Tiger Woods, 1 Year Later: “The Pain of My Soul” Is “Unsettling”

 Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is still hurting.

Nearly one year after the Thanksgiving car crash that exposed his sprawling adultery scandal — later ending his five-year marriage to Elin Nordegren and hampering his focus in the sport he once dominated — the disgraced golfer is opening up in a Newsweek essay (excerpted in the Washington Post.).

"Last November, everything I thought I knew about myself changed abruptly, and what others perceived about me shifted, too," Woods writes.

Over Thanksgiving weekend 2009, the billionaire athlete crashed his car outside the Orlando, Fla. area home he shared with Nordegren, 30, and their daughter Sam, 3, and son Charlie, nearly 2. It was soon revealed that the couple had been arguing about his extramarital affairs with nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel; over a dozen mistresses eventually came forward in the ensuing months.

Woods' essay continues: "I had been conducting my personal life in an artificial way–as if detached from the values my upbringing had taught, and that I should have embraced."

"The physical pain from that car accident has long healed. But the pain in my soul is more complex and unsettling; it has been far more difficult to ease–and to understand. But this much is obvious now: my life was out of balance, and my priorities were out of order. I made terrible choices and repeated mistakes. I hurt the people whom I loved the most. And even beyond accepting the consequences and responsibility, there is the ongoing struggle to learn from my failings."

He and Nordegren's divorce was finalized in August of this year.

Expressing a new appreciation for fatherhood, the single dad to two adds: "Slowly, I'm regaining the balance that I'd lost. My healing process is far from complete, but I am beginning to appreciate things I had overlooked before. I'm learning that some victories can mean smiles, not trophies, and that life's most ordinary events can bring joy. Giving my son, Charlie, a bath, for example, beats chipping another bucket of balls. Making mac and cheese for him and his sister, Sam, is better than dining in any restaurant. Sharing a laugh watching cartoons or reading a book beats channel-surfing alone. Some nights now, it's just me and the kids, an experience that's both trying and rewarding. Probably like the experience a lot of families have every evening around the world."

Woods is also getting into the Twitter scene. On Wednesday, he re-opened his verified Twitter account (he had written a few brief Tweets in June 2009 before abandoning the account). "What's up everyone," Woods wrote. "Finally decided to try out twitter!…Yep, it's me. I think I like this twitter thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love."

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