Tag Archives: divorce

There’s More Room in a Broken Heart

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When I was 13 I experienced my first crush.  He was 16, had a girlfriend and drove a sports car.  He considered me a pseudo kid sister-sidekick.  Crush Guy was out of my league but hey, I had my standards and wasn’t inspired by the gawky guys my age.  He broke my heart but I settled for being his friend.

In college I met my first serious boyfriend.  He was a musician and, uh, sorta unavailable as he was in the seminary studying to be a priest. I apparently changed his mind about the priesthood and the years we were together were good.  Very good.   But eventually First Serious Boyfriend decided to return to the seminary.  I was heartbroken.  Eventually I made peace with myself about all of that.  I was young and had room in my heart for love.

Fast forward past Nice Guys I Dated But Are Not In In This Story, to when I met The Husband at a recording studio.  I was the voice talent and he was the guy who wrote music for commercials.  We dated five years and were married for eight.  We also had a son that turned out pretty nice, thankyouverymuch.  Matthew grew up infused with his father’s good looks and his mother’s sweet disposition.  Anyway, for many reasons I don’t care to write about, The Husband and I divorced.  Yet after all these years, The Now-Ex Husband and his new family remain an integral part of my family, and my heart.

After the divorce I took a two-year sabbatical from romance.  I changed jobs and had to travel a lot so between raising a child, working my way up the corporate ladder and mending a broken heart, I just wasn’t looking.  Then Thaw Out Guy came along.  This kind, romantic, handsome, intelligent and fun-loving guy managed to defrost my frozen heart during a short-lived fling.  Did I mention he was my former boss?  oops.  He was transferred out of state and since I was thawed out, it was time to move on.

There were years when I dated and years when I did not.  Most of the time, I was mother, manager and musician.  Then I found out I had lupus.  My heart was broken but for different reasons.

When I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 1992, I felt like damaged goods.  Why would anybody be interested in loving me now that I’m chronically sick?  I didn’t resemble my former self.  Steroids made me gain weight.  My face was swollen.  My hair was falling out.  I had cankles.  I didn’t think there was a man on this planet that could see past my appearance and truly love the person trapped inside this body.

I’ve dated several men since the diagnosis.  I had a misguided experience with one that was so painful I still can’t talk about it.  There’s one person that I see on a semi-regular basis and that’s nice.   Lately, I’ve been more focused on my health than my heart and that’s probably for the best.  I used to think there was time and opportunity out there for the kind of love I hoped to find.  Having lupus changed my expectations about that.  The losses I’ve experienced have put me on guard.  So I do the best I can.  My heart has space for the short list of trusted family and friends.  I don’t know if there’s any more room in a heart that’s been broken as much as mine.  Time will tell.