Midlife affairs are like a small, slow-moving river going downstream into a deep waterfall. You engage and enjoy the beautiful view, and the breeze, everything seems to move in slow motion in that moment. Then suddenly, the boat begins to pick up speed and now it is out of control, heading towards the waterfall. Your engines are not responding and you begin to contemplate jumping out of the boat.
I have another story for you.
Kendash turned 46 years old and on his birthday, his teenage daughter told him she had a secret. She told him that he should promise not to tell anyone. Little did he know that an explosion was about to happen in his heart, so he agreed and joined the fun. His teenage daughter’s episode is the perfect example of a “death by a thousand cuts'' experience. When your teenage children become actively aware of an affair and remain seemingly neutral or silent about the situation.
She gave him a “red tea mug” that was broken and glued. She wrote the names of her mum and her siblings on one side of the crack and her father’s name on the other side. On one side of the broken but the mended mug was her mum and siblings, everyone was sad and downcast, but Kendash, who was focused on his new friend on the other side of the mug did not notice the sadness of his family and his face was drawn as happy with his secret friend.
Kendash crept into unexplained confusion on his birthday, he was physically unable to control his emotions and slipped into deep silence. His family and friends insisted he went to the clinic. His teenage daughter volunteered to go with him while mummy does the preparation for the ceremony.
She held him tightly and started crying profusely. The driver accelerated as much as he could, rushing to get to the clinic, not knowing the real issues.
At the clinic, Kendash was checked and his blood pressure was rooftop high. He was assisted for normalisation within an hour and then he left the clinic. On his way home, he called me and insisted he needed to see me urgently.
I was far away and my return to the office would take me about an hour across the 3rd mainland bridge. We met off Toyin street. He saw me and burst into mixed emotions of rage and uncontrollable tears.
His daughter said, “Daddy, it’s okay. I will wait in the car.” That was when he told me this story and showed me the red tea mug with the artistic drawing of his daughter. Then, I asked him these questions:
Why are you crying?
Who are you crying for?
What is the challenge?
What loss are you experiencing?
Before Kendash could answer these questions his phone began to blaze, and his wife and family members were calling frantically. His daughter collected the phone from him and answered the call “ Mum, mum we are on our way back, dad is fine just stopped at the pharmacy to pick up additional medicine”.
His daughter had just become a “main character” in his movie. “Oh my gosh! What have I done?”
Kendash asked me if his daughter could come for a counselling session, but I told him that would create another drama series with a new cast and crew. Where would he tell his wife that he is taking his daughter to and why?
Never light a matchstick near open canisters of petrol, you will surely get burnt.
How will Kendash deal with this new “main character”?
What is the relationship implication with his daughter? Love, blackmail, control, hate, resentment or depression?
What are the implications on the mother-daughter and siblings relationship? Integrity, pity, honesty, loyalty, resentment, anger or informant?
Does Kendash’s situation represent the end of his deep love affair?
Can you relate to Kendash’s story? Is this an unfolding narrative for you or someone you know?
Watch out for another post on midlife affairs