Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broken

So here's a kind of serious question: have you ever had your heart broken?

Maybe I should back up a little here... A couple of times recently, my mom and I have been in the car together to go see my sister, and the conversation has somehow drifted to BOYS. Also, having one's heart broken by them. And I realized, I never really have had my heart broken over a guy. I got married really young, as most of you know, so that's probably the main reason it never happened.

In high school I dated maybe four guys, but only one of them longer than a month. That last relationship was actually pretty serious, and we would always talk hypothetically about how we'd get married and have babies and all that jazz. In the end, however we broke up (obviously!) due to what I'll just call irreconcilable differences. It was him that had his heart broken, though, while I felt mainly relief. He was a sweet guy and I cared about him a lot, but I knew even then that I was escaping an unpleasant future. Still, I used to have guilt dreams about him all the time, because the last time I saw him he was crying as he drove away from me, after having unsuccessfully tried to persuade me to get back together. Ouch. Guilt, though, is definitely different than heartbreak.

After getting married, I remember mentally breathing a little sigh of relief, like, "Whew! I have now forever dodged that whole emotional train wreck of being screwed over by a guy! I'm safe from sadness forever!"

Well. Then I started having babies. And losing babies. I am now quite aware that there are other kinds of heartbreak than the sort inflicted by teenage boys. I am also aware now that just about everybody gets their heart broken at some point or another. Maybe it's a boyfriend that betrays you when you're an idealistic college student, sure, but maybe it's a husband of twenty years deciding that marriage has grown stale for him and he wants to start again with someone else just as you thought you were approaching a peaceful retirement stage together. Maybe it's YOU realizing that your marriage has grown stale, but you don't know what to do about it and the future is looming ahead long and tiresome and joyless.

Maybe you've lost a parent, or a sibling or a friend. Maybe a family relationship has fallen apart and despite your efforts seems unmendable. And, maybe your body has betrayed you in the one area that mattered most to you. Maybe you are unable to conceive, or keep losing your babies in spite of every medical attempt made and every prayer prayed and even though you still have faith and you don't exactly feel abandoned, you do feel confused, and you do feel angry. Or maybe you have lost your faith, because of one big reason or a bunch of little ones, and your life suddenly feels like the bottom has dropped out.

So go ahead and tell me (anonymously if you wish, I certainly understand): what has broken your heart?

16 comments:

Jess said...

I think, because of all the really serious and tragic things that you have just described that can cause heartbreak, that I wouldn't say that I've ever had my heart broken. But I did go through one breakup in high school that was really awful and painful, more so for me than for him.

d e v a n said...

There were two times when I felt like something broke in me. When I lost my baby and when my grandfather died. However, I have mostly been spared from heartache and I'm grateful.

Hillary said...

Like you, I've been the heartbreaker, not the heartbroken, in romantic relationships. The guilt from that is not pleasant, but not on par with being heartbroken. I've experienced heartbreak in broken relationships with my biological father and my grandmother. He simply is not a part of my life, by my choice, but I have reconciled with her, mostly. Still, I get pangs every now and then remembering what our relationship was.

Tess said...

I like what Devan said, because heartbreak, to me, means something you never really get over or you are never the same after. I certainly put the loss of a baby or marriage or parent in that category.

I've definitely had romantic heartbreaks. I think they are somewhat easier to get over, but hard in a different way, because it's more about rejection.

I don't put my divorce in the heartbreak category, except as it relates to my daughter. I've had other breakups that were MUCH more upsetting. Which, uh, there you go. Is why I'm divorced.

parkingathome said...

My best friend, kindred spirit, person who taught me how to properly drink a shot, inspiration, and big brother died when I was 17 and he was 26. I was never given the opportunity to give him my bone marrow. It's not broken heart, it's broken soul

desperate housewife said...

parkingathome- I'm so sorry. That's devastating in every sense of the word.

Katy said...

heartbreak. gosh. It's a tough one. Yes, several times. In high school when my friends ditched me to hang out with my ex who had a place at the lake, when my husband lost his job due to a really silly technicality--a job he'd killed himself to get, and when Charlie was born and I was told there was nothing they could do.

Swistle said...

That's interesting---I hadn't thought of a loss of faith as a heartbreak, but it's an apt way to describe it. It WAS like a heartbreak---the end of a relationship, and having to find new footing afterward. My loss of faith was definitely a bigger challenge than the break-up of my first marriage.

I also had a romantic break-up with a boy in high school, that was really awful.

Tracy said...

I, too, married young. I was relatively heart break free until I started having my miscarriages. In some ways, its the worst kind of heartbreak.

Scottish Twins said...

My heart was broken more times than I could count when I was younger. I used to fall in love hard and fast.

But my biggest heartbreak I can remember is when my first dog died - sounds silly, I know. But my college dog Athena was literally my best friend and when she was hit by a car it was devastating.

Marie Green said...

I have been blessedly spared the "great heartbreaks" of life thus far, and really that scares me. The more I live the more I have to loose. And I don't want to be broken!

The first time I remember being REALLY broken was over a lost pet. I cried myself to sleep for weeks- or more- over that cat.

I also felt really heart broken when I was forced into having a Csection with my twins. I was so angry and sad that that fact was setting me up for either always being a "high risk" or always having surgery to birth a baby. It took me a long time to get over.

Anonymous said...

There have been many instances of heartache through various circumstances in my life (including ending an 18 year friendship) but heartbreak has only happened twice. The first time was a few years back; DH and I got into a massive fight and it looked very much like it was the end for us - that moment of realization that this might be it was more painful than I can put into words. We managed to patch things up and are better for it, but it took a long, long time to recover. The second heartache was when I lost my dad in May this year. He was 61, fit, active and healthy. He went out with his walking / running club one evening and suffered a massive heart attack while out on the road. He was gone before they could get him to the hospital. It happened so fast and I never got to say goodbye to him. I can honestly say I can't ever remember feeling worse than that.

Laura said...

Although I thought I had, I never had my heartbroken until August 26, 2007. In fact, I didn't believe you could have your heart broken. Now? Now I know my heart can't be broken because it's already gone.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I, too, have been the romantic heartbreaker. That's been on purpose. I've always wanted to be in control of things, so I often chose guys who would allow that/weren't worthy of me.

Like Marie Green, I fear being heartbroken on a regular basis! I have so much, an embarrassment of riches, and it seems unfair that I haven't had my heart broken yet when so many others have, repeatedly.

And I know it will come. I know I will lose my parents at some point. And there are always the unexpected losses. I try so hard not to dwell on what and when and how because there is always only today, for anyone.

bingo woman said...

We all have our own heart breaking experiences. To me, the worst feeling one could have is when it comes to life and death situations. I think being heartbroken because of a break up -- you can move on with it through time. But a death of a love one remains tormenting..especially when you always miss that person. I didn't mean to say we can't be happy. We can move on but it's different when they're all here with us present to share that happiness.

Sassy said...

Shew, having your dreams crushed beyond repair ... that would be my heartbreak. We were married for 13 years, living in Germany and planning our great future and adventure which was moving to the USA ... and casually one day he says "I'm very attracted to someone else" which then turned to I love someone else and we're sleeping together and I want to be with her, after having declared his undying love weeks before ... sad sad ... 4 kiddies and we each packed a suitcase and came back home. But the scariest, she looks exactly like me, just 10 years younger.