Skip to content

My advice on a “few, short, and final words”? Don’t hit “send”.

November 16, 2011

Oh, hey there. I know, I know. I’ve been a bit MIA this past week AND this post is ridic late. Apologies. Do you want my excuses? They’re… mostly legit. Ok: one, I am now in a time zone five hours later than the one I was in. Two, the past week has seen a very important meeting with my boss, my birthday, and a trip practically halfway around the globe, and then some more meetings. Oh, and I didn’t have internet at my rental all day yesterday. That too. How’re those for excuses?

Anyhoo. Last night, I had dinner with a friend, Nurse, and her husband at their house here on the island. Towards the end of the evening, she starts telling me about recent events with an old friend.

Long story short, said friend went through a nasty divorce. Said friend is pretty fucked up as a result, and said friend actually drew Nurse into the foray with a long letter to the ex, in which he put all kinds of words into Nurse’s mouth.

Thus, Nurse didn’t speak to her old friend for a lil while.

The letter that Old Friend wrote to hie ex is pretty typical. It starts with “I just wanted to say a few short, final words“… and then rambles on for paragraph after paragraph.

This letter, and the way he used Nurse to say things he wanted to without having to sound like a dick and for evidence so he could believe what he wanted to believe, are things I… well. They are things I get. I don’t condone them, but I understand the place they come from.

I’ve been there. And I would hazard a guess many of you have been there, too.

The heartbreak made me literally hysterical at times. I’ve been unable to sleep or eat, and the lowest point in my life was being shit-housed drunk, balling my eyes out and screaming at a friend.

In public. On a pub crawl with all of my friends. Including Kay – the one who caused the heartbreak (but not the breakdown – that was my own bad).

I’ve also written letters like the one Nurse’s friend did (although I never pulled anyone else into the mess with me). Letters upon letters. Paragraph after paragraph. There may have even been poems.

Only a very few of those words were ever to reach Kay.

I have a manilla envelope about three-quarters of an inch thick, buried in my closet somewhere.

And yes, if you read back over them, I will write, over and over again about the connection between Kay and me. About how, regardless of how she’s treated me or how ridiculous things have become, I truly believe Kay will always be in my life.

I haven’t seen Kay in well over a year. And that was only for a brief period where we didn’t speak. I hadn’t seen her for a year before that. And, despite how I felt in her presence last year, I never want to see her again. I feel nothing towards her but mild disgust. I don’t even feel pain or real anger any more. Although I can get riled up if I go over how it all went down. For almost two years. But part of that is irritation and embarrassment aimed at myself. 

I know many of us have those people in our lives. Or in our past. The ones we felt that connection with.

I know many of us have been there. The place where our heart feels not broken, but blown apart. Where we feel like our very bodies and souls are split wide open. And we have no idea how to even begin putting them back together.

I know the words we feel like we have to say right now. The letters we write, the conversations we need to have. Right now.

I know the belief that you will always be connected to this one person. That, despite it all, you will never know how to say goodbye. That you will never ever want to.

Couple things about that, from someone who has, believe me, been there.

First: Don’t send that e-mail. Delete the phone number from your phone.

By all means, please do write down every word you need to say. Every single one. But do them without an internet or cell phone connection.  And, if you must send it somewhere, send it to a friend. And then sleep on it. And, in the morning, let them call you and talk about it. I kinda guarantee they will start that convo with “well hey there Crazy.

No matter how much it seems like those words need to be said rightfuckingnow!they don’t. In my experience, the more you need to say something, the more likely what you need to say is at least mildly irrational, and something you’ll be at least mildly embarrassed about down the road.

Important words can wait a day or five. And they should be something you can tell your close friends first. If you can’t tell your friends? That should be a red flag for ya.

In addition: You do well to keep in mind that the person you want to say all that shit to will more than likely 1) not hear it and/or 2) not react at all the way you want them to.

PS if you want to tell me you just need to say it and you don’t want a reaction I will say the following:  You are kidding and/or lying to me and to yourself. Just sayin.

Second: Whether or not a person is important in your life is entirely up to you. It is not some form of fate, no grand scheme of things where this connection means someone will always be in your life. No matter how real that feels in the moment, it’s not something determined by anyone but you.

You decide how important the people in your life are to you. Every one of them. Nothing and no one else. Period. Full stop.

That means as a healthy relationship, or just as someone you can’t stop pining over. They’ve more than likely already let you know they don’t need you around (whether in words or actions) so now it’s up to you how long you hang on to them for. And that is not Fate. It’s not Love.

Give it enough time and space, you will see everything in a new light.

Time and space are significant for healthy relationships with people, too. If, by chance, this person has done nothing more to you than no longer love you the way you love them, and you both want to be friends again one day, you still need to step away. If this person cares about you, then they will understand that you need time and space. They will provide you that, and they will still be there when you’re ready to come back – and start your new relationship from scratch.

I know, I know. More than one of you will read this and think Well Nikki doesn’t know/understand MY situation. And you’d be right. I don’t. But.

I bet if you actually do work to give yourself enough time and space, and to focus on something other than this person and your heartbreak, if you end the mantras that repeat over and over again how this person will always be in your life and you will always feel this connection… guess what?

You will realize you don’t know/understand your entire situation while you’re still eyeball-deep in it, either.

Just sayin.  Take some time, some space…. and try to prove me wrong. I dare ya.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2011 4:37 pm

    {I know many of us have been there. The place where our heart feels not broken, but blown apart. Where we feel like our very bodies and souls are split wide open. And we have no idea how to even begin putting them back together.} Ohh gosh that is the worst part of a brake up…

    I can not prove you wrong cuz u are absolutely right! Every single word is true…
    I just wrote something similar dedicated to single people out there but didn’t focus that much on the brake up part, I wanted to jump straight to the fun stuff that comes after.

    Great post!

  2. November 16, 2011 5:03 pm

    I totally agree some of my worst feelings revolve around times when I actually hit send.

    • November 16, 2011 10:43 pm

      Tell me about it! You think it’s going to make you feel so much better… and instead it’s worse! Whether that’s because you realize what you said, or because you didn’t get the reaction you didn’t know you were hoping for.

  3. Esme permalink
    November 16, 2011 7:22 pm

    Oh I SO agree with this! I will rant and rave and write letter after letter. I save them. And when I start to feel better, I rip each one into little pieces. It is so cathartic…

    • November 16, 2011 10:45 pm

      That is exactly what Nurse’s husband said – write it all down if you must, then DESTROY it when you’re ready!

      Esme, I know you have felt SO much heartbreak, just in the time I have been reading your blog. You really are so strong and definitely try your darndest to move forward and not back. I absolutely admire you! Hope things are ok!

      • Esme permalink
        November 17, 2011 1:45 pm

        Thanks, Nikki-you paid me such a compliment! Things are better then they have been in a while. One step at a time 🙂

  4. November 16, 2011 10:09 pm

    “You decide how important the people in your life are to you.”

    THAT is the best thing I have heard in a long, long time. I knew it…but seriously needed to be reminded.

    Seriously fab stuff there.

    • November 16, 2011 10:51 pm

      Hey thanks, lady!

      And yes – it’s so easy to forget AND/OR to ignore the fact that you control who is in your life and who your priorities are. I KNOW sometimes it feels like it’s beyond your control, but it never really is. It just feels like that, and it’s just really hard to make changes sometimes.

      But you can still do it.

      Thanks for reading! 😀

  5. November 17, 2011 6:21 am

    Ugh… I have written so much CRAP! Some has been said/sent but luckily most has not and I am ever so grateful that it is well hidden and not to ever see the light of day!

    I have a tendancy to feel this overwhelming urge of saying that last piece…. and yep it really is a bad thing most times. So when I managed to resist… and then read it back later… I am very relieved it was never voiced.

    I agree with above comment – the sentiment that “You decide how important the people in your life are to you.” – it is spot on. Not necessarily always easy to realize or live by but very, very true and an important reminder. Only you can give others any emotional power over you. The tricky part is to keep it in mind. 🙂

    • November 18, 2011 1:41 pm

      Isn’t it so interesting how the things you think you NEED to say RIGHT NOW end up being the things that, given some time, are more “uhh… yeah… about that…” than something you were SO GLAD you said?

      I hear you on the last word – it’s hard to walk away sometimes. Funny thing I’ve learned, though, is silence often speaks volumes more than anything you can say or write – and is more likely to illicit a response (albeit rarely good).

      Yes – it’s tough to remember that YOU decide how important people are to you – especially in those moments when it *feels* SO far beyond your control.

  6. November 17, 2011 9:39 am

    I agree with you completely. If you need to get some feelings out, definitely write it down, but let it sit before you give it someone. Most of the time, you’re not going to want to give it someone.

    I usually ask myself, “Is giving this person this something that I’ll regret doing a year from now? Or is it going to change anything?”

    • November 18, 2011 1:46 pm

      “Is giving this person this something that I’ll regret doing a year from now? Or is it going to change anything?” <—- GREAT check-in! Especially the "is it going to change anything?" part – that, to me, is the real kicker.

      In addition – really thinking and being honest about this one: "what is the reaction or outcome I am hoping for here, and is it realistic? Is there any chance that'll ACTUALLY happen?"

  7. November 18, 2011 3:31 am

    Great post. I have a friend who just can’t stop herself from e-mailing, texting, whatever, this same guy. As a result, they have broken up and gotten back together 20 times in the last year. And he continues to break her heart. It takes a lot of strength to cut off contact with someone you feel so connected to. But more than likely, after a few months (maybe longer), you WILL feel less of a need to do so.

    • November 18, 2011 1:53 pm

      The first steps are the most difficult – it does get easier, but you have to start when it’s so hard.

      When breaking up with my last GF, I likened it (in my head) to riding my bike up this horrendous hill on my commute. Sure, as you start up, it totally sucks. And if I turned around, I could just coast back down and that would be SO EASY.

      But. Then I’d just be back at the bottom of the hill again.

  8. November 20, 2011 3:14 pm

    I can say I have been in a situation where it was so difficult to cut off contact with someone I broke up with. We actually spoke for over a year after we broke up, that’s how hard it was. Sometimes we got back together but what it did was that I knew we weren’t good together and while I was dating others it would always affect my new relationships and ruin them because I would become confused and would start comparing them.
    I liked the way he made me feel because it was “comfortable” and I could be myself so it ruined any new chance of getting to know someone because I felt like I had to take more time to get used to them and that was too much effort.

    Cutting off contact altogether was what really helped me find a new relationship that was good for me and continues to be great.


    Brooke and Mckenzie

  9. November 22, 2011 1:39 pm

    That means as a healthy relationship, or just as someone you can’t stop pining over. They’ve more than likely already let you know they don’t need you around (whether in words or actions) so now it’s up to you how long you hang on to them for. And that is not Fate. It’s not Love.

    Oh man, this is all so true. I understand what you’re saying NOW but, if I had read it even a year ago I would have said “you don’t understand…I’ll always feel connected to this person” etc etc. I can now see that connections you think are never ending, do end…and it’s a very liberating feeling. I had a psychic tell me once that these “connections” are just an “energy field” and that you have the power to sever the tie, if you choose to do so. Heartbreak sucks but realizing that you no longer feel blown apart, that you’ve been able to say goodbye is one of the best feelings ever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: