“Eight hours is too much time to think and my thoughts are definitely too hard to think!” That was another thought I had as the miles rolled by under the Subaru, driving from Colorado to Utah to begin a new life–thanks to divorce and other things.
My mind was doing a 19-years-in-review recap as I drove, and given the new perspective I had on those years (thanks to the revelations my former spouse made to me on March 18, 2009), every memory was tainted. Even after the almost four months I’d had to think, to question, and to attempt to process, I was still coming up with new and more questions. I was grateful, then, that I’d had almost four months to try to understand everything (as difficult as those four months had been.)
In fact, and believe it or not, almost one year later, the questions are still coming. Someone recently asked me something I’d never thought of before. I don’t know the answer to it. I have to wonder: is that what the rest of my life is going to be? Another 50 years of random memories surfacing, causing questions that I will never know the answer to? An interaction with someone that results in a question that somehow, in all the thinking I’ve done, I have never thought of? And even if I could ask the question and get an answer…how do I really trust that the answer is the truth?
The answer to that is just one reason I got divorced.
As my sister said to me, when we chatted about things we’ve experienced in life that we never anticipated, “You are THE LAST person I EVER would have thought would get divorced!” I totally agreed with her. I am the last person I ever expected it to happen to too. But in life, unexpected things happen.
As I drove, I wondered how everything was going to work out.
My greatest concern was, and is, for my children. I wondered HOW they were ever going to rise above the life they were completely innocent of in every way? I mean, my children and I are completely innocent of any wrongdoing–THAT, I know. But they had landed in a situation they hadn’t chosen in any way, shape or form. They hadn’t even gotten to choose their dad! I had done that for them.
Everything I have done in all of this has been in an effort to do what I think is right (the way I’ve always tried to live my life) and to do what I think is best for my children. Those two principles have guided my every action and reaction. There are many who disagree with my choices, with some of the things I’ve done–or not done. I’ve lost some friends over it. I’ve been misjudged on some of it. But pardon me for putting my kids first, even at my own expense, and for having the courage to do what I felt was right! How dare anyone expect me to do anything else?
My thoughts turned, again, to my children and the evening of March 18, 2009. When I had gathered my family together for the last time, as a united family, and let my children hear, from the mouth of the destroyer, the destruction he, the head of our family and home, had brought upon all of us.
I remembered how he sat alone in a chair, across the room from the rest of us, and told our children what he had done and what he anticipated the consequences would be. They were as shocked as I had been when I’d been told earlier that day. It took a moment or two for them to comprehend what he was saying and they looked to me, with shock and horror on their faces, questioning with their eyes what they had just heard. They looked to me for confirmation.
How do you shatter your children’s lives? How do you destroy their hopes and dreams? How do you ruin their world? How do you do ANY of that?
How do you answer even a question about that? All I could do was sit there, with tears streaming down my face, my heart more shattered and broken than I knew a heart could be and still keep beating. And I guess that was answer enough.
One of the children got up, crossed the room, and hugged their dad as they cried. The other children spontaneously joined them and they all huddled, hugged and cried together. We used to end our family prayers each day with a “group hug.” But like everything else, those days were over.
I sat alone on the couch and watched the whole thing.
Then the destroyer got up, walked out the door, and left our family alone.
I was alone with my children.