A wise woman once said, “Middle fingers up/ Put ’em hands high/ Wave ’em in his face/ Tell him ‘Boy, bye.”
That’s exactly what we did last night for our third Time To Talk panel, this time with a focus on heartbreak and relationships (aka, the BOY BYE edition). Our Chiller-in-Chief Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton led a conversation with Amy Fraser, founder of OKREAL, and Vienna Pharaon, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, to a full (Chill)house of community members and Chill Times readers who came ready to discuss all things love. Here’s what went down:
Allow Yourself to Feel the Pain
When she was five-months pregnant, Amy discovered that her husband had been unfaithful to her. She opened up about what it was like to become a single mom as she let go of her 10-year relationship and how her pain changed over time. “You carry [the pain] differently,” she said. “The pain evolves, it becomes less intense, less urgent and raw. And it slowly turns into a scar.”
Healing isn’t easy, and it’s definitely not as pretty as Instagram can make it out to be. We’re not always going to want to go for a run or say a self-affirming mantra post-breakup. We’re probably going to order takeout and crawl into bed. But guess what? That’s totally okay.
Like Vienna said, “You really need to sit in it and do the grieving and do the feeling of it. And really naming what your experiencing, feeling intuned, and taking your time and not pressuring yourself ‘I should be here, I should be there.”
Your Thoughts Are Not Your Story
So yes, that’s right. Tell Netflix you’re still watching; that’s still being present and showing resilience.
But be careful not to let your mind play tricks on you while you figure out what went wrong. Vienna said it best: “It’s important to note that the pain, what you’re experiencing is real, but the stories that you’re telling yourself [are] probably flawed and faulty. In that space, we start going down that spiral, telling ourselves a lot of rubbish.” (F-you, self-doubt).
Don’t Let Somebody Else Control Your Narrative
That’s where your friends and family come in. Both Amy and Vienna agreed that your loved ones are there to remind you that you’re loved (duh). Yes, we need to take responsibility for our actions, but sometimes, we also need to just forgive ourselves and move on.
For Amy, the biggest way to overcome those bad thoughts was by remembering she’s (literally) a boss. Focusing on her own work, hobbies, and career allowed her to restore her sense of self as she geared up to move forward. For instance, she said, “You cannot let somebody else fuck up your life. You cannot let somebody else determine the trajectory of who you’re meant to be. And you cannot let somebody stand on your power or take over your sovereignty.” *Mic drop*
Above all, always remember that if you have the resources, talking with a therapist or counselor can be super beneficial. There is nothing wrong with seeking help, either for yourself or your relationship. Having an impartial point-of-view to guide you through these difficult feelings will go a long way in helping you understand yourself and your partner better.
Thanks so much to Amy and Vienna for getting real with us and to everyone who joined us for this Time To Talk panel. We love hearing from you! Sign up for our newsletter to receive all the info about future talks and events.
Is there a topic you’d like to see us cover? Send us a DM on Instagram @thechilltimes.
Feature image via Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton