Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Getting over a broken heart:
“I'm having a horrible time getting over my ex boyfriend.”

Hey Terra,

Hi, I am having such a horrible time getting over my ex boyfriend. this situation might sound ridiculous but here it goes... I was in a relationship for 10 months, he said he was 22 and I was 15. We were together all the time and I fell in love with him and I thought he loved me back just the same. About 5 months later I found out he lied about his age and he was 36 yrs old. I felt betrayed and lied to, but he cried to me saying he loved me still and to forgive him so I did.

So we snuck around for the next 5 months behind my mom's back. And 3 weeks ago she caught us on the phone together and she told him to leave me alone and I started crying because I truly loved him. Then a week later he was arrested for statutory rape and I felt so bad for him, cause I felt like I put him there. But I had found out that he had raped somebody 4 times while he was with me, robbed someone, and broke in and stole. Just a few days ago I had to testify against him in court and he looked like he hated me like everything he said to me that he felt for me was a lie which it probably was.

But I don't know what to do, because this was my first love and it almost lasted a year and I have no idea what to do. I cant eat, sleep, I cant stop thinking about all the good times we had but then at the end of my thoughts I always think about how he ended up making me feel. I have the biggest broken heart right now and I am sure would tell me to just move on, because of his age and what he did... but please put that aside and tell me what I need to do to get over this broken heart, because every night for the last month almost, I cry my self to sleep and not light crying.... hard hyperventilating crying and it just hurts so bad. So please help me!!!! :'(

Broken Hearted Gurl

Dear Broken Hearted Gurl,

Yes, I can understand how hurt you are... about the lies, the betrayal, the shock of finding out the truth about this man and his violent and criminal behavior... and I can also hear that you are suffering a great loss right now. Not of the relationship you had, but what you believe you had with this man. Loss hurts whether it is based in fact or fantasy.

I'm proud of you for testifying against him in court. That took a lot of courage. And I have no doubt that what you were reading in his "look" was lots of anger. But the choices he made, getting involved with you in a relationship based on lies, plus the robbery, breaking and entering... rape... well I think you'd agree that these choices were what got him in trouble. If he were a mature human being, he'd be angry at himself for what he's done and all the pain and violence he has caused. But he doesn't have the same maturity that you do (despite the age difference) you are much more self-aware than he. So he's angry at you for telling the truth about what he did. You have no control over his anger.

What you DO have control over is how you choose to deal with this "broken heart" of yours.

I have a suggestion. Because "stuck emotions" (like a broken heart that won't heal) are often caused by unexpressed communication, I'd suggest that you write him a letter. (This is NOT a letter you will ever mail to him, so you must give yourself permission to be 100% honest.)

Pretend that he WILL read it and make sure you write everything you would say to him if you could. Maybe you could write about how you felt when you found out his true age. Or how you felt sneaking around behind your mom's back. Or how you felt when you found out about the arrest and the charges. Or how you felt when he looked at you with that anger when you testified against him in court. Or how you feel when you're crying and hyperventilating.

Express your feelings as honestly as you can on paper. When you're done, pretend that you are him... reading your letter. Then, on another piece of paper, pretend you are him, writing back to you. What would he say? (Of course you can't know for sure, but I want you to IMAGINE what he would say if he were 100% honest with you and write that down.)

After you have written these two letters you should feel more complete about what has happened. If you feel there is more you need to say to him, then write another letter to him (not to mail!). The idea is to do your best to get it all out.

If, after you write the letters, there is more sadness, anger, hurt... then I'd strongly suggest that you tell your mom (who obviously loves you and wants to keep you safe) that you want to talk with a counselor about what happened. Hopefully you have a counselor who works at your school. If not, there should be one who works for the school district. Or, I would guess that through the District Attorney's office, the court has counselors they can refer you to who specialize in talking with girls like you in situations like this. I'm sure your mom can help you find such a person.

You have been through a lot and all of these feelings are very normal, considering. But you shouldn't have to be crying yourself to sleep and suffering like this. Talking with a counselor will help you understand the feelings so you can be happy again.

Will you do that for yourself?

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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