She took my money and left

Another call-out for the podcast: Who got married after only knowing each other for a short time? I know some commenters had that experience. If that's you, email me at Looking for stories from people who "just knew" and were quick to commit and get engaged/married.

I’m 28 and I dated my ex for two years. We had an argument the same day my father had a heart attack. After the argument, we didn't speak the next day. When I got home from work that next day, she called me and said she wasn’t feeling it anymore – and at one point during the conversation, she laughed. It hurt so much; I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Also, just a few days earlier, she'd taken some money from me.

I tried to get her back. I even wrote a hand-written letter to her, but no answer. She ghosted me and just got on with her life.

My friends couldn’t believe it. First they thought I was playing a prank on them because they thought no way can someone do that to another person.

It's been so hard to deal with my feelings about this and what happened with my dad. And I have two little sisters who thought the world of my ex. They were crying over our dad and the fact my ex and I broke up.

I sent her stuff back and got no response. My friends said I should have burned her things but I don't want to be a child about it. I feel like she knew what she was doing, and she knew she was going to break up with me before I gave her the money.

I feel broken and I don't know how to come back from this.

– Broken

It's OK to feel broken and betrayed. It makes sense to feel wronged, confused, and angry. It's even OK to miss her and wish she'd come back. 
This was a terrible, confusing breakup that happened right when you were dealing with a different kind of scary news. It makes sense that you're overwhelmed.

You probably feel like you've lost control of some of the most important parts of your life, but there's still a lot that's up to you. You can decide who deserves your attention, and how you spend your time. That means you can choose to focus on those wonderful little sisters. You can hang out with them and play board games and watch movies. You can be fully present with them whenever you want.

It'll also be up to you to determine whether your ex is worth your time, if she ever returns, and something tells me she might, even if it's just to have some more last words. You can decide how you feel if/when that happens, but don't lose track of how she left you. I understand why your first instinct was to want her back, but the person you long for is not the woman who was capable of taking your money and walking away. You don't want that person at all.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you rebuild yourself after this kind of breakup?