I’ve always tried to go through life with no regrets, because life is too short for regretting what you have or haven’t done. However, sometimes life throws something at you that completely knocks you for six, something that is completely out of your control and you deal with it in a way that is probably undignified, but at the time, it’s the best way you can cope with it.
But that crap brings with it a lot of anger and hurt towards someone who had been in your life, and who has promptly walked straight back out of it without so much as an “adios”. When that happens it’s easy to feel like you can’t possibly forgive and you most definitely won’t forget, but the the problem is that small things remind you of that person, and it starts to eat you inside. So, what I want to know is: is forgiving and forgetting the most crucial part of recovering from being hurt?
My Other Half honestly believes that it’s not possible to truly forgive and forget, and for a long time, I wasn’t sure that I thought it was easily, but then something happened that changed my mind.
Remembering the Past
I’m not going to use names, because it’s not fair on them to “name and shame”, but I met this particular male whilst I was at University, through a friend from home, and we started going out. To be honest, we were rubbish together. We had nothing in common, we didn’t have any kind of “spark” and his idea of fun really wasn’t my idea of fun. In fact, I’d found his kind of fun incredibly boring, I’m not going to lie.
Nevertheless, we went out for roughly two and a half months over the summer holidays. Then I went back to Uni, and he became distant. He didn’t reply to my texts and I should have followed my gut instinct and dumped him at the first sniff of things not being right.
I ended up travelling home to try and find out what was going on, and he chose the moment that I arrived at my parents’ house to text me and tell me that he’d met someone else. Yeah, thanks for that. Remembering it, I’d had my suspicions that he’d met someone else, because of something that I’d joked about and how he hadn’t responded as I’d expected him to about it, but what had made me so angry was the fact that I had given him plenty of opportunity to just tell me, and he’d let me travel all the way home, only to dump me by text. He couldn’t even do it in person, or stop me the trouble of wasting my time coming home by at least calling me. Ultimately, he was a coward and the fact he treated me the way he did just built up this huge level of anger that festered inside me for around five years.
It sounds crazy to let something like that bother me for five years, but I can’t even explain why it made me feel like that for so long. Every time that I saw a van for the national company that he worked for, it made me so mad. And the various occasions that I’d see him in the street when I was home, I honestly wanted to go up to him and punch him. Thankfully, that didn’t happen very often.
Then, about a year and a half ago, he randomly added me on Facebook. At the time I was a little bit surprised. I knew that he had gotten married, and I was happily in a relationship myself but I will admit that I was curious. I don’t entirely remember the conversations that were had back then, because they’re really not important, and I’m pretty certain that it was just the typical “how are you” and “what are you up to” type crap, but all that mattered was that he had made the first move. He might not have apologised outright (then again, he might have, I honestly can’t remember), but whether he did or not, it wasn’t the point. It was the fact that he had made the effort to get in touch and find out how I was that meant a lot to me.
From that moment, I found that I was able to finally forgive him for how he treated me and properly move on from it.
It sounds ridiculous, but I realised as I was writing this that I no longer walk around worrying that I’m going to bump into him, because even if I did, it would no longer be a big deal. I think that his metaphorical olive branch gave me a huge sense of closure over something that had hurt me deeper than it ever should have. I honestly don’t think that he was a bad person. Yeah, he did a horrible thing, he was a coward and he should have handled things differently, but we really were bad together, and people make mistakes.
I think that that olive branch was exactly what I had needed emotionally to be able to detach from the anger that had built up in me for so long, and I feel so much happier for it. As I said, the Other Half doesn’t entirely understand it, and he doesn’t understand why I felt that I needed to make peace with my Ex and how important it has been for me to be able to consider us “friends”, but it was something that I needed to do for myself, and I really do feel better for being able to move forward.
I think that it really helped that it was him (who caused the hurt) who was the one to step forward and make the friend request, because I don’t think that I could ever have done it the other way around.