This week I will be posting information about infidelity. Infidelity ruins lives--not just your life, not just your marriage--but your children's lives as well. When going through my divorce, I went to the required parenting class. I bought the "Helping Your Kids Cope With Divorce the Sandcastles Way" book. I read it--especially the part about what my children would go through and what to expect as their mother. My ex-husband, the narcissistic abuser, did not even bother to take the class--of course.
I am sharing this with permission from a teen who has experienced the destruction of her family on the condition that a few words are changed to make it anonymous. Rarely, will you have a glimpse into what your children really feel (even as teens or young adults) when their world as they knew it falls apart.) Here it is:
"I'm A New Soul - A Personal Narrative (:
Strength. It’s a term used to describe power, of pushing hard, past limitations, and past boundaries. A person can be physically strong, mentally strong, emotionally strong. Strength can be found through working towards a goal, knowingly seeking what it has to offer. But sometimes strength is found on an adventure, unwillingly taken, caused by an unknown and outside source. The pain, the stress, the wondering who, how, and why: these push you to believe, to trust. They push to being stronger than you ever thought you could be. They push you to become someone you never thought you were, or to enhance who you are.
“I’m a new soul, I came to this strange world, hoping I could learn a bit ‘bout how to give and take. But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear, finding myself making every possible mistake.”
These were the lyrics softly echoing in my mind as I gazed at the city flying behind me. Tears were slowly making their way out of the corners of my eyes as I recalled my years of living in Florida. I thought of the friends who had wedged their lives into mine until there was no longer a difference between the two. I thought of my home I would no longer see. I thought of the Gulf, my second home. The beach had become who I am. As I rested my head on the side of the car door, I rolled down the window to take one last sniff of the salty air, to feel the wind rush past my face. Everything felt symbolic, which was nothing unusual, as a life was being altered completely in one night.
Three months earlier, the thoughts were only a whisper in the wind. We had hope that our family would stay strong. We spent evenings huddled together in prayer; we loved each other no matter what. Soon though, normality wasn’t recognized. The whispers became louder. The more we heard, the clearer it became. Life was a nightmare. Relationships were crushed in all of our lives. Dreams were shattered. Goals were burned in a fire of truth. By the end of the summer, the whispers were screams. He disappeared from our lives, living the way he wanted to. No matter how we felt about it, no matter how many times we tried to convince him to stay, he wouldn’t return. The sibling bonds and the ties between our mother and us grew tougher. The faith we had grown up with became our sole support. We leaned on God and he was the reason we were still staying strong.
The afternoon of our goodbye party, the beach was our ally. The sky was painted with blues the color of a favorite pair of worn blue jeans, the visible version of infinity. The salt-tinged air blew softly throughout the palm trees. The waves on the beach crashed steadily onto the sandy shore. Members of our family and our closest friends took the time to attend and wish us all well. I remember the tears and the hugs that lasted an eternity. Squeezing everyone so that they could barely breathe, trying to hold on to them as long as I could. The afternoon was spent walking on the Florida snow, racing into the warm abyss of water, joking and laughing as if there would be no end to the evening. But when the sun started caressing the horizon and the cotton candy pink and golden orange sky started to fade, the last minutes of our day were recognized with lightning jolts of sorrow. No more would we be able to play in the sand together. No more would we be able to spend our days as one. It was like a girl without her finery, a garden without butterflies. Not meant to be separated.
Packing up a life is one of the hardest things to do. Casually tossing well loved memories into a cardboard box, reminiscing over the past. Moving to a new home is difficult; moving to a new state is agony. Realizing that all the plans for happiness have to be rearranged, and not because you chose to, but because someone else did? That makes my heart ache. I had to adjust from a happy-go-lucky lifestyle to one of maturity. The people that surrounded me in this time of need were so passionate for living, and for God. In a time of need, they taught me to be expressive, to be myself.
When going through an experience such as I went through, views will change. I find it a challenge to deal with loss. After losing a life and having to rebuild it, losing someone or something from my new foundation only makes it rockier. I used to tune out when my peers would judge their parents and family members, but now the words are clear and emotionally hard to handle. When someone talks about hating what they have I can only think about what I should have, and how they need to appreciate what they do have. Positive thoughts will always succeed in brightening someone’s life and future. It may take an experience nobody ever deserves or wants in order for them to discover who they are and just how strong they can be."
This young lady is obviously a talented writer. She writes from her heart with passion. I thank her for sharing to let us know what our children will go through (even if they are teens or young adults.) I AM NOT POSTING THIS TO TELL YOU TO STAY WITH AN ABUSIVE OR UNFAITHFUL SPOUSE! I do not want you to think sharing this article will change your husband's mind or heart. A man who destroys his family based on his fleshly desires with no thought of what it will do to his own flesh and blood (his children) certainly does not care about your (his wife's) feelings. Rather, this is to let you know that in the midst of your sorrow, you MUST be there for your children to make sure they will get through this and be okay. That must be your foremost thought.