Sometimes my heart feels like it is full of all the pain my family feels. My one little heart seems to feel what everyone feels. Being blessed with the gift of empathy sometimes feels like a curse.
My family have gotten a backseat in this blog over the past several months. My life was overwhelmed with camp and California and going back to school
Yesterday, my littlest sister called me in tears. It took a few minutes of texting (cause first I got her tearful message) before I realized how much of an emergency was happening. She and the other two young siblings were going to work for my dad, helping him to move into a house he bought with the same woman he had an affair with. They are, obviously, still in an intimate relationship with each other. Well, this woman was also helping him to move on that day. No one my family wants to hang out with her. Most of us don’t even want to hang out with our dad. Kate was in tears because she was trapped, she had no warning of this. Protective older sister instincts took over and I had the urge to jump and in car and drive the 2.5 hours to pick her up. Instead I texted my mom that my dad was being a cuss word and her kids needed help. This worked better, cause my mom was closer.
I didn’t get much chance to process my feelings for myself about it all yesterday. I was fuming for the sake of my sisters; furious that my dad would decide such an idea was a good one. Those were feelings for them, for their situation. They were helpful because they propelled me into action, into helping my sister see she was worth rescuing, that her feelings are deeply important and she is worth protecting. I was so glad to be able to demonstrate that worth to her and to tell her in my actions how precious she is and that she should not be treated any other way.
This morning my feelings were for me. I was driving for church and found myself listening to my favorite cussing song, “Rootless Tree” by Damien Rice. The chorus is a satisfying string of F-words I can scream from the car. I was pissed and sad and outraged and would have liked to scream the F-word at him.
My dad is moving in with this woman and is either blind or choosing to ignore his children’s feelings. I guess he never asked us. Did he even think to? I guess I won’t speculate and project feelings or perceptions of mine onto him. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Whatever the case, I feel like he is pushing himself away from us. My heart aches for my siblings, for my mom, and for me. It hurts like hell. It really does feel like I am losing him all over again because it feels like he is creating a new family for himself. I feel such sorrow for my younger siblings because they will have to navigate something so painful and difficult as they work to keep their dad in their life, but cannot handle having his lover in their life. That should not be asked of them. Do the sorrows of divorce ever end?
I keep listening to a song called Sorrow. It’s originally a Bad Religion song, but Jon Foreman did a cover of it that sits much deeper in my heart. The chorus says:
“There will be sorrow,
there will be sorrow,
There will be sorrow no more.”
I yearn for the day when there will be sorrow no more. When the horrors and pains of divorce will at last fade away. Today in church, however, the pastor suggested reconciliation might yet continue into heaven. Whatever we don’t reconcile here we may be asked to reconcile there. Before I went to the table with all my brothers and sisters in that church to receive communion I had to breath deeply and ask myself if I could receive communion with my dad next to me, or even with his lover serving it to me. If there was no willingness for that to happen I wasn’t sure I should take communion. Somewhere in me there was willingness, even hope, that one day we could move beyond the pain and sorrow into a communion with each other. I just hope that day isn’t today.
Maybe there will be no more sorrow because we will at least be able to reconcile with all the peoples of the earth. Maybe we will be able to wipe our souls clean of all the wrongs done to it, and all the shame for the wrongs we have done to others. I hope this is so.
Shalom to you all.
(also, here is the link to "Sorrow" sung by Jon Foreman. It's worth a listen.)