Sebastian Doe
Humans is powered by Vocal creators. You support Sebastian Doe by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Understanding Slowly

Or: An Emotionally Abusive Relationship That Burned on Both Ends

The worst part is there's no one else to blame.

The worst part is not crying yourself to sleep or holding so tightly onto a crumbling bridge of a love long lost that your very soul is shattering from the impact. You cannot brace fully for the inevitable fall, but you are forced to watch as it crumbles bit by bit and still, when it hits the water, you will cry and sob. You will feel a bottomless pit of hurt so deep within your chest that there seems to be nothing to fill it ever again. Maybe you'll still be on the phone as they tell you that it isn't your fault but theirs, or perhaps it is all your fault and none of theirs.

We met online. Perhaps a little cliché, but it was beautiful. So much in common, yet so different. He warned me, initially. He was not as he seemed and carried baggage. I warned him of the same but he insisted. Only later, as I curled around a hoodie of his, held to my chest as we both sobbed, did I truly understand just how deeply he had meant that. The next moment we were yelling, hanging up, and whispering apologies in the next moment. Neither of us were angels. I was possessive, obsessive. He was much the same, albeit fickle. Would threaten to stray only to get annoyed as I responded with fire. Or perhaps it would end in delightful phone sex; there was no telling. But we were destructive and corrosive; burning through the best parts of one another until only chaos would remain. 

It was neither healthy or sustainable and we both knew it. I would advise anyone in an unhealthy relationship to leave. To stop. It's not what you deserve or even need, but it seems ridiculous to hear or even say. I didn't believe when my friends told me our behavior was toxic, that sending constant messages and his mood swings were borderline emotional abuse. It seemed ridiculous—weren't all new relationships like this? But no, they're not, and no, it isn't good. Dependency is never sustainable, never ideal. Our co-dependency led to hours on the phone, skipping days of school to obsessively huddle in our own rooms, on Skype or the phone like hermits, hiding from the world as if they would expose our secrets for all to see. If only someone had, perhaps it would have ended sooner.

At first, we didn't speak for a few days. The conversation dwindled. We would hum awkwardly on the phone or make excuses to one another. Then, the Friday. He said he needed space and I knew it would be soon. Not even our similarities, our shared loves whispered about in the dark hours of the morning could bring together our fractured hearts. We simply couldn't work. Whether it was the distance, our own stupid, naïve belief that we would one day reconcile every problem the other had. 

We broke up officially on the Tuesday. I knew he was seeing someone else but he didn't tell me until that Friday when he called, sobbing his heart out and oh, how it broke mine to hear the deep, gut-wrenching sadness. How many times had I cried into my pillow in the same way, not wanting to call him for fear of showing some imagined weakness? How things might have changed if I had. 

But the days after were bleak. Dim. I will forever encourage independence in relationships, but we didn't have that. Not really. It was unhealthy, certainly, but we worked in that way; relying so completely and utterly on one other that we need never rely on anyone else again. Nothing will compare to those days after. My already rampant depression seemed all too happy to pull me underneath the murky waters. I barely had the energy to walk to the bathroom, to harm myself as my mind screamed for. Not that it mattered. I had promised him I wouldn't, and in some ridiculous, stupid sense of morality, I didn't want to. Instead, I cried and cried—whenever I was alone. Sometimes not. I broke into tears in front of a concerned house mate. 

It would be a lie to say I don't still love him. He admitted the same but again, the distance catches us. There's a song lyric that perfectly summarizes us and I think of it often. I know I will wait for him, even if the same doesn't happen. It will take months to move on, but it will happen. Healing hurts, an itch you want desperately to claw, but it dims. Fizzles out itself.

Whatever it was, it was wonderful, but non-functional.

But now, weeks later, we talk again. The conversation will drift to our natural paths; flirtation, offers to meet and see one another. Maybe I will, to hold him in my arms once more as I never could when we were together. The idea is nice, to go and see him; to see my ex, my soulmate. Someone I will never have a life with but is inexplicably woven into mine, and vice versa. Our brief arguments or off points will hurt the other, will cause a rift fixed within moments. We still send daily selfies and adore one another, but we know a relationship of romance is not one we need in one another. Perhaps platonic soulmates is our path together.

The point of writing this was not to make anyone sad or to seem bad, nor to demonize him; my thoughtful, creative, beautiful, handsome, intelligent, funny baby boy. I'm not even sure if it was a vent piece but to offer advice to even one person who might read this; do what makes you happy. If that is to the healthy thing—fine. As long as you will be alive and safe and happy,  it's alright. If others must be hurt intensely, then maybe consider carefully, but it's only fair you have your own enjoyment in life too. Enjoy the things you like. Be unashamed. Do not stand back. Chase what you want. Tell them they're beautiful or flirt right back.

If you cannot be happy, if you cannot have what you want, take some time. You might be young and have your whole life ahead of you, or older and feel you've already lived, but there is always time. Time to do what you want. But that isn't always possible.  If not, be kind to yourself. Have that extra treat or thing you want to buy but aren't sure. And don't force yourself to be social or exclude yourself, be closed off in your sadness or find people who share in it but do not deprive yourself of anything at all because you deserve happiness. 

The photo was chosen with an odd sort of irony. It's only a drawing, albeit a beautiful one, but it seems an ideal relationship; beautiful, but the two people could be anyone, and there is no way to tell. You can never truly know someone until you know their mind, their very soul. It's important to know who you are with, who you are in love with before you allow yourself to be consumed. 

Now Reading
Understanding Slowly
Read Next
Living with Your Best Friend