Tuesday, July 2, 2013

here is the thing

You (you each know who you are) think it is about me. You are waiting for me. Wanting me to say "enough."

It is about me, but it is not about me.

Here is the thing:
If you are married, I need you to stop for a minute and go find your spouse.  Look at them for a long hard minute.  Now ask yourself, if someone cut them off at the knees, whether they deserved it or not, what would you do?  Now ask yourself, if someone cut you off at the knees, whether you deserved it or not, what would they do?  Live in that for a minute.  I mean that.  Live in that for a minute, whatever the worst thing someone could do to your spouse might be, the most broken you might find them, imagine that and how you would feel about the person who did that to them.

The worst day of my life was not actually the day I heard what happened.  It was the day I heard who had made it happen.  I sat there, in front of my email, holding me head.  I was literally afraid to let go because I felt like my head was splitting open.  I sat there rocking and whispering "what did you do?"

Not long after that day I went into my husband's office.  It was close to midnight.  He was white, with blood shot eyes and reeked of scotch.  He was frustrated having pounded against doors and people for days only to be made completely aware of how powerless he was in the situation to do anything.  He could stop nothing.  He could fix nothing.  Worse he could not protect me and the situation was completely out of his control.  For two weeks he had not eaten or slept or worked or done anything really except try to find a way to gain control of the situation.  I was functioning barely and only because he was not, and one of us had to function.  One of us had to try to parent regardless of how minimally that may have appeared to the outside world.

I came to find him because I did not want to go to bed alone again.  He turned to look at me with tears streaming down his face and said:

"They are your sisters.  You will forgive them.  But I cannot forgive them.  I do not want them to speak to our family ever again.  Ever Again."

I understood.  If the situation had been reversed I would probably have hopped in my car and dragged his sister out of her house by her hair.  (And likely gone to jail but I would have felt better)

And then he said something that I will never forget. Ever. He looked at me and asked "Can you choose me?  After you forgive them? Will you choose me?"
And I said I chose him.

So until he releases me from that promise.  I will not talk to them.  I have forgiven.  I do forgive.  And when I get angry, I forgive again.  Because I do get angry.  Because the aftershocks are felt in this house everyday.  But I will not forget looking at this man, beaten by his inability to protect his wife and children, and the promise that I made.

So you see,
It isn't about me.
It is about you.
He wants an apology from you.  He wants an apology for doing that to him.  He wants an apology from you because he does not understand why you did not speak to him first.

So yes.  I hear the scriptures when they are read, that if "I have not love, then I am a clanging gong" and I know what I say when I say "forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us."  I hear them.  But I made a promise.