I’m Dani Kelley,

and I do lots of things.

Haikus With Dani: Breakup Edition

Welcome to Haikus with Dani: Breakup Edition, the part of the show where Dani comes out and shares her breakup haikus.


It’s been a little over a month since I broke up with my partner of 7 years (and spouse of 6 years).

In so many ways, it’s been unspeakably hard. I literally don’t have truly appropriate words for this experience, only deep chasms within my being that alternately flow with rage and sorrow, then ebb with hollow misery.

There are good times and good things, of course. My health has vastly improved. My finances have stabilized. I’m keeping my house in a state that makes me feel comfortable and safe in my own little nest. I’m able to concentrate on my work like I’ve never been able to before. Life, in general, is good.

But for those times when life’s terribleness is indeed unspeakable, the only words that have come to me have come in fragments.

So I decided to put them into haikus.

I’ve compiled everything I’ve written so far here. They are not listed in the order in which they were written, but rather rearranged to sort of tell the story of my grieving process thusfar.

Part of being human is the importance of being truly seen. And so I offer you this glimpse into my soul, and perhaps into your own.


You are not all bad.
But that doesn’t mean you’re not
terrible for me.

I am not all good.
But I cannot be what you
expect me to be.


We love each other,
each in our own way. Yet still
we’re better apart.


I keep saying “we”
when I mean to just say “I.”
Solitude comes hard.


You are everywhere
in my house, my head, my heart…
how the living haunt.


I’m consumed with guilt
for my improving health; my
body betrays you.


I never realized
how often I held my breath
until I could breathe.


All I wanted was
respect, safety, support…your
“love” was not enough.


The worst part of all:
I’m better off without you
in body and soul.


I missed you today
but you’re the devil I know
and soon, it will pass.


I wish you were here
sometimes when I’m lonely, ’til
reality hits.


I can’t wrap my brain
around how you treated me.
You said you loved me.


The worst parts of you
loom large and almost eclipse
the best parts of you.

And yet, you are you —
love and lies mixed together,
spinning me around.


You’ve taken so much
of my life and well-being —
enough is enough.


My only regret
is making myself smaller
to ease your comfort.


If love is a choice,
then I chose the wrong person —
I should have picked me.


They tell me I’m strong,
but I don’t understand it —
I’m barely okay.


I thought loneliness
would be unbearable, but
it’s better than you.


In the light of day,
I barely notice you’re gone,
but night is still hard.


The longer you’re gone,
the more competent I am.
Funny, isn’t it?


Sometimes it scares me
how quickly I’m adjusting
to life without you.

But discovering
just how strong I am is joy
indescribable.


I don’t know how love
ought to work, but for now, I’ll
try to love myself.

 

  • Anna

    I am sad because this is difficult; break-ups are rarely simple or pain-free. But I am glad that there are many good things and that it sounds like life is generally improving.

  • SHolmies

    Hi there, I stumbled across your blog and have a similar story of growing up in conservative Christianity, marrying young, and divorcing after 6 years of incompatible and often miserable marriage, and coming out the other side with very little of my original belief system intact.
    I know it is raw and heartbreaking right now but it gets better. I think your haikus are evidence that it is already getting better. You made the right decision, you will survive this, and eventually you will thrive. I am so grateful that I finally ended a failed relationship and reclaimed my life as my own.
    One thing that helped me through the initial months was reading others’ stories, I highly recommend ‘Ask Me About My Divorce.’

  • This is awesome in an excruciating way, and these are beautiful. Thank you :(.

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