Unarmoring My Heart

It wasn’t until the death of my ex-boyfriend that I realized how strongly I had been guarding my heart.

It should have been evident from my inability to find another partner, but I couldn’t see it. I had grieved the death of our relationship, the future we planned for ourselves, and his presence in my life…  But when I grew weary of mourning, I shut it down – and the remaining pieces that needed examining, laid quiet within me.


The past few months have been a blur for me.  From the moment I was notified of his disappearance, I felt it inside me – he was gone.  But with lack of a body and no evidence to support it concretely, I had hoped for the best and went through the motions of searching for him and discussing all the possible scenarios with his family.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned myself spending so much time with his mother and the conversations we have had.  She and I have been a support to one another in ways that words cannot begin to describe (but of course, I will try).  The stories we have shared with one another have shed light on parts of him that neither of us saw.  It has helped to connect the dots.  To answer unanswered questions. To see the man we both loved so dearly in a much broader sense.

When I received the news that his body had been found, it was as if the whole world stopped and came crashing in. There was a reckoning. Every thought and feeling and emotion that was left unaddressed came bubbling up and pouring out. I was unleashed.  Consumed by feelings of loss and regret, I knew I had to sit with it.  I had to allow it to surface and to acknowledge every tear and fear as it arose.  And I did. And I grieved the loss of him – heavily.

And it didn’t take long before the truth came to me and looked me square in the face: ever since our breakup, I have been dating with a guarded heart.

In some ways I had known it all along, but I hadn’t realized how strongly I had it guarded until that moment.  Yes, I have learned to embrace life and friendships and my passions in life with a kind of fierceness and unbridled sense of adventure that is easy for myself and others to see. How confusing then, for men who try to date me, when they can see how open my heart is for the rest of the world, and how armored it is for them.

How completely unfair of me to expect that I should find a patient and open-hearted Knight in Shining Armor to unlock the chains I placed, when I wasn’t even willing to hand them the key.

So now I must remove my armor.

In order to receive the love I so greatly desire to feel again, and to build the family I long to have, I must remove the barriers I have built, and allow space for love to enter again.  I must be willing to place my heart into hands that promise to hold it gently, and trust that it will be cared for and tended to, the same way I will tend to theirs.

And so begins the next chapter for me, of unarmoring my heart. Of learning to love again, unbridled, without fear of being broken.

I can only hope, and try one day at a time, to allow my tender-heartedness to be my greatest strength and not my weakness.  To remember that love is worth the risk and that it is always good to have it stretched open, even if it has to close back up for mending.  Like a beautiful flower, it can always bloom again.

Here’s to unraveling the chain, one link at a time!

Yours truly,

Miss Erin Terese

My Relationship With Silence

Silence can mean many things.  It’s not just the absence of sound, but can mean so much more.  A purposeful retreat.  A kept story.  Hidden truth.  Stifled memory. A chapter sealed shut or a precious moment locked away for only your viewing pleasure.

Silence and I have experienced all of the above.  For better or worse, Silence and I have shared them all.

I would love to say that Silence is good or that Silence is bad.

Don’t we always want the black and white?  The right and wrong?  The clearly defined choice?  But the truth of the matter is, Silence lives in the gray.  There is a time and a place.  It serves a purpose.  It can be our friend or foe, but just like real relationships, it exists in our life to teach us a lesson.  When we look back, we can see how Silence was there to help us.

I don’t even need to dig far back into the memory files to give you an example.  I can rewind just the past few days and examine the relationship I have with Silence.

Typically, I am a sharer.  I open myself to others.  I listen to their stories and readily share my own.  Many people struggle with sharing their deep and intimate thoughts, but I share them frequently with my loved ones and often with strangers or new friends that I consider to be kindred spirits.

And since you, dear reader, are a kindred spirit, I will share with you a few details about my relationship with Silence.


Silence Example #1

I am currently in the beginning stages of a budding romantic tale.  A new love interest has entered my world and I want to share all of the beautiful details with everyone I know (and there are many), but they are mine. And his. Ours. And so it goes that I give the bullet-points and highlight reel to a select few confidants, and the rest stay sealed away for myself.  They are far too precious and too valuable for sharing.  Outside of he and I, those moments are silenced.  Kept fresh and locked away with the valuables – unwilling to let words or time wear away the gleam.

Silence Example #2

Someone I hold dear to my heart contacted me the other day. We have a strange relationship, he and I.  Once lovers, now friends – but walking that fine line of how much is too much communication and what does friendship look like, post-romantic-relationship?  I was almost silent. For hours I rolled around whether or not I should respond.  Whether I should remain silent and seal our relationship shut (since this awkward phase frustrates me), or whether I should answer my friend and try to navigate this new terrain of friendship.

After hours of deliberating, I wrote him back.  For me, purposeful silence feels like punishment.  Not everyone perceives it that way, but I do.  And since I do, I simply will not do that to someone.  I either tell the person I don’t think we should remain in contact or I open a dialogue and work on mending the relationship.  But he is far too special not to at least try navigating this new friendship terrain.  Ultimately, we had a pleasant chat and made another small step down our new path as just friends.

Silence Example #3

My poor, sweet, patient mother has been dealing with my silence.  About six months ago I moved cities, changed jobs and all but altered every single facet of my life.  While this change has been welcomed, and wanted, and I am more than grateful for every ounce of change – it has also been extremely exhausting.  Unable to do any single daily task on auto-pilot, I was left drained and in need of more “me time” than I have needed in years.  Prior to my move, she and I would chat regularly and text often.  After my move, I all but fell off the face of the phone and went silent.

In reality, we exchanged a few texts a week and a brief phone call once a week, or every other week, but for her it was as good as silence.  We had a nice long chat tonight and I explained my silence and my gratitude for her patience.  I am well aware that silence can seem like abandonment, but I needed to retreat. My own personal silence was necessary to process all the change in my life.  So my personal silence, my walks in the park and books by dim lighting, resulted in a restful mind for me and worry for my mother. But she kept silent, out of respect for me and waited for my return and our lovely, silence-mending conversation we had this evening.


We all have a personal relationship with Silence.  We share different experiences and view Silence under different light. It’s amazing really – how something that seems like such a simple concept, can take on so many forms.  Isn’t it?

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S. This diary-like post was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge posed by the Daily Post on “The Sound of Silence.”

Letting Go of Relationships Past

Everyone needs closure.  For some it comes in the form of a conversation, some in the form of silence and others by action.  Since I am a person who relies heavily on words, and feels their weight as if they were tangible, I need the conversation.  I need the explanation.  I need to hear that you don’t want me and why.  While it may seem cruel to say such things, for me it helps to let go.  Since most men rarely give such explanations, it takes me far longer to release them.  I do believe I am at a place in my journey where I am learning to release and let go far more easily, but this person was in my life before I learned to be centered and release.  Before I truly understood that all people are here to teach us lessons and that we should be thankful for our brief time with them and the lessons we learned.


Last week while I was sitting at my desk, typing away and letting my mind drift, one of my Exes popped into my mind. As if out of nowhere, I had the thought that even if he walked into my office, sat at my desk and explained that he realized he had made a mistake in letting me go and wanted to try again, I would say “No.”  For many months I had been trying to shake him.  Trying to let go of the attachment I had made to him and the idea that we might one day have a chance to try again.  And finally, he was gone.  I had finally released him and the idea of a maybe someday us. He was the last one I had been hanging on to and I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to let go.

Letting Go

Honestly, it makes it hard to date when you constantly compare your date to an Ex.  It’s simply not fair and does more harm than good.


Now that I have officially let go of all of my Exes and feelings of “maybe someday” or that any were “the one that got away,” I can move forward and truly give people a chance.  A fair chance.  A chance to know me, sans baggage – without judgment or comparison.  Without hidden texts and lies of “we are just friends.”  Not that I was a cheater, but when you have lingering feelings for someone are they really just a friend? I don’t know what the appropriate term is, but it certainly isn’t friendly and it’s not fair to the person you are dating to hold on to someone like that.  You simply cannot give yourself fully when you are hanging on to the idea of someone else.


I often wondered if you could really and truly release all of your Exes without someone new to help push them out. And now I know you can.  Not only that, but it allows you the chance for a healthy relationship.  One that can start without the burns of relationships past and comparisons to what He would have said or what He would have done. 


I have already had a small taste of what life will be like now that I am no longer holding on to the idea of an Ex. This past weekend I went on a first date and was able to be fully present.  I was able to enjoy myself and my time with him without using any Ex as a barometer of how he measures up.  I was able to take our date for what it was and how he might fit into my life now – for who I am at this moment and what I am looking for now.  There is an ease to it. An excitement to it. An empowerment knowing that my choices are based solely upon who I am as a person and not based on feelings I’ve had in the past.


While I am still not sure exactly what it was that finally shook my Ex free and out of my thoughts, I am grateful he is gone.  That I can legitimately call him a friend and that I can offer myself as a fully present and healed partner to whomever I choose to date.


So the point of this post, I suppose, is to encourage you to shake your Ex free.  Let him/her go. Know that when you do, you will open yourself to a sense of freedom and the ability to be open and authentic with your future partner(s).  Whether you need to have that dreaded conversation or stop talking to them entirely or write them a letter and burn it – try to find your closure.  Because the thing about closure is that once one chapter closes, you make room for a new one to begin.

Yours Truly,

Erin Terese