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Saturday, July 16, 2016

You Are Not Alone

I think I got it hard. Like, really hard. But it maybe too hard or it might miss the vital spot, either way I am fully functioning when I should have lay crumpled on the floor.

I am going to go to an event at Staples Center tomorrow with some friends. What supposed to be a family event turned into a friends night out. The next day I will have a brunch with my dearest bestie. High tea, mind you. It can't get fancier than that. Monday a very dear person promised me homemade Italian dinner for my birthday. Next Friday night is Argentine Tango in Grand Park (free too! I love LA!). Next Saturday is bbq party, and the next day it might be San Pedro Lobster festival. Work has never been better since I don't have to spend half of my energy to mope around or fighting on text message. I feel alive. I feel free. I feel accomplished.

Yet here I am sitting on my bed on Friday night, all alone in my birthday suit. It has been (and still) very hard, and it's time for me to acknowledge it.

The most devastating thing someone could do in a relationship is probably cheating. I am not talking about mere sexual fling or a flirt or even drooling over hot ladies/men; I am talking about full blown your-heart-is-not-mine-anymore. The kind that makes you feel suicidal and/or homicidal and totally out of your mind.

When I found out he was cheating on me, I stopped by on my way home to bought a cake. It was the same cake I asked my friend to buy for his birthday when I was still in Indonesia, and had asked his coworker to pick it up and put it on his desk as a surprise. It was a lemon bundt cake. I bought it and sat in front of a closed and empty grocery store. The floor smelled like urine, and filth was everywhere. I had my new dress on me, green with patterns, a smart and simple mini dress that I bought the week before for only $7. I look so pretty in that dress, so out of place among the filth. I opened the cake box, gazed on the delicious yellow cake with white frosting; then with my trembling hand I reached inside and start mushing the cake, destroying it to nothingness. My engagement ring, a beautiful ruby and diamond, was covered in cake. I didn't even remember if I cried. All I remember was the stank urine smell, the filth around me, and the coolness of the cake in my hand, and me that keeps on thinking: "This is the end."

Being cheated on is horrible. If you think being dumped is painful, being cheated on takes the cake (pun intended). It's basically being told you are not good enough, thus his/her need to find a replacement; but he/she doesn't even respect you(r feeling) enough to get a proper separation. Being cheated on basically put you on the second place. You are no longer the king/queen, you are demoted to concubine. Your spouse' attention is devoted to his/her new toy and to cover his/her track, and you are left there all by yourself with gnawing despair and curiosity. You are not important. You are worthless. You are nothing.

Depends on how much love and trust you put on this POS (piece of $**t), you might end up getting totally destroyed. The lies and the deception might end with a separation or a harsh wakeup call on his/her side, but the distrust and broken soul could haunt you forever. Every step you took afterwards is laden with doubt: do I do good enough to keep him/her around? Every move you made afterwards is laden with fear: what if he/she lie again, cheat again? And nights, at least the very first ones will be filled with question for yourself: "what did I do wrong?". Days will be filled with forgotten happy memories that popped up in the most unfortunate times and made you weep in despair. When he/she cheats, it's not the equivalent of a thief crept in your house to stole your valuable (i.e. trust); it's the equivalent of nuking down the entire house and made it so toxic that you can't even rebuild it for a lonf, long time.

The problem is, we get to deal it with ourselves. People give support and such, kind words and whatsnot; the cheater might even come to his/her sense and ask for forgiveness. But the hole is there, the abyss that swallow us full. No kind words could light that darkness. "He loves you", "It's not your fault", "You don't deserve to be treated this way", all of this did not change the fact that we are simply not good enough for our partner anymore. Not only not good enough, somebody else is obviously better than us. True, it is a matter of from which side you see it; but does it matter? His/her love is not ours anymore. We are no longer the center of his/her hopes and dreams.

As I talked happily with my date over korean bbq the doubt crept in: is he what he said he is? As I cozily curled up in a sofa with my date the fear crept in: will I be substituted any time soon? As I laughed gaily with my date over homemade dinner the suspicion crept in: will I be able to tell if he's lying? Everytime I see my date on the phone, or just looking at his phone, I went panic because I found out about the cheating through my partner's phone. I went through denial, anger, bargaining, depression over and over again, but never acceptance. Not yet, at the very least. I laughed, I smiled, I am as wonderful as I can be, but deep inside the heart still bleed.

But you can't tell this to anyone else. What you need is a listener, someone whom you can pour your woes to. You need to drain the pus before the healing could start. But not many people understand that, and after a few sessions you will be dismissed with "get another one, he/she's not good anyway". And since your self-confidence is already destroyed, you might find yourself reluctant to talk to people anyway. You don't want them to leave you because you are so sad and mopey and totally not fun, hasn't he/she left you already? Why would you even acknowledge to anyone that you are incapable of making him/her loyal anyway? So you trudge along day by day trying to steel yourself, fooling yourself into thinking you got it all taken care of, where inside you are a walking dead.

It is hard. It is painful. It is inhumane. And this is why I wrote about it. Cheaters will be cheaters, and no amount of articles can dissuade them from the pleasure of their life; not even one that depict the horrid life they sentence their partner to. But people who got cheated on, I want you to know that your feeling is valid. I want you to know that your sadness is justified. I want you to understand that it is, indeed, very hard. And most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am here in your shoes, as many others before and after us. A lot of us suffer in silence for fear of retribution, for fear os social judgement, for fear of being scoffed at "airing dirty laundry in public". Let me be your voice. You are not alone.

As Kylie Minogue eloquently sing in Crystallize:
"In the darkness
When it's all a mess
And when you're swimming Through a sea of broken promises"
That's pretty much sums up what you feel, what I feel.  I am broken. I am shattered. I am sad and lonely and scared. My friends are there to support me but I have to heal myself since only I know how. This painful bloody steps are the ones I have to take alone. But I am not alone, and neither do you. I am with you in this, we are with you in this. Your feelings are valid. Your grief is justified. You yourself is real, is important, is precious. 

Be at peace, my fellow travelers, all is not lost. The rain does not pour forever, the wind does not howl nonstop. Night ended into day, winter melted into spring, and this painful journey too will end someday. Till then fear not, for you are not alone.

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