By Jen McCarter
I want to say thank you to the boy who shattered my daughter’s heart. Does it sound strange to appreciate someone who reduced my daughter to a weeping mess curled in a fetal position on her bedroom floor for days?
I realize it sounds strange. He completely wrecked her self-esteem and self-worth. She questioned me about it every day for four weeks.
“Why did he do this? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he care?”
“Was he just pretending to like me this past year?”
But, for those four weeks, I was able to tell her daily that she was an amazing human being, deserving of so much more.
How to Heal a Broken Heart
For four weeks, I was able to tell her that her heart and level of caring was so big, his immaturity couldn’t handle it. I was able to say to her that eventually, she would find someone that would walk up to this boy that broke her and shake his hand for letting her go because that meant he got to help put her back together. And he will be a lot smarter about keeping her.
I was able to tell her every day that she was stronger than she believed and while she worked through it, I would be her strength.
She learned how valuable friendships could be in life. She isn’t one to lean on people and be vulnerable, but this heartbreak taught her to ask for help. And she learned who truly cared. She attended his graduation because she had other friends graduating. When she thought she was going to throw up right there in the bleachers, she texted me to please come to get her because she made a terrible mistake and couldn’t do it. I told her to text her friends first. She did, and they came to her rescue. They drove directly to the event before she even explained the situation.
All they needed to hear was, “I can’t do this, I need help.” They stood on the ground in front of her, giving her thumbs up and smiles throughout the ceremony. Their support helped her through a tough situation.
Getting Over Heartbreak
The break up brought stronger friendships into her life, but also new ones. Friends that heard how he hurt her shared their stories so she knew she could get through it. Boys that she had shut down for the eight months she was with him checked in on her to give her support. Girls that she occasionally smiled at in the hallways of the school texted her messages of support, such as “Get out of the house and go shopping or to the movies!”
She learned what strength and maturity are—she gained both with this broken heart.
She learned to take the high road and not bash him or trash him on social media even when she wanted to, and it was deserving, even when he disregarded her feelings on the same social sites and acted like she never meant anything to him.
There are still days when she wishes she had him back if only for the college visits she planned to surprise him with on weekends and fun little gifts she was going to send him; but her head knows that she could never trust him because he never showed remorse (yet another learning experience thanks to him).
There are still days that she goes to bed crying, but they are lessening as she gains her self-confidence and spirit back. She’s learning that healing takes time, and she learned to be patient with herself. She knows it’s okay to have a bad day because the next day may be better. She learned to accept these days for what they are and not try to fight the tears–just let them come and then have a little ice cream for dinner.
So, again, thanks to the boy who broke her heart. He shattered a seventeen-year-old girl and never looked back. It’s okay though because she knows that she will find her happy ending, and he will have lost out on the most amazing, loyal, supportive, mature, patient, and strong girl he could ever have as a girlfriend.
After all, he made her that way.
Jen McCarter is a substitute teacher who lives in rural PA with her husband and two teenage daughters. When she’s not busy with her family, she enjoys enjoy walking, exercising, and reading.