When a Steel Heart Breaks

Have you ever been heart broken? Not like oh hey, we dated for 2 weeks and now its over, but really truly felt as though you had your heart ripped from your chest and curb stomped? If you haven’t had to go through it, you are extremely blessed and I hope it is something you never have to endure. It is a nauseating, actual physical pain you feel when you lose a person you loved more than you love yourself. You have to process the situation like the person has died. In minutes, your best friend becomes a stranger and you try desperately to dissolve the last couple of years from memory as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Oooh boy. I had a little quarrel with myself as to whether or not I should write about this. I have a serious issue with vulnerability and have correlated it for years with weakness.


I am just going to premise this by saying I’m a Perpete. Growing up we were told “what are you crying for, stop that, its not going to fix anything”. So that is how I have lived my life. Believing that tears are a waste of time and priding myself on being an emotionless robot. Nothing, and no one could get under my skin.


It got to the point in my life that when I felt upset about something I had trained myself to picture the cool smooth surface of steel, specifically the bulletproof titanium that vaults are made of. This is why, for the longest time, I dreaded commitment or a relationship. Love would peel back this veil I had glued on, forcing me to upset my balance and potentially surrender this blissful solace of numbness.


It happened though, and I fought it, I tried to avoid it and made excuses. But there was an admirable determined persistence on his part. So, I made concessions and I revealed little bits of information and feelings that have been under lock and key my whole life. I removed my carefully constructed barricades brick by brick (a long and arduous process). Then, when my walls were almost all down, life happened, and the things I banked on never changing, they did . There it was, just like that, my iron demeanor had been cast into a furnace of tumultuous emotion.


No one is ever really prepared for heartbreak, regardless of whether or not you saw it coming. The first little while you are going through this survival /denial mode where you think “okay, we’ll both come to our senses. This is just a phase”. You shove the truth of the situation deep down and deny yourself the ability to properly grieve. Falling back into that easy comfort zone of feeling numb and detached. You keep busy, avoid mementos, and pretend that you are perfectly content and processing everything admirably well. That is when the anger starts to develop and fester. You want to scream and you want to weep all at once. You focus on how you’ve been wronged and how that person treated you. You make this direct point of hating certain aspects of the relationship so you don’t have to remember how you loved them so intensely. Believing your rage crafted fictions, that you were never truly loved, that you should have tried harder, that you should have called it off sooner etc etc. You end up not only unfairly condemning this person that you loved for the last several years you end up also disliking yourself more for it. Following that pot luck of negativity you are blindsided by a wave of depression and loneliness. Facing the idea that you may very well never see this person, your best friend, again. It hits fast, hard, and unexpectedly like a sucker punch to the face only your face is your heart and it makes you cry so intensely that you want to crumple into the fetal position. Your mind is in this torrent of repressed emotion and it wont let you hide behind anger or denial. It is not giving you a choice. You have to feel your way through this or risk the potential of an emotional self-destruct in public. So you take deep breaths walk quickly to your car and drive and cry (not advisable btw, pretty dangerous when you can’t see all that well) It’s at this point of bitter unhappiness in which you question, “Why wasn’t I enough? Have they moved on already? How could they possibly be doing okay when I am so incredibly broken? “. Ah, but in these moments of questioning and hurting, this is it, THIS is where you’ll have the biggest epiphanies, and your journey to acceptance begins. With the knowledge of how deeply you cared for this person, you settle into a slightly uncomfortable peace that accompanies the dull pain of love lost. An ache that can only truly be healed through proper grieving and time.


For years I felt nothing and staying that way would have made things much easier on me, however, you can never really experience true joy if the juxtaposition of sadness is eliminated. Here, you have the greatest chance of truly learning how much you can endure. You re- establish your independence and you have to focus on how to truly and confidently love yourself. Ensuring to remember the positive role you both played in each other’s lives and how even if things didn’t necessarily work out in the -white picket fence, swing in the front yard- kind of way. Things happen or don’t happen for a reason, life is a chaotic mess but it is in the purest and most intense moments of vulnerability that we are able to truly mold ourselves.