"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"
I'm always amazed that a few times every year, I dream about the boy I loved more than five decades ago and how he broke my heart when he dumped me for that Carole girl who, I had to admit, was quite a catch. She was petite (a description that sure as hell didn't fit me), cute, and, based on the rumors, "fast" and "loose." (Seeing my ex with an open fly on prom night pretty much confirmed those rumors.)
D. and I did get back together more than a year later, but, by then, the emotional hit had burrowed itself deep into my psyche. I'm 73 now, but that rejection seems to have outweighed being kicked out of the National Honor Society, not getting in to Cornell, receiving a pile of rejection letters from editors and publishers.
So, what's up with that?
I googled "Teens and Breakups" and got much more than I'd bargained for. Here are some of the articles/books/research studies referenced on Page 1:
"The Effects of Teenage Breakups"
"Teen Break Ups: What Parents Can Do for Their Teenagers"
(I was already confused. Is it break up or breakup? If the writers couldn't get on the same page, how was I going to begin to understand how the breakup [BTW: one word] had an everlasting effect?)
"Breakups are the leading cause of suicide among teens"
(Oh, brother. I thought I'd left the whole teen suicide issue behind after publishing Dead Serious: Breaking The Cycle of Teen Suicide. Besides, there is no such animal as a "leading" cause of suicide. Note to myself: Don't bother reading this article.)
"Teenage Breakups Hurt. How To Help When A Relationship Ends"
This one was written for parents and offered a few tips--tips my parents (read my mother) should have read.
Number 1: Do not minimize what has happened.
Hah! My mom bombed out on that one big time. Her "Everything works out for the best" philosophy was all I needed to dislike her (Is hate too strong of a word?) intensely and to never trust here fully again--at least, not until I was off to college.
Number 2: Allow them to be self-indulgent.
Okay, so I have a little Sarah Bernhardt . . . well, maybe, a lot of the Drama Queen in me.
But I wasn't playing to the crowd on this one. I was sure that no one else on the planet--in the galaxy--had ever been in so much emotional pain. Again, my mother pulled a no-no by telling me about the time when her boyfriend what's-his-name broke up with her and how, with time, she not only survived but met her husband-to-be, my father.
Yeah, sure . . .
“Teenage breakups need to be grieved—just like any other loss.”
Elizabeth Glanzer, therapist specializing in teens and families
Number 3: If necessary, suggest counseling
For what? To confide in a therapist that you were having sex? That you had given your body and soul to a boy who had tossed you away like a used condom? (Oh, he didn't use a condom. Well, then the saga is even more compelling.) No, talking to a professional was out of the question.
Number 4: Encourage your teen to be patient
Patient? Whoever wrote that must never been kicked to the curb by the guy she loved more than anyone else. Ever.
They say for every boy and girl
There's just one love in this whole world
And I know I've found mine . . .
Young love (young love), first love (first love)
Filled with true devotion
Young live (young love), first love (first love)
We share with deep emotion.
Words and Music: Carole Joyner and Ric Cartey
I'm happily married (most of the time), have a wonderful son, and love my work. Still, maybe it's those times when the realities of daily living punch me in the gut that I dream of D., how I loved him so, and how he broke my heart. I guess there are some things we never move past.