How much a heart can break

It was quarter to four in the morning, an ordinary Sunday morning, when my world fell apart. I woke from the depths of sleep, my toddler nestled beside me, as you stumbled into the room. I could tell you were drunk before you spoke, heard you ask if I was awake, see you sit beside me, try to talk to me, kiss me. I told you that you were freaking me out, that you were drunk and I was sleeping, and you went to bed and fell asleep swiftly.

Awake now, I checked my phone and saw I had several missed calls from you and a voicemail. I listened to it in the silence of the house, heard your drunken ramblings, something about stupid texts, not really making much sense. I listened to it once, twice and then a third time. A tiny trickle of fear ran through my blood. Something felt a little odd, and I did what I’ve never done before. Look at your phone.

I found messages that told what you’d been doing. Though many had obviously been deleted, there were enough there for me to put two and two together.

Shivering in the cold and dark. I put your phone back where I’d found it and crawled back into bed, curling up around the warm body of my littlest one. My mind whirling in disbelief, not quite certain what I’d read, not quite able to comprehend this strange reality that had suddenly appeared.

The hours ticked slowly by, there was no chance of sleeping. I could hear my heart beating, feel the fear pulsing through my body.

Too slowly, yet all too soon, the sun rose and my house awoke around me. All except you. You slept on, as though you had no cares in the world.

Forcing myself up and on, I waited and waited. When you finally awoke, you didn’t do what I hoped and tell me I was wrong. That things weren’t what I thought.

Instead, piece by piece you pulled my heart apart. Shredded it into twenty million tiny pieces, that you scattered across the house. The more you spoke, the more hurtful and hateful things you threw at me, the more my heart broke. I never knew it was possible to tear a heart into quite so many pieces.

I found myself on the floor. Gasping for breath, my heart aching like never before, unable to grasp that this was real, that the person I loved more than anything in the world could so calmly destroy me.

To rip away not only my present, but leave me questioning every happy memory I had, and destroy my hopes for the future, all in one afternoons work.

I cried. For hours. For days. For weeks. Five weeks to be precise – I cried every. single. day. It took me that long to even be able to breathe without hurting so much I cried. Five weeks of not being able to sleep. Or to eat. Or to function.

Six weeks on and still I cry, but only at night when no one can hear. My heart still hurts. I’ve put a few pieces back together, but I don’t have enough glue to mend it all. Sometimes, I still struggle to get my head around the reality of this. Surely, any second now, I will wake up and find this all a nightmare.

People say I’m strong. But I’m not. I’ve had to be strong my entire life. Too many times when people have hurt me, too many times when I’ve had to start from scratch, putting back together the pieces of a broken life. In you, I thought I’d found someone different. I trusted you when I could trust nobody any longer. I gave you my heart, my life and all my hopes and dreams.

The day that you shattered me, destroyed every single fibre of who I am, and then kicked me when I was down, I gave up. People say that I can heal, that I am stronger than I think, but when you are so tired of being hurt, and you are so tired of having to fight, how can you explain that you just can’t do it all again?

Along with my heart, what broke that September day was me. I have lost who I am. I have questioned everything and no longer know what I want, what I like, what I think. I feel as though I am adrift in some strange ocean, in a boat with no oars. I have no map to guide me, no oars to steer me, no sense of direction, no idea where I am heading.

I remembered just how good I am at faking it. Years of depression, and BDD and eating disorders taught me well how to put a smile on and pretend I am fine. There is only so long people ask how you are before they expect that you should be OK again. In the day time, my smile is fixed, I switch off the listening to the voice in my head and concentrate on what I have to do. By the time the darkness falls, my smile is wavering, my heartbreak beating a drum in my chest, and the tears fall down my cheeks. The loneliness is crushing. When you realise that you have no one to turn to, no one to reach out to, no one to give you a hug and tell you everything is going to be alright.

The nights are too long, the silence too loud, the hurt too much. In truth, I am scared, and lost, and lonely. My heart hurts more than I ever thought possible. I’ve lost sight of who I am, lost the road that I was on, lost the will to fight back yet again.


  1. You Baby Me Mummy

    October 22, 2016 at 21:53

    Oh Polly, I have been thinking about you a lot and hoping that what I assumed was going on wasn’t. I am truly so sorry, really I am. I won’t say anything stupid, but you have your gorgeous kids, who need you. Let them (as always) be your focus and I am sure they will be what gets you through xxx

  2. Jen Walshaw

    October 25, 2016 at 20:37

    Just remember, yoou are amazing

  3. Emily

    October 30, 2016 at 08:06

    Sweetheart. Like everyone else, I do think you’re amazing, but I know that means nothing to a shattered heart and depressed mind. So let’s say for the sake of it that you’re very average, in which case, statistically, coldly, with no sugar coating, you’ll get through it. Of all the women abused and crushed and betrayed with children look up at us with big, confused eyes, we all survived, somehow. And maybe not because we’re all special, but because as long as drawn out as the pain feels, it does pass and heal, if even you’re no standing on top of a car a la Beyoncé beating your chest, nor on a mountain top a la Katy Perry hollering “here me roar”, you still heal. You can be curled in a corner weeping and feeling drunk with grief and hopelessness and that’s still surviving. And you will.and one day, honestly, you stop hurting every second, then minutes will pass, then days, then months, and then half way through a year, you’all think about it, and it will sting like hell, maybe even knock you off your feet, and you’ll realise hey, it’s been 6 months since I last hurt this much. And you hold on to that, because you have to, and you carry on. People on the outside see it as a valiant battle because it is, but on the inside it feels like a passive game of how long until I just can’t take this anymore. But you will. You are a fighter. You are amazing. We all are. But it doesn’t matter if you believe it. Just keep moving forward, breathing, -and you will get through this.

  4. Katie @mummydaddyme

    October 31, 2016 at 00:46

    Polly I’m sat here in the dark nursing my baby boy and I have tears rolling down my cheeks. This post is so vulnerable and so sad and my heart is hurting a little for you. I don’t have any advice, nor do you want me to say I think you are strong and amazing because at the end of the day you don’t feel like that. But I do want to tell you you’ll get through it. It may take weeks, it may take months, it may take years. You might never heal completely. But you’ll be happy again. I promise you. My mum went through this a long time ago. I remember it so well, I remember the crying. I remember her telling me that she just wanted it all to be over and to stop hurting. I’ve never seen such sadness coming from someone. But time heals even if it doesn’t heal completely. I’m sending you all my love and I’m here if you ever need to talk to someone. Xx

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