Hiding a broken heart behind a fake smile


#1

It's been so hard to go through life lately, many dark days have kept me company for a while now. A few months ago I wrote about finding out that a former boyfriend was going off to seminary to follow his dream of becoming a priest. Many years ago he promised me he would remain my best friend no matter what happened. Now it seems he has moved on and forgotten all about me as if I meant nothing. I'm sure I must've been important enough at one time to him to merit a Christmas or birthday card every now and then.. But not so.
I am finding it hard to accept and move on. For too long I've dwelled in the mindset that "one day we'll be together and live happily ever after" I've never gotten over him, I live each day for him, no-one will ever take his place. My life is heading in a downward spiral I try to go through each day, hiding my sorrows, hiding my broken heart but with each passing day it gets harder and harder not easier. What am I doing wrong?
One of he saddest thing for me is having to hide my sorrows from the world. Life goes on no matter what, work for me is very busy and it keeps my mind occupied for the most part. But whenever someone asks me how I am, I always smile and say I'm okay. No one sees the sorrow behind the fake smile or the pain behind the 'I'm okay'. I've always been cheery and bubbly. It's always been a sincere happy smile, but now it's all changed. To the outside it's still that same bubbly smile, but inside it's empty and it's fake. And it's this that kills me.*
Im finding it hard to adapt to change, it seems all my high school friends have moved on to bigger and better things with their lives, everyone has changed, many have travelled the world, buying houses, are engaged, married or starting a family, I look back at my life and seethat I've achieved nothing but a failed relationship that I can't even get over. It's hard to relate to pple I feel so left behind, I miss my "old" friends high school. I miss how things used to be. We've all grown up and grown apart and I feel very sad about it.
Is anybody going through what I am? Does anyone feel lonely and "left behind" in life like I do? Does anyone hide a broken heart behind a fake smile only to watch life pass you by?

I'm sorry this post is long, I've never really felt depressed like this before. *


#2

Dearest,

The Wizard in a famous movie said it best when he said, "Hearts will only become practical, when they are made unbreakable."

First off, your in my prayers.

Second, all of us experience heartbreak like this. Anyone who denies is it either lying, or a very lonely person.

Nothing but time can heal the wounds of the heart, and that takes along time, but it DOES pass. Without going into detail, I experienced something sort of like this in my 20's. I was crushed-totally devastated, and thought the pain would be eternal. It's pretty much ended now-I'm 31-and I see what happend was TOTALLY for the best. Throughout the "dark period" I wallowed in misery-but also put on a fake smile. It helped big time. Eventually, and without a specific event, my moods DID brighten, and I realized we break up, we sigh, and then we have to move on.

You will find this out, I assure you. Just keep on trucking.

To my beloved sister in Christ,

Rascal.


#3

I agree with Rascalking that everyone with half a heart experiences what you describe. I also agree with him that it will get better. Several years ago, I felt exactly as you felt. It felt like my heart was completely shattered. I would spend hours walking from room to room, just sobbing uncontrollably. Then I would put on my happy face and go through the motions of a normal functioning adult. Today, I am experiencing the happiest days of my life, to date. I never knew I could be so happy!!!!

The thing about these low days/months/years of our lives is they create something against which we can contrast our future joys. Life WILL get better, if you ride this out.

On a practical note, it's good that you're going to work and trying to keep functioning. If you fake a smile long enough, eventually it will turn into a real one without you realizing it. That's not to say you shouldn't "process" your negative emotions, but it's good not to wallow in self pity. :thumbsup:

Your nostalgia for your former high school classmates makes me think you are either very young or have let your life stagnate. My advice is to MOVE ON. Whenever anyone is still feeling the aftermath of a romantic rejection, I always strongly recommend finding a new hobby. Maybe it's volunteering at the local Humane Society, maybe it's taking a beginning archery class... etc. Just find something where you interact with new people and can develop new friendships and relationships.

One last thing: don't let your friends' Facebook statuses trick you. I recently read an article about how people mistakenly assess their friends' lives by Facebook statuses. Of COURSE people are only posting the AMAZING stuff on Facebook. Yes, some of your friends lives are probably as great as they seem...but most of them probably have gone through (or will go through) the same deep sorrow that you're experiencing right now.


#4

Things in life do not happen to you, they happen for you. Though it may not make sense now and it may seem like a very dark period for you know that time heals all wounds. I will pray for you.


#5

This is all right-on.
I would like to add: go speak to your priest!! Even going to reconciliation regularly, where you can open up and unload, will go a long long way in helping you feel more connected to God and His healing power.
Perhaps your priest, who has gone through the studies your friend is going through, can shed some light on the matter. At the very least, he can help you discover other people in your church that you can connect with and talk to about what you are feeling - in a safe way. It makes a world of difference to have even one person who you can look in the eye and admit your feelings to (especially when you start to realize that you are a little better every day).

Stay strong, experience the grief process the way God has set it out for you, and know that there is nothing you are feeling that Jesus didn’t also feel.


#6

Having been from happy-bubbly through dark and back again, I'd suggest that faking the smile and lying to everyone about how you feel does not work. You don't have to and should not give your life story to everyone who says "How are you?", but you don't get out of black holes by avoiding the people the Lord put on this earth to help you bear your burdens.

Obviously, I don't mean the guy in the seminary, at least not for the moment. Who knows what he is going through? I'll tell you, he'd be less likely to contact you if he happened to be missing you like crazy than if he didn't. If he is struggling with the question of whether or not he can really manage celibacy--and most men considering the priesthood have to face that as as struggle--then you are exactly the one friend to whom he cannot turn. Someday, he might be a great friend. Right now, consider it more than likely that he is going through his own dark night, perhaps on this very subject.

You say, "I've achieved nothing but a failed relationship that I can't even get over", but that is not true. Your relationship is not over because you failed, at least I doubt that very much.

If you blew a good relationship through infidelity, then you failed. If you blew it because you chose an addiction over a chance at a healthy relationship, you failed. If you blew it because you had not yet matured enough to control a vice like a sharp tongue, then perhaps you failed. But don't you see, the world is full of people that God transformed from failure? That is what God does. You don't get to Heaven by being a success. You get to Heaven because you let God succeed with you. As the saying goes, the saints aren't people who never failed. They are people who did not let failure finish them off.

Depression is a time when your vision of things is faulty. It is also a time (and this is a warning I learned the hard way) when you can easily pick up bad habits of soul, thoughts that can lead a soul to despair. It is a good idea to get help, so those ways of thinking can be nipped in the bud, before they harden into a habit.

You can be bubbly again. You can have successes again. You need some help, though, to learn to see straight, to believe what you see when you do. Don't noodle around for years and years like some of us do. Be willing to talk to people about what you're feeling. Not everyone, but more than just one or two. It will help take that load off of your shoulders, and loosen that band that is tight around your chest, keeping you from taking a natural relaxed breath.

In the meantime, if you are feeling down, hang around in the Psalms. Pray them. You aren't the first one to go to God with your head hanging. Learn to get through this with the holy ones. It really helps. That, and give thanks and glory. If you give thanks and glory when the tempter comes around, he tends to leave you alone more.


#7

Telling you…don’t fret other people have it worse really won’t do anything for you. You’re feeling the suffering of as much as you can bear.

Have a good cry and mourn your lost dreams and then step up.

Know that steping up and moving on is possible.

We have delayed alot of things to mid-20’s including teenage angst. Becuase our society holds little value on people who are retired or aging, becuase at 50 most people are forced out of jobs they’ve had since they were 18 it seems as if life is halfway over.

Think, for a moment, that it’s ok not to have kids, or the dream wife or the dream house.

As far as your friend goes…a seminarian is a busy creature, keep in mind that in a good seminary their is a period where the men are taught to detach from the world and cling only to God. My friend told me a story about a brother who had much pride in his ability to garden. The the head monk made him plant all the bulbs upside down…the young monk was FURIOUS…HE knew better. But even though the plants were ruined the young monk learned an important lesson in obedience and trust. In this way your friend might be under order or advisement to limit personal contacts. If he’s not a seminarian (or priest) he may simply be embarassed and want a fresh start.

Another thing to look at as you pine for this friendship is to see, perhaps, if you’ve done the same to others. Is there someone from college or highschool or work that you promised to be friends with that you’ve backed away from?

The other thing is that being a mom is HARD work. I dream of having 4-6 kids. But when I watch the kids of the family that I consider the most ideal family I know (good wife, good husband, good kids, homeschool, catholic, daily-mass goers). It’s rough. It is hard to tend to the needs of the individual and it’s hard to tend to the needs of the group. Indivudually I could spend a lifetime helping one, but as a group they can also band together and team up…an adorble (yet sometimes dangerous) proposition.

Marriages have problems, much more than the lonliness singles face.

Relationships have problems…people have different ideals. I think that dating/courtship should last around a year and engagement (real discernment of marriage and marriage prepp) should be another year…especally when the couple is in the 20’s/30’s range…when people are more set in who they are. But I might meet someone who thinks you should date for a few months and be engaged for a couple years…or that you should date for a couple years and have a short engagement. Or even have a long date/courtship and a long engagement.

Nothing is perfect. Smile because you have God…not becuase you’re faking being happy. BE loved by God and trust his role in your life.


#8

I have heard it said that there is nothing worse than feeling lonely when you share a bed with someone else. With the divorce rate what it is, the wise people have the patience to wait for their pitch.

Marriage isn’t meant to be a cure for being lonely. It is a good idea to figure that part out before marriage, so one will have the support one needs in marriage…that and faith. A three ply cord is not easily broken.


#9

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