I sat their stunned… Angry… He said no. Confused… irrational… He said no… He said no to our marriage. No to me. No to our babies… He walked out of the room and left me sitting on the couch in frantic silence as my mind attempted to make sense of the fact that forever only meant 2 years and 10 months.
I sat in that counselor’s office for another hour. She didn’t even charge me. I was hyperventilating. I was terrified. My world as I knew it had just ended. I had walked in hopeful that my devastating proof would begin us on a path towards healing and within 45 minutes, my husband walked out of that office convinced he was now a single man. Free from all responsibilities and happily living life with his mistress.
The man who had led me back into relationship with Jesus. The depth and intimacy of relationship I had found in Jesus was because of my husband’s pursuit and leading. The father of my sweet babies had just walked out and left. I didn’t want to leave that office because then it meant it was real.
I couldn’t feel my body and yet I was engulfed in overwhelming pain. Everything hurt. And yet I felt like a fly in the wall watching somebody else’s world fall apart. I eventually found my feet again and walked out of her office.
“Are you going to be okay,” the counselor asked me.
“No” I told her, “but I have to get back to my babies.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around how I would drive home. I remember being utterly shocked the my feet still worked. Stunned that someone’s life could still continue on. I think I left a part of myself in the parking lot that Sunday. That walk to my car took forever. It was as if with each step forward, pieces of my spirit were falling from me and landing hard on the asphalt. I remember each individial step. I remember being utterly shocked that my feet still managed to work, that I could still walk. Everything was so quiet. So empty.
I managed to drive the mile back to our home and parked the car in the garage. I sat there paralyzed in fear. “Try as hard as you can to be strong for your girls, they need to feel safe and secure. As much as possible,” the counselor’s words were playing in my mind. I looked at myself in my rear view mirror. Puffy and swollen, my eyes were so red and my shirt was damp from the overflow of tears that had slid down my face. How you feel doesn’t matter now Linds, go hold your babies. I wiped my face and headed inside. Holding both girls in my arms, I managed to pay the babysitter and walk her out. She may have said something to me but all I remember is the sound of my girls breathing and shutting the door after she had left.
And then I sat there. Holding my babies. Just the three of us. Alone. It was in that moment that I realized, from here on out, moving forward, I would be alone. It will be just me holding my girls. Just me providing the security and stability. Just me kissing them goodnight. Just me. The weight was so heavy. I was utterly crushed and yet completely numb. I sat there for a little while longer. And then I got up. I made them dinner, gave them their baths and put them to sleep.
• • • • • • • •
Part of my Journal Entry (some parts omitted to maintain privacy for him and her) August 9, 2017 (the next morning)
I woke up to the realization that my husband has chosen another woman. I feel overwhelmed. Raw. Vulnerable. Empty. Numb. And yet in immense pain. My body feels as though its been in a traumatic physical altercation. Like a head-on collision or a plane crash. Somehow I am alive and yet it doesn’t make sense. I feel beat up, bruised and bleeding and yet my skin shows no evidence of that to be true. My body is heavy and my limbs feel funny as though foreign objects have replaced my arms and legs and yet they are still expected to function despite their lack of feeling. Even though my skin showed no signs of the bloody assult that I had taken, I can feel the bruising overtaking my body and am broken, falling to pieces. This world I woke up to is wrong. I am trapped. This isn’t real. In movies, characters die or the picture disappears. How am I still here? I dont understand how I am not bleeding. Why does my skin show no evidence of the brutal assault I just endured?
He chose her. He chose another woman over us. He walked out on me. He walked out on his commitment. I’m his wife. Am I still? He didn’t want our marriage. It wasn’t even willing to fight for it. The man I walked down the aisle to. The man who washed my feet and promised forever. The man who fathered by babies. The man I was supposed to grow old with and chase after Jesus with. The man who brought me back into relationsihp with Jesus. The man who was in a ministry school when his affair began. The man who used to be my best friend. That man abandoned us. That man walked out on his commitment. After 2 years and 10 months, he decided to abandon his family and go be Daddy to his mistress’s baby.
My girls. I have to be strong for my girls. But I feel like I’m merely a thin structure, hallow and full of air and yet somehow everything feels so heavy. How can you be empty but so heavy?
And yet there’s sound of the laughter coming from my baby’s mouths. Their eyes still sparkle with wonder, a curiosity for the world that makes everything feel alive. I can’t check out. I can’t disappear. They need me. And my God, I need them. I can’t check out. Would it be possible to merely live through the wonder that I see in their eyes? If I can remain there, I can keep going. If I remain there, my life still has purpose.
• • • • • • • •
August 10, 2017
For weeks she’s been saying “dada ni night” and for weeks I’ve been thinking she’s saying that daddy is sleeping, and merely acknowledging that her dad sleeps… But tonight it hit me.
Tonight my heart shattered when I realized what she was really saying.
For as long as she can remember, daddy has been putting her to sleep at night. Nighttime was her time with daddy. One on one, uninterrupted. Her special quality time with her dad. But suddenly he disappeared. Suddenly he stopped coming home. The six weeks before he moved out all a sudden he wasn’t putting her to sleep at night every night. And now its been a month since he’s moved out. And she’s lucky if he’s puts her to sleep two nights a week.
“Dada night night” is her asking if she’s going to get her time with her daddy. “Dada night night” is her recognizing that she doesn’t see him much anymore and she doesn’t understand why. How could he do this to us? To her? Her little heart. Her tender spirit. She understands more than I’d like. Her world has been upside down and one of her two favorite people in the world is slowly becoming a stranger to her.
Lord protect her heart. Project her hope. Protect her spirit. Lord please please please protect her joy. I pray that you would meet her in real and personal ways. Minister to her heart and love on her. Fill that hole that will only continue to deepen if not filled by something real. Be real to her please. Dear God I beg of you. I ask that she would intimately know God the Father, her Father, someone she can trust, who will never leave her. I so desperately hope that your Word is true. Don’t leave this sweet girl, God. Hold her tight. She needs you more than ever.
So now what? Where do I go from here? What do I do now?