How many songs have we heard that mention a broken heart? How many books have we read, how many movies have we seen?
Can a heart really be broken?
YES, a heart can be broken.
Many years ago, I unwisely became involved with someone online. “Unwisely,” because he was married, and I was living with someone. I had no idea how strong the lure of an internet romance would be, and before I knew it, I was sucked down the rabbit hole.
When you engage in a relationship online, none of the bad stuff shows up. You never see each other at your worst. Everything is perfect perfect perfect all the goddamn time.
Keep in mind this happened before Skype existed. He and I never saw each other during the “affair,” and because of our real-life living arrangements, we didn’t talk on the phone either.
It was a fucking fantasy, and when it ended, a hole the size of the moon opened in my chest.
I still can’t quite grasp what happened. I only knew I was in pain. No… it was worse than that. It was an agony so intense, so deep, so pervasive, I could barely function. I suffered. Oh gawd, how I suffered.
I ended up leaving my lover of thirteen years because of it, and I didn’t get the online guy either.
He broke my heart.
I’m not saying he broke my heart. I’m saying HE BROKE MY HEART.
This wasn’t the kind of heartbreak you hear about in country songs either. I was shattered. There was literally pain in the part of my body where the heart was. It hurt. And it kept on hurting for five long years.
I moved a couple times. I got a different job. I made new friends and went out and lived my life, but that pain was always there, sometimes low and quiet, and sometimes so demanding and loud, I couldn’t ignore it. When that happened, I crawled into bed and cried and wondered what the fuck had happened to me.
I’d never known hearts could really break.
Eventually the pain faded. I no longer thought about him every minute of every day, every week, or even every month. Somewhere along the line, I finally accepted it was over. Nothing would ever happen between us. He stayed with his wife. I was alone. Seemed fair.
Twenty-five years later, I look back on that time, think about what happened between us, and there’s an echo of that pain in my chest. My heart remembers. In fact, it never fully healed.
I’m still alone. I’m okay with that. Shit happens, and it sure as hell happened to me.
But once upon a time, I loved so intensely, so completely, that when it went wrong, my heart broke.
There are some things you never recover from. I’ll likely never love someone that deeply again. I hold back now. I don’t let anyone see that scar. No one gets that close.
Some nights, when the moon is full and the air smells like honeysuckle, I remember what it was like to be that in love, to want someone so much nothing and no one else existed, and then I go inside and close the door, and forget all over again.