submission fifteen (15)

Title: A Family BTrayed

Your Story: Betrayal…Infidelity…Unfaithful. These words all have new meaning for me. The man I’ve known for almost a decade could never embody those things. I would have sworn up and down that he would never cheat on me. His love was true. He was one of the “good ones”…the “faithful” ones. And so I stayed. I stayed even when he used hurtful words. I justified that his heart was pure and that if I could just stick in this with him we would find the right therapist, the right medication, the right path for healing his own hurt and I would have the beautiful man and the loving family I so desired and thought was possible.  

It was all a lie. Every word. Every look. Every moment. A charade where he was the puppet master and I was his puppet. His manipulation was flawless. Little by little his kind gestures turned to controlling behaviors. It happened at the speed that you watch your child grow in front of you. The change was almost unnoticeable, until you look back at old pictures, or revisit old memories. With each modicum of commitment he could get from me, it would strengthen his almighty ego. A narcissist feeding on his prey.

I stand here now in the devastation. Like a tornado has ripped through my life. My children and I survived and for that I am grateful. How could their father do this to them? To me? This “man” if you can even call him that, betrayed his own family. The ones who have cared for him and lifted him up. He has destroyed nearly every facet of my life leaving me devastated and shattered. Nearly all that I had built for myself and my children…gone, as a result of the decisions he made day in and day out to betray us on so many levels. The degree of his selfishness is staggering.

As painful as it has been to discover, and then start to process the sexual betrayal, it was the thing that finally opened my eyes wide enough to see this person for who he really was. The degree of devastation was not immediately apparent. Pealing the onion revealed layer upon layer of things I had not yet discovered about our story. Each cut so pungent that it made my eyes well up with tears. I am still sifting through the wreckage, searching for the next discovery…wondering when I will finally be through this painful phase.  

I’ve lost people I thought were my friends, been betrayed by the justice system, endured legal battle after legal battle and will probably be left to watch as all my money and property is taken from me piece by piece to make up for his “mistakes”. Yet there is no real end possible to my relationship with this person who has devastated me. We will always be forever linked through the lives we created. He will always be their dad.

I am trying to surrender to the process. Take joy in the simple things. Believe that somehow the future still holds hope for something better than this. That people are better than this.

And so I take the next step, and the next. Slow. Patient. Ever loving to myself.  

I hope that here with you all, I can find some comfort. Some foothold with which to start rebuilding my life. All my best to each of you as you walk your journey of healing. Let's lean on each other to form something stronger than we are alone.