Selective memory is a rampant phenomenon that occurs after break-ups, particularly when someone has left you broken hearted. It’s when all of a sudden you believe that the person who left you is your one true soul mate and that your relationship with them was fulfilling and meaningful. It’s when all the memories of the good times together flood your mind and body for days, weeks, and sometimes months after they’ve gone. It’s when you’ve convinced yourself that your life is barren without this person, your heart now deprived of acceptance and love, and your future dull and empty. Selective memory is a symptom of a much graver condition, however, which is amnesia. Some break-ups such as, (but not limited to) divorce, are so intense that they fall within the spectrum of deep psychological trauma, so the amnesia which occurs is to be expected. But: this deficit in your memory is keeping you from the truth. From remembering how bad things really were. How totally miserable you were. Of course you weren’t miserable all the time. Of course there were good times, even incredible times. Days, months, or even years when you felt accepted and loved, sexy and desired. There were times, perhaps many, when you felt so utterly connected to this person, as if your soul knew their soul in a way that can’t be described but only experienced by you, and witnessed by others. They were your best friend. Your confidante. Your most trusted advisor. They were home.
But they haven't been that to you recently.
And those meaningful times haven't happened in a long while.
You haven't felt special, appreciated, or sexy.
You’ve been feeling malnourished, deprived of all the little things they used to do for you, notice about you, share with you.
You’ve felt disconnected during sex, living in your head, overwhelmed with insecurity.
You haven't wanted sex at all.
They haven't wanted it.
You’ve been mistreated. You’ve been ignored, shut out, yelled at.
You’ve been walking on egg shells, wondering what mood they would come home with, or wake up to.
There's been endless, circular “talks” about your relationship.
They feel oddly like your room mate, or even like your brother or sister.
They don't want to dream with you about the future, or even just plan fun shit to do together.
You haven't slept, and have had countless stress dreams.
You’ve been tired. Hopeless, bored, numb, sad, anxious.
Your body has been tight, you jaw locked, your gut off.
You’ve been unhappy. You wanted this to end too. I promise you, you have. I know it doesn't feel that way, but it’s true. You just haven't been able to get there yet.. not in your mind nor your heart. You haven't wanted to end things, because that would mean starting over. And starting over is a vast desolate trail to nowhere.
You aren’t mourning your soul mate as much as you’re grieving the loss of what this soul once was to you. Of what your union could have been…. should have been.
You have a blueprint of what your life is supposed to look like. That blueprint involves a lover. Maybe it involves a spouse. It has family and love and success and “beautiful future with your soul mate” stamped all over it. Your blueprint doesn't have this ending, this break-up, this divorce. This wasn't part of the plan, of the grand design of your happiness. You weren’t supposed to be alone at this age, at this time in your life. This blueprint certainly does not have the scary trail to nowhere.
It’s time to fold up this print and put it away. You’ll burn it when you’re ready. It’s time to start designing a new one. One that is about a life free of relationship misery, and filled with love. Friend love, family love, community love, neighborhood love, self love, and eventually your new love. Rest assured, another soul is in the shadows trying to find your light.
Jog your memory. Exercise it every day so that you can remember the truth.