When a relationship ends badly there are generally always angry and bitter, hard feelings between the couple. Deny it or sugarcoat it as much as you like, it is a fact: guilt, betrayal, self-loathing, bitterness, anger, resentment…and more, a whole basket full of poisonous emotions. This is absolutely natural and should be accepted as such, and worked through and out. Obviously the ideal situation would be to sit down with your ex and talk it out honestly, preferably with an outside-party, a mediator. You would find that a simple acceptance of your part in your relationship’s failure or a honest apology would make all the difference. What would be even better is to acknowledge what you did admire, and still do, in that person. This of course, however, rarely happens because most of us have neither the courage nor the maturity to take this route, nor the humility to accept that we are fallible and that we might in fact be at fault, or at least partly at fault. We all just want to blame and thereby avoid taking responsibility. I have noticed that in this world we live in, it is a prevalent problem, this lack of accepting responsibility for our actions, and the consequences thereof.
So faced with the scenario of a brutal and unpleasant split with no sitdown as I have advocated above, what happens? Well, that’s where the high and low road of the title come in to play. They are the choices one is faced with because the fact is people are going to ask about your ended relationship, you will inevitably share friends, and in this day and age, the world is your shared environment: Facebook, twitter,texting, emails, websites. We co-habitate in each others’ virtual, personal spaces. The fact that I am able to write about my feelings on this site and share them with you is a prime example of this.
Using my own relationship (or rather failed relationship) as an example, I feel I have generally maintained that chosen high road. Some of her friends have lambasted me about my emoting, saying that by writing about my heartbreak I am making myself look like a victim and her as a bad person. Perhaps to some this might appear so, but it is not and never was my intent, I am an artist and I am documenting my experience of this pain and putting it out there. I have news for you, this is what artists do: I am a canvas and my emotions and feelings are my medium, my paints and chalks and pencils.
So yes, this high road: I have intentionally refrained from speaking ill of her, I am no hero for this, I am not looking for acknowledgement, it is just the way I choose to conduct myself. The fact is when you are in a relationship you share yourself with, and expose yourself to, your partner in ways that you do not/would not with anybody else. They have loads of information to tear you down with and if that doesn’t work, well, there is always the old twisting of the truth or the plain old lie to fall back on.
Yes, we are capable of really causing all kinds of harm in each other’s lives, especially in this day and age. Believe me, I am no saint! I have been sorely tempted to strike out at the one who has and is intentionally and unintentionally causing me so much emotional pain and turmoil. I have mentally created horrible websites with nasty names like www.lyingconnivingbitch.com (mmm I haven’t checked if this site actually exists, and if it does, its not mine, I promise haha) or something like that, dedicated to destroying her or putting compromising photos on Facebook, well you get the idea. I am like some old James Bond villain plotting her downfall. All those would of course be the low road. But I am really not that type of person, so I, after my brief fantasies of evil machination, take a breath, pull on my pair of running shoes and shorts, and go work out my tormenting demons on the road. And since this breakup I have, and I say this with complete confidence, run literally hundreds of kilometers, both in LA and here. I have the black toenails to prove it, and an extremely fit and toned body as a pleasant side-effect. The only problem with running is that you can only run so far and then you have to turn back. My solution, my personal one for myself? I need to start creating again, I need to draw, paint, sculpt. I just find it so very difficult at the moment because of where my emotions and my head are at, I am in such a bad place. However, my art degree requirements , much like life, don’t give a crap about that. This is good because it forces me to get on with my life and not waste my time on what it turns out was certainly not worth my time.
OK so high road/low road, no, I am certainly not denying that there is a certain malicious enjoyment and satisfaction that can be obtained by taking that low road but don’t, whether the other person deserves it or not. They say if you seek vengeance for a wrong, dig two graves, one for them and one for yourself. The same is applicable here, you will be destroying yourself so don’t do it. Take the high road, be the better person and you will be the better person.