The Purpose of My Pain
From the time of my separation and subsequent divorce from my second wife well over a decade ago, my life has been complicated by struggle. Our separation began with my ex kidnapping our children and going across the country without my knowledge, keeping them from me until I was able to enlist the aid of the court and the District Attorney’s Child Locator Service. I was awarded custody and things went from bad to worse, with her almost immediately introducing the Department of Children and Family Services into my life by way of allegations against me of physical and sexual abuse against my children. This was the first of a number of allegations that have been perpetrated by her against me and my current wife through the years, and had the added effect of having my children placed in foster care for a total of nine months while DCFS conducted their investigation.
To complicate matters, my youngest daughter was born with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect. She should have had corrective heart surgery when she was six weeks old, but my ex was pregnant with her when she kidnapped our children and I never saw my daughter until she was nine months old. I took her to the doctor as soon as I could and she was having life-saving heart surgery a few months later after her first birthday. My little girl made it through the surgery, but she is now on heart medication that will in all probability always be a part of her life.
In the midst of having to deal with the issues surrounding my daughter coupled with the nearly constant barrage of allegations fostered by my ex-wife, I have also had to deal with a number of close family members passing in the span of less than five years. The first was my mother in 2015, followed by her sister in 2016. In 2017, my wife unexpectedly lost her older brother in July, I lost another aunt in October, and in November I suffered the loss of my Godmother, who was like a second mother to me. Finally, in January of this year, I lost my father in a way that was completely unexpected.
Recently, while having a conversation about the things that have been going on in my life over the past decade and a half, I was asked why I thought these things were happening to me. My simple answer to that question is, why not me? I have been given the gift of life in all its glory, I get to watch the sun rise almost daily, and I have children who are full of love and laughter. I am not in a position where I want for anything, and in fact have been able to help some of the people I care about. How dare I look down on the face of a life that has provided me with such wonderful blessings and complain about fleeting pains?
In short, I believe one of the reasons I have had to endure such “trauma”, for lack of a better word, is because I can handle it.
Another reason, I believe, is so that I can help others who may be going through the same thing. In fact, I believe that is why we go through most of the things we go through, so we can be a ray of hope to someone who is going through the same thing. A recovering drug addict can help another addict see the way to freedom, just like a grieving parent can help another parent deal with the same grief. In the same way, I am now equipped to help someone going through having their children taken away from them, or having to deal with the pain associated with losing loved ones.
However, when looking at the state my life has been in for the past decade and a half, I must not neglect to look at and reflect on the part I have played in making my life the way it is. Although I lack the power to control death, I do have the power to decide who will be allowed in my life, and I gave a toxic and destructive person access. I saw the warning signs and ignored them, saw the red lights and sped right through them without so much as slowing down. I lived my life as the personification of the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”.
I am willing to admit and accept that I have played a large part in much of the pain and misery that has become a part of my life.
That being said, I also believe that I can effectively change my life. Although I cannot completely remove my ex from my life, I can take responsibility for the amount of contact and influence she is allowed to have within my life.
I understand and accept that my life is mine and mine alone to shape into what I want it to be. And I understand that I can change any situation in my life that I accept total responsibility over.
And that leads to the final reason I believe I have had to face the adversities that have become a recurring part of my life…
Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can change things, and in doing so, provide everyone around me with an example of what it means to take control of and responsibility for the things happening in their lives.
That is the reason why I can keep a smile on my face despite what is going on around me. That is why I don’t allow the problems of life to weigh me down and fill me with negative thoughts and emotions.
I know who I am, and I am aware of the power I have. And no problem, issue, or situation can ever take that from me.
We’ll talk again.
My first book, Unnatural Selection: The Chambers Effect, is now available on Amazon!