Since my divorce, I’ve cropped my ex-husband from the picture.

Click the blue link below to hear my song:

It Might Have Been Home Recording 1/4/17 Copyright 2016 by Judy Unger

It Might Have Been Arrangement 2015


Copyright 2015, by Judy Unger

It might have been the very first time we kissed

lightly sprayed by an ocean mist,

my mind was in a blur

I remember just how shy you were

No, it might have been the time I left you

Loneliness filled my dreams; you were my closest friend

and longing in my heart wouldn’t end

I’d never felt that way before; love was something new 

I often wonder when it was, I often wonder when it was 

I fell in love with you

It might have been the time I called to you in pain

As I shook, you held me close; I was not afraid

and through those darkest nights you stayed

All those times – so long ago

are in my memory

I still remember how you loved me

I’d never felt that way before; love was something new

I often wonder when it was, I often wonder when it was

I fell in love with you

The lyrics above were an addition to my song three decades later.

The lyrics above were an addition to my song three decades later.

Memories can be so many things for me. Sweet memories evoke sensations and can take me back to childhood. Traumatic memories hijack my mind to places I never want to revisit.

Sometimes I picture my memories as rings of growth on an old tree stump. Traumatic memories are the layers that appear as if they were created by a forest fire, clearly visible. I seldom have accessed memories below those burnt layers because it was too painful to get close.

The first song lyrics that I wrote as an adult woman were for my song named “Memory of Love.” Loving memories were clearly the antidote for me. I wrote that song because I mourned the loss of my mother; she was slipping into dementia and I was devastated to lose her. It was interesting that the lyrics also applied to my husband. At that time, I was very lonely in my marriage.

I married very young and I divorced last year after 31 years of marriage. I have tried hard not to feel guilty about hurting my husband since he never expected I would leave. In order to cope, I often find myself becoming numb and detached – as if my past belonged to someone else. Suppression of my honest feelings was also a familiar way of dealing with disappointment during my marriage.

The most beautiful part of exploring an older song is how it helps me to access memories prior to traumatic events that otherwise might have remained buried. That was why recording my vocal for “It Might Have Been” was extremely touching. 

Initially, I wondered how I’d find a vibe for a song about falling in love that I wrote as a young 19-year-old girl. It has been at least 35 years since I’ve experienced romantic feelings.

The image of that beautiful tree stump is in front of me. I see how I can now appreciate all of the beautiful rings of growth that represent my life.

And most of all, I appreciate the pure and honest core of my heart in the center of it all.

Link to my first story about this song:


This is a page from my diary when I was 19. My musings about self-love back then are fascinating for me. The same love for being creative in my youth continues to fuel me today.

This is a page from my diary when I was 19. My musings about self-love back then are fascinating for me. The same love for being creative in my youth continues to fuel me today.

At my last hypnotherapy session I said to my therapist, Connie, “I wrote a story about “It Might Have Been. But I’m not sure if I am going to share it. It’s very personal with my admission at the end.”

I read my story aloud and lingered upon the last line. My words were that I never experienced true intimacy in my marriage. It meant that I felt like I had missed out by not having what many other people have told me was integral to their life. And I felt damaged and vulnerable because of that.

Connie was an expert at guiding me to find my own answers. As a hypnotherapist, she wasn’t even allowed to tell me what to do. Her goal was always to empower me to help myself.

Certainly, writing my story helped me whether or not I decided to share it. What both of us discussed were the feelings that came with my closing sentences. I told her that I knew I could reframe my thinking and would work on that.

Then she pushed a piece of paper toward me. On it was written:

In to me, I see

I read the words aloud. It was such a clever definition for the word intimacy! I said, “This must be about how when someone loves you, they want to come in. It’s about feeling safe enough to let them in to see what’s inside of you.”

I continued by saying, “That definition works for me. I never felt like I could open up to my husband. I worried that honesty would upset him. We never would fight about anything; I looked the other way when he upset me and ignored my intuition that our relationship wasn’t healthy. I married so young and stuck with marriage even though my husband didn’t understand me. With my awakening I just couldn’t live that way any longer.”

Then I added, “But I’m really not looking to find intimacy, so I’m confused. I’m missing what I didn’t have, but definitely have no desire to find it now at this age!”

As we talked about my confusion, it made sense that since my past experiences in a relationship were so unpleasant, my subconscious would associate any future relationship with those same feelings.

It was time for hypnosis. I laid back and closed my eyes and floated off. I wanted to replace any thoughts that led to sadness.

I decided it felt better for me to focus on all the unique and special experiences I’ve had in my life, rather than dwelling upon things I felt I had missing out on. I said aloud to Connie, “Okay, I have experienced something amazing with my music – something I never imagined after 30 years of musical silence. I’ve connected with many people in beautiful ways and the experience of writing a song is magnificent; I feel and see things in my heart that I might never have discovered otherwise. I am so blessed to have music in my life.”

I awoke from hypnosis smiling. And it must not have been a coincidence that the music to a gorgeous new song composition began playing in my mind that week. I was completely uplifted.

I do miss the times when I could open my eyes wide like in the picture above.

I do miss the times when I could open my eyes wide like in the picture above.

It Might Have Been songsheet

This is the actual song sheet from 1980. In 2010, I changed many of the chords and wrote the melody. I didn’t have a recording to help me remember my song. I did remember the melody for the first line, though.

I have discovered that I am very vulnerable to both adoration and criticism.

It seemed like lately my musical focus was upon love songs instead of songs about loss. My last song arrangement was “Just A Tune,” which had beautiful words of finding love again. But the only way I could relate to it at this time in my life was with self-love.

My song that followed was “It Might Have Been” and it was about falling in love. I could not relate to it in the present and it forced me to remember how I felt when I was 19 years old. This led me to find insight surrounding my feelings about love that led me get married.

Every verse of my song (except the last one) held reasons for why I had fallen in love with my former husband. The last verse was written in 2010 and it was a challenge to come up with. I made it a summary for the other verses.

This photo is from a weekend retreat and I have no connection now with the people sitting there with me.

This photo is from a weekend retreat. My guitar and I were joined at the hip back then.

I dated a lot as a teenager. I remember that my husband won me over because he especially loved my music.

Music was the ticket into my heart and soul. I sang to him whenever we were together. I wrote him love songs. He brought me flowers every single week and it all felt magical. So at the young age of 20, I decided he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

I learned about love from my parents. I was very much adored by them, so it made sense that I searched for love in the same way. I was lured with adoration and my heart grew cold later on because of unrelenting criticism. 

After I was married, I no longer felt adored. I chalked that up to “real life” and assumed my immaturity and sheltered life gave me unrealistic expectations for love and intimacy.

My husband was difficult to please and very unhappy with his career. I thought if we did better financially, things would change for us. I devoted all of my energy into becoming a successful illustrator in order to make money.

Gradually, I withdrew from him and placed the blame upon myself for any unhappiness.

When I was 24, I saw a therapist because I was deeply depressed. She told me that my depression was related to my parents; I needed to confront them and set some boundaries. Two therapists directed a family meeting my parents, two older brothers and me. My husband did not attend.

After confronting my parents I felt more empowered, but it was a very draining and painful episode in my life. Moving forward things were different and I felt even more alone. It hadn’t brought me any closer to my husband.

All of this ended up pushing me into another direction. I impulsively decided that I was ready to have children. Subconsciously, I imagined it would fill my emptiness and bring love into my life.

Having children taught me about how selfless love actually is.

Unfortunately, Jason was born with a severe congenital heart defect. After that, my marriage was truly relegated to the back burner. Jason’s care swallowed me up and then grief slaughtered my existence with his death.

I went on to have three subsequent children after Jason; it was a life raft for me. I have been a very devoted mother and became a fierce advocate for all three of my living children when they had struggles in school due to challenges they were born with.

I suffered a terrible loss with my first-born son, but my three living children are a great blessing to me. Being intimately involved in their lives continues to give me my greatest joy in life.

Beach sunset 2

Romantic love was beautiful and even though it wasn’t something that lasted – I am grateful I had that experience.

My first verse for “It Might Have Been” is about a first kiss. Somehow, I overcame my squirming embarrassment while singing those lyrics. When I’m singing, memories transport me to a time when love was thrilling and my emotions were so innocent and pure.

In this picture, I am playing guitar on the patio where I now live.

In this picture, I am playing guitar on the patio where I now live.

The intimacy of my music is very much a part of why I do it.

I overlooked the greatest clue about my unhappiness when I stopped playing my guitar almost immediately after I was married. I thought it was because I was too “grown up” to do music anymore. I missed the friends who shared it with me.

I also missed my husband and the way he was before we were married.

I occasionally tried to play, but had no emotional connection to music anymore. And sometimes when I was singing alone, I would quickly stop whenever I heard my husband’s footsteps approaching.

That was my clue that I never realized until now. I didn’t feel like sharing my heart with him through singing anymore.

For years and years, I swallowed my sadness and closed off my heart to avoid the deep disappointment I felt about love and marriage. My mother had insisted I marry before my formal wedding because of her belief that pre-marital sex was a sin. I complied in order to please her – I wanted her to be happy, instead of disappointed in me. I wanted her to love me.

It’s no wonder why love has been so confusing for me.


My song expresses a lot of wonderment about falling in love. I have thought about whether to rename it. But once again, the older name of “It Might Have Been” won out because it has a lot of meaning for me.

With the title of “It Might Have Been” I could imagine all the possible scenarios of how my life might have turned out quite different if I hadn’t married as young as I did. 

But then, I realize how I wouldn’t have necessarily wanted that. I adore my children. I found my clarity and it was: I wouldn’t change anything!

Everything I have experienced in my life has led me to where I am now.

I still believe there are many surprises in store for me ahead to dream about. But I am not mourning my past or living for tomorrow – I am living my dreams every single day of my life now.

I'd Never Felt That Way Before

I love this image that I often attach to this song because it represents my bliss because of music. Things might have been very different if I hadn’t changed my life in order to follow my dream.

I love this image that I often attach to this song because it represents my bliss because of music. Things might have been very different if I hadn’t changed my life in order to follow my dream.

Judy Unger and 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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5 Responses to IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN – PART 2

  1. jmgoyder says:

    One of the things I most admire about you, Judy, is your courage in facing memories that aren’t happy. I think many of us avoid this journey into the past and yet you show how it can be done in a way that produces new, fresh insight and joy. Bravo!


    • Judy says:

      Ah, thank you my good friend. Everyone has choices about how they want to view things. I prefer choosing things that uplift me. If that inspires others – what could be better? I appreciate your sweet words, Julie.


  2. it breaks my heart to think of you, with all your sparkle and life light, being treated so badly. we all need love and your children filled part of that for you but i know that someday you will find that person who is in awe of you and appreciates you for the amazing human being that you are.

    as difficult as it must be i am inspired by your ability to face these sad memories and to keep looking up and moving forward.

    i send you love and big warm hugs


    • Judy says:

      Of course, everyone deserves the kind of love you and Chris have. It’s interesting – I didn’t have someone who connected with me, but he didn’t necessarily treat me badly. Perhaps that was why I was married 31 years. He was a decent man and criticism was his way of dealing with his own personal unhappiness. He never really criticized me directly either. He was unhappy with the chaos created by our challenging children. And he was very unhappy that he wasn’t the focus of my life from the very beginning. I take responsibility for that. I did received a lot of love from my parents and children. I believe my husband loved me in his own way even though he was not affectionate or complimentary. What changed for me was when my sparkle and light returned with music – I decided that the only way I could shine would be to leave the emptiness and shadows. I couldn’t stay any longer with someone so unhappy who was incapable of showing affection. We attended therapy on many occasions and unfortunately, there was little improvement. I didn’t ever want to threaten him to change. Still, It broke my heart to hurt him because he never expected I would divorce him. I just couldn’t be around him anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

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