I have never known guilt until a little over a year ago when I was able to look back on the last few years and how much my life had flipped upside down. I cannot help but feel guilty for not being there for my children as I should have. I am still not there for them as much as I would like. I am currently under constant anxiety attacks. I am dealing with a second round of recovery. (Read my story here) It was when I mentioned this to my therapist I was reminded that my absence as a parent was not all my fault and was a 50/50 thing. My husband was just as much at fault. My current therapist reminded me that when we grow up, we are never taught that we are going to be several people throughout our lifetime, and it is perfectly okay to change. Their words give me some comfort, but I do miss the parent I was before D-Day.
I am going to share a tough moment for me so that others out there do not feel alone in the struggles of parenting while suffering from betrayal trauma. The last couple years my Husband had to step up to the plate and take care of the children more than he had ever before. Recently I picked up our 7-year-old son by myself for the first time since he entered elementary school. 1 ½ years later and I finally picked him up by myself. When I stopped at the store on the way home, he was a little scarred to get out of the car and go into the store with me. He said “Mommy, you are okay to take me in the store?” This completely wrenched on every heart string I have. It dawned on me that his Mom was not capable of being fully present for 3 years of his life and he is only 7. That is almost half his life. I went from being room parent, PTA member, soccer mom to my current position as mentally ill Mom.
The rolls of Mom and Dad have completely flipped around in our household. It is strange to see my husband volunteering weekly at the school and having more knowledge about our sons learning, teacher and classmates then I do. But I have to say it is refreshing at the same time. He struggles with the same stuff I struggled with when I was a Stay at home Mom with our two oldest, one whom is an adult and the other in High School. It makes me happy to see him enjoying some time doing what I used to enjoy.
One day at a time I am slowly becoming a resemblance of the Mom I used to be but this time it is better. I get to share the experience with my Husband whom now understands what it is like to care for the kids as a Stay at Home Parent. We have suffered in every aspect of our life because of infidelity but we are working on making it better than before and this makes me happy.