Elizabeth Edwards, who wanted her husband John to end his White House dreams when the affair was initially disclosed, did not learn the truth—that the affair was ongoing—until a year later, after John was forced from the race by poor primary numbers. She was devastated. "All I wanted was my life back," she writes in her book. "I didn't like this new life story."
Has this ever happened to you? Something that you have little control over occurs. It changes your life. Suddenly everything you thought was true, no longer is. Everything you took for granted, you found out was based on a shaky premise. You've been betrayed, humiliated perhaps, and the world is spinning.
All you want to do is apply the brakes, stop the world, and reassess. But you can't, because it's public (whether on a world/national scale like this debacle) or within your personal community. Everyone knows. Some people pity. Friends are angry and some people yell for vengeance.
You want quiet, so you can think, but you're still stunned and in shock. You function like a robot - get the kids fed and to school, show up to work, but your mind is not fully engaged. You rehash everything. You wonder why. You plead, you beg, you get angry, you go through stages.
The world suddenly feels dangerous, menacing. You wonder about everyone - are they all full of venomous notions and devious plans?
You want your life back the way it was. When you were happy. But what I've found, as have countless others have found, that the way it was was never really the way you thought it was. Even if blindsided, there are always cracks. Cracks in personal relationships, in trust, in meaningful and deep interactions, friends, family, loved ones.
Those who are closest can cut the deepest.
And what all the "I fell down and got up" inspirational stories out there tell us, life changes. There is a pivot point; we all have a few in our lives. Vicious slashes in our time line where everything was humming along in a straight trajectory and suddenly a right turn, sometimes a 180 or even a complete 360 turn around.
And, for the most part, being the resilient humans we are, life goes on. And often, for the better.
The saddest part of this story to me are the children. The Edwards' children who will lose their mother to cancer. The illegitimate child whose own father denied, in a national arena, her existence, all for his own gain.