Written by Vanessa B.
After falling in love with my best friend from high school, we spent the next 17 and a half years together. We did not live happily ever after. We broke up after I returned from serving in the Army and losing the relationship made me “cray-cray” crazy.
After the breakup, we were going back and forth in our conversations but we were definitely broken up because she started seeing someone three months after our breakup. It was a horrible emotional experience for me. A lot of things from our entire relationship boiled to the surface. The anger, sadness, and disappointment had already become recurring themes.
The Near Death Experience
One day, after arguing with Debra over the phone while driving at a high speed on the highway and almost slamming into the back of a Mack truck, I just stopped arguing with her.
After that day I decided I would always be kind when I spoke to her. I survived Iraq and yet while arguing on the cell phone I almost killed myself on the highway.
Mending My Broken Heart
I needed to quiet my mind and mend my broken heart. I started to pray, and meditate and, most importantly, I decided I wanted to heal. There was no going around the pain; I knew I had to go through it. I accepted that my long-term relationship was permanently over and I stopped all communication with her.
I had never been a real member of a church before, but I started my healing journey by sitting in the back of a church and crying my eyes out.
Also, I set some very simple goals: I wanted to heal, forgive, and get my butt up out of the bed and out of the house. The biggest help was being out of state and away for home. I decided not to return to my hometown. It was bittersweet, but to this day, it was the best decision I ever made.
What really helped me to forgive was that I looked ahead five years into the future and I knew I didn’t want to still be hurt or angry or harboring any “unforgiveness.” I also knew I needed to forgive myself and stop beating myself up.
I recognized early on in the breakup that anger and heartache were not there to be helpful to me. All the negative emotions I felt were exhausting and preventing me from moving forward. So I apologized to Debra for everything I had done.
I asked her for her forgiveness but I didn’t want or need her to acknowledge it. Just deciding to sincerely and genuinely forgive her and to forgive myself, helped me heal.
It feels a little odd to say this but I truly think I benefitted from her choice to jump into a relationship with someone new, because there was nothing I could do about it. So, it didn’t take me long to forgive because I saw the benefit in it, not for her, but for me.
I asked myself, what do you want? What are you going to do, now? It wasn’t an overnight process, at all. It took a lot of time, but it was a long-lasting type of healing for me.
Many years have passed now what happened in that relationship hasn’t impacted my ability to trust. I had to learn a lesson in order to realize that in relationship there has to be upfront, honest communication. Also, I need to ask questions and not just dive in to anything. I think that lesson also comes with maturity.
A Different Kind of Happily Ever After
I want to let all the black lesbians out there know there is no expiration date on the grief and mourning you may feel when your love relationship ends. However, breakups are the best time to do a YOU inventory. Meaning, who are you? What do you want? And what’s next for you? Debra was my first love, but by the time our relationship ended I was wiling to be in love with me. I needed to heal me. I needed to help me. I needed to save myself. And I did. And you can too.
It has been over 10 years since our breakup. I saw her once in person several years ago. Otherwise, it’s been an occasional picture on social media. We talked a few times over the years. It felt somewhat awkward because our lives have gone in completely different directions. She’s still in our hometown and living her life there. I have completed some higher learning goals, and I travel and I’ve lived in a few different places.
I’m very happy in my life. I have genuinely achieved closure in all my past relationships. Not only did I forgive but I also forgot.
I have no regrets. This is my life and there’s no dress rehearsal, it’s the real thing. I believe our past makes us who we are. Every life experience and encounter is three things: (1) A blessing, (2) a lesson, and (3) an opportunity.
I am currently single, but I date and I have a wonderful group of family and friends. I’ve also started to embrace the idea of a poly-amorous relationship because I don’t think you can be everything to one person, but maybe you can be a few good things to a few people. I stay open and receptive to new people coming into my life all the time.
Veronica B is an entrepreneur, and a former psychotherapist. She resides in Las Vegas, where she likes to volunteer, hike, travel and write. She is an active member of the Vegas LGBTQ community. She’s currently working on projects involving social psychology, issues of religion, and empowerment for women and girls of color.