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Jewish Journal

She Dumped Me and Now I Hate The World

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

November 29, 2010 | 1:07 pm

All that misery was probably born elsewhere. Photograph courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

I was recently dumped by a girl I was seeing for a month. I know it’s lame, and I may be reacting too much for such a short-lived experience, but I really liked this girl, and the breakup came out of nowhere, since things were going really well. Her reason was that she recently reconnected with an ex, and she felt guilty stringing me along. I’m having difficulty coping with the pain, and I’ve tried binge-drinking, making sad music mixes, and I’ve repeatedly listened to the Breakup Episode of This American Life. I really want her to feel the sadness that I do, but more importantly, I want to be happy again. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Wallower

Dear Wallower,

No matter what a lifetime of My So-Called Life, Dawson’s Creek, 90210, Part of Five and Gossip Girl will tell you, this kind of misery is not totally normal. When I say “normal” I mean to say that it is not an acceptable social standard to fall apart because some girl you knew for a month decided to go back where her heart came from.

That being said, I know that love can expand and flourish in even just a week. Time does not negate intensity, and I have no doubt that this relationship felt vital and moving. But, in the end, you are an adult and this human you loved on was not someone of enormous importance in the scope of your vast existence.

This means that something else is wrong. What is going on in your life? Could you be using this as an excuse to cry about other things? Chances are this chick just triggered a massive library of self-esteem issues. She just triggered the rejection valve and now you are probably wondering something along the lines of “Am I lovable? Will I ever be loved? Am I a freak? Why don’t she love me anymore?” Etc. A little sting is normal, a full-on collapse is another story.

Get out your diary and write a little ditty about what you are going through. Figure out why this woman, who you don’t totally know, was so awesome for you. Was it her, or was it the having of a girlfirend at all that felt so amazing? What did she validate for you? What are you projecting onto this woman, what kind of importance, what kind of role, what kind of romantic notions?

If you are seeking your self-worth from a stranger, it will leave you dead and cold in the heart region when they walk. Ie, look for that spark, that love, that acceptance within you and the bottle and This American Life won’t seem so delicious.

You want her, you say, to feel this same sense of gigantic loss. But she probably didn’t turn you into a mountain as you did her. Your loss is not necessarily about the girl. It is about all the things that being seen by another with loving sparkly eyes might do for you, things you should look for from within.

Be nice to yourself, remember who loves you. Spend some time doing things that nurture you, like running or swimming or hiking. Happiness will come inevitably, since all bullshit passes. But right now you might want to dive into why you got so miserable in the first place. My hunch: get some professional help for a short while to explore why it is you are so devastated by this loss.

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Ask Yenta an anonymous question!  Send an e-mail via www.send-email.org to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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