Unfaithful is as unfaithful does

Today’s post is a response to The Daily Post’s prompt: Un/Faithful

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

*****

Elven years ago, right before Christmas, a young woman named Daughter found out a man named Father was having an affair. Father was unfaithful, and Daughter knew it as she grappled to prevent a shipwreck.

Daughter loved Father very much, and when he told her, “Loose lips sink ships,” she knew she would not betray him no matter the emotional cost.

Daughter, 24 years old and engaged at the time, was distraught as she watched Father’s life spiral out of control. Daughter was an adult-child, still very much under Father’s influence, yet on the brink of being given away in a traditional sense, to Fiancé. Daughter tried to confide in Fiancé  about her burden, but he could not help her. No one could help her as long as Daughter bore Father’s secret. Daughter held strong as she hid her heartache from everyone she knew.

Complexities from every angle plagued Daughter. Father was married to Daughter’s mother for 29 years and now this. Daughter’s foundation of her entire life crumbled inside her, creating huge waves that she attempted to control with minimal success.

Father loved Daughter very much, and he tried to console her by using an unlikely character, named Relative, as an example of someone in the family who was unfaithful in the past, got away with it, and remained glorified in the family. Daughter looked the other way. Even if it was true, this information did not help ease the disappointment and anger she felt toward Father who, as it turns out, was not the rock she thought he was.

During Daughter’s entire childhood, Father preached honesty to the family and that his life was an open book, but suddenly only Daughter was privy to the latest chapter. The scenario was beyond fucked up, and Daughter felt trapped as Father tried to juggle relationships with two women, not to mention Daughter. At one point, Daughter feared for Father’s life as she ever-so-carefully guarded the movements of the ship from The Enemy that could destroy him.

Daughter’s lips remained sealed as she steadied the ship. As a result, her own life temporarily spiraled out of control as she tried to calm internal waves in all the wrong ways. Daughter smoked. Daughter drank. Daughter cheated on Fiancé. Daughter told Fiancé to go away. Daughter parlayed in unhealthy relationships.

Fuck marriage.

But not faith. Never fuck faith. 

No matter what.

Daughter refused to let the ship sink. After 15 months of floating to nowhere, and running out of steam, Daughter’s worry worsened as skies grew darker. She fought storm after storm, and eventually, felt herself losing her grip at the helm.

Then one day, out of nowhere, an ally ship named Brother threw her a rope and pulled Daughter, and Father in a life boat, to shore. They banged into jagged rock after jagged rock, as even Brother’s ship took hits, but eventually they reached the shore.

After Daughter made landfall, it took many years to repair the ship. Heck, at times, Daughter is still repairing the ship. Daughter has learned that no one lives a life unscathed or free of sin, and with that, it is finally time for her to set sail on her own new journey.

For the last 11 years, some of them rocky, Father and Daughter have re-built a strong relationship. Father is not a bad man. Time has repaired many of the wounds on the ship that never sank. Daughter is sure faith was an important navigational tool.

Even still, daughter is sometimes haunted by the waves that occasionally crash inside of her. Will they ever be still? Of course, Daughter knows there will be new waves. That’s life. But can Daughter finally emerge from an old battle victorious?

In order to do that, Daughter must renew her faith as she finds her way toward bluish-green waters that gently lap up on the surface of a peaceful island just waiting for discovery. Unfaithful is as unfaithful does, but Daughter has faith she can explore a new chapter in her own life.

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