An emotional account of ending a relationship during the COVID-19 lockdown.
During the beginning of this social distancing season, I hit the ground running. I had just gotten back from facilitating a healing retreat in Utah. But, the “I miss you, I wanna quarantine witchu” texts from a lover grounded my reality of how soon quarantine was coming. The stay-at-home order was announced that night. I went grocery shopping the next day, stocked up on all of the things I needed and surrendered to the circumstances of this global situation.
Most of my time was spent in bed. After expending energy in large groups, I tend to heal by prioritizing time for myself to do nothing but masturbate, binge watch anime, eat and day-nap. I did all of these things, while spending a month trying to find a new pattern of communication with my lover through our phones (a method we usually don’t use).
So, it was a shock to me during our first conversation since staying at home that they thought it would be better for us to change our romantic relationship to a platonic one.
I’m a methodical person. My brain is most comfortable when I can trace the threads that connect my thoughts, emotions and actions to one another. This goes for understanding others as well. So, when they couldn’t give me a reason why they wanted to end our romantic relationship, I began to spiral as my brain tried to make sense out of something that didn’t. I had to take a bath and process my emotions in water. There was this numbness that came on during the initial phone call that helped minimize the amount of pain I later would express on FaceTime. I have never cried in front of them. In the water, I felt myself coming back to me. The protective numb melted away and revealed this angry being that kept shaking their head and laughing as if I would wake up from a dream, but no.
The reality was that I was experiencing my first breakup ever from my first relationship ever—in the middle of a global pandemic.
What lay beneath was coming to the surface all at once. In this closing of a chapter, I noticed a dramatic difference between how I and this lover communicate. I feel like I am mourning alone. I replay in my head the last times I kissed this person, held them, were fed by them, massaged them, not knowing they even would be the last. I feel that the blocks or challenges that we have romantically would only carry into a platonic relationship and the lack of acknowledgment of this by them doesn’t give me any sense of comfort stepping into a friendship with them. I have no desire to go there.
Because I am new to the shiftings of a romantic relationship, especially one that I had been in for one and a half years, I battle a pattern of gaslighting myself and my emotions. But, releasing images, stories, my own witnessing of what a breakup could or should be through both friends and family, and centering my own experience in relation to a very dramatic shift in my life, feels aligned. What came to the surface was me asking to be taken care of—so, I did.
I unfollowed them on social media. Seeing their face unplanned, when I already was having trouble sleeping (playing in my head the conversations and feelings I wanted to share with them the next time we talked), was something I wanted to avoid. I’ve been honing my thoughts around relationship, commitment, discomfort, anger, communication and intention.
I acknowledge the facts. This happened the day before the start of Taurus season. The season in which I was born. This happened days before a new moon. The magnetic pull of ceremony as a place to process these emotions was undeniable. So, ceremony is what I did. I set my altars with intentions of release and forgiveness. I wrote letters that I would never send while reading them to the planets. I am preparing for the Venus retrograde period that happens right before my birthday and spans both my mother’s and grandmother’s birthdays as well. There is a shift taking place in relationship to what I deserve, what I desire and what I need to do in order to make these things physical. Everything in me keeps saying, “Heal.”
It takes a lot of energy for me to ask for help. I have a high tolerance for pain because I experienced heartbreak at a very young age. The pain and toxicity of paternal abandonment inform my relationship to my emotions. The pattern of seeing the femmes in my family navigating painful experiences with very little open communal support informed me as well.
It’s a generational response to apologize for crying, for inconveniencing someone close to you with the weight of your emotions. It is a response I am learning to drop. I acknowledge that I hurt, that my feelings are valid no matter if this person truly did not intend to hurt me and to ask for help. So, I have. I talk to others in my community who have experienced romantic shift, sharing conversation, receiving affirmation for how I’m responding and asking them to make me break up playlists.
Then, I dance.
The mantra “There is no day, there is no day; there are only darkness, eternal sea of darkness” plays as I dance with the sun, thankful for the light and the shadow that my being casts in its presence.
I think about what love is. If it were only a physical entity created between two people, just because we no longer weave energy in that way doesn’t negate the existence of it. It is still alive. It dances outside of my general orbit while simultaneously is closer to me than before. This love is a paradox. I mourn the lack of closeness I feel. I did not anticipate my access to this love would expire so soon and in such a way.
But I see the echoes of it paint my day-to-day in pictures in my phone, smells of peppermint black castor oil, hair stopping up my drain and meal recipes I was excited to share. This energy we created together brought me a lot of things and has a mind of its own. I will never meet this energy again in the same way, for I have changed, this lover has changed and the energy lives its own life dancing between the memories of them, me and the places and people with whom we shared this energy. We created something infinite that cannot be bound even by my expectations of what I wanted it to be. This is both beautiful and scary for me.
This experience has made me question many things. Was it all a dream? How could it be real if it were to end like this? It takes my friends to confirm that all of my feelings are valid. That paradox exists. That something can be so free and so limiting at the same time. This polarity has shined light on what experiences I want. What love I deserve, what relationships I desire—romantic, sexual, non-sexual—and what intentions I want to thread between this spectrum of intimacy, time and my own understanding of myself.
I want so deeply to love me, so that everyone around me knows what love I need, what love I desire and what love I am capable of receiving.
I want communication that is deeply rooted in truths that flow freely like a river, communication that nurtures many growing things in its path so that they flourish, blossom and attract many a pollinator to lick many a nectar.
I want equivalent energetic exchange that is balancing and abundant. I want emotional vulnerability that is so courageous it is not swayed in the face of fear and grounds its roots into the earth at any wavering sign.
I want a magnetic, long-term dance that mirrors courting swans, birthing seahorses and leopard slugs having sex. I want access to an unconditional love orgy to which time, distance, my selves and any beautifully aligned partners are invited.
I intend to show up fully to receive these blessed things, so I am taking this time to release anything I don’t need in order to open my arms and embrace a dream so clearly spoken from my exposed heart.