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    Dear Rithu,

    I echo what Karin and Norna have said, sorrow that these things have happened and caused you to feel such pain. After being w/my first love for 7 years and about to celebrate our long awaited engagement announcement at the end of a deployment, he started being evasive and delaying. After a couple of weeks, some of my newer friends asked, “Where’s the invitation?” I didn’t know what to say. I asked his family, they didn’t know where he was either. I finally traveled 2 hrs to see his brother, to see if he knew what was going on. He did. He told me he had just heard from my love who eloped to Oklahoma with someone who’d been married twice before. Not even their mother knew. I wanted to die. In fact I was quite sure that I would drop dead from the pain, betrayal and humiliation I felt.

    I cried at his parents house with his mother and sister. They had to drive me home to my parents. I went to my room and couldn’t stop crying or go out for 2 or 3 days. It was after the holidays and I had to go back to work. I guess someone from my family or maybe client who had heard what happened told my co-workers. Everyone was very kind and supportive. I had to let them help me through it, which was so unnatural feeling because I had always had to be strong and independent before, as a military fiancee. Once the break-up “felt real” I did want to talk about it but I gave myself a deadline so I wouldn’t dwell there in the pain indefinitely. I decided I’d let myself “go there” but on day 21 they were to tell me, “It’s time to move on.” People who do love you need to be needed by you at these times. Ask for what you do know you need. As Norna said one step at a time. Be willing to accept yourself with or without the pain and little by little you’ll find your way past it.

    I too believe in your strength of spirit to teach you that you are so much more than one person’s opinion of you. Even the opinion you hold of yourself. Smile just a little secret smile, we’re all pulling for you here. Ruth

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