We all have triggers, right? You know, those life-altering experiences that leave us wide-eyed with disbelief and fear. They send shockwaves to our unconscious mind, jolting it into our memory like a lightning bolt. That way, when a similar situation surfaces, we get to freak the fuck out. Our brain is like, “OMFG. No. Not again. We’ve been here before and we don’t like it.” One of my known triggers that has surfaced three times in this year alone.
what does it mean to be ghosted?
Ghosting (n.) the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone
Maybe you’ve been ghosted before? But what I find harder than the actual act of being ghosted is being haunted. Once I’ve been ghosted, I seem to be followed everywhere by the thought of the ghost. This post, simply put, is me working through my shit so that I can free myself from the haunting. It’s me connecting with you as a way back to truth and light.
I work online. (Clearly.) If I had to put a number on it, I’d say that I share about 90% of my life. You’ll find pieces of my heart scattered across the digital world. Anyone can know my soul rather quickly with this blog and social media. But what about that other 10%? Well, it’s reserved for my inner circle. I don’t say that to necessarily exclude anyone, but it’s what happens naturally. Don’t you have people that you talk to daily? Or the people that you see in person — that feels different, right? Or maybe even those you FaceTime once a week, but the connection is hella deep? So, despite the fact that I love a lot of people wholeheartedly (namely : you), there’s only so many people that know that 10%.
When one of the 10% goes rogue, I kind of freak out.
the tipping point of the trigger
January 2016. Things were not going well with my boyfriend at the time. If I’m super truthful they hadn’t been going well for about a year. If I had listened to my intuition, they hadn’t been going well for about two. I know, how selfish. Regardless, we lived together. We shared a bed. We shared a dog. We shared a life. In so many ways he WAS the inner circle. I had Ellen, my best friend, and him. He was half of the inner circle.
After an argument about who knows what, he ghosted me. He didn’t talk to me, look at me, respond to my questions, or acknowledge my presence for 3 days. I went ALL kinds of masculine energy : OMG. let me fix this problem right now. I was shut out over and over again in my own home. I kept asking the question… why? He was probably hurt and frustrated. He probably didn’t know how to handle whatever was going on in his heart and his head. He probably wanted me to feel the same feelings. He probably was establishing control over the situation in whatever way he could.
Does that mean it was ok? No.
Note :: Those are all of my guesses and projections. This blog is my POV, but I don’t want you settle into believing that was his truth. I don’t know if it was.
Eventually we talked. A month later I broke up with him. That experience pushed me over the edge to actually doing the hard thing of breaking his heart and my own in order to free ourselves in the process.
Since then I’ve had three similar experiences of people in my inner circle shutting me out. They’ve been similar. I’ve always been left feeling the same way : confused, frustrated, worried, pissed, out of control, and downright disrespected. Oh, and usually I’m feeling all of these feelings all at the same time. I know, right? So many feels! How do I even keep up with myself?! 😉
what i’ve learned
It’s harder with more-than-friends.
I’ve been ghosted by two friends. I’ve been ghosted by two more-than-friends. The difference is that with my girlfriends there was more trust and less pressure. When you make a commitment to being girlfriends, you have each other’s back. You speak a common lady language. You know each other through-and-through without the pretending and expectation that comes from being a boy’s girlfriend. You could say that with the girlfriends I had more faith. But with men… breakups happen.
It’s easier with physical distance
It’s easier to make excuses and move on when the ghost lives far away. They’re not responding to texts/calls? Maybe they’re busy. The energy isn’t so in-your-face. Of course there’s a point where it gets weird, like when you haven’t heard back in a week or two. At the same time the question, “Well what can I do?” is freeing. It’s not like you can go knock on their door.
It’s not always about me.
When resolution finally occurs, sometimes I find out that it literally WASN’T about me. The inner circle was literally just busy // preoccupied // whatever. I get that too. They knew I wasn’t going anywhere, so responding wasn’t a priority. Is that ok? No. Is it easily forgiven and forgotten? Yes.
how i deal || choose an alternate ending
Surrender. So much about loving people (even when they’re being assholes) is not choosing to love them, but surrendering to love. Surrendering to the your true heart : this hurts a whole, whole lot beause you love them a whole, whole lot. So, sweet cakes, show them your true colors, and give them what they need. If they think they need space, then give it to them without expectation of any return.
This is really fucking difficult for me. I don’t like it when someone is upset in general; let alone upset with me. These experiences are surrendering to love in a way that necessitates letting go of control. I means letting go of control in the actual situation, knowing that it might never be resolved. It generally sounds something like this… Hey. I’m not sure what’s happening here, so I’m just going to give you space. You know where to find me if and when you’re ever ready…
I also means letting go of the haunting too. They may never be ready. We can’t just sit around waiting for a cute little gift box of resolution to come into our lap.
Choose what you believe. There are a lot of empowering beliefs to recite as your mantra when moving through this. There are a lot of disempowering ones too. And you can only tread water by numbing out for so long. (Trust me on that one.) Here’s what I chose to believe in every situation.
- With my ex :: This will bring us progress in one way or another. Progress is happiness.
- With my bff :: This will strengthen the faith I have that we are forever. It will bring us closer in the end.
- With a gf :: This isn’t about me. I’ll be here for her when she’s ready.
- With the most current :: Well this is interesting. How curious. I choose gratitude.
My mantra. Always.
If I’m being honest, I’m still a little bit torn up about this last one. I care about people a whole, whole lot. I think part of what got me into this last situation IS that value :: that I care about people a whole, whole lot. (Sorry. Gotta leave it a little bit cryptic.) No matter what, when I’m feeling torn up, I return to this belief.
I can use this struggle to find strength. I can use this to connect with others.
I will turn this mess into a message.
I trust that life happens for me, not to me. There is a reason for this.
That belief is how I find resolution within myself. Always.