Fiction and Fantasy

Broken Engagement: Am I Over Him Yet?

Yeah, I’ve been through the agony of a broken engagement. Not a fun experience, to put it kindly.

Awkward segue time: dreams have been on my mind a lot lately.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about dreams. But the thing that’s really on my mind today is one of the kinds of dreams I brought up way back in March–those dreams that sort of stick with you even after you wake up. The ones where your significant other says something really horrible to you and you wake up ready to pummel them with your pillow. The ones where you’re late for class, but your shirt has a hole in it, you can’t find your backpack, breakfast keeps burning, and everyone and their mother wants you to do the twelve Labors of Heracles before you leave. Then you wake up and wonder why you feel exhausted before the day’s even begun.

I get these dreams fairly often. And recently, a whole heckofa lot of them have been about my former fiance.

Whenever I have a dream more than once in the span of a few days or weeks, I start to wonder if there’s some meaning behind it. And especially considering how these dreams with my former fiance always leave me emotionally-charged, they make me feel like my subconscious is trying to tell me something.

My former fiance and I broke off our engagement years ago. I want to say it’s been four since February, but I’d have to look it up. And that’s not so easy. Because despite my desire to heal in an emotionally-mature way from such a painful event, I didn’t exactly meticulously document the break-up. At least, not the night it happened. I’ve documented my broken heart pretty well since then, in bits and pieces.

Usually that happens on a night when I feel so overwhelmed with emotion that I can’t help but sit down and journal. There’s no resisting the urge to write about how I’m feeling. I’ve tried. Not writing just leaves me feeling… it’s hard to describe. Kind of like a closed plastic bottle filled with soda and Mentos. It’s not going to take long before all that pressure builds up and I explode.

I figure writing is the better alternative.

But writing only takes me so far. It helps me feel better for a little while, but I often wonder how much it helps. Is it really helping me heal? Yeah, I get to be honest about how I’m feeling, but how I’m feeling is always the same thing: “My heart is aching. I feel so alone. I’m overwhelmed. I wonder if this will ever get any better. I feel like it won’t.” My sorrow seems to swallow me whole each time.

That, coupled with the recurring dreams of my old flame, makes me wonder… Am I even over him yet?

When you promise you’re going to get married to somebody, when you really think you love them, do you ever truly “get over them”? Or do they always have a place in your heart, even if that place changes over time? Do you let go once you move on to the next date? When you’re married?

I guess the question I really keep asking myself is…

How do you know when you’ve healed over a terrible loss?

And have I? Will I? Or am I going to be stuck in this dark hole for as long as I keep poring over my feelings? Have I expressed all my grief, or am I still keeping some hidden inside?

Because I’m really good at holding emotions in. Or really bad with it, I guess is the better way to say it. Expressing myself doesn’t come naturally unless it’s gotten so bad I can’t hold it in any longer. Better to just stuff it all inside. Better not to think about it.

Better not to dwell on the pain.

But are these dreams warning me that I’m not expressing my real feelings enough? Is that why my former fiance keeps traipsing the corridors of my dreams? After all, if that’s the case, then something’s got to confront me about it. Something’s got to remind me that there’s feelings there that haven’t been dealt with.

The thing is, I feel like I have dealt with them. Again and again and again, every time that I journal about it.

So what gives? Do my dreams mean nothing? Should I just ignore the dreams? Ignore my feelings? Let the feelings go? Stop lingering over them and move on?

Or is there more going on here?

I honestly don’t know. Wish I did.

There’s some things I know for sure, but they’re not pretty.

I know that I wish the dreams would just go away. I know that they make me feel like I’ve been set back a thousand painful paces from where I started after we broke up. Like dreaming them dredges up all the broken pieces of my feelings that I thought I tossed out already, or that I should have discarded a long time ago. I know that while I’m dreaming, I feel so many of the good things I miss about him. And I know that when I wake up, I’m left feeling sick to my stomach, as if I had to say goodbye to him all over again.

I know that I hate goodbyes. Living in a long-distance relationship will do that to a person.

And I know that it’s good we broke up. I know that it was healthier for both of us to say goodbye. But I also know that I still hate it had to happen. I still hate all the pain it caused us both.

I know that I feel like I should be over him by now. I know that I feel like I should be healed from it all.

But I know I’m not. Because if I was, I wouldn’t feel ashamed every time I wake up from these dreams about him.

It’s especially hard going through stuff like this because I know so few people who have gone through broken engagements. So many people have break-ups, but a broken engagement… maybe I’m just being prideful, but it feels like it’s different. It’s a different kind of pain. And because it’s so freaking personal and sensitive, I can’t exactly just bare my heart to every Joe Schmoe who walks on by.

Even though that’s probably exactly what I’m doing by posting all this on the internet… Now I’m fighting the temptation to just delete all this and start over with some other light-hearted blog post for today.

But that’s not honest. That’s not what’s really going on with me right now. And I feel I owe you that much, to be raw and real with you. And I’ll never break free of the pain if I’m not honest about how much it hurts, right?

I can only hope that by showing off some of my scars it’ll help others out there who are suffering with scars of their own. Maybe even some of your own. Because it’s not wrong to be scarred. It’s not unnatural. You’re not alone.

Okay. The other thing that seems to help, even temporarily? Prayer. I think it’s just gonna be a hardcore prayer day today. Because no matter what pain I’m dealing with, no matter what shortcomings I’m having trouble overcoming, I know that God is there to understand.

Yeah, it’s a prayer day today.


For Him, to Him


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