Where do I start? There are a lot of things I’d like to share with you. It may seem a bit irrational to talk about the heartbreak when your coping mechanism is emotional detachment, but it’s real. I’ll share my story with you.
It is possible to go through a bunch of emotions after someone hurts you, even though you probably won’t feel it right away. For me, emotional detachment was a choice. I chose it to be my coping mechanism.
At that moment, I thought if I feel numb, if I stop myself from feeling, my heart won’t be broken. Boy, I was wrong…
When you’re emotionally detached in a relationship, it means that you don’t pay as much attention to your partner’s needs or feelings. But, that was not me. I always felt like I cared more.
Falling in love for the first time is not an easy task, for anyone. And, my God, I fell head over heels. I knew it was going to hurt, because (nerd alert!) Newton said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
The moment I saw him, I knew I was screwed. He was every girl’s dream, successful and handsome, warmhearted, and a real gentleman. He had a great sense of humor and was extremely intelligent. You could figure that out through his witty comebacks and his unique (weird to some people) jokes.
We spent a couple of nights together, just strolling around the city and I knew I’ll regret it, sooner or later.
Fast forward a couple of months, I was foolishly believing in the fairytale we were creating and then my inner nerd woke up. I’ve turned on the rational side of the brain and I forgot about the emotions. Almost completely…
I couldn’t deny that I was feeling beautiful and appreciated in his company, but I rejected to believe he loved me. Why would he? There are plenty of other girls who are better choices for him than I am. Why would he choose me?
I started making excuses not to see him and I was trying to stay away from him. It seemed that the harder I tried, the more he was attached to me. I convinced myself that I feel nothing for him. I just like him as a friend, that’s it.
What I didn’t realize was that I was breaking not one, but two hearts at once. Something to brag about, don’t you think? What kind of person do you have to be in order to do this?
At this moment, all I could think of was to protect myself. People used to leave me before (I’m not only talking about romantic relationships here). I didn’t want to feel that all over again. So what did I do? I numbed my emotions. And the rest – it’s history.
I didn’t want to be hurt, so I did what I knew the best – I was rational and I let my brain take the lead.
The wall I’ve built around myself was unbreakable. Imagine those medieval stone keep castles with thick walls and a few windows only and the entire construction is surrounded by a ditch or even a moat. The drawbridge was the only entrance, and I wasn’t allowing anyone to cross it.
My heart, or at least what was left of it, was kept in a fortified tower built within the castle. It was the best hiding spot in case the “enemy“ conquered the outside somehow. And the light, some good that still exists in this crazy world, could come in only through those little windows.
This doesn’t mean that I was an emotionally unavailable person, rather I wasn’t willing to connect with men emotionally and in a romantic way. I’m not going to lie, with this guy, it hurt like hell.
But, it was my choice. I blamed myself for everything that I was feeling, for every negative emotion that would somehow crawl inside my castle. And, I never blamed him. Using emotional detachment as my coping mechanism, helped me survive the heartbreak a bit easier.
When we finally decided that we were done playing games and hiding from each other, I felt nothing. I knew it was coming, so I was prepared. I broke two hearts unintentionally, only not to harm myself. And that’s where my story starts.
He wanted to get a reaction from me and I said nothing, I showed nothing. I was completely emotionless and he didn’t like it. He thought that I’ll be the one begging him to stay and trying to fix things, but I did the opposite.
At that moment, I knew I didn’t need him, or anyone as a matter of fact. He proved to me that he was willing to leave me as soon as the opportunity showed up. People are the same. Once they don’t have any benefit from you, they ditch you.
Even though he said he won’t hurt me, he did. But the thing is, I never blamed him. The only person guilty of me feeling this way was myself. How could I let him close? Why did I trust him enough to let that drawbridge down?
He almost occupied my little castle and reached for the heart. And I couldn’t let that happen. Not now, not ever. That’s almost everything that crossed my mind during those days of heartbreak. How could I let myself feel after everything I’ve been through?
And at times, I wasn’t thinking of anything. Those were rare moments of bliss…
Yes, I had other signs of typical heartbreak. I wasn’t eating well and my sleep schedule was super messy. But I knew it will pass soon. I’ll get back to that smiley girl I was before all of this happened.
When your coping mechanism is emotional detachment, how do you survive the heartbreak? In a way, you don’t. Because I’m not sure you have something to be broken in the first place. You’re never “all in” because your past experiences showed you what you can lose.
Honestly, I’ll never blame him, because, in my mind, it’s (still) not his fault. Of course, he told me that we fit together since we’re both messed up. And of course, when he moved on after a couple of months, my heart shattered into a million pieces.
And that… It’s another story.