As I was making my morning coffee my friend Sue called. I could hear it in her voice, she was teetering on the verge of sobs… so I sat down with my cup of coffee and listened. She said:
“My heart is absolutely breaking, and there are days when I just can’t bear it!
How could a decision I made over 32 years ago, still affect me so intensely today??
I never would have thought the man I chose to marry and have children with, could cause so much pain.
But it is that one decision, made by an optimistic, naive young girl, which keeps me connected to a man who turned out to be so dangerous.
There is such irony in a union giving life to three most precious souls… being the same conduit used to hurt those very same lives so deeply.
How can I so deeply regret a decision which gave me the very things in life for which I am the most grateful.
I am so torn with raw emotion, for it was this man who helped create the most important parts of my life… my children… and yet, I will forever feel guilty that I have exposed them to his destruction.
When they were little, everything was great. He was usually out-of-town and the physical distance from us, provided a convenient and beneficial separation. Our exposure to him was limited and the kids and I thrived best under those circumstances.
And when he was physically present, he was never truly “available”. He’d be obsessed with his latest project….
It was nice when this project was something to enhance our home, like building a nice bookshelf or refinishing the basement.
It was odd when it was pushing himself in some personally physical way, like hitting golf balls at the driving range well into the night, until his hands bled from deep penetrating blisters. Or never missing a weightlifting session at the gym, no matter who or what might get in the way.
However, It was the worst when his obsession or project appeared to be for the benefit for another, and yet was truly a vehicle to entice another’s involvement to purely “benefit” HIM. These situations were the most difficult to detect, and by far caused the greatest harm.
And sadly, each one of my children has experienced this harm in their own individual way.
Through the years, especially after the divorce, It became almost impossible for me to shield them from this harm. I am only grateful… that the older they get, it appears overtime the clearer this whole phenomenon becomes to each of them. With clarity come truth… but this is a truth no mother wishes their child to face.
Yes, divorce can be painful… yet it doesn’t have to cause irreparable harm.
But, unknowingly, I chose to marry a man who (some 23 years later) would make sure our divorce pretty much decimated everything and everyone in its path.
A man who got the divorce he wanted and then became obsessed with turning it into a project cause unending suffering and pain… all the while balancing the fine-line of trying to justify reasons for his “actions”.
And after years of living through all of this, and realizing he. will. never. stop… I am forced to face my greatest horror… my greatest guilt:
I. was. not . strong. enough. to endure the destruction… rise above it all… shake myself off and protect my own kids from the painful, dangerous fall-out!!!
My survival instincts were weak.
I took financial and emotional hit after hit. I was dragged into one legal court battle after another… and with what little energy or hope I had left… I was barely able to keep our (mine & my kids) most basic needs met.
I didn’t say or do the right things to make my kids feel safe, like the smart psychologists who write articles on dealing with divorce always suggest. Unfortunately, I was in survival-mode and was functioning out of desperation.
I failed. I failed at the only thing I ever cared about….
I failed to be the best mom I could be.
And for that, my heart is broken. And there are days when I just can’t bear it!
And I hope one day, maybe my kids can forgive me.
And maybe one day, I can forgive myself.”