“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.” ~ Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller
It was not an easy road. There are still moments when I experience extreme anger when I think of his infidelity. It is not as frequent as it once was, but sometimes the thoughts lash out at me, and I feel the stinging pain in my chest all over again.
But I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of blaming myself for what happened, and I’m tired of blaming him for his actions. I’ve analyzed ad nauseam all the events leading up to last summer and his act(s) of betrayal. I’ve dissected and examined every possible angle as to why he did what he did, and if I were to listen to my friends and all the self-help books, I will just accept that everything happened as it should have, and that this is how things are meant to be.
Maybe. Maybe not.
But all I know is that I cannot hold onto the pain and anger anymore. Maybe I don’t agree with it, but I am learning to accept that things are just what they are, and that there is nothing I can do to change what happened. I refuse to be defined as that girl — you know, the one whose fiancé cheated on her and got another woman pregnant.
So I am defining myself. I am the strong woman who is moving onward and forward. I am the one who still has a heart and a penchant for forgiveness. I am the one who in the face of heartbreak can still muster enough sympathy for the same one who put a stake through her heart.
He has come to me, a broken man, seeking my assistance. I being who I am, have been helping him wholeheartedly by caring for his three month old newborn. The mother, the woman with whom he had an affair, had a personal family emergency, and he was unable to adjust his work schedule accordingly, leaving him in a bind with finding last minute suitable childcare options.
So who does he call?
He calls me, of course. Old Ms. Reliable. It’s a strange situation, I know. I thought I would be devastated when I first laid eyes on the baby. After all, the baby is a product of his infidelity. But to my surprise, I found myself falling in love with the baby. I look at the baby’s tiny hands, I hear the sweet baby sounds, I get a whiff of the sweet baby smell, and I am hopelessly in love. G has also fallen in love. Previously angry at the whole situation, she has been focusing her attention on being the older sister figure. She insists on the baby sleeping in her room on those occasions when the baby has to sleep overnight.
I remember once hearing some old saying about how babies are miracles and how they can reconnect broken bridges. I think it is a true saying. In some strange way, being around the baby has been helping me to heal. I feel stronger now and am coming to understand that my whole life and future does not revolve around him and what he did. My life and future revolve around me, and the choices that I make for myself. My choice is to forgive him. And by forgiving him, I am allowing myself to move on to a better and brighter future.