat healthfully and exercise. But I’m pretty sure whoever established these rules had never been dumped, because when you’re really low, these things seem near impossible. I can barely form a cohesive thought, which means working is basically impossible. I doubt any sane person would want to have sex with me, given the state that I’m in. The sad truth is, the only way to get over the pain of a breakup is time. You can’t expedite the process.
A couple of weeks after the breakup, Kate emailed me a link to an article about how being dumped by someone actually does change you, neurologically. The article, which compared brain scans of people recovering from recent breakups to those of people overcoming a cocaine addiction, found that both engage in the same neural circuitry. In a weird way, knowing this was comforting, because it was so objective. And it made me realize that, after a breakup, we have the choice to “get clean”—to cut all contact and try to move on. The alternative? We can keep feeding our addiction with texts, breakup sex, and visits to their Facebook page, stoking the craving and signing ourselves up to be dragged along further for an even more painful ride. And yet it’s so tempting to be dragged, to linger in dark denial, because it’s easier than admitting to ourselves that it’s really over, that it can’t be fixed.
One of the things that’s surprised me most about this breakup: what I miss. I don’t so much miss the big, obvious things that one would assume would be the hardest to go without: sex, sharing a bed, nights out at the movies. Instead, I obsess over the stupidest, most seemingly insignificant moments. I miss walking to the crappy deli near her house to get egg wraps, then eating them on her living room couch in our underwear, passing back and forth a bottle of Sriracha. I miss the gross organic toothpaste in her bathroom that I would always complain about. I miss her endless array of colorful socks.
I understand that romantic relationships are not the be-all and end-all of happiness, and that eventually, with time, I will be over this breakup and feel normal and happy again. And even now, part of me is saying, “You are a single woman in her 20s in New York—go have fun, you dummy!” But I have also learned over the years that I am just a relationship person, as cheesy as that might sound. After every breakup I’ve told myself, “O.K., now I’m going to be single—I’m just going to do me.” Partly because I believed that, as a modern, independent “Lean In” feminist, I should be able to love myself and be happy alone. But I actually think that’s bullshit. I actually think that I’m a better, happier, more productive person when I’m in a loving, supportive relationship, and I’m not embarrassed to admit that.
One of the hardest things to get over, for me, has been accepting the fact that the breakup was largely my fault. There are aspects of being in relationships that I’m not the greatest at: monogamy isn’t easy for me; when I’m drunk, I sometimes neglect to answer my phone for an entire evening; during fights I say hurtful things that I don’t mean. I suppose these are all pretty standard flaws, but during a breakup you can’t help but relive every mistake you made along the way and wonder whether, if you’d just done one tiny thing differently, it could have all worked out. When someone loves you—and especially when you have the upper hand in the relationship, as I did for most of it—it becomes far too easy to take that love for granted. I think I got to a delusional point where I thought I could make mistake after mistake and that she would never leave me, because, “Duh, it’s me.” Shockingly, this was not the case.
I get that ultimately, breakups are not always “bad.” Sometimes, even if it hurts, ending a relationship can be a mature and healthy decision. In the past, some breakups have felt like relief, or even something close to joy. One of the hardest things about being dumped is realizing that the person who dumped you probably isn’t suffering as badly as you are. In fact, they might be happier without you, and worse, there might be someone better for them out in the world. That’s really what hurts the most: the prospect that they were right to move on, when for you, they felt like the one.
Karley Sciortino writes the blog Slutever.