When You Break Your OWN Heart

stack of love wooden blocks
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I was in the middle of teaching my seniors in English class- telling them how I hated to be interrupted while writing when I remembered that I had not written my article for the week. All of a sudden, like a cloud a rush of urgency descended on me right there in the middle of the classroom, and I realized that in the rush of everything that I was involved in this past weekend giving to others, I did not do the one thing that is freeing for me- WRITE. I usually take time to get quiet. I sit and think about the week and let life speak to me about what to write. (Yeah, it is that serious.) And here is what decided: When You Break Your OWN Heart it is the WORST kind of heartbreak. Let me explain.

I have started this sentence over and over again trying to figure out a way to say it in the most politically correct way, and I have failed after four attempts. So I will just say it. Every woman I know has been a fool for a man at one time or another in her life. It may have been in her younger years when she was giving her lunch to her eighth grade crush thinking that he was going to take her to Homecoming, or it could have been her childhood sweetheart who she married and ignored his indiscretions because she did not want to lose her lavish home and sizable bank account. Going to bed empty every night was worth it- she rationalized.

My story? Well, it seems as if divorce can bring out the best and worst in a woman.

The divorce happens.

She gets a new hairstyle and starts working out.

Her lease on life is renewed.

She emerges from one of the darkest periods of her life still bruised but a little more confident and a little more willing to make the rest of her life the best of her life UNTIL….She meets him. He tells her all the things that her husband never did. He takes her new places, and they create new memories, and all in the name of “new and improved” she gives him access to parts of her that he does not deserve. Her mantra becomes “He is wonderful BUT….” and every day she ignores the part of the sentence that comes after the BUT because it is new. It is exciting. It is beneath what she knows she really deserves, but things will change for the better…soon…she hopes VERY soon, BUT (she is beginning to hate that word) IT. NEVER. DOES.

affection board broken broken hearted
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I want to be totally honest with you- especially the woman who is stuck in a dead end relationship that she knows in her heart is going nowhere. I WAS A WILLING PARTICIPANT IN MY OWN HEARTBREAK. How? I ignored signs that were obviously in my face from day one. The small lies. The obscure disappearances. The broken promises. The repeated offenses. The verbal put downs. I rationalized reasons why he was the way he was, and I fantasized that somehow my love would make him change. Somehow he would see how good I was for him, and he would choose me- over his bad habits, over his tendencies, over any other woman. He would choose me, and we would be happy. I was breaking my own heart by not accepting what I knew was true. He didn’t lie to me about who he was. I lied to myself about who he was, and as happy as I was when he did put me first- even if it was temporarily, nothing compared to the heaviness of the truth that I could not escape.

When we have experienced heartbreak as a result of a broken relationship, it is devastating, but it is even more devastating when we see the signs but choose to ignore them. Living in optimism is the best way to live but only within the confines of reality. It doesn’t matter how much we hope for better and hope to see the bright side of a situation, if history dictates that change is not likely yet we continue down the path of blind belief then we trick ourselves into compromising and catastrophic situations, and it is of our own doing and produces the worst kind of hurt.

photography of person walking on road
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I said goodbye, and I meant it. It hurt me to say it. It hurt me to mean it, but it was necessary. I woke up and decided after the last fiasco that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. How could I keep saying that I knew my worth, and I knew what I brought to the table yet I could not untangle myself from the web that I had myself spun? Was it his fault? Some of it. Most of it. But was it his fault that I stayed? No. None of it. Every time I made a decision to STAY DESPITE WHAT I SAW, I was a willing participant in my own heartbreak. PERIOD. Now I could sit around all day and talk about how he lied, how he misrepresented himself by making me empty promises and telling me all the things that I wanted to hear. I could weep and sit silently in suffering because I don’t want to tell my girlfriends who told me a long time ago to move on. I could point the finger and curse and hate men and hate love and cry then scream again and say that there are no good men left. I could even worry about how you see my story and if you will judge me harshly because of my wanting what we all want- LOVE.

I could.


I would rather get on with the business of life- accepting the role I played- becoming BETTER not BITTER and understanding that at THIS juncture in my life, I have a choice just like I have always had a choice, and I choose ME, and that is a choice I can make over and over again.

I. CHOOSE. ME. I. CHOOSE. FREEDOM, and I still CHOOSE. LOVE. There is no greater force that heals hurts like LOVE does- even when our wounds are self-inflicted.

C. Mack


  1. I love your insight and ability to simplify the complicated things. Writing is truly your gift and calling and this piece is universal, not just for women. Us men can put our names and situations in those scenarios as well. Thank you again for ALL you do. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

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