Break-ups and playing pretend: ‘This is what it would be like’ game

Breaks ups and playing make believeIt’s hard losing things. I get annoyed when I can’t find my keys, we all know what it feels like when you lose a wallet, a phone or something that you owned and like.  For me it’s usually a mixture of anger, frustration over not being able to do anything, and a child-like sadness with pangs of  ‘but that was mine.’

Losing a relationship can be a whole new ball game. You’ve lost something that you thought would play a central role in the rest of your life.  The sense of anger, frustration and the pangs of loss can be unlike anything you’ve had to deal with before.

This is where your mind can be your enemy, because part of it can sneak off and start to play pretend, what I like to call the ‘this is what it would be like’ game.  I know my mind used to play this – I pictured family outings with his family, where we would all be laughing and having fun; thinking about how close his sister and I would become; imaging the fun of having our families over to our new house together for Thanksgiving and the way he would smile at me across the table; I could see the life that we would have together and how happy we would be.

This is strange because in every other area of my life I have no expectations to tell the future. I can’t predict the numbers for the lottery (not that I play, perhaps I would if I knew next week’s numbers), I don’t know what my sister or my brother are going to buy me for my birthday next month, heck I don’t even know what I’m going to order when I go out for a coffee at our local coffee shop until I’m at the front of the line and faced with a blackboard of choices.  Yet I think I have this amazing ability to know what our lives would be like? Hm.

Yes, I loved him.  Yes, I wanted to be with him and I thought he wanted to be with me – but NO, this pretend future that I had pictured in my mind was just that.  It’s my mind playing tricks on me.

So, as one broken-hearted-but-not-broken gal to any others, I would urge you NOT to let your mind wander and to start playing pretend lives out in your brain. don’t play the ‘this is what it would be like’ game.  If you are then then make it about someone you know is going to be there – YOU – dream of all the exciting places you want to visit that you would never have done as a couple; think of all the people YOU will meet; think of all the things YOU want to try and to do – for me this included blogging (which my ex used to mock) and woodcarving (which he had no interest in trying) – and being true to myself, listening to what I want to do, be and experience in life.

 

 

Posted by Tabitha R

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