Mortification of the Heart; or, A Tale of Love Gone Wrong


I was in love once. Painfully in love.

When I was young, around eight, I began playing guitar. Soon I found what I wanted to do with my life, and I got so incredibly good; but my adoptive father, he hated it. His heart burned at me. He couldn’t stand it. This, in conjunction with his miserable marriage, made him behave awfully; and I believe it ran in his family that men just smacked around their sons whenever necessary, or even if just randomly because of some flash of anger. He never behaved that way towards his blood daughter, oddly enough.

By the time I was fifteen matters had escalated to the point that I was running away from home, for my life. I met kids in the next town over and by the time I was eighteen, I had formulated a band among this motley crew. These kids were mostly problem types, grown from criminal households, but I seemed to fit in, and they all loved my band because we were awesome.

Then she came onto the scene. I met her as a friend but eventually, I began going to her house — her grandfather’s house, that is — where she lived. She was only in that town because her parents, too, had gotten divorced. She was younger than me, and because her hometown was in yet another town, one where her father lived, she always seemed out of place living in these conditions, in that terrible town where we met.

She was beautiful, though, and I eventually went from being a good friend to her, to being in love with her. This grew to the point that I ended up missing a gig with the band because I opted to spend the evening with her instead. The band members weren’t too happy about that; but I didn’t seem to understand the full scope of the situation.

The job I had through all this was not a good one — random construction jobs; and so my life, in retrospect, was not at all together. It seemed that as time propelled forward, the more mixed up I became. I had no understanding of careers or planning for the future; I did crazy things with my crazy friends, but I came to stop taking my music seriously. And I think the young woman I fell in love with, she caught onto this. She liked me because I was enraptured by my music, but I became enraptured by her. I loved her immensely. I think this love, this need for the love she gave me, was based on the abuse I went through and the anger I felt about having been adopted — having been put in a position of being abused because my mother had put me up for adoption (a.k.a. abandonment issue). My adoptive father had been a terrorizing presence (and I still have nightmares about that bastard), and I think the trauma I went through made me an emotional cripple.


Nevertheless, I had the love of my life, and then all of the sudden I began to feel her slipping away. One day, she decided that I wasn’t the one for her. Not only was I not really in a band anymore, but my emotional problems must have been apparent. And thus she decided to end it.

In this matter, I believe she didn’t know how to act and so she called on an ally to help explain how she felt. She had her father, of all people, sit there as she told me in blunt words, that she didn’t love me. This moment was completely and utterly nuts. The shock hit me so hard that my hands went into these strange tingling sensations, and they were visible. I remember her asking her father, right then and there, as though I were behind one-way glass, “What’s wrong with him?”

I also remember, once the tears started, how her father walked me to my truck, his grip holding the underside of my arm, telling me, “I know, it feels like someone just tore you a new asshole.” Fathers must love telling the young men who love their daughters to fuck off.

All these years later, here I am, recalling the matter. I remember that I did see her again afterwards, but things weren’t the same. One day, I held her in my arms, and then I drove off; and I never saw her again. For some reason, she called at Christmas time, but I was in outer space. I was pretty hurt, and I became terribly numb. I didn’t care about anything or anyone; and my house, the house I grew up in, was so desolate because the adoptive father had left since he divorced his wife; and this woman was hardly ever home. It was the perfect opportunity to become something of a zombie.

Strangely, even though I haven’t seen her since, I have these dreams from time to time, and I wake up thinking to myself, how interesting, because the dream seemed so real. To be sure, this young woman did love me immensely during the first half of our relationship, so I always wonder how much better my life could have been if I hadn’t been such a confused young adult.

Of course I am “over it” now; that was a long time ago. Nevertheless, I loved her deeply, and I wish I could have spent my life with her. I must have appeared pretty confused, even terrible, for her to have done that; maybe I’m still terrible. I’d give anything to be forgiven, to be allowed back in, but it’s way too late, and I totally understand the dynamic of the whole thing, from then till now.

That’s just the way life goes when you get older. You realize things.

Lonely Angel


4 thoughts on “Mortification of the Heart; or, A Tale of Love Gone Wrong

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