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What must Renee think of all this, Virginia pondered. If the entire disaster hadn’t actually happened to her she would have had difficulty believing it herself. If someone had told her two years ago how her life would be today, she would definitely have run from the room with her head in her hands, screaming. But this was it. The separation, the counselling, the psychologists, the psychiatrists, and the long difficult conversations trying to find a way to keep her family together; it was all finally over.
Her marriage, which she had entered solemnly as a devoted virgin bride twenty years earlier had gradually become a façade despite her frantic efforts. She felt the blood rise in her cheeks as she again faced the gnawing question: How could she have tried so hard, for so long and still got it all so wrong? Having to accept her failure as a wife had hit at her deepest beliefs about who she should have been, and what constituted a virtuous life according to her Anglican, middle class upbringing. It had been torture to watch someone she had once so deeply loved lose himself. But that paled when compared with the sense of failure she had felt as she watched her daughter start to walk the same path. It was her daughter Abbey’s self-destructive behaviours that had ultimately brought Virginia face to face with the realisation that no matter how much love she had to give, and earnestly wanted to give—if the love was not able to be received—then the gift simply could not be given. Her talented daughter’s inability to love herself had confounded and frustrated Virginia’s rational, evidence-based approach to life.
An excerpt from Saving Virginia by Melinda Edwards.