I don’t know who said “there is his side, her side and the truth” but it’s a quote that has resounded in my head and heart for the past week.
The truth part is simple: J has not been a part of F’s life for more than two years. He hasn’t financially contributed to F’s upbringing. Feelings have been hurt. That time can never be brought be back.
But the two sides, the two sides are the part of the story where things get murky because I really only know my side. And J? He only really knew his side.
The same goes for our families and friends: they know our respective sides, and you can bet your ass that they are firmly planted on either territory waving our flags and cheering us on.
My truth is this: it was really easy to be angry at J. It was easy to label him as all manner of words beginning with the letter D, but strip him of another: I refused to call him a Dad. And d’ya know what? I felt justified. I never uttered an unkind word about him in front of F, but I vented to my Mom and my best friend, and I assumed what I wanted to believe was true.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if he missed us? What if he’d heard a rumour about me and believed it to be true? What if he thought I had moved long before I actually had? What if he swung by my place, and saw my car wasn’t there? What if he had tried to contact me, but my phone number was changed? What if, what if, what if? What if all of that was true?
A little over a week ago, I was presented with the proof that he had tried to contact me. A week ago, he emotionally shared his side of the story and I was reminded that as easy as it is to blame, I’m not necessarily blameless. J willingly owned up to his shortcomings, and I readily forgave him for those.
The trouble with breakups, especially those that involve the mini crowd, is that there are a lot of hearts to be broken. When J and I broke up, my relationship with his family ended too – and that was hard. I won’t pretend to know how they feel about me or what they think of me, but I will say that I have missed them. I’ve missed my sister in law – and I’ve selfishly and childishly ignored her attempts at communicating because I wanted to protect myself. I miss my nephews and nieces. I miss J’s parents. I miss his aunts and uncles.
And I hope they realize that they, too, don’t know the other side of the story. And I really hope that they’ll listen if I ever get the chance to share it.