Hello Forgiveness, I'm Amanda

by Amanda
(NY)

Hello Forgiveness, I'm Amanda. This is how I have begun my days for the past few months after discovering that my tight knit, "stepford style" family had been altered. It was right during midterm week when my father revealed to my mother and my brother and I that he had been unfaithful, and as a result has two children with that woman.

My initial reaction was to gather every ounce of strength in my body and slap him as hard as I could, until I realized I actually had no strength at all. I was numb. I looked at my mother who had lost all color in her face. My brother had run up the stairs into another room, and I found myself face to face with the one man I was always told would never hurt me... and he had.



Being raised in a religious household with a strong European household taught me that the three things every person needs in order to survive are food, family and God. So naturally, my reaction to this news was to rely on spiritual strength. After hours of talking with and screaming at one another, and trying to ask my father what had led him to be unfaithful, we got nowhere.

One simple question had my mind racing for weeks. It took months however, to realize that people choose to be unfaithful by their own selfish reasoning. There is no formula that leads men astray, no imperfection that has them searching for something new, it is the faults within themselves and their own insecurities.

My mother was the epitome of all wives, and their relationship (and our family) was envied by everyone. They certainly beat the odds and the statistics that claimed 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. They were high school sweethearts, something me and my brother always made fun of them for by calling them corny. After 25 years together, everyone knew it was truly till death do them part.

So by now, you get the picture that my life had gone from perfect to dysfunctional overnight. I suddenly found myself in a dark place. I was no longer the sensitive, compassionate person I usually was. I did not react to pain the way everyone around me had. I was numb, cold and heartless. I felt so lifeless that I became angry with myself.

I knew that if I did not find a way to forgive my father for his mistake, I would stay this angry person forever. I needed to forgive him for me. After dropping my grade point average from a 3.8 to being stuck on academic probation, and on termination with my sorority, I realized that this was really affecting every aspect of my life. I let this situation suck all of the life out of me.

My priorities suddenly became out of whack. The former A student and devout philanthropic PhiSig sister I once found myself to be had vanished. This fight with myself lasted months, and now I find myself on the road to forgiveness. I spoke to therapists, friends, priests that I had known from high school, And they all told me the same thing.

Forgiveness starts with myself. I needed to let go completely. Free my mind and my heart of all the pain. Each day is a new challenge, but I still wake up and say, "hello forgiveness, this is Amanda", hoping to one day become fully acquainted with it.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Amanda, and thanks for telling your story here. This is a very moving account of the need and struggle to forgive, and you have expressed it well. I think others will benefit from your contribution.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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