Losing the “Us”

Losing the “Us”

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Losing the “Us”

When an emotional injury takes place,
the body begins a process
as natural as the healing
of a physical wound.

Let the process happen.
Trust that nature
will do the healing.

Know that the pain will pass,
and, when it passes,
you will be stronger,
happier, more sensitive and aware.

Mel Colgrove from
How to Survive the Loss of a Love

“So does this mean you want to break up?” I asked softly, hoping my question would go unanswered. That is how it all began, or I guess, ended. The months the two of us had shared were some of the happiest, hardest and most educational months I ever experienced. It seemed impossible that this was the last conversation we would have as Ben and Lia, the couple.

I had ignored the fact that the majority of high-school relationships do not last. I guess, in the back of my mind, I always thought that Ben was the only boy I would ever have these feelings for, that he was the only boy who would ever understand me. I never took into account that the last month of our relationship was one of the hardest times I had ever gone through. It just stopped being fun. It stopped being about us and started to be about everything that surrounded him and me.

The next day at school I tried looking great to make him see what he had given up. I even tried to talk to him like my heart wasn’t aching, like I was better off and even happier. But inside I looked at him and could only see all the love and time I had given and all the hurt I had received. I walked around school in a complete daze and cried myself to sleep every night. He was the only thing I thought about, dreamt about and talked about. I drove my friends crazy by constantly analyzing the situation. How could it have ended? I found my other half when I was with him. I felt like something had been torn from me, like I was no longer whole.

One night, I couldn’t stand it. I gave up and called him. I didn’t last five minutes before I broke down and started crying. I told him I had forgotten how to be by myself, and that I needed him. I didn’t know how to be Lia without Ben. We had been through so much together that I could not imagine getting through this on my own. He told me that he would always care for me, but that it had become impossible to love me.

For weeks I couldn’t see him with other girls without thinking that they were dating. I threw myself at different guys.

I don’t know at exactly what point things started to change. I began spending time with my friends. I joined clubs and made after-school plans. I was doing all I could to stay busy.

Slowly I began to have fun by myself, without Ben. Beyond that, I discovered things I liked doing, ways I could be of help. I lent a sympathetic ear to others who were hurting.

I began to smile and, finally, to laugh again. Whole days would pass without a thought of Ben. I would see him at school and wave. I was not ready to be friends with him. I was still healing. But I know I didn’t cover a big wound with a Band-Aid and forget about it. I let the wound heal itself and felt enough pain to know that I had truly cared for him.

In my rebound stage, I pursued a lot of guys. Once I healed, they pursued me. The wonderful thing that happened was that I learned how to be a whole person, not half a couple. I’m in a new relationship now, and eventually we will probably break up, and it will be hard, and I will cry and feel just as much, if not more, pain. But I had to ask myself if never caring for someone so that I wouldn’t feel that hurt was worth it. I know now that the famous quote is true. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Because no matter what, loving yourself can heal anything.

Lia Gay, 16

“This is the 90s. You can't just dump your boyfriend anymore. You have to recycle him.”

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