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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Deep Peace (closed) 7-9-11

Deep Peace (closed) by northwoodsluna
Deep Peace (closed), a photo by northwoodsluna on Flickr.

It's a rainy thundery morning in the northwoods. Bear is his usual whimpy, quivering self. We were going to walk the "Got Shoes?" 5K later this morning but at this point it doesn't look like that will happen. But then I can always walk my 5K on my treadmill. :-)

I hope that anyone who is reading my journal or is on my friends' list will forgive my inability to make too many comments or respond to comments. Life turned into a bit of a shipwreck for our family this week. All are okay, no one died, or has been seriously physically injured or ill.

I am just surfacing from a punch to the gut that The Universe gave to our family this week. But now that we've let all the family members know, I am feeling stronger and the overwhelming sadness and shock is slowly wearing off. The paralysis of grief is lifting. We got a call from our oldest son John around midnight on Wednesday night. I'd gone to bed, Tom came upstairs and woke me up with, "I've got some news..." My first thought was that someone had died or one of our kids had been in an accident. John had called to tell us that his wife Angie had walked out on him and Ashlyn to go be with one of John's best friends (Coincidentally also named JON but the whole group of friends calls him by his last name, Whiting). I spoke with John after I woke up and hearing the pain in his voice about killed me as he told me the story. Angie had told him at 6:00 that she loved him, at 8:30 she told him that she was leaving him for Whiting who is also married. Whiting and his wife Jody are two of Ashlyn's 6 godparents. We have all been devastated by the news. NONE of us, including their best friends saw this coming, but in retrospect there were a few clues that no one thought much of. NONE of us knew Angie as well as we thought we did. John changed bank account numbers, stopped credit cards, changed passwords etc. Wed. night, and saw a family law attorney on Thursday afternoon, papers are in the works. The betrayal is so multi-layered and those of us who know "the great 8" know how devastating this is. John has great support from his friends. Angie's parents are furious with her. John is asking for physical and legal custody of Ashlyn with fair visiting rights for Angie. He doesn't want to keep Angie away from Ashlyn for Ashlyn's sake, he wants to try to hang onto the house for Ashlyn's sake. That may not be possible. There are so many unknowns and so many questions.

Noah and Kay drove up from the Twin Cities last night to be there for John and Ashlyn this weekend. His friends rally around him and Ashlyn. Whiting's wife has been to see an attorney too. There does not look like there will be any possibility for reconciliation given the layers of betrayal. John seems to be keeping as clear a head as he can and to be making wise decisions. We all love Angie so much, this seems so out of character for her. How does a mother walk away from her child like that without trying to work things out first? We all, including John, thought they were happy. Multiple hearts have been broken. We will all do whatever we can to make Ashlyn's adjustment as smooth as possible. I can only imagine how confused she is going to be. I've not only been telling all our family members, but also offering whatever comfort I can to their grieving circle of friends. I have been taking good care of myself for the most part in the process. Tom has been so preoccupied and distracted and has had to do some pre-marital counseling of couples, and planning for weddings. This has been painful for him. I have some real concerns about Ashlyn's welfare being around Whiting for any length of time, he has the potential to be abusive. 3 months ago, John took a gun away from Whiting when he was going to shoot himself. He is a very obsessive compulsive and controlling man with some violent tendencies, followed Ashlyn around with paper towels and has had a hissy-fit when she makes a mess, as 2yr. olds do, in his house, he's punched holes in walls at his home when he was angry. Jody his wife never stood up to him, I fear for Angie the first time she stands up to him, and for Ashlyn when she is difficult or messy. I think that 6 months down the line, after the honeymoon of "being in love" wears thin, will be faced with a reality that is just not pretty and no where near as wonderful as the fantasy she is probably entertaining. When John asked her "why?" her answer was, I want to have some fun, you never talk about your feelings, and later on, Whiting has a motorcycle. Because they're in love is the justification for shredding people's hearts. It sounds so adolescent!

So this is where I'm at today. Earlier in the week I was concerned about my scanty caseload. Presently I am grateful for it. I have to be in Fargo for a training on Wed, so we'll see John and Ashlyn probably Tuesday night. I don't want him to feel like I"m hovering, but I want nothing more than to hug and hold my 6'2" 200lb first born. To see your kids hurt like that is even worse than hurting that badly yourself. I do have some anger toward Angie, but I am not going to let my anger get in the way of what is good for Ashlyn and John. I have loved her so much, that it does indeed feel as if someone has died. I guess there has been a death, certainly great loss, I am grieving the loss of dreams my son had, and the trust he had that he had given with all his heart to Angie.

My Goddess and my art have been my source of strength and refuge these past few days, sighs and tears speaking for me when words fail, the actions of just splashing the colors of hurt and pain onto paper, journaling, scribbling aimlessly, my pain becoming images, most of which I will not show to anyone else. There are no words, only the colors of feelings, a barrage of sorrow, pain, disbelief and grief. Last Friday I began an 8 week creative journey with a few other artists. The theme of the first week has been boats/ships and the sea. The group is made up of amazing people, it has been a lifeline for me. It was a safe private place for me to share some of the pain, and find wisdom and comfort.

Yet in the midst of it all, I know that all will be well, that in spite of the flotsam and maelstrom of this storm, that LIFE IS GOOD. All I can do is let my heart be a safe harbor with an anchor of love for my son while he feels adrift at the moment a midst eddies that follow a tsunami of this magnitude and. I will carry his pain for him when I am able. I will send peace, love and gentleness out into the world around me as the antidote to betrayal and pain. Hope keeps me afloat.

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