I Can’t Be Your Band-Aid


I know you broke up with someone four months ago (or she broke up with you — I’m still unclear on that detail). I broke up with someone nine months ago, and it took me about eight months to get over it. I know that there are stages I’ve been through that you haven’t reached yet. Watching you is like seeing myself in the rear-view mirror. It’s all a little blurry, but I can pick up signs and landmarks that I’ve passed by before.

I want to take away all of the pain and I want to put the pieces back together for you. No one did that for me, and I know it would have been a lot easier if someone had come along and helped me. Not necessarily better, but it would have been easier. Putting yourself back together is lonely and isolating and scary. I know that it’s important to deal with heartbreak alone, without relying on attention from the opposite sex as a crutch. But during the actual recovery process, all I wanted was someone to fill that void.

I know that if someone had immediately taken his place, it would have ended poorly. It would have been like putting a band-aid on a deep, deep cut — a cut that needed stitches. In the short term, it probably would have worked out fine. But eventually the wound would grow deeper and more painful. A band-aid can’t heal a gash like that, no matter how badly we want it to.

I can tell you want a band-aid. You want something to fill the space, the place that she used to hold. As you search for the the replacement, you paint on a happy face and pretend like you’re fine. Despite what you may have convinced others, I know there is no chance in hell that you could be. I know how easy it is to pretend — I’ve done it, too.

I know that you’re not fine and the long-term residual effects of her memory cloud the horizon, and the shattered shards of trust and togetherness will eventually engulf you. Sooner or later, the shards will start to claw at and scratch you. Eventually, they’ll draw blood. It will be when you least expect it, but you’ll learn soon enough that her memory cuts deeper than you ever anticipated.

You can trick everyone else into thinking that her ghost no longer haunts you. But I know better. I can hear the anger and sadness in your voice. I can see it behind your eyes. I can spot the venom because you and I are the same, in more ways than I could have ever imagined — probably in more ways than you will ever know.

I’m sorry that she hurt you. I’m sorry that something you worked so hard at fell apart. I know exactly how that feels, and it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. Because I know how much it hurts, I want to fix it, to fix you. But I can’t. I can’t be your band-aid.

featured image – Zoe