The diagnosis.

To be honest with you all, part of me thought that jumping into this fun and very sweet relationship would fix a lot of my problems—make me feel better about myself. I wondered if I would even have stuff to talk to Lopez about.

Well, as you can probably imagine, it didn’t fix me, and I still have plenty to talk to Lopez about.

Our appointment last week (which went over 12 minutes) proved that. I told him that despite things going well with D, whenever we part ways, I find I feel this heaviness on my back. Like I cannot hold my head up.

It’s not like we fight and I get upset or that I’m scared he’ll cheat, it’s just a heavy feeling for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint yet.

I shared with Lopez a piece of my past that I hadn’t yet: 2 boyfriends I had years ago “dumped” me by simply not talking to me.

The first was a boy named Adam. He was my best friend, and we fell in love one summer during college. We decided to stay together when school started, despite living states away. In October, I flew to visit him for a few days. We had a great time, but when he took me to the airport, we were both really sad.

When I landed back at school, he was weird on the phone. Eventually, he stopped answering my calls, texts, emails… and I never saw him again. I knew it was over when he started posting pictures of him with a girl (his now-wife) on Halloween, just weeks after I saw him.

That was about 8 years ago. I dated someone two years later, who drove me back home so he could meet my parents. We had a great time and laughed all the way back to our city. But when I dropped him off at his house, I felt the weight.

In the days following, he didn’t answer my calls or texts. I knew it was over. I cried during my walks to class.

When I told Lopez this, he paused, and told me this.

“You’re reacting to something that was very traumatic,” he said. “It’s like you have PTSD.”

While I’d heard of PTSD and knew a little about it, I did some Googling. Here’s what I found:

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen post traumatic stress (also known as acute stress response). Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal—such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Hmm yeah, I fit like all of that.

It’s like, the logical side of me knows that when me and D part ways, like when I leave for work in the mornings, and everything is fine, that everything will continue to be fine until it’s not fine anymore. But my heart, my heart knows that things have been fine before and then they weren’t for no logical reason, and at this point, I am invested and that scares the shit out of me.

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3 thoughts on “The diagnosis.

  1. Gina says:

    I tend to think that people stop calling/texting/communicating with their boy/girlfriends because they don’t know how to break off the relationship. It’s the coward’s way out–you never have to face the person or worry about dealing with her/his feelings. I don’t think anyone who does this thinks about the long term effects this might have on the person who is being “left”.

    The thing you have to try and remember is that those guys were not right for you. You would have come to that eventually, but they didn’t give you a chance, so all you have is memories of the good stuff and then–bam–it’s over with no explanation. Try not to give them too much credit. They missed out on an amazing opportunity, and they spared you a lot of disappointment.

    You will always, always be okay. One day, the person you leave will be an upstanding, mature person who will stick around because they get it and because they love you and want to be with you. It might be even be D. And then, whether you get married or end up in a long-term committed partnership, you will have full lives together with an intricate story line. This first hurdle is one of the hardest because it requires trust and a willingness to free-fall. But you will get there! And you really, really, really will be okay.

    I promise.

  2. Gina says:

    Ack! The person you LOVE, not the person you LEAVE.

  3. Aw, thanks Gina. I always love your words! -L

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