… that breaks you in pieces, not because of the love you lost – in fact, I don’t think love is even in consideration here – but because of the realization that you gave someone or something a power this big, against your better judgement. That type of heartbreak is the worst.
I found the love of my life and have been living the happily-committed life for years now, and it becomes tough for me to gauge what goes on in the relationship-world these days – second hand stories and gossips are all I hear. But, recently I’ve been thinking more and more about how we get our hearts broken, and even more about how we end up breaking other’s on our way out of the mess, even without realizing. I believe that the latter is the bigger cross to bear.
However, it does not take away from the fact that the type of heartbreak that makes you feel stupid, powerless and taken-advantage-of, probably feels the worse. I am seeing someone very close to me in this situation today, and it reminds me of a lot of other situations I’ve witnessed in the now-forgotten past, and I can’t help but write about it.
Read this poem, if you’ve ever suffered the type of heartbreak that left you questioning your own self.
Don’t cry because he told you,
That his love has slipped away,
Because I once knew a boy,
Who watched the sun rise everyday
One morning I sat with him,
Wrapped entirely in my awe
But he said he’d viewed so many,
Six a.m. was all he saw,
And you’re a brilliant sunrise,
With your darkness-breaking light,
But I know that he’s forgotten,
Life without you is just night.
He cannot see your beauty,
Since he’s taken it for granted.
But that doesn’t mean it’s failed,
To leave the rest of us enchanted.
You deserve the love of someone,
Who’ll watch you rise over again,
And may they never come to see you,
As another six a.m.
Pretty damn beautiful, no?
One of my closest friends is going through a rough phase and I hate that there is very little I can do about it. I mean, I can listen, talk, be empathetic, and can even give some tips from my own experience, but beyond that, there is nothing I can do to take away the pain of a heartbreak. Heartbreak, yes, that’s what it is. But not from a love that consumed her for years, no. It is not even from some burning desire that kept her toes curled and her heart racing. No, nothing so fancy here, or movie/novel worthy, she says herself.
They met though a matrimony site, with the consent of parents and he seemed enamoured by her natural charm and irrepressible spirit. She is a Class A human being, so compassionate and immensely talented, and not that it should matter but because it does seem to matter and some you will definitely ask about it in comments so I might as well say it upfront, she is stunning to look at. She’s gorgeous. Top it up with a heart so kind that it makes me feel protective of her most of the times. But she was doing just fine. Until she met the guy.
The guy, like I mentioned, was openly smitten by her. From opening doors to pulling chairs to driving close to a hundred kilometres to the airport just to pick her when she was landing a little late in the evening, he seemed like a good guy. He told her that he is ready to tie the knot with her, but was ready to give her all the time she wanted to make the decision on her own. See, he was the perfect man.
Until she said yes.
Then, the guy ran like a scared rabbit.
He confessed that the moment she said yes, she did in fact like him back – his feeling vanished. Just like that. No big deal, apparently.
But as you can image, it was big deal for her. She had allowed herself to become vulnerable after a long, long time, had finally decided to take a leap of faith – a big step for her, mind you – only to be left with an explanation as clichéd as it is stupid.
Well, stupid or cruel or right for her in retrospect, who knows? We won’t go there because this post isn’t about him. It’s about the type of heartbreak you suffer when you’ve put yourself on the line, against all your past learnings and all your survival instincts, and you take that first step feeling hopeful. It’s the crushing of this hope that defines this kind of heartbreak. You feel miserable because the only purpose this hope seems to have had is to cruelly reinforce your learnings and instincts. Girl trusts the heart, gets burned, earns a lesson. Clichéd, right?
And the fact that it feels so clichéd, so silly-to-have-happened to someone so good and so, SO it-happens-to-other-people kind of material straight from the book or from third hand stories we hear from random people, is what makes it all the more painful. Am I confusing you? I hope I’m not. If you’ve gone through something so random yet heartbreaking like this, you’d understand. If you haven’t, well, I’m happy for you and I’m glad you’re making an effort to comprehend this kind of heartbreak.
Because breaks you, it does.
Even if for a small amount of time, but it does leave some not so pleasant after effects.
The type of heartbreak that comes from knowing that someone who isn’t even the most important person in your life yet, can hurt you as effortlessly as waving off a stray thought, as playfully as an easy eye roll, can destroy you. YOU – the strong woman who knows her shit and knows better than to let someone turn you from the self-assured and self-sufficient women you were, to the girl who feels stupid for taking a chance. It’s intense, trust me.
And because the heartbreak is not a by-product of a long term relationship crumbling to changing times and changing needs, because it feels so … ordinary, it breaks my heart as well. She’s coping well and keeping busy, inspiring the rest of us while she tries to get back to where she was, but I know her too well. I know the feeling too well.
To stay away from the rampant romantic trends, the no strings attached hook-up culture and the serial dating is easy when you know your priorities. Travel, job, family, girlfriends, books and writing – priorities all sorted. We do it to save ourselves the trouble of falling in and out of love and all the other complications that come with it. We tell ourselves that we don’t do casual because we are real and nothing but the real thing will cut it for us. We deserve the best versions of ourselves, after all.
But then, totally unannounced and unwelcome, along comes the type of heartbreak that doesn’t make you want to cry for the person or miss the one who got away – but it makes your question yourself and it makes you feel weak and stupid and that’s the worst. Learning that you let something so minuscule to get to you, when you thought you knew better, is annoying. What a pity, right?
Wrong, I think. While it needs time to heal, it’s nothing to have pity on. Give yourself a break, I want to tell her. I want to say the most clichéd line to her, and I mean it – It’s not you, it’s him. It’s his issue and his problem, it has got nothing to do with my kind hearted friend who is one of the best people I know. It is not your fault, darling. It is no big deal, really. It is nothing that won’t make you stronger. It is just a glitch that taught you a lesson – the lesson is that your heart can open up again, and it can take a risk. Isn’t that a beautiful thing in itself? It is okay, really. After the self-esteem is back up and the absurdity of the situation occurs to you, you will laugh at it, bid good-riddance to what could have been a possible future complication and be done and dusted with it.
Closure. That’s what this type of heartbreak, and all other types really, demand.
Only thing is, you’d never be getting it from the other person. You have to get this closure from yourself. And there’s no hurry. The process might take time, it’s no science. But I am sure there will come a day when you can look back on this small episode and shrug.
Until then, remember that nothing that happens to us, defines us. I know it will suck, but not forever. You will get over it. My favourite lines from my book – and this is not a shameless plugin I promise – is “Meanwhile is the hardest”, so I know it’s easier said than done. But if you get through meanwhile, you’ll be just fine, I promise. To make the process faster, accept how much it meant to you and how much it hurts.
Don’t beat yourself up – ride that emotional roller coaster, cry, talk or do whatever you want and let it out.
Don’t be hard on yourself because you think you should be over it already. It takes time.
Don’t give up on hope. Give up on A-Holes who come dressed up as Good Things, but do not give up on hope.
Remember, the best is yet to come. And no type of heartbreak can stop you from being the wonderful, exuberant and big-hearted person that you are. You are loved, and how!