Why the Hardest Conversation of My Life Was the Best Conversation of My Life
Why the Hardest Conversation of my Life was the Best Conversation of My Life
After years of agonizing on the inside, smiling on the outside, and sometimes crying myself to sleep, I finally braved the waters of telling my children that their father and I were divorcing. After years of living separated, but in the same household, I realized that my children must be confused. I became determined to not just give them the truth, but to give it to them wrapped in love, security, and optimism.
Since that night I have noticed that they seem happier, lighter. My teenager laughs more. He is more playful with his younger brother, and more often. He is more playful with ME more often. He hugs me and kisses me goodnight every single night like always. He talks to me more. He laughs at my jokes more.
I honestly believe that as difficult and painful as it was, my honesty with them brought us closer. I believe that, for them, knowing I was willing to be truthful with them, to talk and hug and love through the pain, was a gift. Not just a gift that I gave to them, but one that I gave to all three of us. Indirectly it was a gift I gave to their father as well. It strengthened us and reined us in closer than we already were.
This alone was enough to make it worth it.
But it doesn’t end there.
I felt a new strength that I hadn’t anticipated. I had spent so much time and energy thinking and believing that I needed some superhuman powers to do this seemingly impossible thing. It felt like it was taking everything I had in me. What I found to be true was the opposite: I found that by DOING this seemingly impossible thing, I found my strength. I now felt free of this weight. Free of this fear. Free of the anxiety. I had done it! And it had gone well! Yes, my children were hurt. So was I. Yes, they were possibly angry. I have been too at different points of this journey. But we came through in a positive and loving way. And it was okay. And now I had nothing I was keeping from them or protecting them from. I was open. Bared. And I was clear with them that I was and am committed to equipping them with the tools to navigate life when it doesn’t go the way we plan. I believe this was an empowering gift that we all opened together that night.
And it doesn’t end there!
I had been physically sick for a week before this discussion. I had just returned from traveling, and I thought it was a bug I might have picked up during my trip. I literally worked from my couch all week. I had not been 100% well before the trip anyway, but it was taking me down for sure. I was questioning if I needed a doctor and medication, both of which I rarely turn to. The next morning, I awoke to discover that I had slept through the night. No illness. My body felt like it had not even been sick. And no more fever. It was amazing. It happened overnight. It was like it literally had left my body and I was healing – on my own. After about an hour of being awake, I realized my throat felt a bit sore. Raw. Scratchy. It felt as if knives had just done a dance in there. Partly as if it were the last remaining illness, the toxins leaving my body. The last traces lying exactly where the last words trickled the poison out.
It didn’t last. My throat healed. With each giggle. With each belly laugh. With each eye twinkle, hug, and kiss, it healed. And love soothed the wound. I know it doesn’t end there. I know it is not simply a sad ending to what was already over. I know it is also a beautiful beginning.
Love really does heal.
Love really does protect.
Love really does prevail.
Jacqueline O’Leary Covert