So many cultures celebrate holidays, traditions and festivities around the spring equinox – Easter, Holi, Passover, Norooz (the Persian New Year), Hanami (the blossoming of cherry trees in Japan), etc. – Why? Spring is the season of new beginnings. It’s the time of year when everything is in bloom. Animals awaken, the conditions are ideal and everything just comes to life again. The air no longer has the abrasiveness of winter’s chill and everything seems to be in the kind of order that you’re convinced, is how it was always intended to be. So, you commit to and embrace the new beginning, hoping for your heart to forget an ex that has somehow disabled the switch from ever shutting off. And then… it happens: you see him. Not just in your head and heart, but right in front of you. What do you do when you see your ex? 

What do you do when you’re suddenly face to face with the one person who, despite how deeply they broke your heart, you still compare everyone else to? 

When you see your ex, you convince yourself that everything you’ve worked so hard to glue back together is now irreparably unglued… but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Years ago, I dated a man that made me feel like I had never experienced anything before him. He redefined it all and was unlike anyone I had ever been in a relationship with – much older, very successful, an intellectual encyclopedia, well spoken, traveled everywhere, had an infectious sense of humor and a personality that was larger than life. I can still hear his laugh. I made many mistakes in the relationship, but his emotional unavailability and lack of empathy ultimately proved to be a deal breaker that no matter how hard I tried, my disease to please couldn’t salvage. It was one of the most painful breakups I had ever gone through, but after lots of stalking and tears, I finally found a way to put one emotional foot in front of the other (despite terribly missing what was).

Fast forward to about 9 months later. I had just finished having lunch by myself at Spago in Beverly Hills and was waiting for the check. All of a sudden, I.hear.that.laugh. With every antenna up, I turn around and see him in conversation with 2 beautiful women. Before I can look away, we lock eyes. He immediately excuses himself and walks toward me. I don’t remember much of our exchange because there wasn’t much that we exchanged – we said our hellos as quickly as we said our goodbyes. He seemed a bit uneasy, but I was uncharacteristically calm.

The one thing that I remember more vividly than anything though, was that for the first time in my life, I was INDIFFERENT. It was the weirdest thing. I went about my day after that and didn’t think about it at all. I didn’t even feel the need to tell any of my girlfriends that I had run into him. I didn’t spend the next month comparing myself to the women he was engaged in conversation with, trying to find them on social media or obsessing over how I looked and what I said. Pigs were officially flying.

That night, I got a text from him saying how great it was to see me. I didn’t respond, deleted it and never heard from him again. There was absolutely no ill will, just pure indifference.

SO, with it being Easter today and the start of a season that’s known for new beginnings, I wanted to share with you how to emotionally navigate when you see your ex.

Here’s what to do when you see your ex (& how to not let it unravel you):

Today, I don’t drink alcohol but in college I did. I remember one night of my freshman year of college, I had so much raspberry Smirnoff Vodka that I threw up. To this day, if I smell raspberry Smirnoff Vodka, I’ll get a gag reflex.

What fascinates me about this, is that it’s been a DECADE since I consumed that raspberry vodka and all I would have to do today is SMELL it and I’d gag. We’re not even talking about taking a drink; my body would literally prevent that from happening. It’s amazing to me how our senses will remember trauma and toxicity to such an extent that it will signal a “do not proceed,” to our brain, decades after the initial exposure to toxicity.

I started to wonder, “if I can get a gag reflex from just SMELLING something that was so toxic, it made me physically sick 10 years ago, why can’t an emotional gag reflex be induced from exposure to the toxicity of emotionally unavailable, narcissistic and/or empathetically bankrupt exes, family members & friends?”

As I’ve said before, the root of all misery is contradiction. You know that on some level, you have the ability to not only recognize that something isn’t good for you, but also ACT on the dis-ease that you feel when exposed to it.

The reason that it’s so much harder to do with matters of the heart is because our low self esteem convinces us that if we were “enough,” we would’ve been able to transform the toxic venom into a healing tonic.

HOW did indifference permeate a situation that I was convinced, would have had me so weak at the emotional knees that I’d be ovulating at “hello?”

My gut recognized the toxicity and an emotional gag reflex ensued.

When you’re gagging, you know it’s not because everyone else would gag in this situation or because whatever it is that’s making you gag is “bad,” it’s just bad for you. 

So, when you see your ex, you no longer make it about you because it never was. You now know the cost of reinvesting and are thus able to allow indifference to do its thing.

When you see your ex that consistently treated you in a less than manner and it doesn’t induce an emotional gag reflex, that’s just because you’re still arguing with what your gut knew from the very first red flag it was introduced to.

Avoidance just buys you more time in the headspace of delusion so that you can have a renewed lisence to blame yourself while pedestaling a f*cktard (& remain invested).

The body doesn’t lie and neither do our emotions.

The only reason why you feel so conflicted when you run into a toxic ex is because you’re equating the danger of their toxicity with 50 shades of passion – being chosen, winning over, being good enough, etc. That’s not passion, that’s emotional poison that just like the vodka in my case, had the same capabilities before I decided to consume it.

It was your CHOICE to engage and consume to the level that you did. You don’t have to anymore.

Wishing all who celebrate a very happy Easter Sunday! I’m off to give out Easter baskets to my God children, have a late lunch in Brentwood and a relaxing dinner in Malibu with friends. Nothing but non-stop eating and a very grateful focus on the slate that this beautiful season has wiped crystal clean 🙂

Love to you all!

x Natasha

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21 comments

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Natasha thank you for this blessing blog! I really don’t know what I would do without this blog. ♥️
Exactly what I needed right now.

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Happy it helped! 🙂 XO

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Natasha, thank you once again for taking the time and sharing all these knowledge with us. Today I felt like the universe and god were trying to send me a message. I found this blog 10 months ago when I broke up with my ex. I was left alone feeling extremely lonely and as you said “not enough” that’s how he made me feel but somewhere in my head I was still thinking that he was the one. Don’t even ask me why. I feel like is more infatuation and the ide of a man than the reality of who he is. Anyways point is that three days ago and after 10. Moths of being broken up and cutting all communication:I saw him. With his friend walking towards me and since we were at a crowded place, ,y fear and gut just told me to turn b,y back and act like I didn’t know him and so I did. I felt kind of stupid but then I realized that he saw me and he didn’t want to come and say hi either so he is still the f*cktard he’s always been. Although I did have th feeling to tell my best friend and my knees were shaking I a abed to practice my mindfulness and stay present in the moment and then just letting go. It was such an amazing surprise to get this new post because now more than ever I know that the Universe is with me. Thank you! Fio 🦋

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Sorry for all the typos👆🏽👆🏽👆🏽

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Fio, not only is the universe with you – I AM with you and so is this tribe. You are amazing. Such an inspiration <3 Can't thank you enough for sharing. You are loved and never alone. xxxx

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Oh my God! What a blessing you are! Next saturday I will see my ex at a party I will finally be attending. We are broken up since September and he immediately went on with a rebound. Maybe she will be there, too. I haven’t seen hin since November and I completely shut down on any social activities in fear of seeing him. I finally found some strength to go, but I am still far from 100% ready. Your Post was such an inspiration to stay calm and remember what he did to me. I hopefully will survive – because of this blog. xoxo

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You totally will survive. Is just someone that you used to know. No worries, in the end everything will be just fine

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🙂 Love this!

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Let me know how it goes! You’re going to do great 🙂 Just keep coming back here to the blog. You’re not alone Henni. xo

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Thank you! Great post! As always, you have perfect timing.

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🙂 xo

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Wow,this really resonated with me. Thank you. It’s all so true.

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Happy it helped! 🙂 Thanks Lisa!! xx

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❤ happy Easter!

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Thanks Andrea!! 🙂 Happy Easter to you too! XOXO

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Natasha,
I’ve been having such a hard time getting over a relationship — one that I am only just now starting to realize the extent of his manipulation, emotional abuse, and gaslighting. For the longest time I was blaming myself for the breakup, since I was the one to dump him over text and there were certainly mistakes made on my behalf, but finally I’m starting to come to terms that I have nothing to feel guilty for when he was the one who sent mixed signals, was emotionally unavailable, trivialized my concerns, and made me feel like I was crazy/dependent/a burden for wanting the bare minimums of a relationship: for my concerns be taken seriously and to cultivate trust/grow together through consistent, clear communication. Your blog has helped me immensely as I realized that I was far from the only one who’s gone through this, and that emotional unavailability is definitely a really sh*tty thing that exists.
This post came up at the perfect time because I s2g, I’ve been seeing my ex around campus waaay more lately than I ever did when we were together, and I’d always find myself having terrible flashbacks and overwhelming feelings of guilt. But right now, I’m inspired by your blog post and to take action by developing my emotional gag reflex.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and advice and empowering all of us. Hope you had an amazing Easter!
💖 Em

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Hi Em! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m happy that the post helped! 🙂 You are loved, believed in, appreciated and supported. Hope that you had a wonderful Easter too! XO

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Thank you for your post! I feel like I’m well on my way but still come back and read these gems from time to time. I try to instill the gag reflex when I even think about him!!!

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🙂 xoxo

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I can’t tell you how much I needed this today. My toxic ex called last week, and hesring his voicemail brought up a lot of old emotions. I’m not going to reach back because I know I’m worth more than that, but I’m wishing my gag reflex was a little stronger. You are a blessing! Xoxo

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I’m honored to have helped! Thanks Erica 🙂 You are loved, believed in and never alone. Thanks for being a part of this tribe. xx

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