The Grief Letter: From Heartbreak To Happiness


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(This story was written shortly after an emotionally traumatic breakup that happened over a decade ago. It is based on the true life events experienced by the author. The only deviation from the truth are the aliases used for real people and places.)

 

Healing

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It’s taken me exactly 29 days to feel a little better and somewhat human again.

Tomorrow will be about a month since my girlfriend at the time shattered my heart. I pride myself for being tough. But immediately after we broke up, I got so damned depressed that I had to take sick leave. But now, the ex-girlfriend doesn’t inhabit my mind 24/7 anymore. I can work again.

I don’t feel the heavy cloud of sadness that was constantly hovering over me before. I don’t feel like a little lost child, with no home and no one in the whole world looking for him. I'm no longer chronically teetering on the edge, always being on the verge of a nervous breakdown - barely “a stutter of an inhale” away from another emotional Chernobyl.

The tears have stopped.

Amazingly, I am now able to view reminders and images of her without instantly feeling like I’m riding the downside of a steep, monster roller coaster. Mutual, familiar songs no longer bite into my heart - or knock the wind out of me.

Let me tell you about the worst and best relationship I’ve had so far in my life.

Also, I will share my personal grief letter for all who are currently suffering - or have never quite recovered - from heartbreak.

 

Love is Blind

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It’s true that when you love someone, you tend to overlook what others may see clearly.

While others may see blatant cruelty, an overt pattern of duplicitous behavior, or a habitual disregard for other people's feelings, you refuse to accept it. You try to defend your lover's behavior by making hundreds of excuses and over-rationalizing it. In the extreme, you may actually blame the others, saying that they should show more empathy. You try to justify everything - saying that all manifestations of aberrant behavior is the result of your lover's tragic childhood or past history of trauma - no matter how untrue those justifications may be.

In retrospect, I was totally blind to the many tell-tale signs of her selfishness and the ridiculous lopsidedness of our relationship. I gave everything. I received nothing.

She was a young woman that would not admit that she wasn’t ready - or capable - to enter into a serious relationship. I was a war-weary, ex-soldier in life who desperately wanted an everlasting friend, companion and lover. I wanted a woman who was ready and motivated to support and nurture a mature, loving relationship. But most of the time - and in spite of being a grown adult - she acted like a brooding, spoiled and immature girl.

She wanted it all without paying the price.

She wanted to experience all the good things in life, the prestige of looking rich, and the excitement and seduction of the city’s nightlife; while also enjoying a stable home, secure finances and a lifelong partner - or should I say, “in spite of" the burden of a steady, significant other.

By contrast, I’d “been there, and done that”; believing that I knew what I truly wanted out of life. But I realize now that she was - and probably still is - searching for her true identity.

Sadly, unless she chooses to make a personal change, she'll never know what she really wants or where she’s going with her life.

I wanted honesty.

She felt the need to hide secrets and lie to me - especially when it came to her friends. I wanted to teach and take care of her. She wanted more independence without having to work for it.

I was enamored with all the wonderful things from her different, exotic culture and wanted her to tell me all about them. She was too impatient to teach me; getting frustrated whenever it took too long to explain it - her words verbatim.

Finally, I realized that she was simply incapable of fulfilling my needs; and I, hers.

Sure, I will miss so many things about her. I’ll miss her innocent awkwardness, her alive and sweet laughing eyes, her spontaneous and honest facial expressions, her beautiful smile, her skin, her laugh, her full lips, her hair, her naturally fit body and her child-like excitement over things that I usually took for granted.

I’ll miss eating with her, sleeping next to her and smelling her perfume and hair - and of course, in the beginning, our passionate sex.

 

Facing Reality

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I won’t miss her financial irresponsibility, her deceptions and lies, her lack of caring for anything or anyone but herself, her cruelty, her inability to enjoy things with me, her random coldness, her chronic impulsive behavior, her betrayal, her silence, her self-centeredness, her lack of trust, and her constant accusations - later I found out that this was done to cover up her own promiscuity and dishonesty from the start.

I would get thoroughly disappointed with her carelessness with my feelings, her childish behavior, her low frustration threshold – no patience, her lack of self-control (“I want it now!”), her lack of affection, her inability to focus on anything for more than one minute, her indecisiveness, her non-interest in learning new things, languages, and skills; her laziness and sloppiness in the home, and her shortsightedness - and much more.

 

The Grief Letter

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A grief letter is recommended by the majority of mental health experts to facilitate overcoming a broken heart. Although you are not expected to send it - which I didn’t, and usually kept private, I’m including it here. It is for anyone who can benefit from it. And allows me to illustrate what kind of living Hell I endured.

Dear xxxx,

I loved you, then you hurt me. I trusted you, then you lied to me. I was loyal to you, then you betrayed me. I worked hard for you, but you took it all for granted - barely lifting a finger to help me at all. I needed you - especially when I lost two of my four jobs, when I was ill with pneumonia from overworking, and when I was lonely. Then you ran off with another man.

I gave you all my money, then you wasted it; spending it on your endless array of clothes, shoes, high-priced jewelry, expensive gadgets - and most of all, your friends.

I gave you my soul when we made love, but you made me feel like sex meant nothing to you - and worse, towards the end, you acted like sex was just a distasteful, dirty job. I wanted to be your best friend and make you happy, but you excluded me from your world; frequently sneaking out to go have fun with other people.

I was proud to have you in my life; but oftentimes, you acted like you were ashamed of being seen with me in public. I kept nothing secret from you, but you hid everything from me. I wanted to be with you for life, but you pushed me away; especially whenever you felt yourself starting to care for me.

I let you have my whole heart, but you just crushed it and stepped all over it. I wanted you to learn that it’s possible to change and live a different, better life; but you chose to stay in the past. I now realize that when we were together, I may have been with you, but you were never really with me.

Why? I guess I’ll never know all of the reasons, nor the total picture of it all. But it really doesn't matter to me now. It’s over. I’m glad it’s finished. I take my heart and life back. I do not hate you. I forgive you. In fact, I will always love you. But you will never be part of my life again.

Thank you.

The experiences with you helped me learn more about myself and what I really want in life.

Through the darkness of our relationship, I found my own, radiant inner light. This heartbreaking ordeal with you has taught me how to forgive, accept, respect, and truly love myself.

Again, thank you.

I hope you find your way. I hope you find yourself. I hope you learn to love yourself – so you can finally be able to love someone else. Maybe you’ll realize in the future that people are more important than things?

Love,

JaiChai

 

Epilogue

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I’m not now, nor have I ever been a quitter. After that heartbreak, I stitched together the pieces of my heart and moved on with my life. The mended heart is not pretty, but it’s whole again – and I proudly wear it, replete with all its scars. It’s a testament to my resilience, loving nature and courage to love. I learned how to be fearless - brave enough to risk a thousand heartbreaks a day in order to love abundantly and unconditionally.

I continue to learn and live my life with as much joy as possible. I believe that many great things are always waiting around the corner and I’m anxious to see them.

My primary mission now is to make room in my heart and soul for all the joy and happiness in the future. They need their own space to fully manifest. Making that space can only be done by getting rid of past clutter - utterly useless, excess baggage.

Every relationship can make you stronger in so many ways.

Just like everything in life, things are neither good, nor bad – until we put our own labels on them.

While going through the outrage, tears, and depression of that heartbreak, I could barely believe my own advice to others.

But I held on.

And if you are hurting, I know you can too.

I am not bitter in the least. In fact, I know that I’m more able to love better for it. Trust me, you can do this also. You just need to believe in yourself and hang in there.

 

If someone as hard-headed like me could do it, I'm certain everyone else can too...

 

By JaiChai

About the Author

He is a retired U.S. Military veteran. Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early - only to earn an A.A., B.S., and MBA in less then 4 years much later in life while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic. In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he free-fall parachuted out of airplanes and performed diving ops in very deep, open ocean water. He spends his days on a tropical island paradise with his daughter, longtime girlfriend and his three dogs.

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JaiChai
JaiChai

I'm a single papa actively enjoying my varied passions (e.g., Writing, Disruptive Technology, Cryptocurrency, plus more hobbies too bizarre for most folk). I live on an island paradise with my teenage daughter, longtime girlfriend and three dogs.


(IJCH) Life, People, and Philosophy
(IJCH) Life, People, and Philosophy

IJCH - Inside JaiChai's Head (Meaning: My Warped, Personal Opinions and Musings on Life, People and Philosophy)

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