Wanna find your inner bombshell? Look no further. Stop right here.
Here it is, ladies, the first of the five winning entries from our PK VOICE contest! One of your very own bombshells, Lori Stillman, has written an kickass piece about how she healed from her breakup by…well, kicking some ass. Lori’s story will inspire you to find what it is that makes you a warrior too. Don’t you dare think that you don’t have it in you. You do.
I’d been through break ups before; I would have told you I had a bad one and some not so bad. In those endings I was able to find peace and strength to move forward with all those clichés. Oh you know them “He wasn’t the one” “You’re so much better without him” “You had settled for him” “You have to kiss a lot of frogs.” The entire standard to do advice worked then as well, take some time with your girlfriends, retail therapy helps, and do something for yourself. And “a la peanut butter sandwich” broken heart healed. I would have told you I was well experienced, a graduate of heart break 101…that was until him.
Does one broken heart hurt worse than another? If your heart breaks more than once does it feel more pain? Opinions vary.
I met E. online, my first online match up. It was a whirlwind, such a connection. It was so easy and felt so amazing. I told everyone I had met my soul mate, I had never felt so loved. The truth was I meant it. How did I get so lucky? Those broken hearts before were all worth it to get to him. I couldn’t have created a more perfect man for me, a character straight out of a romance novel. I found signs that proved it was meant to be, even down to the fact that we met on 08/08/08. I was thrilled, in love and felt so safe. Our future was bright and full of happiness…and then he deployed to Iraq.
It was sad but not the end, after all there are lots of strong military spouses. I knew I could be a strong girlfriend. I kept connected with awesome care packages every couple weeks. Pictures, shirts that smelled of sweet perfume, hand written letters too. We would Skype and email, talk about how we missed each other and how we marked off the days until we would be in each other’s arms. It was my first deployment, but not his. It was a 7 month tour, and at about 3 months in the contact stopped. A tour of silence for me for 3 weeks, followed by an email telling me he was stressed and needed some space to get back to himself, after all he didn’t want to say anything to make me think or feel differently about him. I was a trooper for him, I told him I understood and I would respect it and wait for him to get home. By myself I was a mess. I heard from him a couple times, he was distant. War does that right? I held strong and right about the time he was due to be home I wrote the sweetest email letting him know I had waited for him. No “Dear John” letters from this lady. However the response I received was a two sentence email a far cry from what I expected,
Please move on, it said, I’ve changed, and so have my feelings for things. I’m sorry I don’t feel the same way; I really don’t feel much of anything.
Two sentences I screamed in the shower, two sentences I cried to my best friend. No explanation no phone calls; the man who made me feel queen of the universe spit me out like I was spoiled milk.
I was destroyed.
I waited and reread that email, several times. I wrote emails; I asked for a phone call, I begged for understanding. I needed closure, after all how would I know what to fix about myself if I didn’t know why he left me. This time not a single cliché worked. My friends tried to help. The sky was gray and my world was dark. I searched the internet. I cried. I even tried calling him once. I blocked my number and he answered.
Me: How are you? (He loved & adored me he’d know my voice right?)
Him: Who is this?
Me: How many people have to block their number to call you?
An email to break up stinks—being hung up on crushes the ego. How did I get so unlucky?
I tried everything to heal my heart and soul. I found stories of women who created businesses because of a broken heart. I was mad I couldn’t think of this great idea to rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of my love. Some women volunteer their time and in exchange gives them healing, that helped others but my heart didn’t feel any joy. I got a dog, checked into changing my career, bought a new car. Nothing helped it seemed. In fact I couldn’t get anything to help except the only time I felt peace was during my Karate class. You see I started a class when he deployed, kept me busy. I thought it was temporary. I was told it was 3 years to earn my black belt. I mentally rolled my eyes there was no way I would be there that long.
My hour long class twice a week was the only time I didn’t think about him or rather the lack of him now. I was busy learning self defense, self confidence, I was punching and kicking and healing my heart—ever so slowly. I was getting fit and strong inside and out.
I wasn’t going to cry in Karate class. Although I was convinced I was permanently damaged. I didn’t realize it, I was still focusing on how much I still hurt, instead of the little healing happening with every kata I learned. (Karate Kata are executed as a specified series of a variety of moves, with stepping and turning, while attempting to maintain perfect form. The practitioner is counseled to visualize the enemy attacks and their responses.)
I was defeating my enemy. The one who insisted it was my fault he left me. The one that kept telling me I was weak that I wasn’t over him yet. The one who kept telling me I needed him to be whole. I kicked my self doubt out the door, punched my pity in the face and regained my self confidence.
Five months ago I earned my First degree Black belt. To some it’s just a belt, to the world I appear strong and maybe a little dangerous (giggle). To me it’s my proof. Proof that something great did come from the ashes of a dead relationship—a little warrior.
A warrior who is strong, healed and ready to love again.
Every bombshell has a warrior inside.