“Coffee Break: The Pain that Changed Me”

Coffee Break


Reading other blogger’s post on WordPress have been my go to relaxation during my break periods at work. It’s just so refreshing to disconnect my mind from all the unending emails I have to respond to and it’s relaxing to immerse myself to some really interesting posts. Most often than not, I would read articles that would really hit home and would even inspire me to write and this is what happened after reading But I Love Him by Journeys Within. I was moved by her story because it mirrored one chapter of my life which happened not so long ago but I was mostly amazed by her courage to share and discuss her own experience of being in a toxic relationship and the lessons she learned from it.

So here I am, setting aside a planned Fashion post (this can wait till tommorow so don’t worry you guys!) to talk about my own experience and to share the lessons I’ve learned from it. This is rather long and wordy post so brace yourself.

My story happened just last year and although I have moved on from that relationship and have already healed from that experience, I tried my best not to discuss or write about that event of my life anymore mainly because I am afraid that people (meaning the ones who knows me and him) would get a wrong notion that I am still not over it since I am still talking about it. Believe me, I still come across people who would question if I am really okay! and I’ll be like.. ahhmmm, hell yes!! You don’t know how okay I am now! Although I have shared a few articles and poems like The Fury of a Heart Almost Wrecked, Love Yourself, and When You Left (among others) after that experience, I had to eventually just stop writing about it. Maybe it was a part of my healing process or maybe I just couldn’t find the reason to write about it at all.

However, a few months after that “incident” I found myself wanting to write about that experience again to hopefully inspire others who’ve been in the same situation but then again I always put it aside because I am tired of people questioning my current emotional state. I am tired of people defining me because of what happened in my past. I am just so tired of it that I never wanted to talk about it all. I am tired of proving people that I am really okay, that I’ve moved on and I have healed! Yet I am talking about it today because honestly, I just don’t care about those other people’s opinion anymore.

I am not doing this to put all the blame on him (the ex) or to paint a really nasty picture of him. I am merely sharing tad bits of details about an experience that ultimately changed me. I guess it’s always nice to share your thoughts about a life experience after several months or even years because you really get to see the changes that it caused in your life.

Now, remembering that time when I was still in a relationship with him I couldn’t understand why I chose to stay after all the early signs of deceit and infidelity. I guess I really believed him or maybe he was just an experienced liar. Maybe it’s also because we are in a long distance relationship (He is in the Philippines while I am here in Montreal) so I chose to understand and give him chances thinking that everything is because of the distance. I remembered that time when we were out one night (during one of my vacations in the Philippines) and he received a message from this girl whom I’ve been suspecting as the girl he has been cheating with, I questioned him, again and again he said that she is just a cousin so I believed him. I later found out that he has been in a relationship with that girl during the later stage of our relationship and as weird as it may sound, the girl and I communicated and consoled each other once we eventually “caught” all his lies even when we found out that there’s actually not just the two of us but he is actually seeing another girl! (We were both unaware about the existence of each other). Now, in the rare occasions when we still speak, we just laugh about that whole ordeal and congratulate each other for moving on because truth be told, we deserve a way better man than that.

To be totally honest, there are times when I would still remember everything. The lies he told me, the pain he caused me and how little he made me feel of myself. I still remember the times when I would feel so insecure of my body because he would constantly tell me to lose weight, to work out and to eat less as I could. I remember him saying “You’re fat in this picture” or “What kind of picture is that” when my friends post pictures of us on Facebook. I remember how I’m not allowed to disturb him when he is out with his friends yet he requires me to take a picture of every person that I am with when I am out with my friends. He would scrutinized my male friends and would poke fun at any physical imperfection that he can find. I of course find this action disturbing but chose to just shrugged it off because don’t we all have bad habits?

I remember receiving messages on Facebook and Instagram from girls I don’t even know, they told me stories of how he played and cheated on them. I of course believe my ex’s version thinking that they’re just trying to destroy us. Now, I seriously hope I believed them.

What really hurt me the most was that time when I found out I was pregnant. It was such a happy news but I was also scared of what my parents’ reaction would be. Prior to my pregnancy, they’ve been encouraging us to get married. His parents also suggested the same thing but after finding out all of his lies I had to say no. I just couldn’t sign up for that kind of person all my life. He was even upset telling me to be thankful because he is asking me to get engaged. I still said no. Anyways, I was already back in Montreal when I found out I was pregnant. At that time, I was already contemplating on finally leaving the relationship for good. (Although I broke up with him so many times in the past, he would always persuade me to go back and so I always did.) Yet I decided to stay because I was scared to continue the pregnancy alone. During the early stage of my pregnancy I unexpectedly started bleeding. I was so scared and didn’t want to lose the baby so I went to the doctor immediately and was advised there’s nothing to worry about because my cervix is still close and this is apparently normal especially during the first trimester. The doctor told me to rest and avoid stress which I did.

However, the bleeding still continued which made me so worried. Again, I went to the doctor a few times but was constantly advised that everything is okay after getting the results of all those tests they did. During this time when I was already worried about my baby, I received another message from a person whom I don’t know who claimed to be a friend of my ex from work. He told me everything he knows about my ex’s existing relationships (while we are still together) and how he is denying me and our relationship from other people. I was deeply hurt but I acted normal when talking to my ex, I pretended that I didn’t know anything. Until one afternoon when I just happened to look up in the sky and started crying during one of my breaks at work, I prayed to God and asked Him to spare my child’s life and I would finally end everything with my ex. I pleaded with Him and at that time I was ready to bargain. I just want my baby so bad.

The next morning I awoke with a terrible pain in my tummy, I again was so scared and rushed to my Doctor. She immediately run some tests and eventually ask me to go to the hospital for an ultrasound. I went and was admitted right away because of my situation. I again was advised that everything is okay but I need to rest and avoid stress because my pregnancy may be at risk. Hurt and scared, I still tried to be strong.

The next morning, I again awoke from the same pain but this time with heavy bleeding. I cried and went straight to the emergency. After gruesome hours of tests and waiting for results, the doctor finally called my name in his office. He asked me if I am with my husband, I said I’m single. Your boyfriend? I said, No. Can you call a family member or a friend? I again said no. I insisted for him to just tell me (deep in my heart I know what he’s going to tell me but I was still in denial) the results. He asked me to wait and called for a female Nurse who I guess was there to console me if ever I get emotional. Finally, he started talking about the tests they did, why they did it, the much awaited results and so on and on but I didn’t understand or heard anything he said but “I’m sorry but you had a miscarriage”. I just stared at him, frozen and unable to say anything. He proceeded by saying how sorry he is and that I don’t have to feel bad about it because I can still have a baby in the future. I was immediately mad. Does he even know what I’m going through? I just stood up and asked to go home. I wanted to be alone. Finally, he allowed me to go home given that I have to observe my body for any abnormality that the miscarriage nay have caused. I just said yes to everything he told me because I seriously wanted to leave.

When I was home, I wanted to call my ex to tell him about what happened but I thought he wouldn’t want to know anyways. During the time I found out I was pregnant, he asked me to do the pregnancy test everyday to make sure which I did for like five or six times even after going to a doctor who did urine and blood tests to confirm that I am pregnant. Right there and then I knew he never was interested in my pregnancy and he would eventually deny this to his family and to everyone.

I cried and cried until there’s no more tears in my eyes after my miscarriage. On the same day, I again received a message from that anonymous person who sent me a picture of my ex and another girl. I was devastated, how could someone be so evil! He knows what I’m going through and how I’m fighting for my pregnancy yet he was there flaunting his new girlfriend?

I confronted him about the picture, I told him about my miscarriage which he took so lightly as if nothing happened and then he just stopped talking to me.

I was furious! I hated him so much! God, I didn’t even know such hatred ever existed until I experienced that because of him. Yet somehow I felt relieved. Lighter.

I got depressed because of my miscarriage which lasted for months. I lost weight and just withdrew from life. I suddenly was feeling lost again. I was angry, I was severely sad and lonely. To make it worse, I was going through it alone. I felt like no one really understand what I was going through and unfortunately even some of the friends I thought would do, turned their backs on me which added more pain in my life at that time.

Eventually, my ex sent me a message after a few weeks. Saying that he never really loved me and that I have to be thankful because he is saying sorry. I told him I don’t need his sorry and that one day, he will get what he deserves. That was our last conversation until I saw him again during my last visit in the Philippines early this year. Our common friends told me that he wanted to talk to me ever since he found out that I came home to visit, I would always pretend that I didn’t hear anything whenever they open the topic so they would end up not finishing their sentences. Until one morning when me and my friend just stepped out of the house to go to my dressmaking class, I saw him standing at the store near my house while holding a bottle of beer on his right hand and a cup on the other. He looked at me, we had an eye contact and I immediately looked away. A common friend who was with him shouted my name but I continued walking. My ex tried to catch up with me but he had a hard time because he is obviously intoxicated from probably drinking the whole night. He called my name and told me he wants to say sorry. I continued walking and finally he asked, “Are you still mad at me?” while trying to grab my hand. That’s when I turned to him, smirked and said, “That’s really how big you see yourself huh!” and then I continued to walk away. My friend eventually caught up with me and we ended up laughing so loudly until we parted ways that day.

Now, looking back on that experience I still find it unbelievable for such a narcissistic person to ever exist. I still can’t believe that a sane person can do what he did to me and the other girls. ( I won’t go in details about this because It’s not my story to tell). Most of all, I still don’t understand why I even stayed in that relationship. Why I allowed him to control me or why I believed his lies. Nevertheless, this experience is one of the darkest days of my life but I learned so much lessons. I became stronger and braver. I learned how to challenge myself and to be better. I learned to forgive myself and to see my worth. I learned that I have to love myself first and foremost before anyone else because you can never really love someone else when you yourself is broken. I learned how to fight, how to stand back up and how to face tomorrow with renewed courage. I realized that bad things will pass and a brighter tomorrow is always on it’s way. I learned to value myself and never settle for second best. I learned to accept and embrace everything about me including my flaws and it doesn’t matter if I look imperfect to other people’s eyes.

I am still deeply hurt about my miscarriage but I know, my baby is in a much better place. Sometimes I feel like s/he is the one responsible for all the strength I found within me. I know s/he is watching over me and that what’s keeping me going. Recently, I have friends who’ve been giving birth and getting pregnant. I am genuinely happy for them whenever they share the news to me but deep in my heart I feel pain because it reminds me of my baby. I guess you can nevet really get over a miscarriage.

For my ex, I have no feelings left for him anymore including anger or disgust. Someone once shared with me a bible verse at that time when I was going through all of this, it says. “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge: I will repay,” says the Lord”— Romans 12:19. And I guess I’ll leave it at this.

It’s been more than a year since this story happened and I can honestly say that I am in a much happier state. I am no longer stressed as I was once last year. I feel like I am stronger which I think is helping me to finally chase my dreams and my plans. I found courage and strength that I never thought I have until this experience. I learned that every kind of pain we encounter helps to mold us, to help us be a better person, to be more loving, humble and forgiving. I learned that it’s okay to cry, to be weak but it’s imperative to get up and fight harder for yourself and not for anyone else. I eventually met someone and had a short relationship with him, I however ended the relationship because I feel like I want to grow more as an individual before going to a new relationship.

Now, life is still not perfect. I still have some bad days like every human being but life is so much better after that relationship. It’s more promising. The future looks brighter in my eyes and I am just so excited for this new chapter!

Much love,

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  • punjetry
    October 5, 2017 at 5:00 AM

    Arlene, I feel your pain but I admire your strength. Always remember that all those things need to happen for you to share others the lessons you’ve learned. Always remember you’re an instrument of God to inspire other women who are going through the same to just stand still, be tough, and have courage.

    I experienced not really the same, but came from toxic relationships until on my 8th month, the biological father of my daughter left us.

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that we are still blessed despite everything that happened.

    And the good thing about it is, we’re still alive and we shall continue to inspire others ?

    Such brave soul you have. xx

    • thatgirlArlene
      October 5, 2017 at 8:45 PM

      Thank you so much for your beautiful words. Yes, I truly believed that there are greater reasons in every experiences we encounter in life. I am hoping to inspire others- to be strong and never give up. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve it in this life time. Thanks again!

  • Journeys Within
    October 5, 2017 at 6:31 AM

    There’s so much I’d love to say about this because I know it took courage to be able to share your experience. I applaud you for being so brave. There are times where I hold back from posting about my ex only because i don’t want people to believe I’m still stuck on him. Such as with the post you shared on here which I thank you so much for. That day I was in my car during my lunch break & was getting ready to share something completely different until I felt led to share about the red flags & how I allowed so much to happen. I literally was having the only conversation with God in my car letting him know that I was tired of writing about him & if He would just let me talk about something else. But nope! And I’m glad I obeyed Him because had I not you wouldn’t have been encouraged to share you story like you just did. I’m sure many of your followers will be encouraged & inspired by your strength, courage & transparency. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s been over 3 yrs now since my ex & I broke up – I’d be lying if I said I’m 100% healed but I am close to it. Closer than I was months ago. For some people it will take longer than others. It doesn’t mean they’re still in love with them or wishing they were still together because I am 1,000% sure that is not the case with me. However, it was a traumatic time in my life. I also miscarried & experienced things I never wish I had but that is the reason why it took longer than I wanted to finally heal but it was necessary for me to go through the different stages of healing in order to be the woman I am today. Same for you. At times we will have to repeat the different stages & that’s ok. We should never give ourselves a time limit on when to heal. It takes time but what’s important is that we continue to press through each day as best as we can. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I pray it blesses many others as it has blessed me. ??

    • thatgirlArlene
      October 5, 2017 at 8:49 PM

      Hi there, thank you so much as well for inspiring me to write my own experience. Without reading your blogpost, I may have been keeping this still because I am afraid to be judged for writing it again and again. Yet somehow, you gave me courage. Thank you! and continue inspiring others.

  • Jokerswild
    October 5, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    The trials and tribulations that change is indeed does make us stronger. A very heart breaking, heart warming and inspirational story indeed. Love is blind they say but apparently so was he. But the truth you spoke, we must first love ourselves before we can actually love or be loved is so true. People invest so much time in others that they forget themselves and they lose their own happiness fighting to make others happy which is why they end up miserable. You took your situations and used it as fuel to make you stronger and you are to be commended for that, you didn’t let it keep you down but you knocked it down. I admire that and you are the “C” in change as in see it can be done! You are a strong woman that has proven that she was lucky to get rid of a weaker man. The pain that changed you is the same pain that saved you. Wonderful story, a true heroine you are! You deserve these…???!!

    • thatgirlArlene
      October 5, 2017 at 8:43 PM

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Experiences in life change us and helps us to be better and stronger, I guess this is what happened to me. Life indeed is the greatest teacher!

      • Jokerswild
        October 6, 2017 at 5:52 AM

        A lesson learned is a lesson earned. Our mistakes are the schoolbooks from which we learn from today!

  • Sev
    October 5, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Arlene, what a moving story. I am so, so sorry you had to go through this. This guy was clearly having lots of psychological problems, which is not an excuse, but a fact. You did well, walking away from the relationship.
    I cannot imagine how you felt during the miscarriage. Your little one will always be with you. You are such a strong person.

    • thatgirlArlene
      October 5, 2017 at 8:47 PM

      The miscarriage has been the most difficult throughout the whole ordeal. It still is painful but you’re right, my angel will always be with me and that’s comforting to know. Thank you so much for reading!

      • Sev
        October 6, 2017 at 8:12 AM

        I lost a baby in different circumstances, but still… she will always be my baby. I now have a 3.5 yo little girl, conceived almost 10 years after, and from another man. I am at peace about my first unborn baby, but I keep her in my heart. Just like I keep my little happy girl in my heart. I don”t know how to say that without sounding horrible, but time will heal you. You won’t forget, but you will heal and be at peace. And kuddos again for walking away from th

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