As a rule, I generally choose not to air my dirty laundry on the internet, so to speak, but I am at the point with a situation that has come up that I just need to write about it. I need to get it all out, and this is how I do it. I've written in my private journal, I've prayed, I've read the Word and I've talked to people I love and trust about this. It's still kind of haunting me even after all that. Part of me hesitates to post this because I don't want the person who caused this hurt in our hearts to believe she has more power over us than she does(she doesn't), but, when it comes down to it, I need to write for the pure catharsis of the writing process.
A little over a week ago, words were said to us that should never have been said. My children heard the words. My children witnessed the most disgusting behavior from someone they thought to be above such behavior. Things were said directly to our kids that no one should ever say to a child. Our kids heard things that were said to me like, "I wish you had never met Eric," and "Lukas, I survived a divorce, and you will too." Can you imagine what was going through my kids' heads after hearing those two things and putting them together? Yeah. It wasn't good. Lukas sobbed for over an hour. I've never seen him like that. The next day when we were praying for this person, Ava was aghast when we mentioned that the person didn't believe she had done anything wrong and wasn't planning to apologize for her behavior. When a 7 year old says something like, "WHAT? She broke everyone's heart!!!" you know that things didn't go down well. Our kids are crushed. Completely.
Just to clear things up since the word "divorce" was part of this person's tactics. We are fine. We don't even know why she said it. The entire situation was unsolicited and unexpected and completely came out of nowhere because this person felt like lambasting us, mostly me, with hurtful words. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that when you expect a person to choose between you and someone else, and the someone else isn't asking them to choose, you are probably not the one who will be chosen.
I wish this was all that had happened, but the person actually grew violent, something that very few people know she has struggled with her entire life. Her violence was not toward the kids or toward me, thank goodness, and she was stopped by her husband, but it happened. My kids saw it. Their opinion of this person will never be the same. They are hurting because of her words and actions, and, since one of her issues with me is that I spend too much time talking to my kids, it is unlikely that she will take the time and care needed to mend the relationship between herself and our kids. Eric is deeply wounded, and I am also crushed by the things this person believes to be true.
What I have learned is that, no matter how hard you try, if someone has cast judgment upon you, it is not always within your power to change their opinion. In this case, the opinion was formed before the person had even taken the time to truly know me, which is sad because we could have been such close confidants. What hurts the most for me personally is that I had come to believe that this person actually saw me for who I really am, not who she believed me to be 13 years ago, but I was wrong, which makes me believe that I'll never be able to trust her again. I know that all of us have faults, and I am definitely no exception to this fact, but to know that someone has passionately held onto issues against you for over a decade because of them? Wow. It hurts. To know that so much of what she thought wasn't even based on truth but that she had convinced herself that it was makes it even harder. Why would anyone not try harder to see the truth in someone rather than cast harsh judgments and cause a rift? What it comes down to is that it was easier for her to believe false things about me than to see the truth.
My heart is just broken, not just for myself or Eric or the kids, but for this person. She will never know the loving atmosphere that is found in some relationships because she has spent her life pushing the most important people in her life away while only cultivating relationships with people who she never let see her true self. How sad is that? She doesn't like herself enough to let others really know her, and that makes me so sad for her.
I don't believe this situation is going to improve any time soon or that the person is going to apologize. I have yet to hear this person offer a legitimate apology for any major infraction she has committed in the almost 15 years that I have known her. I will hope that she is listening to the Spirit's voice since she is a believer and that, maybe, she will come to a place where she seeks forgiveness. Have I forgiven her? Absolutely. Unfortunately, forgiveness doesn't require us to have a relationship with someone. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts, and, in this instance, Eric and I have two little hearts to guard as well. I wish it hadn't come to this, but it has. It breaks my heart knowing that it has come to this.
Though we didn't have any idea this was going to happen or do anything to cause it, we have done our part to bring restitution to the extent that we are able. Our consciences are clear as we have both met with the Lord and spoken with our accountability partners, though our hearts are aching. I just want it to go away. I want to believe this person actually cared for me the way I wanted her to, the way I believed that she did. It's hard to feel like someone who you trusted, loved and cared for so deeply never really felt the same way about you.
Please be praying for our family. The Lord has been answering prayers for us since this happened, so we know that He is here for us. I think this whole situation served as a catalyst to remind us of who is truly important in our lives and how we need to treat those most important people. We came home that night and spent the next three days in blissful, quality family time, relaxing and enjoying each other and our community. It was just what we needed. God is faithful, is He not? I know that He can take situations like this and turn them around. I'm praying that He does exactly that.