You gave him your love, your heart, and your trust. He sent you a text that said "My wife found out about us. I will always care about you, but I have to try to save my marriage. Please understand." Then he was gone, and you were alone in the same room where he had made love to you so many times, and had promised you so many things, and it hurt so much you could hardly breathe, but even in that horrible moment of pain and betrayal and insensitivity, all you wanted to do was run into his arms and beg him to return. Why? Because he's such an amazing man that no matter how he much he hurts you, he is deserving of your love?


No, it's because you're an idiot. Get over it. He did.

This blog is dedicated to the broken-hearted, the emotionally maligned, and the romantically bereft. I am not a psychologist, therapist, or counselor, only a woman who knows the pain of heartache and wants to share her experiences with others in the hope that they will take comfort in realizing that heartbreak is a universal affliction and that they do not suffer alone. Comments are welcome, silence is understood. Because hell is for heartbreakers, and it's a journey they will make on their own. But for every broken heart, there is an angel waiting in the darkness, for every tear, a speck of sparkling sunlight, and for every night of sorrow, a new tomorrow and another chance to love and be loved again.



Still beating? Not beaten...


About Me

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.


The heart has its reasons that reason does not know

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Yes. I'M BACK.....and I will be back even more so in a couple of days! Please check back then! It's gonna be good! xxxxxxxxxxooooo

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I just want to take a moment to say "Merry Christmas" to all of you have read and found comfort in this blog. For me, this Christmas will be a special and sacred one because I'll be spending it with my family in Copenhagen, but the last several Christmases were far from ideal. Holidays often fall short of the "ideal" mark, but when you're in the throes of heartbreak, they can be hell, especially when everyone around you seems to be content and happy in their secure little corners of the world. But the thing is, fellow heartbreak sufferers, when you're feeling that low that you are one with the ants and the soil and wads of discarded chewing gum....the one thing you need to remember is that nothing is written in stone. Fact! Not your sadness, not your happiness, and not even those incredibly detailed and well-laid plans for your future. It's all subject to change at any moment, whether it's for better or for worse, and there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing except to remember that if happiness isn't necessarily forever, then it follows that sadness is every bit as mutable. Sure, maybe you'll have to do some work to move past it, and when you finally reclaim your spot in the land of the living, you'll find that your outlook has been altered in ways that you had never imagined. But if heartbreak's good for anything, it's for making us strong, stronger than we ever thought we could be, and it's that newfound sense of personal and emotional strength that will carry us onto the next phase of existence. Because there will be one. Trust me. For you and for the person who broke your heart. The difference is that you'll be the one who's been reborn and is ready to move on. He'll be the one who still has an appointment with karma. So, brush off those Christmas tree ornaments and start shopping for fruitcake. Hell is for heartbreakers. Christmas is for those whose hearts are on the mend. your best to have a merry one!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Guess what? I'm taking my heartbreak show on the road. Well, maybe not literally, or on the actual road, but after sloughing away here in obscurity for the last six months, I've decided that it's time to bare my soul for the benefit of a wider audience and possibly even do some good in the process. Actually, the idea of publishing an e-book based on my experiences as "the other woman" in a relationship with a married man was first broached to me by a friend a few months back, but I dismissed it, telling her that I was only writing this blog because I needed an outlet for my pain, not because I thought that I had anything especially unique to say about a situation in which countless women have found themselves and will continue to find themselves as long as there are unhappily married men willing to lie to get what they want from women willing to believe their lies in exchange for promises that are just more lies in a primordial state. My friend told me that I was missing the point. It was because my situation was not unique, and so many other women were going through the same grieving process after being discarded by a married man that made my story worth telling, not just in the form of a blog with a limited readership, but in a more visible form...such as an e-book. So I thought about it. I've been thinking about it for a while now. And it's finally time to stop thinking about it and embark on the actual process of doing it. And so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I realize that publishing an ebook about my experience as "the other woman" isn't likely to trigger a worldwide moratorium on the ages old dynamic between philandering husbands and the women who aid and abet them under the deluded notion that a man's lust and desire for sex are the same things as a woman's love. But as I so often feel compelled to remind those close to me, I'm a writer, and writers write, not just because they want to tell colorful stories, or impress readers with their literary technique, or spend beautiful summer afternoons in a hot room typing their fingers raw while all the other sane people they know are frolicking on the beach, but because writing is sometimes the only thing standing between them and the black abyss threatening to devour them whole. It's the means by which they expunge their pain, the process through which they hope to find salvation by revisiting their own sins and making peace with the sins that have been committed against them. And sometimes, while immersed in that process, they become the unwitting conduit for a wisdom greater than their own, one that they may not recognize at the time, but which will resonate for someone who reads their words later on. So, even though an ebook about the mistake I made in loving a married man may not be enough to keep most similarly-inclined women from following the same dangerous course, it just might help to keep the population of Hotel Heartbreak down by a guest or two.

As far as this blog is concerned, I'll still be posting updates here from time to time, but I'll be focusing most of my attention on getting the ebook ready for publication. I have no idea what to expect after that. No idea where this road will lead me, or whether it will lead me anywhere at all. If nothing else, the publication this ebook will at least serve as proof that what some people see as "obsession", other, more perceptive people recognize as "courage", which is what it takes to look back at the painful place you've just been so that you can free yourself from the pain and begin to move forward once again. In some of my earlier posts, I made a point of saying that I felt no remorse for having been involved with a married man, only resentment that he had duped me into believing that I was in love with a man who loved me, too. My stance regarding the subject hasn't changed. My only crime was allowing myself to believe that a man who readily admitted to having had five previous extra-marital affairs before he met me was telling the truth when he told me that I was "the one." The only regret I have is that I was too inexperienced in the role of mistress to read between the lines when he told me very early in our relationship that he thought his wife might be having an affair with her doctor and that he wished she would leave him. Everything he was, everything that he would eventually reveal himself to be...passive, indecisive, weak, and unworthy of my love...was in those words.

A man who says that he's not happy with his wife, and wishes she would leave him is a man who has no intention of ever leaving his wife, and the reason he's being so nice to you and making you feel so special is that you're the slice of cherry pie that balances out the steamed broccoli he gets at home. And no matter how delicious your cherries might be, when the time comes for him to make a choice between dinner and dessert, you'll be the one who ends up on the compost heap. It's all so clear to me now. But I would never have believed it back then. Every woman in love with a married man is convinced that her relationship is that rare gem that defies the odds, that he is the man who will leave his wife, and she is the other woman who won't get hurt in the end. I know this because I was convinced of those very same things. And that's why I'm publishing this ebook. Because I lived the cliche and want to spare other women from living it, too. And that's why I'm calling my book "He Doesn't Really Love You, He's Not Going To Leave His Wife, And You're A Fool For Wasting Your Time (...Are Just Three Of The Reasons You Should Never Get Involved With A Married Man). What do you think? Feel free to let me know.

Friday, October 4, 2013


I know. It's been a while. Last time I posted, I was writing about the drudgery of making lemonade (yet again) from the lemons that life keeps lobbing at you versus taking an even more pro-active stance and insisting that life take back all those stupid lemons and lob something more interesting and less tart at you instead. Seems like a long time ago. Summer's gone and it's no longer the right time of year for making lemonade. The advent of autumn triggers a taste for something stronger, something darker, something that you can drink out of a heavy ceramic mug. Am I being too cryptic? Sorry. I get carried away sometimes. My point is that a lot of things have happened since I last posted on this blog, and even though I can't share most of it with you, I feel the need to at least mark the change of seasons with a brief update on the state of my still healing heart. After all, I may have started this blog as a means of giving myself an outlet for my pain, but I know that it's served as a touchstone for others who suffer from the same affliction and who have taken comfort in the reminder that they aren't alone. And so.....

Here I am, six months after the emotional apocalypse that left me with a mangled heart, and the one thing I can tell you with complete and utter certainty is that time and distance has had an enormous effect on my perception of what happened to me last spring. Six months isn't really that long when you're recovering from a relationship that was the center of your life for two years. The friends who tell me that it's time to get over it aren't really thinking of my emotional needs as much as they are simply frustrated by the fact that I'm still struggling with my feelings for a man who they long ago dismissed as an insensitive bastard who deserves to be forgotten like a bad bout of flu that came and went and with any luck will never come again. What they don't understand is that I'm over a lot more of "it" than they realize. I am acutely aware that the man I loved so deeply and for so long was not so much a man as he was a portion of one. He was good to me when it served him to be so, and maybe, for the duration of our time together, he really did feel all the things he told me he felt. But a man who can turn off his feelings as completely and soullessly as he did when he realized that his "real world" was at risk is either a liar or simply unwilling to make sacrifices to be with someone he once professed to love. I know all that. I've even made a tentative peace with his weakness, with the lies, the broken promises, and even the fact that I gave so much of myself....the best and deepest part of myself to a man so concerned with his own situation that, following his unceremonious exit from my life, couldn't even bothered to reach back out from the superficial and formerly ignored bonds of matrimony to send me so much as an email to make sure that I was all right, for the simple reason that it's the kind of thing that people do when they care about other people, even if they can't live up to all of the promises they made back in the days when making promises brought benefits that outweighed the fact that the promises were ones that they never intended to keep.

I really have reached a sort of peace with all that. The things with which I still struggle are harder to articulate for the people who urge me to relegate the man and my association with him to the past. Such as the fact that he'll be celebrating his birthday this weekend, and I can't help thinking about the special birthday page I made for him on one of my other blogs last year, and how, this year, I won't even be able to wish him a happy birthday at all. That I would even want to do so after all of the hurt and disappointment and pain he's caused me. And that even now that I know who and what he really is and isn't, knowing it doesn't make up for the time and love I so foolishly squandered on him, or the still lingering sting of having been betrayed on so many levels by someone who was not only my lover, but my very best friend.

One interesting recent development was finding out that my younger son, who attends college, is in a class with my former lover's son. Informing me of the  fact, my son went on to give me his assessment of the other kid, whom I know only from what his father used to tell me about him. Last year at this time, I would have been concerned about the new connection between our respective progeny, but now it concerns me not at all, which is somewhat freeing, but strange, too. But it's a slow, ongoing process, this broken heart recovery, and no matter what people tell you, it's not something that you can accomplish within some arbitrary time frame. I'm being wooed by other men, some more appealing than others, and I hope that I'll be ready at some point to explore new possibilities. But, unlike my erstwhile lover, I'm a person for whom love is not a convenient, retractable thing. I'm moving on. I can't help moving on. But the man really did a number on me, and it's still going to take a little time before I'm able to relegate him to that place in the past where thinking of him doesn't hurt anymore.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


So....remember last spring? April, May, and the first weeks of June? You do? Good. They were pleasant, all bird songs and warmer days and gamboling lambs, you say? Great. I couldn't be happier for you...or your gamboling lambs. But I was actually referring to last spring in relation to this blog. Remember? That's right. There were no lambs, gamboling or otherwise. All I could write about was how horrible I felt after the married man I had loved for two years ditched me and went back to the marriage that he had once claimed made him so miserable and had left him so emotionally and physically bankrupt that he was merely waiting for "the right time" to end it and begin a new life with me. It's all coming back to you now, isn't it? God, I cried so many tears it's a wonder my keyboard didn't float away in the deluge. Not that it would have stopped me from spilling my guts. I was possessed, literally, by a force every bit as overwhelming as the demonic one that made Linda Blair's head turn on her shoulders like an owl's before she vomited all over the movie screen and made it impossible for anyone in the early 1970s to even think of eating pea soup again.

And it didn't end there! When I wasn't writing about my pain, I was talking about it, holding my friends hostage to an endless recounting of the details that had led to my heartache--the broken promises, the self-serving lies, the devastating sense of loss, and, most of all, those cold, terse, final words my faithless lover typed into the email in which he told me good-bye. If I had a dime...hell, if I had a freaking penny....for every time I uttered the words, "I just feel so empty inside", I could probably afford to buy every single person reading this post their very own copy of 1,000 Reasons Not To Fall In Love With A Married Man, a book which may or may not actually exist, but if it doesn't, definitely should, and if it did, would almost definitely include "Because After He Dumps You, And You've Driven All Your Friends Crazy With Your Endless Self-Absorbed Ramblings, You'll Have To Relocate Just To Find Someone Willing To Meet Your For Lunch Once You've Finally Regained The Ability To Think Of Something Other Than Him, Your Pain, And Yourself" as one of the top reasons on the list. And as though writing and talking about my anguish weren't enough, there were times when, finding myself alone and too depressed to do anything even remotely industrious or marginally positive, I would while away an hour or so creating hideous self-portraits on my computer, like the one above, and fantasize about what would happen if I sent them to my ex along with a cryptic email that hinted at, but never actually stated that I was close to suicide. Luckily, I never went that far because, just as luckily, I didn't have his new email address. Looking back, I can only thank God for small favors....however ironic those small favors may have been.

So, what's my point in leading you down this dark and still somewhat damp (from all those tears...natch!) stretch of my personal memory lane? Well, it's been five months since I started my heartbreak blog. And as summer starts to whisper hints of the imminent shift of seasons, marking the beginning of the sixth month of my post-"him" life, I can't help being amazed at how far I've come since those awful, unspeakably bleak days of early spring. I mean, I was as emotionally flat as a cartoon coyote lying underneath a cartoon anvil that's been pushed off a cliff by a cartoon roadrunner chortling "Beep, beep!" before speeding off down a dusty desert road leading to the next cliff and its attendant anvil. I was in spiritual hell, man. No light in sight, no respite from the night, nowhere to flee and no heart to fight. But somehow...somehow...I made it from there to here. And it's not just that I managed to survive. The real news is that I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. Not just me without him, but I was before he showed up and let me hand him my heart on a silver platter with a little note that said, "Fragile. Handle With Care", which he apparently did not see as he proceeded to tear the aforementioned heart to pieces before dropping it on the kitchen floor and squashing it under his spotless white Nikes as he practically bolted out the door on his way back to the wife he had suddenly realized he loved when she discovered our relationship and who he now did not want to keep waiting despite the fact that he had spent the previous two years telling me how little she and he had in common and how he couldn't imagine living his life without me.

But I usual. Bottom line, I feel like Greta again. Or I'm starting to regain some sense of familiarity at least. The little things are the clue. Last spring, I couldn't bear reading anything about the Rolling Stones, or even listening to their music because he loves the Stones. We had entire conversations about Keith Richards that began on one side of a lovemaking session and continued on the other side. But long before Keefe talk became our secret aphrodisiac, I loved the Rolling Stones as well,  and I still do, and when I heard "Sympathy For The Devil" on the radio the other day...guess what? I forgot to feel sad because a fellow Stones fan with whom I was in love for two years dumped me four weeks after I had cancer surgery and one week before my birthday. I was too busy getting off on the song. That's progress. And so is the fact that I've stopped associating certain times of the day with thoughts of my former dream man and what he might be doing instead of being with me. That's a real step forward for a sentimental sap like yours truly. I even got rid of some of the things he gave me. They weren't special things, not particularly, but I had held on to them because they were from him, and that made them sacred. But no more. I was cleaning out my closet, they were not things I needed anymore, and so I ditched them...just like that! See what I mean? Little things. But with huge connotations.

I must be honest. There are a few caveats. I still think about him. I still wonder whether he thinks about me, and there are times when I am overcome by a sudden sense of sadness and the accompanying desire to see him again. I miss him even now. I still wish that things had been different between us. But I know the score. I can look back and see the cracks and fissures that ran like a fault line through our love, but which I chose to ignore and even dismiss. I know now that I wasn't a victim. I was a willing aide and abettor in keeping alive a relationship that was never what I wanted to believe it was, and which could never have existed if I hadn't given him permission to take advantage of me. Yes, he lied to me, used me, and when things went belly-up and the situation no longer served his needs, he turned into a jerk of mythic proportions and tossed me away like a wad of used-up Bazooka bubble gum.

But there is such a thing as karma, and it knows his address (and his new email). Hell is for heartbreakers. That's the title of this blog, and I stand by that contention. But those who break hearts have to make their journey to that hell on their own. Those of us whose hearts have been broken have our own road to walk. We might stumble sometimes, maybe trip over the remnants of the chains we're still dragging behind us, but as long as we keep matter how slowly....we will reach a new destination. Will it be a better one? The one that we still dare to believe we deserve? Dunno. But what's the option? Standing still? Sorry, my friends. I've done enough of that. I spend any more time standing around contemplating the concept of sadness and how I can incorporate even more of it into my life, I might as well hire myself out as a (tall and busty) garden gnome. And let's be honest. I may have spent the last five months as a world class sad sack, but I draw the line at wearing a little pointed red hat. Not to mention that, when it comes to kitschy garden ornaments, I'm more of a pink plastic flamingo sort of person.

But I digress...again. What I'm trying to say is it all comes down to Motown. How the (insert annoyed-sounding expletive) is that, you feel compelled to ask? Well, it's like this. In one of the greatest Motown songs of all time, Jimmy Ruffin asked (well, crooned, actually) the musical question "What becomes of the broken-hearted?", but instead of answering it, he simply went on singing about heartache and left us to ponder the possible answers on our own. But I've done my share of pondering, and, if you ask me, the answer is pretty obvious.What becomes of the broken-hearted? We move forward. Simple as that. We just move forward...scar tissue and all...until, one day, without realizing it, we stop being the broken-hearted, and become just...people. People who have been hurt and are wiser for it, who have been disappointed and have learned to be wary, but who, despite those things, are still filled with hope, are still open to the promise of something better, and are still willing to give their love and to believe that they might be even be loved in return. That's what becomes of the broken-hearted. Sorry, Jimmy. It's still a great song.

And just in case, you're not a Motown fan (if that's even possible), look at it this way. Life hands you lemons, you have a couple of choices. You can, if you are so inclined and happen to own a blender, make lemonade, maybe add a little vodka for some extra oomph. Or,  if the lemons are especially large, so large that they are almost gargantuan and it's impossible to even life them without faltering under their weight much less carry them across the room to the counter where you've set up the blender, you can simply drop them and head off down the road to look for an entirely different kind of fruit, which you haven't even thought of yet, but which will, when you find it, vanquish all thoughts of lemons from your mind forever because, as it turns out, lemons were never really what you needed after all. See what I'm saying? Well, if you don't, no biggie. Just go with the Motown metaphor. Either way, it's about moving on. And so I am...until next post.

See you at the malt shop...

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Okay, so in case you haven't heard, a Canadian dentist by the name of Michael Zuk is trying to bring back the Beatles. Well, one Beatle anyway. But it has nothing to do with their music. Confused? Allow me to explain. Seems that Dr. Zuk is the proud owner of a discolored molar that once resided inside the mouth of John Lennon. No...seriously. It's absolutely true, not to mention extremely gross. But, again, allow me to explain. See, Zuk purchased the late Beatle's rotten molar at an auction in 2011 (I hate to think of what else was being auctioned off) for the somewhat princely sum of 19,500 pounds and is now intent on using the DNA to clone the late Mr. Lennon. According to an article in The Guardian, Zuk has already begun "sequencing" the aforementioned DNA, which is the first step in the cloning process and exactly what scientists are doing in their efforts to clone a recently discovered (dead) woolly mammoth. Wow.! And I thought I was a Beatles fan just because I own all of their albums and have watched "A Hard Day's Night" a couple hundred times, and cried the first time I visited Strawberry Fields in Central Park. But, clearly, I have nothing on Dr. Zuk.

It gets even better, though. Zuk's interest in John Lennon's icky, yellowed tooth isn't limited to a desire to clone a member of the Fab Four. Zuk is also doing his bit to promote mouth cancer awareness by hawking pendants and a sculpture created from (John Lennon's) "tooth dust", the recording of a parody song called "Love Me Tooth", and a book devoted to photographs of the insides of famous people's mouths. No...seriously. You can read the article yourself. I won't be the least bit offended. But you may find yourself more than a little freaked out by the idea that an otherwise unknown Canadian dentist is committed to "resurrecting" the late great John Lennon.

I'll spare you my in-depth thoughts on the concept of cloning human beings. No doubt you have your own thoughts on the matter. But where we might agree is in regard to Dr. Zuk's assumption that cloning John Lennon would be the same thing as "bringing back one of rock's greatest stars."'s not the bloody same, damn it! I mean, John Lennon wasn't just a rock star. He was a person from a specific time and place, to whom certain, specific things happened while he was with certain, specific people (i.e. Aunt Mimi, Paul McCartney, Ed Sullivan...the list goes on into Beatles infinity). So, unless Dr. Zuk and his scientist friends know something I don't about cloning (which is very possible, although in no way a deterrent to my basic feelings regarding the cloning of human beings), it would be impossible to actually bring back the John Lennon who we all knew as John Lennon. I mean, I love Canada (got relatives there and love their bacon), and Montreal was the site of John and Yoko's famous "bed-in" back in 1969, but come on. John Lennon cannot be from Canada. He has to be from Liverpool. And he has to have Paul, George, and Ringo at his side (at least until he meets Yoko and the band breaks up). Does Dr. Zuk have a podiatrist friend who's hoarding a discolored toenail clipping from George Harrison's foot? And what about Sir Paul and Ringo? And Yoko? Would anyone even dare to clone Yoko? My thoughts veer decidedly to the negative side of the (long and winding) road.

Bottom line, I hope that Dr. Zuk raises lots of awareness about mouth cancer and sells enough tooth dust pendants and celebrity teeth picture books to make back the 19,500 pounds he spent buying on John Lennon's discarded molar. But as far as cloning Mr. John Winston Ono Lennon is concerned, I can only warn him to Get Back! And speaking of records (which we are, in a vague, disconnected way), what is it about dentists and John Lennon? You may recall that it was John Lennon's dentist who first "turned him on" to LSD back in 1966, during a dinner party which John, George, and their (at the time) wives attended at the (apparently) groovy dentist's flat in London. You don't recall? Well, suffice it to say that, after drinking the acid-laced coffee that their dentist host served up, the group decided to go out on the town, which was not a great idea, and led to some very confusing and awkward (if not downright scary) moments before the night ended and John went on to write Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and many other famous songs filled with acid trip imagery that Lennon always insisted was not acid trip imagery, but merely regular imagery that people misinterpreted as acid trip imagery. But I digress! My point was that dentists, as a group, are usually pretty nice people, but get one of them alone in a room with John Lennon or his rotten molar and....well, as I said before....Get Back!

And to those anonymous scientists busily working on cloning that woolly mammoth....look, guys and/or gals, I think that woolly mammoths are adorable, too, and way, way cooler than those trendy, can't throw a Canadian-cured-ham-without-hitting-one llamas (Napoleon Dynamite, remember?), but let's be honest here...what the hell are we supposed to do with a damned woolly mammoth clone? I mean, they went extinct for a reason.  Albert Einstein once said, "God does not play dice with the universe." And even though he didn't come right out and say it, I'm pretty sure ol' Al was warning we lesser beings against rolling the bones as well. So, please, let the woolly mammoths rest in peace, and leave John Lennon in our hearts and in our CD players where he belongs. Besides, how can we even think of a reborn John Lennon walking among us when Ringo Star has yet to be knighted by the Queen? Now that's a cause some Beatles-loving dentist could really sink his or her teeth into, don't you think?

See you in the tunnels....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I know. It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog. That doesn't mean I haven't been writing, elsewhere, about things other than heartbreak. But as I mentioned in my last post, my heartbreak saga has taken a legal turn, and although there has definitely been progress in that area, I'm not at liberty to divulge details concerning the...well...details of the situation. However, I am free to offer you an update on the emotional progress I've made since I last typed the word "heartbreak" for public consumption. So....ready? Good! Here goes...

I feel better. Not great, mind you. Not amazing. Not even what you might call normal (if there is such a thing). But I have definitely taken enough steps toward the light at the end of the tunnel to have reached the startling conclusion that there actually is life after love. (Are you listening, Cher?) It's been a hell of a long haul, though, fraught with fresh hurts along the way, not to mention the occasional step backwards toward the abyss of despair into which I plummeted after my ex ended our relationship and returned to the woman who he once claimed made him so unhappy. It's been four months since the emotional apocalypse that left me so crushed and broken-hearted that there were times when I honestly would have preferred to die (painlessly) rather than face another day draped in the sadness that I allowed to envelope me. But in those four months, in which I must have cried enough tears to fill an ocean, I learned a few things about myself which, if not original or profound, are at least as important as the fact that I gave my love to a man who accepted it, enjoyed the benefits that came with it, and then tossed it away as though it were nothing when it no longer suited his purpose. And just what are those things, you ask? Well, calm down and I'll tell you.

First of all, I learned that I am stronger than I thought I would ever be in a situation like this one. When my husband left me four years ago, after twenty-five years of marriage, for a woman he claimed was his "soulmate", I thought I would die. It was a total blindside, a sucker punch to the solar plexus that left me gasping for breath and so disoriented that I flew straight to England, where I had once been happy in my youth, and where I proceeded to squander nearly every penny of my divorce settlement in a misguided effort to assuage the emotional pain. When I finally returned to the States, still broken-hearted and financially broke as well, my friends took numbers lining up to chastise me for my foolishness while at the same time confessing that they weren't sure they could ever have survived such an emotional blow. It was a pretty dismal period in my life, and finding myself both an example of bad judgment and an object of pity didn't help matters. But I managed to pull myself together enough to go on with life. I mean, what choice did I have? And, of course, if you've read my earlier posts on this blog, you know that it was while I was stumbling around in a state of depression and acute remorse that I met and fell in love with the man who would deliver the next blow to my poor, duct-taped heart. But see, that's the thing. I recovered from that first blow, and, from where I sit at the moment, it looks as though I just might recover from this one, too. I'm not saying I'm "over it." Hell, I'll probably never be over it completely. I'm still angry, hurt, and sad, and there are days (and just as many nights) when I still can't believe that he left me the way that he did. But he did leave me the way that he did. Which pretty much means that I have two choices. I can waste even more time wallowing in despondency and despair over a man who was never worthy of me to begin with, or I can do my best to put him behind me and move forward into the next phase of my existence. I choose to move forward. I already have...somewhat. Believe it or not, there are days (and nights) when I actually find myself looking forward to the future...a future in which his figure doesn't even figure...and, for a woman who spent at least two of the last four months convinced that she would never feel anything but sadness again, that's saying something.

The second thing I've learned is that being dumped by the man I loved doesn't mean that I am unworthy of being loved. Don't get me wrong. I'm nowhere near ready for another relationship. And although I did agree to go out for coffee recently with a man who made it clear that he found me "interesting", I'm still too tender to even consider dating on a regular basis (not to mention that I spent the entire time rehashing the details of my heartbreak, which, despite the perfunctorily compassionate comments he offered in return, probably made me a little less "interesting" to him by the time we finished our second cup of coffee). But even so, I've started to shake off that awful sense of being "nothing" because someone I loved chose to continue his life without me. That was one of the hardest parts of being dumped so suddenly by a man who I had made the central focus of my life. All at once, there I was, just me, alone, unattached, a solitary entity in a world in which most people define themselves by their emotional relationships to other people. Sure, I still had my children, and my friends, but my children and my friends all have partners and significant others. The things they do, the plans they make are all colored and shaped by their attachments to those other people. To be a woman with no such attachment, with no one else's needs or desires to consider when making the daily decisions of life, no one to whom I belong...well, it's a little disconcerting at this stage in my life. I mean, it's one thing to be thirty-four and single. It's a whole other sticky (and slightly icky) ball of wax to be fifty-four and on your own. But alone or not, I am still the person I was when I met him, and that person is as worthy of love now as she was then. The twist is that next time...if there is a next time...I won't make the mistake of settling for less than I deserve.

And that brings us to the third thing I've learned since first signing my name in the over-flowing guest book at Hotel Heartbreak. Hold on to your hats. It's a biggie. It's...(cue drum roll)...the astonishing fact that hearts can't really be broken. I know! Major revelation! Not to mention one that is completely incompatible with the concept of a blog devoted to heartbreak and those who carelessly break those aforementioned hearts. But it's true. I mean, sure, when someone you love says good-bye and leaves you lying in the dust like yesterday's roadkill, it hurts like hell. And in the most extreme cases (like mine), it really does feel as though that vital organ beating inside your chest has been seriously compromised in a physical and possibly life-threatening way. On my worst days, I was in so much pain that it took every ounce of energy I possessed to put enough words together to form a coherent sentence. There were times when the emptiness inside of me felt so vast and overwhelming that I wasn't even sure that I possessed a heart anymore. Wracked with grief and despair, I was convinced that, even if I did still have a heart beating somewhere inside of me, it was probably so scarred and bruised and battered that it was only a matter of time until it succumbed to its wounds and gave up the ghost for good. But guess what? I was wrong. All the classic symptoms of heartbreak...the heavy, choking sensation at the base of your throat, the absence of anything even approaching an appetite, the endless flow of tears that makes you feel as though you're living through your own personal tsunami....are definitely forces with which to be reckoned. But even in the midst of all that, even when you're at your absolutely lowest point, so low that you feel as though you're crawling on your hands and knees even when you're walking upright...even then, your heart is still intact. It's not really cracked, it's not actually bleeding, and the duct tape you imagine covering its myriad holes is not necessary. And that's because your heart...everyone's stronger than than anything that life happens to throw at it. Stronger than disappointment, stronger than sadness, stronger than that wretched movie reel of memories looping endlessly inside your head.

It's your heart, and even if you were foolish enough, or careless enough, or trusting enough to offer it up to someone else for safekeeping, it still belongs to you. It may have been abused, it may have been neglected, disrespected, and unfairly used, and it may have come back to you in need of some extra care and attention to make up for the rough treatment it suffered prior to the transition, but it came back whole and still beating and every bit as solid as it was before. And even if you still hurt, it will keep on beating, and as long as it does, you will never be beaten. You've heard the song a thousand times. Probably hated it more every time you heard it (I know I did). But as corny as the lyrics are, they're true. Your heart will go on...and on...and on. And that means that you...and I...will, too.

Remember...Das Beste kommt nocht!