Memory vortex

It’s been a few months, but I’m still dealing with a breakup from this guy Heath that was totally mutual, totally loving, and totally mature. The relationship itself was rarely mutual, loving, or mature, so I have reason to be content with our split. But I’m not. My brain is thwarting any attempt at happiness BY TRAPPING ME IN A TIME VORTEX.

Not just any time vortex. A ROSE-COLORED time vortex. A time vortex wherein everything that occurred in said relationship was perfect and charming and cozy and sweet, and therefore I am a fool for having thrown it all away.

Now, I know very well that we fought like siblings, that the sex was underwhelming, and that we were terrible at communicating and responding to each other’s needs. I KNOW THAT.

So why, why, why do I miss him so?

I think it has a lot to do with the way human memories are not only incredibly selective, but also become warped and untrustworthy over time.

Call me crazy, but, in theory, I actually like that my brain does this. I think it says a lot about how I cope with and adapt to sorrowful events. My brain doesn’t want me to be full of regrets and horror. It pulls up the good stuff and represses the bad, idealizing the past so I can look back at my relationship with Heath with some measure of satisfaction.

Unfortunately, this has a nasty side effect of slowing down the moving-on process. I keep forgetting why we never worked in the first place, and I’ve been having to forcibly restrain myself from texting him late at night.

So, what to do? It sounds horrible to say, “dwell on the bad stuff,” but doing so might provide the much-needed reality check that our brains are reluctant to give us. Proceed at your own risk, however – only enter this territory if you are confident you can dwell without bitterness.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that I’m not alone here, but for science’s sake, please tell me in the comments so we can know for sure. Anyone else out there have a “Heath”?

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