So, The girl sits in front of the TV screen whilst taking spoonfuls of her huge tub of ice cream her while she cries a herself river. Accurate, right?
I guess this what we’ve been fed in movies & TV shows. How the ‘average’ woman should deal with her breakup. I find it fascinating that it’s all very cute, mopey and vulnerable. When I say cute I don’t mean it’s enjoyable to watch someone else in tears. It’s cute how the woman often can’t see her life without the guy because she’s so deeply in love and how heartbroken she is bla bla BLA BLA BLA. Of course as women, majority of the time we are portrayed as vulnerable because of men or we’re looked at as the weaker vessel. I could go on to talk about how this demonstrates how we are expected to be at the mercy of men, but that portrayal isn’t my main issue. Whether we like it or not the truth is many women (and men) actually DO come out of breakups feeling defeated. It is not unusual to hear that breakups have sent people into depression. Hence why I choose not to challenge that portrayal too much, for now anyway. Breakups consists of a whirlwind of emotions.
Even more so what is also common is ex’s going back and forth. Angry messages, texts, tweets (and even emails).
Last week Ciara received slack on social media, criticised and called out of her name as she announced her pregnancy to husband Russell Wilson. I remember clearly when Ciara and her ex fiance rapper Future broke up. It was constant back and forth for the whole world to see. From my personal observation, any sort of reaction or retaliation from Ciara meant she was automatically branded as the crazy, bitter ex. Anytime Ciara stood up for herself she was being too demanding, irrational and impulsive. Whenever she tried to avoid saying his name in public or on social media she was laughed at or called petty. Ladies does this sound familiar?
Of course Future was still
seen as the good guy. Ciara remained a goldigger for suing him and some even went as far as saying that Future was the reason behind Ciara’s recent career success and popularity. Later, it came out that Future was skipping scheduled times to see his son, prioritising performances and furthermore skipping drug tests, which were needed to prove he was fit to take care of their son. Not to mention the initial reason Ciara called off the engagement, due to Future supposedly cheating. The situation was messy and we will never truly know the full story. Ciara is now happily married to a new man and people still criticise her because of her previous relationship. They believe she was always the one in the wrong.
My thing is once a woman moves away from that TV and throws away her ice cream, in other words, once she starts to gain power over her situation, she is branded all sorts. What strikes me even more is the expectation that a woman must not fight back, no matter how much her name has been dragged through the mud, she must not throw shade or be petty no matter what she has endured before or during the breakup. Women will go through blood sweet and tears but must not flinch in the process. I used Future and Ciaras scenario as a perfect example.
When Future went on social media saying things about the mother of his child he was not called bitter by the majority. Often we (women) aren’t allowed to react, we have to be numb even in our pain all for the sake of maintaining a good image, being mature and being the better person. Many women have endured abuse: physical, verbal, emotional or all during relationships but our strength is measured by how much we can keep our mouth closed during and after the ordeal.
A few days ago I got ‘told off’ for a petty joke I made about my previous relationship, I was told I shouldn’t make such jokes so I don’t give myself a bad image. So people don’t perceive me in the wrong way. I took the correction on board as I understood where they were coming from. However, generally speaking, I feel like it can be an unhealthy message to send out. I am not promoting bitterness or unforgiveness. Please never underestimate the power of forgiveness but despite people’s expectations, you will not wake up one day and all the pain has magically disappeared. Your wounds take time to heal, you may even pick at the scab a few times and others may too. Once you finally leave it alone it heals, but that doesn’t mean the scar will go away. Scars take time to fade before they disappear, if they ever do.
It’s important to understand that the healing process is extremely different for everyone. For some it may take a month and for others in may be a year. I read in an extreme case in took a lady 2 YEARS to get over a breakup. For some they may write down their emotions in a diary, for others it may be venting out all those feelings to anyone that will lend a listening ear. Either way you will not heal unless you feel.
I think it’s important not just for me but for others that you don’t mask your pain to save face. To have a ‘good image’. Some days you may feel like acting out of character, and chatting a bit of smack. It’s important for people to be okay with living out their emotions, which isn’t always smooth. Anger, loneliness, and even bitterness are all human emotions that you will feel one day if you haven’t already. The important part is to not let them consume you. Suppressing your feelings will not make them go away, acknowledging them and admitting to yourself that you want to move forward is the first step towards healing. Never stop trying to grow and improve. As long as we are breathing life is a continuous learning curve.
Sisters, you don’t have to be the bigger person to look better to the outside world, or for a better image. Strive to be the best YOU, for your own wellbeing and your own growth. Remember the best you isn’t measured by or compared to anyone else but yourself. You are the standard. The caterpillar doesn’t turn into a butterfly overnight.