Thou Shalt Not Commit
I was a child born out of unfaithfulness. Both of my biological parents were married. Sadly, while cheating on their spouses, each had children at home too. There is no doubt in my mind—my biological father knew my mother was married; he worked in the same open pit mine with her husband at the time of my conception. Did my birth mother know that he was married and had a family living in another state? Not sure. Hearing the story only second-hand, my biological father, a contract Geologist, was described by my mother’s sister as the “Bozo” that was staying temporarily in a trailer park. Wow, what soothing words every daughter wants to hear about their “flesh and blood” father.
Lately, I’ve been wondering why cheaters and even their mistresses have such a blatant disregard for the Holy Bible’s 7th Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ It seems like infidelity has become more acceptable and that there really is no humiliation attached to the sinful word “adultery.” However, what I’ve especially noticed from my personal journey is how society puts very little significance on the harm unfaithfulness is doing to our children caught in the crossfire.
As an adult, I searched in vain for the woman who gave me life. Disappointingly, I learned that my birth mother had passed away at only forty-four years of age. My only consolation seemed to be finding the three children she raised as one last connection to her.
If only I could have stayed that “invisible sister” and found the facts without causing any disruption; I would have seen that my two sisters and one brother didn’t want our mother’s shortcomings staring them in the face. Looking back my insensitivity must have felt like I was trying to see if their hearts would break. The harsh reality was that my birth mother had placed me for adoption because of infidelity.
Over and over again, I’ve played out the painful set of circumstances in my mind, hoping somehow to reconcile the sad parts within myself. It’s hard for me to accept that to my half-siblings I represent “shame.” It was important to me and my feelings of self-worth for others to see that even from a past wrong that I am the good that came from it.
I was overwhelmed with all the “What ifs?” as I wrestled with the tough question, “Would I have contacted my mother’s children, if I had known their father was not mine?” In retrospect, I believe that it would have been easier to see their lives from a distance. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t change or fix the past as the child born from an affair.
Last week, plastered over the media were photos of the ex-Senator John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter posing in provocative ways for a tell-all magazine article. Differences of opinions were being voiced in lively discussions on the social networks as well as on the news talk shows from how repulsive it was to give a “mistress” celebrity status to she wasn’t the home-wrecker. The picture that really struck a disturbing chord with me was one of Rielle’s small-frame dressed only in a man’s white oxford shirt lying on a bed holding their “love child.” I believe that we can’t change those who are going to be unfaithful to their significant others, but what I’ve learned from my own first-hand experiences is that all the children involved in the scandalous relationships can be deeply wounded by the selfish choices of parents not just today, but in generations to come. What if we were to put our energies in finding ways to help to preserve their lives instead of putting the spotlight on who is sleeping with whom?
Although being the sister left behind feels like I must have done something wrong, I don’t blame my siblings for not being overly-delighted about my intrusion into their lives. I long to convey with all my heart that I am sorry…I understand better now that our mother’s unfaithfulness to their father had to hurt.
I feel honored to be a part of the Blog Carnival. Please go to Bridget Chumbley’s site http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/ to read other blog entries this week or to join.