After a Breakup, ‘Disenfranchised Grief’ Is Very Real

I remember once stumbling across a book called It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken Though I never read it, the title came back to me years later after a situationship ended and I was left feeling, well, broken. The problem was there was technically no “breakup” to be found. Had we stayed up until dawn talking and texted incessantly? Yes. But we’d never left the talking stage, let alone become social-media-official. And yet here I was, feeling like a pit had opened where my heart should have been. It felt illegitimate, like I had no right to hurt this way when nothing had actually happened, so I didn’t think it was worth bothering my friends with my feelings. I knew what they would say: “Just get over him already.” Nevertheless, it all felt painfully real.


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