Heartbreak is more primal, more pervasive, and more related to one’s sense of self than sadness is. Our hearts can break over the death of a dearly loved other, including a pet…and our hearts can break over the death of a relationship as well as the death of our hopes, dreams, innocence, idealizations, and the psychic needs we believe that another can fulfill. Heartbreak is found in mythological and fairy tale themes, which illustrates its central place in the human psyche – in them we find clues as to how one heals from this devastating experience.
“I am in a distant and unfamiliar town. I enter into a restaurant, but I don’t have any money. I peek into the kitchen and casually ask one of the employees to hand me a bowl. I go over to the other side of the restaurant and begin to get some soup from the pot and eat it. Then one of the employees comes over to me, he’s speaking Spanish and I can’t understand him, but he’s clearly asking me if I paid for it. I am not really acknowledging him directly and jokingly say: no hablā Ingles. I finish the soup and casually walk out, and know at this point that the employee will try and catch me. I hide in the forest, and wait for him to pass by, then begin to run in a different direction. I see the employee running around trying to search for me. Slowly, with the help of an unknown figure that’s with me, I make it back to my car but am constantly scanning to see where the employee is. I start driving off, but I notice almost immediately that my car is not at full power, it’s revving high and not producing enough torque or speed but continue to drive anyway. The town is small but feels kind of like a maze, and struggle to find my way out of it. Eventually, the road ends and turns into a dirt trail that has tall grass further down, but there is a path where the grass had been pressed down from barn animals having stepped on it. Had it been the higher grass, I don’t think my car would have had enough power to plow through it. My car is really struggling at this point, and barely moving forward. Then out of nowhere a baby deer who appears frightened begins to run closer and closer to me, almost as if to get underneath me sort of like baby elephants do with their mother when they need protection. It no longer feels like I’m driving, but rather riding a bicycle; as the deer gets closer and closer, I keep pedaling and know that it’s eventually going to get run over. The deer gets nicked and starts crying. I stop my bicycle and pick him up, and begin to coddle and pet and kiss him. I really try to comfort him, and apologize to him repeatedly. I can feel his little wet nose sniff me as I kiss him. The little deer is so vulnerable and can’t get enough of comforting him. It gives me a warm feeling to comfort and protect him.”