It still does. Everyone said it’ll hurt less as time goes on.
Here’s the thing – it doesn’t hurt any less than when I first found out. It’s still a deep scar, and it still overwhelms me with emotion whenever I think about the cheating and the break-up.
The only thing that’s changed is me.
I’m stronger now. It still hurts, but I guess I can say I’m used to it. I’m used to the emotional scars and being by myself again.
I never was much of a social person. I guess in a sense, I was always used to being on my own. I’ve always been a social outcast. I definitely didn’t belong at home – my parents made sure of that.
But when I fell in love, I belonged somewhere.
Maybe that’s what hurts the most – losing my home. Losing my place in the world where I felt I truly belonged. I sure as hell don’t belong here.
I keep trying to remind myself that these experiences will make me stronger. And one day, I’ll be thankful for this as well – not for the emotions, but for the lesson.
I still care for her very much. If I didn’t, it wouldn’t hurt so much every time I think of her and what she did. When I feel weak, I sometimes wonder if she’s thinks about me too. If she wishes things could be different, or if she regret dating me in the first place, or if she’s just laughing her ass off for duping some poor boy to pay for her school tuition.
Then I remind myself that none of it matters at this moment.
What matters is what I do going forward.
It’s a hard lesson, that’s for certain. And I have to accept the fact that every once in a while, I’ll think and dream of her. After all, we all dream of happier times. And deep down, we all want to be happy. To be without pain, and to enjoy everything each day has to offer.
But the sad truth is being happy isn’t what I need. I need to be stronger. I need to face my own demons. I need to confront my problems and get my stuff together. I need to work harder than I’ve ever worked before, to make a name for myself and, in the process, make a new place where I belong.
A friend once told me I tried too hard. She also told me it’s probably because I had to fight tooth and nail for all the things I’ve got. And that’s probably why this one guy bothered me – not because he did anything, but because he’s had a relatively carefree life – one I never got. The thought’s stuck in my mind for a while.
She’s right, in a sense. That probably was the discomfort I felt around him.
But I don’t think the effort I put forth is going to change.
When I do something, whether it’s love, work, or pleasure, I do it with everything I’ve got. I’m not worrying about consequences or risks. And definitely not failure – failure’s just the lesson I get before I succeed. I’m tough enough. I’m strong enough to fail again and again. And sure, I’ll lose hope and get depressed sometimes, but I know I’ll keep getting back up.
Yes, the cheating hurts. But I’ll be doing my best to make sure it doesn’t affect my future relationships. And I’ll probably fail, but at least I’ll keep trying.
Because when I love, I’m all in.