A breakup is rarely easy, especially with its rippling effects. You’re left trying to find answers in words left unspoken. You remind yourself that you had to save yourself, as you pick yourself up from the ground, piece by piece. Arelie Gutierrez broke away from an abusive relationship on New Year’s Day, and is now going through the motions of a breakup. Every day is different, and in an effort to help herself and potentially others, she painstakingly documents the roller-coaster of emotions and epiphanies for a week straight in the post-break up diary below.
For the last two years I’ve been in the most twisted relationship. I was abused, but I was complacent in our relationship. I was stuck in the idea that this was love and the only way it could be. This diary is my attempt at working through life outside of him. This is my new life after the pain.
Day 1 (January 2, 2017)
Today feels like when you hold your breath underwater for too long. It’s like that explosive pressure vibrating through your chest, that yearning to reach the surface–and then you finally do. You gulp for air and feel instant relief.
Today is my first day free from the man I thought I loved. In two years, I had been so many roles, none of which made me happy. I sat and chose him over friends, family, and my own morals. “True love, the love of my life,” he would tell me, after a long day of cheating. I had felt myself drowning, but today I breathed.
Day 2 (January 3, 2017)
Rage fuels me. Rage keeps me up all night, and once I pass out in exhaustion it jolts me out of my sleep. I’m free. I’m happy, but I want him to hurt. I want him to feel this dull ache in my heart that hasn’t gone away. I keep sending mean messages, wishing I could stop myself. I know it’s wrong. I distract myself to stop. Then, a song comes on and here I am, wallowing in nostalgia. Sad and alone. Free but stuck. I’m free from him but he haunts my thoughts, lurks in my memories, waits to pull me back into the black hole we lived in. I don’t want to be angry but it helps; it’s my only defense against this consuming sadness. I hope tomorrow I will care less. I hope tomorrow I will hurt less.
Day 3 (January 4, 2017)
I wake up at between 3-6 AM, startled out of my sleep or to a random text message. People are checking in on me, loving me. Sometimes I wish it was him, but I remember why it’s not him. I’m angry again, but also sad. There’s no one to talk to so I scroll through Twitter hoping to make a friend, hoping to find another soul in pain like me. Someone to cry to, someone to tell me something to inspire me. Distractions. I’m trying to replace a toxic escape with anything a little healthier. I’m reading, coloring, job searching, and listening to music. I’m calling friends. Talking out loud is so therapeutic, and you honestly don’t know how a quick ramble or rant can make you feel better. Being listened to, being respected, being cared for. Remembering how you should feel when you’re loved; it’s not what you’re used to. It’s not what you accepted before. Let that person go, Rellie…
Day 4 (January 5, 2017)
Last night I relapsed. I talked to him on the phone and almost forgot that I hated him–almost. I almost thought how much easier it would be to be his side-chick again. What’s wrong with me?
When I snapped back to my senses, I discovered more lies and half truths. He lies about everything and it’s made me so paranoid I can’t even FaceTime a new, cute boy without thinking he’s trying to plot my death–as if everyone is inherently evil or everyone will lie to me.
I spoke out about it last night. He taunted me, and although it goes against my recovery, I took the bait. The ugly story came pouring out of me; word vomit. I let everything out: from the time he choked me on the subway, to the time he told me he loved me after the fourth time I caught him cheating.
It felt so good to let it out, to show everyone my personal boogie man. I had every reason to be scared to look under the bed.
But, so much love poured in today, and I’m so grateful. It’s day four, but I feel like I really am free.
Day 5 (January 6, 2017)
Today felt good. There’s a simple satisfaction in for once not doing anything. Not arguing. Not stressing. It feels good to feel loved, to feel supported. I forgot I wasn’t alone these last two years and everyday these past few days has been a reminder of that. I’m thankful. I cry every time I read a long message of love and support. So many women, so many men have come forward and told me their story. I’m grateful. I’m not alone.