If I had a penny for every time I had to explain how I just got dumped and quit my job last year……. I wouldn't be in my overdraft right now.
Following the aftermath of all things shitty in my life; the only people who had seen me cry my eyes out were my parents, my speech therapist, God, my cousin and a group of close friends. It was a struggle sharing my distress, as I felt I was a burden. Thankfully these wonderful people in my life made me see different; I wasn't burdening them they were simply there for me.
However, it wouldn't be too long until I was faced again with the struggle of sharing the broken pieces of my life. And as a result of living in a small town and having the added bonus of being Asian, it wouldn't be too long until everyone knew my business. I didn't want other people knowing what a disaster my life had become. I felt like a complete failure in my relationship and professional life; it wasn't so long ago, I was gushing about my new job and how things were moving forward in my relationship. Now everyone will know me as this girl who got dumped and is unemployed at the age of 26. However in time, I started to logically think again and I realised that this perspective I had wasn't what people thought of me, this is what I thought of myself. Because when you're in the gutters of depression you get so consumed with these thoughts of what people think of you when it's just really what you think of yourself.
And so, it was time to go out into the big scary world…….
My first stop was my local Tesco's. & you're probably literally laughing out loud, trying to comprehend what is so daunting about going to your local Tesco's? Tesco's was the very place my relationship began. And the likely hood of bumping into the following people was so high, that I felt that jumping off a cliff would be more pleasant then bumping into the following people;
1. Anyone who knew me and my now ex
2. My ex
3. Or even worst his ever so pleasant mother who was never my greatest fan- maybe I'm putting that way too politically; THE WOMAN WAS A BITCH! But more on that in the later chapters.....
In addition for legal reasons and in the words of Destiney's Child, "you know I'm not gon' dis you on the internet, cause my mama taught me better than that! I shall be referring to my ex as ‘Bob' and anyone else discussed in these chapters under other identities. I would say I'm doing this out of respect, but truthfully I'm doing it for legal reasons.
Following the topic of my first pit stop to Tescos, you may ask why not shop somewhere else then? If this very billion-pound establishment would trigger so many memories and have you spill your tea. The reason for this was given my current unemployment status, shopping at Waitrose was now a luxury. Except that wasn't the real reason, ok it was partially the reason.....As daunting as it was, I just knew I couldn't hide away and avoid certain places/people forever, I had to face the music…. And I knew that music would feel like a painfully overhyped song on the radio…. And it was for a while…...
I remember whenever I would go to certain locations or stores, I would mentally prepare some sort of mini script if I was asked how things were with me and Bob? Or how I was? etc. But that script went to hell! When questioned I usually would respond in the following three ways:
1. A response filled with tears
2. A blunt response
3. A cool and collective response
Nevertheless, I JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO STOP ASKING!
I soon started to contemplate going to different locations to run my errands. But by the power of the words of wisdom from my Dad, that never came about. My dad's advice really prevented me from going down a route that would damage myself worth drastically. He said, ‘You have nothing to feel guilty about and you shouldn't let people dictate where you go.' People break up and let people ask you, you can either just simply answer or choose not to answer.
I took my Dad's wonderful advice onboard and resumed running errands and shopping in my familiar territory. Months, weeks, days, seasons or in U.K. rain, more rain and a couple of weeks of sunshine passed by; and there was no escaping bumping into mutual friends and acquaintances that I and Bob once knew and the questions never stopped. However one thing did gradually stop, I gradually stopped caring about what people thought.
When people questioned me, I threw away that mini script and was prepared to answer genuinely. Eventually, I also stopped welling up with tears when discussing the topic, because the topic had become such a reoccurrence it was like asking someone how they were? I'd pretty much become desensitised by the topic.
And it got, even more, easier, because through the turmoil of facing up to things, soon the memories started to fade, people became people and Tesco was just Tesco and people eventually stopped asking! Also, I was finally able to shop at Waitrose again because I was now employed, but more on that in later chapters…
Moving forward, I made the conscious decision that whomever I would encounter whether that be Bob, his delightful mother or anyone mutually connected, I would simply just be civil. And that doesn't mean engaging in a lengthy conversation, but just simply not addressing these people with the same disrespect they had displayed towards me. I would simply acknowledge their unworthy presence in a peaceful manner and continue with my day.
In the words of Selena Gomez, ‘Kill them with kindness.'
Hmmm, I wonder if you could actually kill someone with kindness?
Lessons we can Learn:
1. Avoidance only makes things harder not easier
2. Facing up to things will be hard at first but it will gradually become easier.