Monday, 14 April 2014

Bittersweet Family Fun

Squished Jam Butties Anyone?
It’s the Easter Holidays and my children and I have been spending lots of quality family time together, sometimes hanging at home but often going for lovely family days out. We’ve been having fun together and I am realising how lucky I am.

It’s bittersweet though because I am realising how much I have missed in the haze I have been in the last few years. I have these beautiful, adorable children who won’t be little forever. This week I’ve watched them play and laugh, I’ve picked them up and given them magic kisses when they’ve fallen over and I’ve tucked them into bed every night, with one kiss and 16 hugs for one twin and 2 kisses and 17 hugs for the other who insists on having one more kiss and hug than his brother.

We have got up in the mornings when we felt like it, happily got ourselves dressed with no drama, jumped in the car and driven off for a fun day out, jam butties getting squished in our picnic in the boot. I am so grateful that I stepped out from the place I was in and can do this now, and enjoy the wonderful boys God has blessed me with.
"Are we nearly there yet?"

When I was with my husband we didn’t go out for family days out very often, there was always a reason- it was too much walking, he was tired, it was too expensive. And when we did go it wasn’t a fun experience. When I think of all the times I was persuaded to leave the children with my mum and dad while we did something “romantic” or something he enjoyed, or worked in the business we own. What a waste.

It’s also bittersweet because as we’re having such a lovely family life together my mind often wanders to how my husband could have been a part of this but chose not to be.  Even after I asked him to leave he always had the choice to change, to stop being abusive, to be a husband and a father and come home, but he didn’t want to. Instead of facing up to the hurt he caused he chose to surround himself with friends who would justify his abuse telling him I deserved it, that I needed “a bit of the Ike Turner treatment.”  To hang out with guys who cheat on their wives and encourage his drug use.’ I feel sad for him that the life he has now has come at the cost of having real relationships with a loving family.

It’s the one year anniversary of the abuse coming to it’s peak and me asking him to leave this Easter. It brings painful memories which both sadden me and draw a remarkable contrast to the happy home I now have. I can see how far I have come in that twelve months, I now realise how extensively I was abused, I realise he’s  never going to change or be the father my children deserve. In realising this I am in a position to forgive and move forward. And that’s when I realise how far I still have to go. I still feel conflicted feelings about the end of my marriage; I still both love and hate him at the same time. I know these things have to pass and there’s still stuff for me to work through before I can declare myself healed, but unlike last year I can see the road I am on and I can see the sun rising on the horizon.

The rest of this week I will continue to enjoy this special time with my children, and yes it will be bittersweet but I’m still not missing a minute of it.

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