No matter how many times I attempt to move on and start fresh, somehow the ghosts of that pasts always return nipping at my heels to remind me of all that’s been lost.
I can deal most of the time with my own memories by reminding myself of the truth that God has forgiven and forgotten my sins. But just because God forgives and forgets, it doesn’t mean that people do. And when people remind me of the past, it’s almost too much to bear.
Yesterday my husband’s brother called bringing up the past. He was calling on behalf of my father-in-law who wanted to give my husband some money to make up for all the ways he’d hurt him in the past. Triangulation is the normal unhealthy pattern in his family. But there was a stipulation, he didn’t want me to know about the money, because he knew what I’d done and he didn’t trust me. My husband turned down the money, because he knew it would only complicate things. He also told his brother that he would not keep secrets from me. Then my brother-in-law said he didn’t have any problems with me, that he’d forgiven me, because his mom had asked him to before she died. So yesterday I learned for the first time that both of my in-laws knew what happened, but never talked to us about it. Although I wasn’t surprised, I was crushed.
I read somewhere that the hardest thing about clergy abuse is that others don’t understand, and the isolation this causes victimizes those harmed even more. To have it confirmed that my husband’s family has known what happened, but never mentioned it to us was overwhelming. What’s even worse is that they all feel the need to forgive me for “having an affair.”
When I got home last night, my husband was hurt and angry with no one but me and our oldest son to talk to. We’ve supported and gotten one another through things the past two years, but it’s been very lonely.
I wish I knew the answer to how to make this slip into despair better, but I don’t. The best thing to do is get the hurt out, and to pray. I’m reminding myself that God doesn’t waste any of this pain, but I also know it grieves His heart as well.
I think the most important thing to remember is God is a good Father. He’s with us through this pain, and He will never leave. We are not alone, nor will we ever be.
But can I just say, too? This isn’t the way God intended it to be. He created us for connection and to help one another through the hard things in life. And when we talk about one another rather than to one another we only make things worse. So if you are aware someone around you is hurting, take the time to care and ask questions. Try to listen and understand. It could make a huge difference.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.