It’s Not Just a Breakup; I Lost My Best Friend
I don’t know how to trust my feelings anymore.
I have been trying to get over a breakup now for 5 months. About a month ago, I was talking to a girlfriend about it and feeling stupid for still being so sad. I honestly expected her to give me “getting over it” advice, but she didn’t. Instead, she named what I couldn’t. I am grieving the loss of a relationship, yes. But I’m also grieving the loss of my best friend — a person that I talked to every day and counted on to be there through the thick and thin. I went through a move, a career shift, a college degree, and the declining health of my daughter with him. He listened carefully and offered comfort. I wholly believed that he loved me. And in fairness, he did — just not in the way I thought.
I remember this emptiness settling in the pit of my stomach after he broke up with me. We had both cried over the phone. I was angry and hurt, but also resigned. I knew he meant it. I hung up and just sat there in shock. I texted some friends. I told my sister. She flew up the following week, understanding what a tremendous loss it was. My daughter was really ill and considering medically assisted suicide, and all I could think is that I was losing everything. My daughter, my lover, and my best friend. What the fuck was I supposed to do now? No answer came but the stillness of grief. It felt like a death. And in a way, it was. There was no hatred on either side, no malice. We still loved each other — but we were broken and I couldn’t try to fix it. I just had to walk away and let it be.
At first, I tried to throw myself into the dating pool. I knew he was dating, and thought maybe getting out there myself would help me get over it. But dating is hard. I was having stupid conversation after stupid conversation, and I missed the easy communication I had with my ex. Then one day, I had to pick something up from his house and about had a panic attack thinking he could have his new girlfriend there. How was I going to handle that? I didn’t want to burst into tears in front of them. I remember putting my head on the steering wheel and thinking that I clearly was not over anything.
When there are still feelings of love on both sides, it makes the loss of the friendship that much more acute. My ex has a…