If you’ve been following along with my story about being married for almost forty years to a practicing pedophile, you know that we finally separated. But, it wasn’t because I knew that he was a pedophile. Far from it! That knowledge wouldn’t come until four long, heart-ache filled years later.
Living in a fog — that’s the only way I can describe the first few weeks of our separation. The one thing I dreaded most in life — a failed marriage — had finally become reality. And, even worse was the fact that everyone would know that I was a failure. I live in a small community and because our family was so large, we always seemed to be a topic of conversation, and this was definitely a topic people loved discussing!
Last week’s post caused quite a stir. So many people resonated with this part of my story. The emails have been pouring in saying, “If I didn’t know better, I would think I’m reading my own life’s story!” That’s both wonderful and so very sad. The sad part is that this abuse continues to be so prevalent in our society. The wonderful part to me is that victims are beginning to get enough courage to speak out, and they’re being heard!
If you’ve been following my story, you know that on March 17, 2007 there was a life-changing event that took place. That was moving day! John Hinton made the decision to leave his wife and two daughters and move into a home with a son and daughter-in-law. He also made the decision to cause a lot of pain!
Looking back seven years, almost eight years later, I don’t know how the girls and I survived. I really don’t. That was a hard, hard time in life for us. I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult and painful for the rest of the family, but we were the ones who lived through this pain first-hand. We were caught in the middle of this emotional mess, and it was far from an easy transition!
How do you move on beyond a day like the most horrible Thanksgiving ever? Truthfully, when you want to fight hard for your family, for the values you believe in, you sometimes just take the pain and move on. And, that’s just what was done. We went on and had Christmas with the entire family home. But, it was much different this particular year. It was quiet. It was awkward. It was lacking laughter and joy! It was as though everyone was walking on eggshells not knowing what to do, not knowing what to say, and not knowing what to expect. One thing we knew — we didn’t want a repeat of our Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving was always among my top three most favorite of all holidays, but there is one Thanksgiving that will forever be a total nightmare — a disaster — and the one that will always stand out as the absolute worst.
It was always our family tradition to have a time of “giving thanks” prior to eating our meal. We would go around the table and say the things we were most thankful for, and then we would end with a prayer. This is a beautiful tradition, I think, and one that brings a family closer together and helps us all to appreciate one another more.