Excerpt for Unlucky In Love - Confessions of a Die Hard Romantic by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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This book is a personal memoir. It’s a combination of facts about Orlena Cain’s life; however, names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The reader should not consider this book anything other than a work of literature.

Unlucky in Love – Confessions of a Die Hard Romantic

Smashwords edition

Copyright 2017 by Orlena Cain

Cover art by Rohan Laylor@PhatDogVisuals

Editing by: Aaron Locke

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Orlena Cain

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Connection is a powerful word. It’s defined by Webster’s as; a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else. Have you ever met someone and knew you would instantly be friends? Have you had that instant ‘connection?’ I had that moment when I met the beautiful Orlena Cain. I instantly knew she was as damaged as I was, but that she had the power to forgive, an ability that I do not possess.

Abuse affects everyone differently; there is no doubt the effects last a lifetime, and some amazing people have the power to forgive their abusers in their pursuit to live a better life. Not for their abuser’s sake, but for their own. Orlena is one such amazing person. Orlena loves so deeply. She puts her entire heart and soul into every relationship, but she is scared. She is scared of being hurt, and rightfully so. How many times can one person be hurt and still possess hope for a better outcome on the next try? I have been witness to Orlena’s many attempts at love, even when I knew deep in my soul that it was wrong and would not work, I supported her because that is what a true friend does. I stood in witness to a marriage I knew was doomed. I was the only person who expressed to her that it was doomed, because I loved her, and still do.

Reading this book, I knew how exposed Orlena was making herself. Is there a more beautiful representation of a person then choosing to bare one’s soul for the entire world to read? Kudos to my dear friend for having the guts to be honest enough with herself and with her audience on such sensitive topics. I have been blessed to share a long friendship with Orlena, and I know that I speak for all that call her a friend when I say that we so hope the right person will come along soon, because she deserves it. She deserves to be loved, to be in love, and to know the joy of loving someone that has her back in every situation. To your amazingly bright future, my dear friend, I will always have your back.

~Dr. M. Jill Sporidis~

Orlena Cain is an established Canadian radio and TV personality with over 15 years of celebrated presence in the industry. She has recently delved into further developing her writing talents with a background in journalism.

In this candid memoir, she tactfully shares her tumultuous journey to find love and happiness in a bid to inspire others to discover the importance of healing and self-love in the wake of trauma.

A Note from the Author

No one experience can or should define who you are for the rest of your life. It’s the layers of experiences that allow you to grow and shape who you want to become, in love and life. It is my vision that this story will help shed the shame so many women experience on the journey to self-discovery.



To my beautiful and loving good friend Janine Gothard who always encouraged me to write a book. She would always say that I have lived so many lives and had so many experiences, that I really need to share them with the world.

To my strong and loving good friend Jill Sporidis, who devoted her time and energy into editing this book and always believed in me and loved me.

Thank you ladies. You both have such beautiful relationships with your husbands and I hope to find one just like them one day.

I wish to express an extra special thank you to Darek Wierzbicki, Studio 237 for doing such a wonderful job with my hair and to Linda Raddan for doing my makeup for the book cover.


Although it may seem silly to begin with a prologue about where I’m at in my life now in a memoir, I felt it necessary to reveal how my story progresses from my early life experiences until today. Through the course of my life, I’ve treated every relationship as a valuable lesson. I’ve tried to walk away with something tangible to help shape me into a better version of who I already was.

Until recently, I never had a complete understanding of why I found true love so elusive. The answer to why I kept repeating the same patterns in choices for partners never occurred to me. Neither did the details of what always lead to the inevitable end of those relationships.

One goal I have with my story, is to reach others who struggle with the effects of past trauma. My hope is to shed the shame so many people feel about failed relationships, and being victimized. It is nearly impossible to release the guilt and shame victims carry in their hearts and souls. It has become a daily mantra for me.

Some of my journey may seem a little sporadic to you. Ideally, a memoir should be in chronological order for the events the author recounts. My thinking, as I wrote, was to characterize similar personalities of people in my life with chapter titles that are generic and non-identifying. That’s the way I sort them out for myself. My editor reflected to me, areas of my unresolved trauma showed in my writing, as I tend to pen those accounts in present tense.

As for where I am at now, once you’ve read the entire story, you’ll see for yourself.


How do I confess to be a die-hard romantic when I have had so many failed relationships? Wouldn’t that make me a failure at love? No matter how many failed relationships and romances I’ve had, I’ve never given up on the idea of love. Hey, you can’t speak logic to a delusional romantic sometimes. Having had the odds stacked against me and my ideas of love since the beginning of my life, it’s even more of a miracle that I even care about love. I have come to learn that love consists of many ideas and concepts, and that the ideas of romance that we are given in books and movies are not 100 per cent accurate to what real life actually is.

Although I never really looked for a fairytale, I thought that real love was a more perfect feeling than it really is. I never grew up reading fairytales, and so the fact that I have bought into their existence is strange. In fact, my childhood was anything but a fairytale. Perhaps fairytale stories resonated within me because they were an escape from my childhood nightmare, which consisted of living with the villain of a fairytale. The nightmare of my childhood didn’t hamper my ability to dream of the prince who would rescue me from my life and set free my heart that had been imprisoned by the villain.

As each year slipped by in my youth, the idea that someone would come along who would love me for me became more and more of a dream. The more damage and pain I endured, the more futile I thought it would be for a prince of sorts to find me. Later in life, I hoped for a man that would not be afraid of the independence that I had developed as I moved through my life of perpetual struggles. I hoped for a man who would see all that I had been through in my life and love me in spite of it. I hoped for someone who would see that I was courageous enough to keep trying despite my inability to allow myself to feel real love. I tried so many times and failed, but I never gave up.

Yes, it may have appeared that I failed to some, but there were lessons learned in each encounter and I will share what those were throughout this book. I always thought that one day I would find that someone who would understand me despite my losses and be the one to fight the villain in my fairytale and win my hand.

Why does a relationship that feels so right always end? I believe that you learn through your relationships what you don’t want, but that you eventually get what you need. It’s difficult in today’s world where we are cultivated to be strong and independent women, to find someone who is truly comfortable with that concept. It seems that the more competent you are, the less tolerant of bullshit you become. Who needs to step up their game then? Or should women tone down their game? Be less than they are? I don't think so. I have always been intolerant of fake crap. I call a spade a spade and I don't see the purpose in overlooking bullshit as I believe it will always come back to you in a negative and hurtful way if you do. So, I call it, move on from it, and find something better suited for me.

I am a self-made woman. I have learned from my mistakes and hurts and I always trudge on like a soldier of love. I remember the day I heard the singer Sade sing the song, “Soldier of Love,” and it resonated with me and what I felt about who I was in this world.

So, who or what is the villain in my life? It’s different for every person, but for me, three integral men in my life set me on the run from love. I never grew tired of running and I was always confident in knowing I was too fast to be caught. My father, my stepfather, and my grandfather are the three men who have failed me in their examples of how and what a man should be for a woman.

My father was a womanizer who had two children in one year with two different women, one of which was me. My mother was fifteen when she met my father who was significantly older. Why would a fifteen year old be with an older man? Because, her father, my grandfather, was an alcoholic, and never was a good example of what a man should be, neither to his wife or his children.

The instinct to run from those who you fear became instilled in me when my mom ran from my father. However, when you run, you often don’t know where you are running to and are merely running from something. My father ran too. He ran to the other woman he had a baby with the same year I was born. The other woman had a son and so he married her. Yes, back then, his family wanted the legacy of the name carried on. Therefore the boy was more valuable to the family. Despite his choices, he continued an affair with my mother while married to the other woman until I was four-years-old. That was the last I saw of him until much later in life. I saw a photo of him when he remarried yet another woman. I was a tween and never gave much thought to where he was, but always had hoped he would come back and save me.

So my young mother was left single and alone with a child in the seventies, much like a sitting duck in the world. Damaged from her own childhood, my mother was the perfect victim for my stepfather. He was a pedophile, an abusive man who infected our lives for the next ten years. This is where the villain entered my story that did the most damage in my life and instilled the most fear in me. This man is the reason that I ran from every idea that had to do with love and relationships, because of how wrong everything he taught me was.

Then began my pattern of running from every man I connected emotionally with. I ran away from relationships so much so that I could have been called the ‘Runaway Girlfriend.’ Call the movie directors; move over Julia Roberts, your Runaway Bride movie was over in less than ninety minutes. Mine would be a syndicated, long-running television series consisting of torrid love affairs, fast and fleeting romances, and trysts that would only ever be just that. Ships passing in the night with promises and lies of love; I have experienced it all. Young love, first love, foolish love, doomed love, and bad love, all of which materialized into my life in one way or another. But, for some reason, I never gave up. I was convinced at the end of every single relationship that it wasn’t the one. I also believed at the very beginning of the next relationship that it could be the one. Well, I used to think that way.

In one relationship story I share, I’ll refer to myself as Rapunzel. I let down my hair to someone I perceived as a Prince, he climbed up and made me fall in love with him, then promptly slid down my hair, cut it all off, and left me heartbroken. His aim was to prevent any other Prince from ever being able to climb up it and win my heart. I sat in disbelief and thought, How could you do that to me? How could you make promises, make me swoon, make me dream of love and then in a swift argument, demand my engagement ring back and bam, it’s over? I will share this story of the prince who became a jester to me in much further detail in this book; the Prince who was referred to by my friends as the boyfriend in a box; the one who came complete with children, debt, a dog, and a not-so-nice-ex-wife.

Before I get to all the stories and lessons in love, I have to go back to when I was a young girl in public school, where boys did not like me, “in that way.” This was ok with me, because I didn’t like them in that way either, nor did I ever pursue boys in the way other girls did.

In public school, I did like some boys, sure I did, but I had so many things going on in my life at home that I never felt comfortable with the idea of having a boy around me in that intimate close way. I never actually had a boyfriend until high school, mostly because I wasn’t allowed to. I also never had friends come to my house. No one was allowed to call me on the phone and I wasn’t allowed to go to anyone else’s house either. That made it difficult to connect to anyone in life. I was pretty intolerant of the usual shenanigans that boys get up to in public school. I developed a reputation that people shouldn’t mess with me unless they wanted the stuffing kicked out of them. I had no fear because I was getting beaten by a grown man at home. Taking on a kid my own age didn’t scare me in the least and I made sure it was known to everyone.

Despite all that was going on at home, I excelled in school. Regardless of what you may think about kids who are severely abused, not all of them do poorly in school. I was an incredible student and even a great athlete. I lived in a parallel world, where at school, I was safe, and I was in control of what was going on there. I was, however, under strict discipline at home and when it came to my studies, I was pushed hard even before I went to school for kindergarten. My stepfather was hard core about my education and how well I did or didn’t do was a reflection on him.

Yet he was not a bright man at all. I remember one night not being able to spell a word properly and long before Google existed, I was forced to sit at the table until ten o’clock at night, dumbfounded and unable to come up with an adequate response. My mother finally rescued me and that would be one of the only two times she ever did, by whispering the response to me when the villain wasn’t looking. That was just one of many times he was overly aggressive with my learning and education. As big and powerful as the villain was, he was a coward, a thief, and an abusive man. I surpassed his intelligence by the end of public school.

But I digress; now back to the boys, or lack thereof. In grades seven and eight, I was allowed to go to the school dances, but that wouldn’t help me get a boyfriend. I didn’t really want one at that time. Even though all the other girls seemed to be getting one. All the developing girls were the attraction to the young boys at school, but not me. I was a flat-chested athlete who did well academically and had spent most of my public school days focused on sports and my friends.

When it came time that I should be interested in them, none were really interested in me. I remember having one or two boyfriends for a short period of time. When I let it slip at home that I did have one, I had to say good-bye. One boy from public school I had as a boyfriend and that lasted for less than a few hours. By the time I got home and had dinner, I had to call him and tell him I couldn’t be his girlfriend. That was an awkward conversation and extremely brief.

It wasn’t like I was in the best place in my life to even consider a boyfriend anyway. My world at home was volatile and I had to summon every ounce of strength in me to endure the hours until I left for school the next day. I loved waiting for the bus every morning and anticipated the ride with excitement. I hated Fridays as I knew that I would be alone all weekend with the villain when my mother wasn’t home. I would even ask the school bus driver to drive slower on Fridays.

Young love and romance evaded me. The relationship wiring that happens in us from learned experiences and examples at home, was a complete mess inside me. My emotional construction was like a subway map of New York City; all over the place and hard to decipher, like spaghetti on a plate. Just when I felt the wiring of emotions went one way, something would happen. Confusion took hold of me and my emotions rerouted themselves. Sort of like an electrical current that jumps a circuit. I could never seem to get ahead of it.

My emotional chaos kept me timid around boys, and although I had crushes and I had the desire to be interested in them, I just couldn’t make sense of the intricate workings of it all. I had only experienced two minor kisses from boys. One of which was at summer camp where I met a really sweet boy who was kind to me the whole time I was there and wanted to kiss me. One night after dinner and prayer (it was a church camp, because all the best things happen at church camp), we agreed to meet in the forest that divided the two camp sites.

The boys were stationed way up on a hill and the girls were closer to the water. The only way to the boy’s camp site was through the forest. I was only twelve and it was one of those moments you don’t forget. Although I can’t remember his face, his nickname was Bertie. It was sunset and we only had a small window of time to spend before any counselors began their nightly checks and count. It began with a tender embrace. He wrapped his arms around me, then pulled me in close and planted a kiss on my lips as we heard the echo of voices through the trees. He hugged me tight one last time and I ran back to the campsite.

We left the next day, so that was the last time I ever saw him. The second boy who kissed me was someone I had a crush on at school right near the end of grade eight. We met at our school one weekend in the afternoon. It was an impromptu kiss and more formal rather than romantic. I clearly remember he did cut my lip with his braces. Not that I cared though. I felt awkward around boys and was not sure how to switch from looking at them like brothers and schoolmates to possible boyfriends.

Regardless, it was better in the end that I had no real boyfriends. The truth was, my stepfather was grooming me and abusing me to be his obedient servant. Night and day, I was at his beck and call. Whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it. He was a horrible person. He became the villain in my life who left a wake of fire and devastation in my fairytale before it ever began. The villain was never at rest in my life and I was his obsession and object to own and torture. I feared him, but he and others in the family made me tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I hated him. He tainted my experiences and emotions with his poison, robbed me of a childhood, and stole my virginity. Yes, when I was the tender age of twelve, he took the only possession I could call my own and what was left of my innocence. He even forced my mother to make me take birth control. I wasn’t sexually active with boys. Why at the age of twelve would I be forced to take birth control? Why didn’t anyone question him about that?

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