It's amazing how quickly your life can change. How quickly someone, whom you would have sworn you knew every heartbeat of, has become a stranger. How quickly you can go from being a wife, a companion and part of a team to being a single parent struggling to figure out how you got there in the first place. I feel like Dorothy when she landed in OZ, except instead of everything turning technicolor and beautiful it's kind of the opposite. I thought I knew my life and I thought I knew my future. I don't now and it's scary.
Awhile ago, during a meeting with my stake president, I was playing the "why me" game a little. My world had fallen apart when my little girl was less than a week old, my husband was someone I could no longer trust or count on, and I felt like my lot was more than I deserved or could handle. Amid the reassurances that "I was doing everything I could do" I could get no comfort. What did it matter what I was doing if the end result was in another person's hands? The answer I got from the SP hit me in an unexpected way and I was glad I had gotten that counsel early on in my struggle. He said "You cannot control what anyone else does, but you can control how you act." In theory, this advice was nothing earth shaking or new, but it made me determine how I wanted to emerge from this situation come what may. Although I am human and had moments of saying things I later regretted as well as moments when I allowed anger and bitterness to control my actions, I can look back and know that I handled the last four months with dignity while I hoped and prayed that the worst case scenario would not happen. And that is some comfort. Unfortunately, worst case scenario did happen and my husband of eight years, companion of ten and friend of fifteen has moved on without me and that brings out emotions that I can't even name. I'm now finding myself looking down the barrel of many years of loneliness, hurt, confusion for me and my kids, and general trials as I tread water and try not to give into the damage being "left behind" can do.
There is a voice in me that tells me that getting angry and bitter will hurt a lot less than feeling the full sadness of the frozen, aching hole he has left behind. But I'm making a choice to continue listening to the quieter voice that reminds me that I can govern my reactions with dignity and I will be a better woman for it no matter how much sad and sorrow I have to wade through to get to the other side of this. I'm reassured by many who know that there is still a bright future in store for me although believing that at this point is a lot like being unable to see the forest for the trees. I'll put my trust in those that know and love me and will move ahead secure in the knowledge that although I don't want this life and definitely did not ask for it, I can trust my own sense of what is right.
Every day is a challenge right now and getting out of bed is difficult enough that I wonder why no one has given me an award yet for doing it multiple days in a row. But I will put one foot in front of the other fueled by what I know. I know that I am backed up by the prayers and support of amazing family and friends. I know that my children love me and that I am doing the best I can for them even when I feel like they are getting a raw deal. I know I do not want to be bitter and hate the father of my children. I know that this situation, as bad as it is, could be much worse. And I know that I am worth a million of "Her".
Most of all, I know that God is on my side. I would not want to fight this fight without him. I know I want to continue being the person I have been for the last few months and I want to be able to justify the faith that everyone who has supported me so far seems to have in me. So I keep breathing and I keep getting up (most days anyway!) and I be twice as much the mom that my little cubs might have otherwise gotten. I pray daily for strength and confidence.
And I hope.