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I Don't Know What to Do(long But Please Read)

Hi I just needed to get this off of my chest if anyone has any advice on how to deal or any comments please do so.

First off I am from a very close knit catholic family consisting of my mom who's 44, my dad who's 43, myself who's 19, my sister amanda who's 16, and halie who's 12. I had a great childhood, lots of love in my family, I thought we were a modle family, everyone sat down for dinner together everynight, we all were home in the morning to see each other off for the day and gave hugs and kisses all the time saying I love you and truely meaning it. My mom has always been my hero. I had her put on a pedestal trying my hardest to be just like her. I am even going to college to be in the same occupation as her. My dad is my knight in shining armor. He is a very hard working, loving and caring man who has a strong relationship with god and would do anything for his girls. Lucky for me my fiance has a lot in common with my dad and has similar qualities and values.
Then this year my enitre life was turned upside down. On july 4 of this year my parents had us sit down as a family for a last time. They broke the news to my 2 sisters and I that they were separating after 24 years of marriage soon to be 25. My sisters and I took the news very hard. My dad was also very upset because he had not wanted anything to do with the separation, he was hanging onto the threads of his marriage. I also took the news very hard, everything that I had ever wanted in my life was no longer there. At this point I had resumed to my previous copping mechanisms of cutting, suicidal thoughts, and drinking. My mom and I have always been very close and of all of the times before when I had used these methods to deal with stress I was the only one who knew. Then one day after they broke the news my mom and I got into a fight she told me she knew how I felt, and I screamed that she knew nothing about me and I broke down and told her about what I was doing to myself. She was shocked as was my dad, who she told that night, and my sisters who heard me break down. My mom then made me go to a couselor/therapist. This was a little help because I was able to talk but in the long run the therapist did not help.
As time went on things gradually got better. I had moved away to college and was learning to live on my own, but was coming home on the weekends going to my dad's to help him out around the farm and clean the house. He would see what I did and just start crying(seeing this is heartbreaking) and saying he was sorry about everything and he loves us very much. Although I promised myself that I would not stay at either of the houses overnight because there were too many emotions that would come up and would just depress me. So I stayed with my fiance. As time passed I would slip in and out of mild depression. Staying at my apartment all day, skipping classes, and just crying having no one to talk to. Then the week before thanksgiving I was getting really poor sleep, I would have these dreams of my mom with some other man who was mistreating my sisters, I tried to tell my mom about it and she just ignored me. I woke up crying everytime. I went home for thanksgiving going to my mom's side on thanksgiving day. I told my mom about the dream I had and she changed to subject and only said that they will both find someone else someday. They she had my aunt dawn come over and they both started in on how I should try finding some one else besides derek, saying that there are so many other people out there and he won't amount to very much. This just made me upset. And so the day went on. I felt terrible that my dad was left all alone on thanksgiving. So I went to see him that night. Then the next day we had thanksgiving at his house, he cried alot again saying that he was sorry about everything and that he loved us.

Ok fast forward to december 1. My dad came to see me so we could do some christmas shopping for my sisters. He said he had something important to tell me. So after we went shopping he broke down saying that my mom had filed for a divorce. He then proceeded to tell me that he didn't want anymore lies in our family and said that I needed to know that when he and my mom were first married before any of us girls were born he got drunk one night and cheated on my mom. He has felt terrible about this and has appologized for this over and over. He still feels emense gilt about this. He then proceeded to tell me that my mom has been cheating on him since at least january of this year with a man from michigan. My youngest sister found out about this when she, my cousin morgan, and halies friend were helping my mom moved into her new house. My mom told my little sister not to tell anyone, that she had to keep it a secret. Halie feeling extremly guilty about this whole situation, just broke down and told my dad, halie said that she didn't like this man, and basically my sisters and I have little respect for my mom now and don't know what to think of this whole situation. The same night of when I found out, my mom called saying she knew what my dad had told me, that she knows that it is alot to bear, but that I knew all along that this was happening(that is total bullsh*t I had no idea she was cheating on my dad and that any of this was happening) so I called her that night (after I had a few drinks) and told her what I thought of all of this and I said that it was pretty low of her to do this and to tell my little sister to keep this a secret. She screamed at me that she was the adult and she could do as she wants then she tried to guilt me in by saying don't you want me happy. I told her that her happiness was taking away everyone elses and that she was not acting like an adult. My fiance then said that I should probably hang up because it probably wasn't the best time to be talking to her. So she called me today saying that she will be coming tommarrow to see me. I don't know what to think of this, I can barely stand the thought of her, it disgusts me that she would do this to our family, and all she can say is that everything will be alright. I am starting to get depressed again and do not know what to do.

Help me please!!
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replied December 6th, 2005
Your mom is not responsible for your happiness. If she makes it her perogative, that's a bonus. But we are all freeeeeeee to be. We are allowed to make mistakes, try new things, have new adventures, change whenever we care to. Period.

Take some responsibility. If your mom were dead, you would be responsible for your own happiness. If your mom tortured, abused or neglected you during your upbringing, it is still your job to create happiness for yourself no matter what. It's a skill and it's good for you.

Forgive her and change your mind if you must to deal with it. You would not wish to be responsible right this minute for the happiness of so many other people...You wouldn't be able to do it, would you?
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replied December 9th, 2005
I feel for you in this situation, but no one knows what drives someone in a relationship. It is hard to say why a person looks elsewhere for love when they have a loved one at home, but if your parents were married for so many years, and your mother only recently had an affair, then it seems that something has been lacking for her emotionally for sometime. People aren't perfect and relationships aren't perfect. I think the most "unfair" place a child puts his/her parents is on a pedestal - it is such a far fall. I know that parents are suppose to be our guides, but that doesn't mean they are perfect. It sounds like both of your parents love you and your sibilings very much and there is a time in every parents' life when their priority switches from their children to themself - I think that is natural. Perhaps your mom has been unhappy with your father for many years, but she felt the responsibilty of holding the family together for you and your siblings and now that everyone is getting older, her role in your lives becomes less and less and therefore less and less fullfilling. This is not to say that your dad is in anyway a bad person or even did something wrong, but sometimes it just happens. The fact that your mother had an affair while married just sort of compounds the issue a bit, but it shouldn't. Your parents sound like they provided you with a great deal of love and integrity, but it is never actually possible to walk in another's shoes and so it is not possible to completely understand. I think forgiveness will bring you great relief and realizing that your parents are only human will also help. The pain, and uncomfortable feeling will eventually ease, but the bottom line is that it is her/their life to live.
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