Archive for heartbreak

Sisterhood and Bravery

Posted in intuition, love, Relationships, self-esteem with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

This week has been so different from how I’d planned it. After all, a week with no children and no work is a rare occurrence, so I was imagining between my plans and the plans with my lover, it would be a week of relaxation and bliss.

Instead, it’s been a week of processing and grieving. The silver lining is it was a week free from my usual responsibilities, so I was able to attend to my own emotional and physical needs.

That punched-in-the-stomach shock and grief has softened to an ache, although the anger is still strong. I’ve had time to look back over 15 months and place conversations and interactions into context and it makes me want to smash things. I’ve also realized that beneath all of that there is a thread of shame…how did I not see the truth? Why did I believe excuses and misdirection? How could he not love me? Was I not worthy of love? Did I not inspire love? The trigger effect of finding out the truth shook me. All the insecurities and fears I’ve struggled with for over a decade reared their ugly heads and I immediately called a therapist and made an appointment, because I had brief thoughts of “I can’t do this again. I can’t deal with this pain. I’m not strong enough.”

Fuck. That.

I CAN do this. I have to get through the heartbreak and anger and to the other side, but I refuse to let this leave me emotionally devastated and feeling like I did something wrong by falling in love with someone.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty I can take away from this. It’s the same basic message–trust my instincts. Don’t allow red flags to be explained away, rationalized or covered up. Speak my truth, even if it means giving up something I desire.

I’m brave and strong. It takes courage to love someone and not everyone is capable of it. I loved and I expressed that love, bravely and honestly. Instead of feeling shame that I loved someone and it didn’t work out (again), at least I took the risk of loving. I took the risk of being vulnerable. I opened myself up and I WILL NOT take on the guilt of his actions by thinking they somehow reflect on my worth. That’s on him.

I know he cared for me. I wish he hadn’t made the choices he did. But those are about him, not me. I will miss him like hell, no matter how angry I am, but one of the things that I believed about our relationship, that it was honest and open, wasn’t true. Trust is broken and trust was very much something that was required to make things work the way they did. This is the first time, ever, that a relationship has ended and I feel no compulsion to go back to him or try to make it work. Not because I don’t still love him. Not because I don’t think about him or miss him. But because the discovery crumbled the foundation and broke what was special.

And this week…thank god for the women in my life. My mother, who talked me through some of the pain and has continued to be there for me all week. My best friend, who listened to me stumble through the story, spilling out my sadness and rage without ever once saying “I told you so” and who made me laugh at the ludicrousness of the situation. My dear sister-in-law who said all the right things.  Other female friends who were angry along with me and muttered curses on aspects of his physical being that made me laugh through my tears. All of the women in my life who had my back and were a support to me this week as I struggled my way through the worst of it, who wrapped the mantle of sisterhood around me and helped to prop me up. They knew the things to say that none of the guys in my life–father, brother, friends–would know to say.

Thank you for being my sisters. Thank you for being part of my life.

Tonight my children come home and tomorrow I go back to work. This week of crying as I needed to and being able to take care of myself will allow me to put on a brave face and face life as I return to my normal schedule and responsibilities. I know in time this pain will continue to ease. I know eventually I’ll be able to forgive him and move on, hopefully finding someone new when I’m ready.

Because I’m brave enough and strong enough to be willing to love and risk and be vulnerable, even after heartbreak.

 

 

 

 

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What Doesn’t Kill You…

Posted in Relationships, self-improvement with tags , , on November 28, 2012 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

The week leading up to Thanksgiving was difficult. The memories of the previous year haunted me and I found myself dwelling on the way my relationship went down (as well as the various stages of “whatever” it’s been in since then). I commented to someone close to me that the evening my relationship ended last November was among the top 10 most emotionally traumatic experiences of my life.

But since then I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. While the time period after that breakup was definitely what I would term a “dark night of the soul” and led me to a lot of confusion and pain I had to work my way through (truthfully I think I’m still doing it on some level), I would have to revise my statement. I’m 38 and I’ve had quite a few emotionally traumatic things happen in my lifetime so far. The pain of that experience would probably make my top 20, but definitely not my top 10.

I’m pretty sure the last year of my marriage and the one that followed its end would use up at least 5 of my top spots. A dark secret from my husband’s past being brought to light, with all the incurring consequences, would make the top 10. Falling into a deep pit of suicidal depression at the very end of my marriage and having my husband yell from the edge (as he backed away quickly): “See ya! Even though I’m abandoning you and won’t check back to see if you make it out, it was real!” Yeah…that wasn’t fun. My oldest child going into the hospital at 6 weeks and having them perform 5 failed spinal taps on her to locate the root of the illness was pretty traumatic. My youngest child being diagnosed with a serious, life-long disease that will have to be managed daily; that definitely tops the breakup from last year. There are things that have happened to me that I won’t recount here, but they are immensely higher on the immediate trauma scale than one man deciding he wouldn’t proceed with our relationship. Losing my faith wasn’t an abrupt trauma, but the leaving behind of nearly everything I’d ever known, along with an identity I’d had since I was a child, was definitely heart-wrenching and emotionally difficult.

In some ways, it was reassuring to realize that this thing in my life I’ve given power to in the past year, this event and man who hurt me so profoundly…well, I’ve faced much worse. Many times over. You know what? I’m still here. I survived all of it. That dark pit my husband left me in? It took me about a year or two to reach the top and sometimes my hands would slip and I’d fall back down a bit, but I finally reached the light and I feel its warmth on my face more often than not. The things that have happened with my children? They have passed or are manageable. My kids are still beautiful, vibrant and most importantly, alive on this beautiful planet with me. Unlike parents who’ve lost children, which is nearly impossible to consider, I still get to hold mine daily. Acts that have been committed against me; I made it through. The sheer act of not only surviving, but not letting it cripple me as a person, is a triumph no person or act can take away from me. Men who have lied, used, hurt or abandoned me all taught me something about myself and about what I do and DO NOT want.

Henry Rollins said: “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength; move on.”

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve faced pain and suffered, but I haven’t allowed it to break me. I’m still getting up every single day, trying to do what’s right by myself and others. I meet my responsibilities, not just adequately (well, unless we’re talking about my housekeeping skills!), but admirably. I’m not closed off or selfish. I’m willing to help others and be open. Most importantly, I’m trying so, so hard to evolve as a person. Work on forgiveness. Work on being a spiritual person. Focus on where I want to go, rather than where I’ve been. I’m about as far from broken as you can get.

Unfortunately, when my marriage ended and I wasn’t able to consider the last 14 years of my life a blip and bounce to the next stage, I considered it a weakness in comparison to how quickly he moved on  (as did he). When my relationship last year ended and it affected me on such an intense level, I heard from so many people “Just forget him. He doesn’t deserve you and you’ll find better.” There have been a lot of people throughout my life who have not been able to comprehend or have empathy for the depth of my feelings. I have a theory, which I’ll expand on more in a future blog…

Of course I have emotional scars; I have experienced pain and it’s left its mark. But I have worked that scar tissue over and made it my bitch. I have rubbed it and oiled it and done my best to keep it malleable. Scar tissue doesn’t have the ability to experience sensation to the same extent as regular tissue. I think some people get hurt and just let the scars build, without ever trying to really do anything about it. They tell themselves they’ve healed, they’re tougher. They won’t ever let themselves get hurt like THAT again! Scar tissue IS stronger, but at what cost? If your ability to feel is diminished, is it worth it? Sure, maybe you won’t experience pain to the same extent, but that just means you’re not experiencing your emotions fully. In order to open yourself to love, to wonder, you have to be willing to open yourself to the possibility of pain.

The saying is that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Perhaps part of my strength is also not letting it diminish my ability to feel: To love and let myself be loved, to feel the pain of loss, to always be willing to take the risk. I’m working on choosing my risks more wisely, but I never want to be too afraid to try. I never want to be so guarded from past pain that I can’t see love in front of me, or have compassion for the suffering of others.

To sum it up, I recently read this and it resonated with me. I think this is where I keep finding myself. Others may view it as weakness or being a “glutton for punishment”, but I don’t think so. I think being willing to be open is simply a strength most people don’t recognize…

“The best advice I ever heard for a broken heart is to leave it broken, not try to fix it.  Leave your heart just as it is: broken open, pure, vulnerable, sad, tender, soft, touchable, alive and awake. There is pain in being open, but it’s an honest pain.  There’s pleasure, too – heartfelt, real, present, singing at the top of your lungs, dancing in the middle of the night, smiling a secret smile, because life is unpredictable and love is everywhere if you open your eyes and look.”