Fierce

From First Heartbreaks To Escaping An Abusive Ex, Latinas Share How They Overcame Breakups

Breakups, even when they’re for the best, are some of the most debilitating moments of our lives. The pain is all-consuming. It pounds in your chest, streams down your face through tears, and aches in every joint and bone of your body. It growls in a stomach you don’t have an appetite to feed. It drains you of energy and focus. It feels like death, and in many ways, that’s exactly what it is. It’s the demise of a relationship, a future, of parts of yourself. But in life, there is both death and birth, and after mourning the agonizing loss of love, a new existence, one that’s novel, one you have the power to create and change as you want, is born.

That doesn’t make it easy and it doesn’t mean joy is a night of sleep away, but it does, even if slowly and painfully, offer hope. It’s healing, growing and understanding. It’s smiling and laughing again, even if for a few seconds a day. It’s envisioning a future, one that could possibly even be bright, for the first time in weeks, months, years. During heartbreak, when life really feels over, a storm that could never have a rainbow, a disaster that’s destroyed all existence, seeing how others began to sprout in what felt like their own barren land, could inspire a not-so-distant future where you, too, rebloom.  

For those feeling lost, empty and miserable in their breakups, here are the stories of Latinas who allowed their shattered hearts and souls to be catalysts for a new life, women who used their tormenting farewells to welcome artistic projects, international travel, new careers and change-making for themselves and the world around them.

Connie, 27, New York

My ex and I broke up permanently in August 2018, but there were several breakups before then. We stopped living together in December 2017, a year after we decided to move in together, which should have been a sign the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. But toxic love is addicting, and we were each other’s preferred poison. My ex is my twin flame: love at first sight, birthdays only a day apart, our cultures and spiritualities connecting us. We were convinced our love was a product of destiny, but twin flames are not destined to be together. They are simply flowers that bloom for a moment, not a lifetime. Still, breaking up, while the best thing to do, was one of the hardest things I’ve done. I look back at my journal entries from that time, and I do not recognize the person who filled each page: tears dried into paper, words like “forever” and “soulmate” smeared, broken pages, entries never finished, pieces of weed left on the crevices. I self-medicated a lot, oftentimes drinking and smoking myself into incoherence. Those entries were a representation of my spirit. I felt broken, depressed and furious — sometimes even experiencing physical pain from the separation.

But through it all, I did learn something: Pain shouldn’t always be associated with negativity, even if it’s uncomfortable. We are energetic beings searching for other energetic frequencies to propel us forward. Pain is one of those propellers. In nature, we find the most incredible feats of life occur when there is discomfort: a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, a flower blooming, a parent giving birth. Pain is the battle cry you scream that gives you the strength to tackle your personal journey. Allow your body to do the work it was always destined to do.

I used my pain I felt so deeply in my soul and transformed it into energy to help me walk the path that my ancestors laid out before me, but was for too long too scared to take. Through those ashes, I created Alegría Peruanx, a multimedia project dedicated to archiving, educating, unifying and healing the Peruvian community within the US. I’ve been a director and photographer for many years, so I got to combine my talents with my passion to create a photo series, traveling gallery and digital space to create community. This project was my phoenix rising, a project I was always destined to create but had to be spiritually ready for. Pain taught me that I am far more powerful and boundless than the physical vessel I am occupying. It’s an eye-opening experience that propelled me forward, not just in my career but in my spirit. Though I am still in the process of healing, I honor where this pain has taken me and allow it to work through me for a greater cause.

Isabella, 23, Oregon

My ex and I were together for 11 months before we separated in September. While it wasn’t a long-term romance, I was still absolutely shot emotionally and physically. I crumbled. I became restless and so utterly depressed that my hair began to fall out in small clumps. I couldn’t eat. I tried to, but my body rejected any nourishment. My spirit felt so crushed and beaten down that I thought I was dying of a broken heart. At the time, the only thing that sounded appealing was sleeping. When I didn’t sleep, I wrote poetry. That’s when I began to realize the magnitude of the pain, sadness and loss I was feeling.

My relationship with my ex centered on manipulation. Before moving to Oregon to be with him, I was an exotic dancer, and I loved it. I was hoping to expand my stripping career when he told me it was degrading. He made me feel shameful for dancing. He said, if I wanted to make real money, I should escort. My boyfriend was a pimp, and I didn’t know until he manipulated me into his world. I felt so trapped. I tried countless times to leave him, but he never let me get away. I was never out of his sight unless I was working. I felt like I was suffocating. One night, we got into a massive fight and he hit me. He felt so awful afterwards that he left our house. That’s when I packed up everything and left our home.

If I hadn’t written my poetry, I would have continued to downplay my heartbreak. Validating my feelings was the first step to moving on. I decided to return to exotic dancing. I worked mornings and afternoons at the strip club to force myself out of bed every day. Otherwise, I would have never left my tiny bedroom or even ate. Dancing forced me to take care of myself. Getting dolled up and entertaining every day reminded me that I am beautiful and that I am desirable. Dancing helped me channel the negative emotions into positive and happy emotions. It led me to discover a new level of my sexuality I never knew existed. I feel, like phoenix, I turned to ash and rebirthed an improved me.

Sandy, California

After two years together, my ex and I broke up in November 2018. Right after the separation, I began to feel uneasy about my decision. We had known each other since we were kids. Our mothers were best friends from childhood. They even became pregnant at the same time. As a result, we were born exactly one month apart. With all this history I shared with him, breaking up meant breaking up with our past. I felt I was betraying romance and blocking myself from having a “happy ending.” If anyone heard our story, it was no doubt we were meant to be together. Breaking up started to feel like it was the wrong choice because I was holding onto a fairytale, but it was what I needed to get the finale I deserved.

It has taken me a while to realize my self-worth and self-respect. Even though I loved my ex-boyfriend, and still do, my decision came when I stopped romanticizing our story and looked at our reality. The truth: I didn’t feel respected, not when he lied to me about where he was at, not when he deleted text messages and not when he entertained other women. With each chance I gave him, a little part of me was dying. Letting go was an opportunity to refocus all that love toward myself — finally.

Today, I’m taking the time to focus on the things that bring me joy. I’m a caring individual who wants to make a difference in the world. I’m a community organizer, I run my own film series project, I applied and got accepted into grad school and, most recently, I decided to run for office. In March, I submitted my application to run for neighborhood council in the city of Van Nuys. I am running for the nonprofit community-based organization seat. I’m running in a city I grew up in. I’m running to bring new ideas to the table. I’m running for my community.

It has been six months since I went through a messy breakup. During that time, I thought I was never going to be myself again. Maybe I’m not. I’m finding myself. I’m trusting my intellect and my potential. I’m making things happen. Tough days don’t need to last forever and they won’t last forever.  

Jazmin Vega, 23, Colorado

My ex and I were together for three years before splitting last October. This was someone I had planned to move across the country to be with, someone I chose to put my plans on hold for. Imagine my pain then when it ended. The first few nights I slept in my bathroom next to the toilet. I was waking up panicked and my stomach would just heave itself up. I was completely submerged in grief. I went weeks without feeling like I was actually alive. I had this intense and scorching pain in my chest all the time. When I found out my ex had started dating someone else, only days after our breakup, I was in so much shock and agony. I felt defeated. I ended up in the hospital.

Days later, I went to see my curandera, who called it sadness of my soul. She promised that I would recover, that I would build myself up again with my own hands. I am. I began making a plan of all the things I needed to do to get through this. Traveling sounded life it could give me some relief. I decided to backpack for a month through parts of Europe. My mom, who was going through a similar separation, came with me. We road-tripped through Ireland for a week together, spent time seeing the ocean, stood at hostels and drank in pubs. While it was healing to be able to leave, I think it was also a struggle. Whether a relationship, marriage or home, conditions have taught us that we can’t leave, that we always have to stay. So when we finally did escape, so far that we weren’t even on the same continent anymore, we also felt guilt.

My moment of good and productive healing came when I was on a boat tour in Barcelona, crying alone. I kept picturing myself under all that water. I wondered how good it would feel if I could just swim to the surface. In that moment, I decided that I was ready to think and feel something else. I was reminded that I cared about so many other things, like how sacred my time with my mom is. I thought of the deep gratitude and love I have for her. I don’t want to romanticize her pain or her experiences, but I began to recognize how long she had to stay in her marriage and how I was able to leave, how she didn’t want me to similarly waste decades feeling stuck. I thought a lot about how there are people who exist in my life that do love and care about me in the ways that I need them to. I decided I wasn’t going to lose anymore time to my grief. The trip helped me heal from my heartbreak because I came back home ready to return to myself and my own body again.

Read: Latino Breakup Songs To Dedicate To Your Ex And Make You Feel Better

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Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

STEPHEN DUNN / GETTY

Within just nine months, Vanessa Bryant has (like all of us) had to deal with the stress and uncertainty of a pandemic, racial crisis and injustice, and the threats of unstable political leadership. She has also had to deal with the almighty devastation of losing her husband and daughter on the same day. You think this would be enough to ensure that she receives only sympathy, support, and light during this time but not so.

Recently, the wife of the late basketball great Kobe Bryant is dealing with negative claims taken to the press by her own mother.

In an interview with Univision, Bryant’s mother Sofia Laine claimed her daughter had kicked her out of her home.

Appearing on “El Gordo y La Flaca,” Laine claimed that her 38-year-old daughter had forced her out of a family home and made her return the car she used.

In a statement to People, Bryant defended herself saying “My husband and daughter passed away unexpectedly, and yet my mom has the audacity to do an interview on TV talking negatively about me while shedding tears about a car and home that wasn’t in her name.”

“She has removed all her diamond jewelry, emptied her apartment that I provide, and put the furniture in storage to appear as though she is without support,” Bryant went onto claim. “My husband and I have financially supported her over the past 20 years, and I continue to do so, in addition to her monthly alimony.”

Bryant went onto add that “contrary to previous reports, she has not been physically present or emotionally supportive for my daughters and me after my husband and daughter passed away. Going forward, I see what is most important to my mom and it is beyond hurtful. I hope this public airing of our personal relations will stop here.”

Bryant lost her husband, the late NBA star, and the couple’s second-oldest daughter Gianna in a tragic helicopter crash in January.

The crash claimed the lives of seven other people including Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14,Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Christina Mauser, 38, and the helicopter’s pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

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Latinas Talk About Love At First Sight

Entertainment

Latinas Talk About Love At First Sight

Miramax

In an infamous scene in the 1992 book Like Water for Chocolate, the novel’s main characters Tita and Pedro swear their undying love for each other within minutes of first meeting. Just like that, they experienced love at first sight. Stories all throughout history have detailed the romantic personal experience of an instant and ultimately long-lasting romantic attraction for a stranger upon first sight. But how practical— or even true is that really?

We turned to our FIERCE readers to see just how prevalent this phenomenon is.

In a post to our Instagram page we asked Latinas for their love at first love stories.

And scavenged around Reddit for good measure. Check out what we discovered below!

“Yes. I had briefly met him before but it was the first time I ever really noticed him. We had a whirlwind romance and then he left to take a job in Europe. We kept in touch for a few years but never saw each other again. He is the gold standard I judge men by.” –
adorableadelita

“YES with my dog the second I saw him I knew he was the one!! I’ve had him for 17years now and we are happily ever after.”- virgok1

“Yes but I’m just not brave enough to tell them they’re beautiful tho, most incredible smile I’ve ever seen the most captivating set of eyes I’ve ever looked into. But well love from afar right?” –ta_ta1009

“Yes. And it was delicious, I’ll never forget those Tacos dorados. My one and only.”- funkycold___medina

“Yes! I never knew love could fill your heart like that so instantly and so completely! It was the first time I ever saw my niece! Best feeling in the world!”- yesi_lo

“Not in love but in strong lust.” – magnetic67

“Yes! And we just got married during the pandemic (very interesting way how we got married).”-21djenne

“Just when I first laid eyes 👀 on the paletero in my neighborhood. Jokes aside I love that man, he’s so sweet.”- dreathunder

“Yup met mine when I was 17 yrs old and knew I would marry them. Here we are 18 years later and still together.” –elizabeth_pearl

HelloSchrodi1 point·4 years ago

“We were both 18 going on 19. He was a second year science student, I was a fresh faced firstie at a brand new University. I was also 95% sure I was lesbian. I saw this goofy ginger at the outdoor movie theatre, he had Styrofoam strapped to his head and declared himself Julius Ceasar, and gave me the biggest and most genuine smile. When he asked my name, it was a genuine want not just a question you ask to fill time. My heart squeezed a bit, and we kept eye contact for a bit too long before we both turned back to the screen. The next day we ended up sitting across from eachother in the cafeteria, and as soon as I saw him sitting there with a grin on his gorgeous face I knew I could love him. We were attached at the hip for at least 8 hours every day for a month, it was like a need to be around eachother, a magnetic pull and attraction. We started dating after a few weeks. We both fell in love quickly. I never believed in love at first sight, but we fit together perfectly in every way and every day, even now as we’re 20 with a lot of growth and ‘relationship strainers’ under our belts there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where I don’t think of him and fall further in love. We’ve fought a bit, met eachothers families, he’s held my hand in the hospital and I’ve held his. We’ve had the kids talk, marriage talk, finances talk, and we’re moving in together this summer. It’s also pretty great that we have the same taste in women. I have never been happier, and he tells me the same.”-HelloSchrodi

“We met at work, when we both locked eyes we were drawn to each other. After a week of flirting with each other and staring into her beautiful blue eyes, she actually asked ME out. We dated for 8 years and got engaged; being madly in love is perfection. She walked down the aisle about 13 months after she accepted my proposal. She gave birth to her first child 10 months later, and had her second 2 years after that. She’s very happy in her life. Kind of wished she married me instead of the dickhead she met a month after leaving me.” –UrMomLikesMine

“It was a whirlwind. Can’t really explain it. Distance and heavy workloads on both our parts (we couldn’t see each other at all one year) made us end it. Still best friends, still in a sort of a platonic bond. We’ve both seen other people since then (I’ve just had a bad experience), but I don’t think I’ve ever felt that kind of… ease around someone until months have passed. When she moves here in a few years, who knows? She never will, but if she asked me to wait. I’d say yes in a heasrtbeat.” –ionised

“Yes… now married 10 years.” – juju_bees_mommy

“Well for me it wasn’t at first sight. But for him it was. Within the first week he knew I would be the one he was going to marry and spend his life with. My feelings grew quickly also and we knew we had met our soul mate very quickly. We are doing great. He’s saving up for an engagement ring, both support eachother in our respective fields (me in tattoo artistry and him in filmmaking). Once our financial situation is in order we plan to move to Seattle. I have never been so in love and I don’t regret it for a second.”- BigHeroDicks

elizabeth_pearlYup met mine when I was 17 yrs old and knew I would marry them. Here we are 18 years later and still together ❤️❤️❤️ @fiercebymitu

elizabeth_pearlYup met mine when I was 17 yrs old and knew I would marry them. Here we are 18 years later and still together ❤️❤️❤️ @fiercebymitu

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