My Sad Little Heart.

Jill Allyn Stafford/Flickr

Some say you showed up at the perfect time. You know, to teach me “lessons.” All of my coaches and therapists and New Age friends agree: you were put into my life to teach me something. To break me open and change me.

But truth to be told, I could have done without your lessons. You can have them back.

I sometimes wish we’d never met. Actually, most of the time I wish that. I want to completely erase the memories I have of us, covered by a veil of lies, I later discovered. I have nothing left to remind me of you, except the flashbacks of us at the beach, you staring into my eyes and rambling on about how you’ve “never felt such a connection before.” All of the pictures we had, erased. No old shirts, nothing that smells like you.

It’s been 6 years. I should be over this, and you, by now.

But I’m not.

As I was healing from a breakup four months prior to meeting you, I proudly declared, “I’m going to be single for a year! Get to know myself again!! Become a strong, independent woman!”

The Universe had other plans.

After that breakup, I made the list. Ladies, you know which one—the list of all the things I wanted in a man, so I’d be able to recognize him better when I saw him. 

How you managed to be everything on that god damned list, I have no idea. It’s like you broke into my house and read my journal and recited everything perfectly. It still makes me so incredibly angry how good of liar you were.

You came in with your stupid dimples and puppy dog brown eyes. Puppy dog snake eyes. What woman isn’t a sucker for dimples and a great smile? You knew exactly what to say and when to say it.

I didn’t find out about the other woman until much later. But she was there all along. I wonder if she knows your anniversary is before we had our talk. Did she know about me? Does she think she won?

I dismissed the signs. The late nights. The missed calls. The vague plans and messages. Your evasiveness. My gut told me one thing, your perfect mouth told me another. And your kisses. How could it be anything but love?

What you did should be illegal. You took something that wasn’t yours. And I will admit I gave it too freely. You never deserved my heart, my love, my happiness. You never should have been allowed in. You didn’t earn your position there.

But I’ve wised up. I learned my lesson all right.

My sad little heart, with its big, flowy, expansive and bright white wings, sits in a too small cage. It paces around, knowing what’s out there, remembering what it was like to be wild, but too scared to fly. Its wings were clipped that day. The day you told it, “It’s exhausting living up to the man you think I am.” The man that you were pretending to be.

A few kind strangers have tried to reach in, to set it free.

But my little caged heart sits. And wonders.

And waits.

It waits for the day when its wings are finally healed, when the memories of being clipped are long gone. It waits for the day when the cage is so suffocating and small and it can once again be free to love, and be loved.


Author: Shannon Whaley

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Jill Allyn Stafford/Flickr

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Muzicio Feb 7, 2016 9:59am

The little fish swam back and forth in the pond and was sad, and the little lamb walked back and forth in the meadow and was sad, and would not eat. She would not even touch one blade of grass. Thus a long time passed, and then some strangers came as guests to the castle.

Joe Dec 31, 2015 8:51am

How did you finally heal yourself ? I was with a woman for 2 years, I guess that isn’t very long but it was long enough to fins my self in a deep state of depression for 7 months. Worst experience of my life, the woman is diagnosed bipolar & BPD depending on which therapist you ask. I felt as tho I had met the one person I would be sharing my life with. The love was deep, intense and like none other i have felt but now I wonder if it was just a show, if it was real at all. I definitely made mistakes along the way and learned a variety of lessons which i suppose is a positive but every day is a struggle to keep trucking along. I have gotten rid od everything that reminds me of this intoxicating woman, however like you, it doesnt seem to erase the memories or the void when she abruptly left. It was a game of leave ane come back , while she would go on dates, only to come back and leave again until finally she departed for good 8 months ago. Yet my heart is still in pieces. My friends and even her mother suggest that it wasnt meant to be and that it’s a blessing i didnt end up with her but oh how I wonder that could possibly be true.

How did you make it ? How did you breakthrouhh, liteally every day is a struggle ? I moved states and left all my friends behind to continue on the journey with this woman for it to only be derailed. Now I’m in a new city with no friends, losing my job, and forcing myself to fake it which its turning out people can see through it.

stopcompromising Dec 28, 2015 6:36am

Sooo beautiful my love. I can't wait to read the follow up post, "my happy little heart" about your journey to finding someone truly worthy of the Goddess you are. <3

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Shannon Whaley

Shannon Whaley is a travel & life coach, a lover of adventure, cupcakes, cats and naps, in that specific order. Shannon daydreams about frosting, vacations, naps in foreign countries and living a nomadic lifestyle as a coach and writer. She is a recovering party girl who shares her journey to sobriety, her life as an expat in the Cayman Islands and her weekly Tacky Tuesday island fashion show on her website. You can also see what she eats and laugh at stolen memes on her Facebook and Instagram.