Bethany was raised in an all-American family. Life was peaceful, loving and wholesome. Then, as if this picturesque life was too good to be true, it all came crumbling down. Bethany’s life was completely turned upside down. Here’s what happened…
Bethany’s dad lost his job and the family was poor for what seemed like a long time. Her father worked side jobs to make ends meet, but it just wasn’t enough.
“Mom had to go to the welfare office and apply for assistance. She was humiliated.”
At church, Bethany’s dad went to the altar and received prayer for a new job. His prayers were answered soon afterward! What a relief!
Her father worked afternoon shift at his new job and soon made new friends. When their shift was over, they would go to a local bar to have something to eat and hang out. He would call home and ask Bethany’s mom to meet him there. She refused to go. She was angry that he would go to a bar, because after all, they were Christians. And she didn’t want to leave the kids alone that late at night. Bethany is careful to note that she and her brother were old enough to be left by themselves and the bar was only a few minutes from their house.
Bethany’s parents began fighting A LOT in front of the kids. This was something completely new to Bethany and her brother. It was shocking. Never before had she been around any situations where people fought. As mentioned earlier, her life was filled with love and peace. The fighting completely rocked her world.
Bethany was on the phone with her friend one day when her parents were having a very loud argument. “I can’t believe that’s your mom and dad,” her friend said, incredulously. “I know, me either,” Bethany sadly replied. Everyone was shocked that this was happening. This was the beginning of the end of the family.
Bethany’s mom took desperate, drastic, manipulative measures to keep her husband. But her dad moved in with his father. This lasted for a short period of time, then he moved back home. Then, after only a few days, he moved back out. Bethany was so confused during this time. Her life was in chaos.
“Dad says he never cheated on Mom. Mom says he did. I don’t really know the true story.”
Bethany’s dad told her time and time again, “Your mom keeps accusing me of things I’m not doing.”
“I would like to think that my Dad didn’t. I think she pushed him to that though.”
After the divorce, Bethany’s mom was filled with hurt and anger. Often times, she lashed out at Bethany in response to her own pain.
“My mom took everything out on me.”
She told Bethany she was just like her father. She said bad things about him and said she hated him.
“If I’m just like him, you must hate me, too,” Bethany remembers thinking.
During this crazy period of time, neither parent seemed to care about 16 year old Bethany or her 13 year old brother. They were basically on their own emotionally and in their day to day lives. To this day, Bethany doesn’t know what her little brother was doing. She remembers that one day he ran away. He was found roaming the streets of their town. She knows that this time in their lives greatly affected him…and not for the best.
Something that still bothers Bethany, even as an adult, is her memory of when she passed her permit and driving test. Neither parent was there for her. A neighbor taught her to drive. She had always envisioned her dad being the one who would teach her to drive and take her to get her license. It’s the little things that matter to kids. When the time came for Bethany’s own teenage son to get his license, she made sure he had the experience with his driving test that she never had. Everything that happened to Bethany during and after her parents’ divorce affects how she parents her own children. Do you do that too? You want to give your kids the things you never had, love them the way you were never loved, create a life for them that you always wished you had…yes, me too.
Bethany lived with her mom after the divorce…that is, until she kicked her out. She came home late one night. Not too late. It was around 11:00pm. Her mom never set a curfew and she didn’t really know how late was too late. “I honestly didn’t think she cared when I came home.” She had been out with two friends, one of them being a guy (John). John was a very good friend to Bethany. He brought her home and witnessed her mom freaking out. This particular night, out of the blue, her mom wanted to be all motherly and care about a curfew. Completely irate and irrational, she kicked Bethany out of her home! Her mom called John’s dad and “told on him” and when he got home he got “the crap beat out of him.” She also threw all Bethany’s clothes down the steps, called her a b%$#@ and told her to go live with her dad since she’s just like him. She threatened to throw Bethany’s beloved cat out too if she didn’t take her NOW. Bethany called her dad and he came and picked her up.
“Mom told everyone in the family that I left her. She would say to my grandma and aunts, ‘Can you believe Bethany left me, too?'”
“I think they all believed her. My Gram never wanted to believe that Mom kicked me out.”
Although Bethany’s dad was not allowed to have pets, he sneaked Bethany and her cat into his one bedroom apartment. He let her sleep in his bed and he slept on the couch. And that’s where she lived until she got married…
What a mess!!!! How in the world did this happy family get to this place? My heart hurts for teenage Bethany. I could never imagine my mother treating me like that! Do you have a good relationship with your mother? If you do, be grateful. Not everyone is so lucky…
Divorce is violent. No matter how “amicably” it goes down, it still tears at hearts and emotions. Divorce permanently changes the people who are involved. The husband, the wife, the kids, the grandparents, everyone. That is why God hates divorce. It is ugly and destructive. I know, I’ve lived through it myself. Even after moving on with my life, the stain of divorce still lingers. Divorce is a failure, a shame, a sorrow that never completely goes away. Divorce leaves a mark that only fades with time. Divorce is not any easy way out. Trust me.
After the divorce of her parents, Bethany’s relationships with her mother, father, brother and her friend, John, changed drastically. As we continue on Bethany’s life journey, we will see how restoration, healing and forgiveness are found for Bethany AND her parents. It has been a long road for her and it’s still not over, but WOW, God is good and merciful! I cannot wait to continue Bethany’s story…please keep reading and share with your friends!
If you’ve been touched by this story or if you can say, “Me too! Me too!” let your voice also be heard. It matters to the women who are being so brave in sharing their precious lives with you. YOU matter to Bethany. She wants you to find hope and healing through her story. So please, leave a comment or contact me at the email address below. All correspondences are confidential.