Eventually, we all ask ourselves, “Why has my life turned out the way it has? Where did it all begin?” Until I was 35, I was not clear about myself; when I did receive that clarity, it opened a whole new world—not just for me, but also for those who I help every day in my work. Your life is the reality based on how you think. Your thoughts and mind-set have shaped the reality you are living in right now.
Many people, like myself, grew up in a world where we didn’t believe we had a choice. Our minds were shaped and formed by our parents or guardians, so their beliefs become our own, which then set the foundations for our adulthood.
My life started out with a broken home, but I was too young to remember it at the time; I was 2 years old when my biological parents divorced. My mother walked away from her marriage, taking me with her but leaving my two older sisters behind. I was only 2 years old at the time, so all I know is what I was told by my two older sisters many years later, which is that my mother had left my father because he was sleeping with the babysitter, who happened to be 15 years old at the time. After my father was arrested for having sex with an under-age teen, my mother packed her suitcase, flung me over her shoulder, and marched out of the house to live with my grandmother.
Unfortunately, she left her two older children behind, and I did not meet or live with my sisters again for a long time afterwards. Not long after my mother left my father, she met somebody else named James and remarried him. James raised me as his own daughter for 12 years, and I spent the next 3 years living as the only child until my half-sister and half-brother came along.
James was a hard-working man and worked hard to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. He was very strict and had many house rules. He watched boring television programs and put me through the brain-numbing torture of watching “Lost in Space” and “Land of the Giants”, but he gives me something that I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life: a proper family life.
I highly respected this man, and still do with all my heart today. He taught me many things in life, like how to be kick-ass at snooker. He taught me how to play darts, too, but most of all, he gave me stability, which every child needs in their life. Unfortunately, this stable family life was about to be shattered into tiny pieces, and my life was about to take a drastic turn for the worse. Due to my mother’s own infidelity, the marriage ended bitterly. James found my mother in a very compromising position in the back of a van one morning with his best friend.
That was the day my family unit broke down and collapsed forever. The man who had been my father figure for 12 years was now curled up in a ball on the bedroom floor, screaming and crying after finding out his wife had cheated on him. I bent down to hug him, and he grabbed me tightly and kept saying repeatedly, “Why, Katy; why has she done this to me?” I couldn’t answer him; I was too in shock myself from the whole thing.
The situation between my mother and James became unbearable to live with. James didn’t see why he should leave the house he had worked so had to pay for, and he refused to leave—and quite honestly, who could blame him?
So, my mother had James legally removed from the house. He came down the stairs with a bright blue suitcase in one hand, and his face was all red from the tears he had cried. You could see the pain and disbelief on his face; not only just had this man’s 12-year marriage ended, but the two people closest to him had cheated on him, and now he was being thrown out of the house he had worked so hard to pay for.
He turned to me and said, “Goodbye, Katy.”
Right there, my world was torn apart and my heart broke. I didn’t want him to leave; he was my father figure. He was all I had known, and I would have done anything to have that family unit back again. Right then, I would have done anything to make him stay—even sit through his boring TV programs if I had to—anything, just to have that family life back.
This childhood experience knocked me for six and everything worsened from there. Life was confusing enough at the start of my teens, but adding a family separation to it made it even worse. My schoolwork suffered and I started hanging around bad crowds. I no longer had James at home to guide me with his house rules and strict ways.
Suddenly, I was free with no discipline or family life structure. I completely lost interest in school and started sitting around with friends drinking and smoking all day instead. I didn’t care anymore and would find any way I could to escape that dull ache inside of losing my father figure.
I also resulted into going into self-blame and thinking it was something I must have done wrong, Was it something I did? I swear I will do anything, anything to get that family stability back! That’s all that would go through my head. Only now, being on the other side of the fence, do I know that it was nothing I personally did to break up my family.
This divorce was a result of bad choices made on my mother’s part and the divorce was the outcome of her infidelity, not what I had done.
Parents are only human too and they, like us, make mistakes and learn heavy from their mistakes. It does not mean we should blame them, blame ourselves or go down a path of playing the blame game altogether. If anything, when the blame, doubt and mixed feelings start to surface inside of you, just forgive yourself, say it out loud “(your name) I forgive you.
Then remember to keep in mind to forgive your parents too.
You only have one set of parents and they are only human, but one thing is for sure, what ever happens between them both, it is zero fault of yours that they divorced, and they still and will always love you.
About the Author: Kate GARDNER is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a #1 International Best-Selling Author, Editor in Chief of The Missing Piece Magazine, and Publisher of the International Best-Selling Book Series The Missing Piece. As a coach, Kate helps business owners grow their platforms by teaching them how to publish, market and sell their books to international best-seller status. Kate has had the honor and pleasure of consulting TV personalities and award-winning Hollywood film directors. Read more…