Let’s be clear. With any broken relationship comes some element of pain. We are created for connection, not disconnection. The story behind the breakup of my marriage is long and arduous. Some have suggested I need to write a book or screenplay, but I’m not sure I want the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ element of my life showing up on screen! I say that somewhat jokingly, but it has definitely been no joke.
I can write today because years of work and healing have transpired. I’ve chosen forgiveness as a way of life. It’s the only option in my way of thinking. People will always hurt people, plain and simple. We are not perfect, no not one. As much as I extend forgiveness, I require it. My kids, my friends, my family – I’ve failed them all in some way, shape or form, at some point in time.
To give context to the magnitude of our reality, between the 5 of us (including my ex) we’ve experienced the trauma of addiction wreaking havoc in our lives, suicide (the kids’ half brother/ex’s son), suicidal tendencies of another kid, cancer, ‘dis’-abilities/diagnoses, one was victimized by a crime… I’m sure you’d agree that not one of those life events is easy to deal with. You can well imagine the upheaval, the intense pain, the harsh reality that our kids have been exposed to in their young lives. I watch in awe at their resilience, their ability to process what we’ve been through and still laugh themselves silly. We have come a long, long way, baby!
Oh yah, back to the name-calling. We’ve certainly had our share of it – not all nice. However, at the dinner table a few weeks ago my lovelies wanted us to take turns and use 5 positive words to describe each of the other 3. Where that came from I have no idea, but of course I was game to play along! Just as we started tooting each other’s horns the kids’ dad showed up so he joined us at the table. Kids being kids, they wanted him to participate in our little ‘game’ as well, so he did.
When it came time for him to describe me there was a pause, all eyes were on me. I took a deep breath and held it. I didn’t want to hear what he would say. As hard as we’ve worked to provide an amiable atmosphere for our children I wasn’t prepared to sit there and listen, but I knew it was a defining moment for my babes.
It was a defining moment for me too. Out of his mouth came these words:
- Extremely supportive
- Good Mom
Okay, so technically that’s 7 words. I will never underestimate the impact of that moment in the lives of my children. I don’t even need to attempt describing it because you know just how indelibly marked that will be in their hearts and minds, considering our history.
One truth they will carry their entire lives as a result, is that when brokenness and pain tear you limb from limb, healing can come. If you allow it. If you work at it. If you give it opportunity.
What kind of name-caller are you?