Restored Lives: Erik's Story
Restored Lives was founded to support people going through divorce or separation.
You are not alone. In this first of four articles Founder Erik Castenskiold tells how Restored Lives was born from the pain he went through, and how even such devastating pain can be turned to good.
A Life Turned Upside Down
Hi my name's Erik. I come to be doing this video because a number of years ago on approximately the 18th of March my wife turned to me in bed and said that she was having an affair. My life was turned upside down at that moment. I didn't know really what was going on. We'd had a great marriage. We'd been married for about four years and we had lots of joint interests and pursuits. We had a great marriage. We were very sporty very active. We had similar values. So how did I get to that stage where my wife turned to me and said that she was having an affair?
It's a bit complicated. She had been having an affair for about six months without me or any of our friends knowing. Initially I cried a lot. And the first few days and weeks were just soul searching; trying to work out what on earth was going on and how had it been going on for six months without me knowing. She was still trying to keep her affair going. And in that time I tried to make things work. I think she tried to make things work.
It didn't really work.
I was lost in body, mind and spirit completely. I didn't know where to go. I had to go out move out of our house - my house -that we'd been living in. I moved from house to house for a while. I couldn't sleep. I probably drank too way too much. I would find myself walking the streets where I lived in London early in the morning because I just didn't know what to do. I couldn’t concentrate or work. I had periods of depression. It wasn't great.
The Long Road Back
The things that really helped me were; I did a course on divorce ...I started talking to people about what had helped them.
She didn't get back together with this guy but neither did she want to get back together with me. It felt like or all that we had worked together, all my hopes, my aspirations, our life had been thrown away so easily. But that's what happened. I started trying to put my life together after we got divorced to a greater or lesser extent.
The things that really helped me were; I did a course on divorce – a course that was going on at the time. I started talking to people about what had helped them. I started looking at relationships. How do relationships work? Where did I go wrong?
Fast forward to now.
Light At the End of The Tunnel And....
Now I can look back at the events of what happened and not feel that deep pain and hurt that was so intrinsically linked to all those issues that happened. All those moments that happened.
I don't feel the pain anymore.
I've let go of all the hurt and the pain and I've started to build my life again afresh. I can really say that all my relationships are way better now because of what I've learned going through that separation and divorce. It's not what I wanted. But it's what happened. And I've been able to come alongside other people who were going through divorce and separation and help them on their journey.
...And Light During That Tunnel
We've got a little charity called Restored Lives which has helped thousands of people get through relationship breakdown. Luckily my story is not the only one that shows good can come out of bad. Thousands of other people have experienced the same thing that good can come out of the disastrous bad events that you may be going through now. So I'm delighted to be here on this video trying to share some of the things that I and thousands of other people have learned. But most of all I want to encourage you. There is hope in your situation because I've seen it in such desperate situations; situations far worse than mine. And I know that there is hope for you. I hope to share some of those things and stories that will hopefully light up a little bit of your path ahead.
Find Restored Lives at https://www.restoredlives.org
Courses starting soon:
- Romford on the 14th February
- Bournemouth on the 25th February
- Cheam on the 28th February
- Basingstoke on the 6th March.