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The Clown Circle: The Stages of Moving on From Getting Played

When I tell someone that I was in the circus, there is at least a 50 percent chance that they will respond by asking me if I was a clown. While I never officially performed as a clown (I was an aerialist), oh boy, have I dabbled in the clowning arts. Except instead of a paying audience, it’s just my friends watching me get played by a boy who I should have realized was playing me.

Through in vitro study, I have determined that there is a pattern to the process of healing from being played: The Clown Circle. The stages of looking in a mirror and seeing Ronald McDonald staring back at you, to eventually being ready to get hurt again.

Stage 1: Denial

The first stage of the clown circle is denying that you are a clown, because surely it hasn’t happened again? Surely, you didn’t trust the wrong person again? Wrong. You met a boy who you thought was being honest, but he is in fact still a slithering little snake.

He's Just Not That Into You gif

Stage 2: Rage

Once you’ve realized that you are a clown, the anger begins to settle in. There’s anger at the person who made you the clown, yes, but a lot of the anger is directed to yourself. Because it is incredibly infuriating to realize that yet again, you were ignoring red flags and that led to you feeling stupid. I recommend tequila and playing “Picture to Burn”, it really does hit different when someone has just done you dirty.

Stage 3: Pettiness

Once you get past the initial rage, it dampens down into pure pettiness. I will send prank calls, post as many hot selfies as I can take and change someone’s contact name to smegma. The petty stage is actually my favourite stage because it’s taking control of the things in your life and aspects of your relationship that are open for your catharsis.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days gif

Stage 4: Acceptance

One day, you’ll wake up and realize that you can accept what happened. That it wasn’t stupid to try and care about people, you just shouldn’t have trusted that one, specific person. You can accept that while you thought you were sleeping peacefully next to someone, they were actually huddled over you with face paint and a big red nose. Unfortunately, it took you a while to notice the makeover, but everything is going to be okay.

And so it goes, because after you reach the acceptance stage there is an inevitable event that causes the Clown Circle to continue: you meet someone new.

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