I think the most complicated thing I've ever had to go through was my internalized mess of feelings after learning not only had my ex cheated on me, but he had married the woman he had cheated on me with.
I don't think I've ever felt such intense feelings of both pain and rage swimming to the surface at once. It took me a while to get over it. It wasn't something I could just let go of.
I am the type of person that always feels things very intensely. I rarely like or dislike something I either love or loathe most things. So my emotions are always very deep and sometimes conflicting.
As angry as I was, I remember at my friend's rehearsal dinner my heart leaped into my throat. As much as I disliked him for everything he had done to me and all the lies, I found there was another part of me that still cared for him. It was one of the most uncomfortable feelings in my life: anxiety, unrequited love, anger, and pain all balled up into a single moment.
If you don't think someone can feel all that at once I will repeat a quote a heroine of one of my favorite novels said, "Not all of us have the emotional range of a teaspoon."
Sorting out that mess took time. More time than I care to admit. In the end, however, I calmed myself down by saying that if he were mine then she would never be able to take him. And he's not really that big of a catch so she can have him. I would rather have my peace of mind and sanity than try to navigate through a relationship full of angst, distrust, and never knowing if I was good enough.
Because when push comes to shove I am my own form of beautiful and magical. I was always worth it, and he's the one that lost out on one of the most loving people in the universe. But I get it. Sometimes things just aren't meant to be, and some people never learn to appreciate what they have even when it's gone. Some people are always looking for something more.
It's the little things in life that matter. Showing tenderness, appreciation, and sensitivity to others is a good way to start. So I decided to forgive him not for his sake, but for my own sake. I didn't need to carry all those emotions with me for the rest of my life.
Sometimes I still get mad or wistful, but I generally just remind myself that he's the one that lost out not me. Obviously I was being protected by a higher power in that relationship not working out. Because a lot of things in life are mediocre, but love should never be one of them. Because I am worth so much more than that. And maybe one day I will find that burning, deep intense fairy tale sort of love I have always sought from my youth.
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made To Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.