The Story of How I Lost My Optimism

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
A true story of how an optimist became a pesimist

Submitted: October 08, 2018

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Submitted: October 08, 2018

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I had a classic upbringing in a small suburban town.  Mom and dad were around, for the most part, throughout my childhood.  Dad traveled for a while and mom worked full time, as is standard in most middle-class families.  I had a sibling and kids in the neighborhood to hang out with.  Nothing all that abnormal really if you compare it to the childhoods of some people.  Ultimately mom and dad got divorced… again some what common these days.  The twist, dad was a cheater, and hurt mom pretty bad in the process.  That one stung – a lot – but I maintained most of my optimism in life that there is good in the world.  Mom recovered from the hurt and went on to be happier than she’d ever been before, so it was easy to believe that everything would be alright. 

Flash forward through college years and most of my 20s – again normal.  Made great friends, busted my ass in school trying to get a degree that was useful.  I didn’t want one of those BS liberal arts degrees that really isn’t applicable to anything in the real world… High school had taught me enough useless shit I was never going to use again.  Nope, I wanted substance in my education.  It was the only thing that would keep me engaged… plus I really didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life really, so I needed a broad but useful category.  Which I was successful at and it was great.  Yay! 

Meanwhile, I had been in a relationship with the same person for years, so we took the logical steps forward.  Bought a house, got married and enjoyed our time together.  We were the essence to many of a perfect couple.  Many of our friends and family would joke with us and say “relationship goals” when we would do some silly shit with each other.  We had similar interests, so we could usually be found doing something together, but still we had our differences that kept things exciting and allowed for us to have our own time.  Our friends all loved each of us and each other.  Life was pretty good. 

Now time for another twist… in secret we were growing in two completely different directions.  Our goals in life that had once been intertwined were now drifting completely apart.  I was focused on building a home and a future in that home, expanding our family.  He was focused on having as much fun in life as he could and taking on as little responsibility as possible.  We began fighting constantly… mostly over money because no matter how hard we worked there never seemed to be any money left for anything.  We grew so far apart that the couple once seen every where together, was now hard pressed to lock down to the same town, let alone the same gatherings.  Our friends didn’t notice too much thinking we had such a solid foundation we could make it through anything.  When we split it was a huge shock to everyone around us.  Really though, it wasn’t a shock to either one of us… we had known for over a year that things weren’t right between us anymore.  We drew up paperwork, got divorced, and moved on.  It really wasn’t all that complicated. 

In the time we moved on we both became much happier in life… we were no longer concerned with forfeiting huge parts of our life goals to please another person, or worried that the parts we weren’t willing to compromise on would tear us apart.  For this reason, it was easy to forgive and forget any wrong doings by either party and just move on and find our happiness.  It was also pretty easy to maintain my optimistic nature, only losing a little more of it from this ordeal.

I found my happiness pretty quickly.  A wonderful man who had the same goals, ambitions, religious beliefs, family values, just about everything was right in line, came into my life.  He was perfect.  Handsome, funny, caring, affectionate.  We again had similar interests but with just enough difference that we weren’t those gross couples glued to each other 24/7.  Really a girl couldn’t ask for much more than him.

Now I’m not trying to say everything was all hearts and flowers all the time.  Over our time together we had some fights for sure… some worse than others.  Mostly, to me, about learning who we were as a couple.  We had both been in prior relationships that had left marks on us and how we operated that needed to be rewired.  During the rewiring process things could get tense.  We always worked it out though and were trying to bring out the best in each other.  I never expected perfection – it is impossible, even the most perfect blooming flower will ultimately wilt.  Life is about finding someone who is worth fighting for, and for me that was him. We spent our time together just enjoying each other’s company, and our time apart wishing the other person was there.  We were growing together and planning for a spectacular future. 

Ready for the final twist? Then it ended… just like that it was gone, and I could feel my soul fracture when it happened. The weeks following were filled with the worst despair I had ever felt… the loss of someone who was so important to me was devastating.  I could almost literally feel my entire world shift on its axis… something had changed within me that was never going to change back.  I began questioning everything about myself.  Was I not pretty enough for him?  Was I not loving enough for him?  Did I choose my friends over him?  Did I pressure him into a life he didn’t want?  What did I do wrong?  Why was I not smart enough to fix it?  What is wrong with me?

With all these issues still floating in my mind I then switched to anger… why would he do this to me?  Why would he just toss me aside like I’m worthless?  How can you tell someone you love them when clearly you don’t?  To me, love always meant you tried to make it work unless there were fundamental differences between you.  I could not see any fundamental differences.  I saw lack of communication and insecurities that resulted in my heart being ripped from my chest… and it angered me… more than I’d ever felt before.  How could someone be so cold?

I stopped eating, sleeping, talking to friends.  I wanted nothing to do with anyone.  I became that person in a crowded room surrounded by people but I was sitting on a smart phone not actually engaging in the conversation.  I needed the background noise of human interaction to keep my mind occupied but had no actual desire to communicate with anyone.  If I wasn’t on my phone, I was just staring past and through people.  There was a raw emptiness inside of me that I would never recover from.  I was once a lover of music… all types… and could find just about any song to match my mood or bring me out of a funk… now I keep the radio off.  All music just sounds like nails on a chalk board to me.  Television shows bother me because every time someone is going to get a happy ending I just roll my eyes and say to myself “what a crock of shit, there’s no such thing as a happy ending”.  I used to love dreaming, it was where I could go and live out my desires and goals and remind myself what I was working toward, now my dreams are filled with regrets, despair and memories I wish I could forget forever.

I have no motivation to do any of the things I once loved.  I don’t even know that I love those things anymore.  A once vibrant world has become very dull and boring to me… finding no joy in the small things I once used to.  Everyone says, you’ll snap out of it.  Just takes time.  Time heals all.  Plenty of fish in the sea.  Don’t lose your smile over a guy.  Blah, blah, blah.  What none of these people realize… he stole my optimism.  I was well known for being the eternal optimist.  The this too shall pass type of person no matter what life threw at me.  I could always find a reason to smile and be happy.  Didn’t get the raise I wanted at work?  No big deal, could be worse, could be unemployed.  Fight with a family member?  They are your family and no matter what happens you’ll always loop back to each other, family is forever.  I could go on, but I’m sure you get the gist of it.  Those feelings are now gone… kind of a fuck it all mentality going now.  Optimism is for the weak.

When someone gets this low in life the responsible thing to do is to go get therapy right? Well I have… but my optimism still has not returned.  Remember earlier when I said something had shifted inside of me entirely?  This was the shift.  I no longer looked for the good in people, I no longer look for the joy in life, I faked smiles with the best of them, and I trust no one.  If you knew me years ago you wouldn’t recognize me now.  If I was only an acquaintance I might seem normal… but for those who truly knew me and understood the fiber of my being and what made me who I was… you see it, the change in my soul.  I guess that’s what happens when you devote all your heart and soul to a person and they turn out to be the biggest mistake of your life.  Why bother trying to find another person to share your life with… they will just disappoint you too.  Why bother trusting someone… they will just lie to you.  Why bother?  It is so much easier to just float through life waiting for the end.  Sure, it might be lonely… but being frank with you, that’s why we have dildoes and dogs. 

I make plans with my friends trying in an effort to snap out of this weight that I feel constantly holding me down.  When it comes time to go I have to negotiate with myself to do it.  Daily I negotiate with myself to get out of bed for work.  A constant battle to just get what I need to do done.  All because I loved the wrong person with so much of myself that when he shattered my heart in a merciless way I couldn't recover from it.  Left as a shell of the person I used to be and trapped.  Unable to move forward, no way of going back… and how would you even go back if you knew how?  It’s not like you could ever forgive the person for what they have put you through.  Would you ever be able to trust them with your heart again?  Not without a shitload of couples counseling and even then, probably not.  So why is it that I cannot snap out of this… I don’t really want to spend my life alone.  However, I still even after time has passed cannot stop comparing every single person who even looks my way to him. 

That might be one of the worst parts… comparing every person to this person who threw me out.  How insane is that?  Even as I type the words it seems illogical.  Why would I want someone like him?  Wouldn’t that just be setting myself up for further pain even if I wanted in the slightest way to start again?  I guess that is what happens when you’ve decided someone was your future with all of your soul… you can’t move past them… you’re just stuck being the person who watches someone else live the life you had planned for yourself.  Forced to see the person who hurt you so badly move on and be happy without you, meanwhile you contemplate the purpose of your existence.  It’s a cruel fate that makes a once God loving women question her faith… because why would someone who loves all, sees all and forgives all make you have to bear witness to this life.  Kind of a cruel existence if I do say so myself.

Now some might say to themselves, how on earth does the loss of a marriage pale in comparison to the final loss that has brought us here… well the marriage was over for years.  As many married couples experience especially when they get together so young and don’t move toward the common goals, it really isn’t much of a shock when it ends.  You simply grew apart and unfortunately didn’t figure out the extent of it until you’d already gone through the BS of getting the pretty piece of paper linking your lives together.Don’t get me wrong… I’m not a callous woman.  I mourned that loss as well.  It just wasn’t as earth shaking as this last one. 

This last one caught me off guard.  I thought we were good and in a good place.  Like I already outlined we had the same want in life, a partner and equal.  I had found someone that I truly viewed as my partner in all things.  If there was something funny I wanted to share it with him, something bad he was the first person I wanted to comfort me, something good the first person I wanted to celebrate with… so on and so forth.  In my eyes, he was the one.  When we met I felt in my soul like I was reconnecting with someone I’d always know.  Which is why I fell fast and hard for him.  I never wanted anything material from him and if he didn’t get me an anniversary gift, birthday or Christmas I didn’t mind because he was my gift.  Then he was gone from my life forever. 

I drive down the roads of every town and find something that is either an actual memory or a reminder of a memory and it hurts.  Places and restaurants cause panic attacks because I went there with him.  The ghost of his memory haunts me everywhere – but he isn’t dead.  He is very much alive and just doesn’t care about me.  At least not enough to try and make it work with me rather than give in.  I wasn’t worth it to him… that’s what it boils down to… he was worth everything to me, but the feeling wasn’t mutual.  That hurts more than if he had just died and was gone completely.  Knowing that he is out there living his best life and happier without me when I struggle to even sleep at night – that is what cuts the deepest.

What is the point of this story?  None really, other than to maybe warn men and women that should you find yourself in a relationship with an optimist to tread lightly.  If you aren’t all in, don’t lead them on… it’s cruel and you very well could end up doing to them what was done to me.  If you have severe insecurities or anxiety or depression or any other issues, don’t take it out on them because they didn’t do those things to you.  Get yourself some help or into the proper head space before you enter a relationship with an optimist, because they will forever try to find the good and redeeming qualities in you, they are fiercely loyal, and if you can’t handle it, you’re just setting them up for heartache… and the heartache will continue on even after you are gone because they won’t stop loving you right away.  I got lead on by someone I trusted and loved, and it broke me.  Don’t do that to another optimist.  This world is losing us faster than it gains us.


© Copyright 2018 Camie McLaine. All rights reserved.

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