Family Portrait

I had a conversation the other day with a “young friend” about my blog, and her sister’s concern of me someday wishing I had kept this all private.

“Everyone will know..” was her worry for me. My friend informed her “Everyone already knows.” I have thought of this conversation often, and the truth is not “everyone” knows. There are people in our lives who don’t know, and they still view us as the same happy family we were once upon a time.

I saw a family the other day at a sale walk by, laughing, teasing each other and I wondered “Do they know how lucky they are?” I wanted to stop them and tell them…”you guys are happy, I can see it in the way you look at each other and laugh…Please don’t take it for granted..” I knew they would look at me like I was crazy and I would ruin it..the moment for them…so I just watched as they walked on.. oblivious to just how lucky they are.

I like being around people who don’t know, and yet I chose to tell my secret, to air my “dirty laundry in public”. I don’t regret it because I feel like I’m a liar around them. I know there is a difference between shattering their image of my family and lying but it still bugs me.

I guess I have always been a, here I am faults and all kind of girl, take a good look at them…still like me?…Okay we can be friends. Don’t like me? I completely understand, sometimes I don’t like me. It took awhile for my husband’s family to like me.. I think because I am a “say anything”, “what it’s the truth”, “ohhh… that was a secret”, loud, talkative, shares too much, no apologies kind of girl. My love for my children and my cinnamon rolls won them over, and now they just shake their head when I share or talk too much “It’s just Kelly”.

I have one grandmother left and I have often wondered “does she know?” and am torn between hoping she does, because this means she knows and doen’t treat me different… and praying she doesn’t because it would break my heart for her to have shed a single tear for me.

I look at my other Grandmother’s picture on my dresser in my bedroom and wonder what she would say? Would she tell me to walk away, and not be able to understand how I can still love my husband? Would she be proud of me fighting for my family, and think I was strong?

My words were guarded this weekend as I talked around my oldest son’s roommate. He is a college friend, not high school,  he only knows our family from visits to our home this fall, and is unaware of the affair. He went with us and picked pecans, laughing and teasing, as a family…he doesn’t see my husband and think “lying cheating bastard” and he doesn’t look at me with pity. He just see’s his friends mom who is crazy and funny…talks too much and makes the best meatloaf…but always hugs him like she does his roommate  when they leave.

I questioned my affection for him today…was I crazy about him because he’s a great kid? He is a GREAT KID…if Laney was 16 years older I would have found her the perfect husband…but is part of what I feel because he sees just me and not the affair?  I feel phony and yet it’s nice to be “that family” again…if only in a young mans eyes.

Have I been fair to my children? Should I have not have shared my story, making it public where classmates can read it too? I cried the other night, telling my husband I talked about my “triggers” today on the blog…and I was scared someday the boys or Laney might read it and not understand. “What if they think I “hated” them and they don’t understand I couldn’t help it…I always loved them, it just hurt to be around them.” I know they know a lot, they lived it.. but should they have to relive it…ever?

My hope by writing this is if they ever read my words…my story…they see that I tried. I fought with every ounce of strength I had to come back to them. I hope they see me as strong, and are proud of their mom. I hope I made the right choice. I can honestly say I don’t know… I know how to raise boys (fart jokes, plenty of food, and love), how to clip a pig (t guard on the face, 3/4 on body, blend the shoulders, and don’t shave the legs), and how to bake a cream pie (there is a family in Oklahoma who taught me about no weep meringue, and stir until at a hard boil). I have never had to recover from an affair, to struggle with if to tell my children or not, or had lessons in how to put my life back together. Am I doing it right?

I pray often that I am…that I help more than I hurt…and someday by the Grace of God my family is whole.

“In our family portrait, we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, let’s act like it comes
I don’t wanna have to split the holidays
I don’t want two addresses
I don’t want a step-brother anyways
And I don’t want my mom to have to change her
last name

In our family portrait we look pretty happy
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
In our family portrait we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally


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10 Responses to Family Portrait

  1. Debi says:

    Kelly, your family is whole and don’t ever forget it. You and your husband took the giant step and kept your family together. Some people will think it is wrong for you writing your blog. I know people were tired of my talking about Ralph. But for some of us talking about it helps us to get over it. (And I have to agree, people are going to gossip so might as well just give them the real story and have the truth out there. Your mom told me more than once that she was glad I was telling people what really happened.) But you my dear girl have so much to fight for. My kids were raised (yours are not), your husband made a big mistake and knows it, admitted it and chose to hold his head high and fight for what he loves. Mine for whatever reason decided the grass was greener on the other side would not admit to anything and lied about everything. It still hurts (you don’t get over it overnight) I get lonely but I know without a doubt that I choose the better road and so much better than I was two years ago.
    As for your husband’s dad he is also hurting but you won his respect and he still has it for you. Just give him time also. As for your Grandma….she knows (part of it) and still loves you and is so happy to know that you are still a family. She was happy for me the first time I thought about leaving Ralph and knew it was hard for me but thought it was right to try and save the marriage. She supported me a 110% percent the next time and knew like I did that he wasn’t going to change and wasn’t worth saving.
    This will and has been hard for the kids. But seeing you and your husband fighting for your marriage, getting past the past and still loving each other will be the best thing for them to heal.
    Before long as you add your Laney stories to your blog you will take a quiet day and read back over them. As you get to these first blog you will start laughing so hard as you ask yourself…was that really ME that wrote these things!!
    Don’t look back and as you and your husband do the things you enjoy doing…enjoy them and don’t let that little voice remind you of this last year. Like when you go shopping for pigs, don’t let that little voice remind you that the last time you did the whore was sending him text. Your giving the whore points (which she does not deserve) and your putting a gloom on what could be a wonderful day for you. So when you hear the little voice just tell it to go away as you look at your husband and smile saying “he is all mine!” Love you Kelly!!

    • rkabceden says:

      You made me cry into my coffee and then laugh my Aunt Debi…My Sweet Wonderful Aunt Debi said “whore” lol…you are refering to her as “the whore”…I didn’t know if Grandma knew, question answered so now how do I feel…sad..relieved…sad..I guess I always had secretly hoped she would never know but she sent us an annivarsary card this year and I bawled reading it…now rereading it I know it was her way of saying “I still love and believe in you” Grandma might not have a judgemental bitchy bone in her body but she’s got a little kick ass in her to go with her “heart of gold” BTW Ralph was an ass…I’m glad he’s gone…his stories sucked…and he NEVER…EVER..deserved you…

  2. With God, all things are possible. Follow your heart, Kelly. Loving you makes life, with all its ups and downs, a much better pill to swallow. YOU ARE WORTH IT! And your family knows this too! I have always loved your strength and character and that has not changed one bit. You go, girl! Don’t ever think I am not in your corner! : )

    • rkabceden says:

      I have always “known” that but it’s weird being grown up and letting the people who knew you as a child see your adult life…curtains drawn back and all the clutter and dust is there on display. God has brought me to my knees and taught me to pray this last year…I believe by writing and telling my story I’m helping someone who is out there struggling too…I have my “bad” days but I still think I’m taking the right path…

  3. Ryan Lester says:

    Gotta love those “young friends” 😉 and is family portrait a song that I don’t know about? Lol but I think you are doing the right thing and if Austin ever reads this I know he will understand why he was a trigger because he saw how much you were hurting

    • rkabceden says:

      yep Pink song…I love Pink…Go ahead and Judge me I don’t care…Pink is a badass, don’t care what you think, woman…She’s my pioneer woman of singing…need a reciepe…Pioneer woman…need a Screw You I’m going to Kick your ass soundtrack to life..Pink…if Austin ever let me I’d write his story, bawling the whole time, but I’d write it…I know if he ever reads this he will never say a word to me, but he might hug me extra tight the next time he saw me or throw me a “good breakfast mom” …I do love my “young friends”

  4. Ryan Lester says:

    Lol I haven’t listened to her in a while so I’m not judging. I will get it on my iTunes as soon as I get home. I’m having trouble getting cheater cheater though because they only have the kareoke version on iTunes and they don’t have it at all on frostwire but is she talks to angles by the black crowes? Because that’s the one I got but I can always get a different one if that wasn’t right

  5. Shannon Brown says:

    I agree with your aunt. One day you will look back and won’t believe yourself. I have seen you as anything other than a strong woman and going thru all of this and the tough decisions you have made just solidifies my opinion of you. By putting things back piece by piece you and your family will be stronger as a whole. You and your husband both are showing your kids that anything worth having takes a lot of work some more than others. You both hold your head up high. The ones that whisper are then ones that would not have the strength to make it out of the darkness even if they had a spotlight in both hands.

  6. Debi says:

    Oh my Wonderful Kelly,
    Your so funny, you had me laughing and I haven’t even had my coffee yet. Sweet Aunt Debi…if you only knew! Remember the picture of me on facebook with the big mug of beer up to my lips? That really was me being cool for Andy and you would not believe the response he got from that silly picture. So this is your Sweet Aunt reading about the “Whore” remembering the day of wetting my lips with Andy’s beer then handing it back to him so he could enjoy it.
    And you would not believe how many people (well probably just about everyone) has told me they didn’t like Ralph. I can’t believe I hung on to him for 27 years but I didn’t believe in divorce. But I have two wonderful children and probably a better relationship with the x-stepdaughter and her family than I had before. And he married his whore and lost his daughter, and the respect of his other two kids. Is anyone really worth giving up your kids for?? You and I know the answer to that one.
    Until the next story…
    Your crazy old Aunt Debi
    P.S. Grandma will never judge you or quit loving you. It really made her happy to know that you were doing the right thing and keeping your family together!!

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