updated 08/25/2010 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/25/2010 AT 7:30 AM ET
“I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children,” she says in the magazine’s latest issue, out just days after her split from Tiger Woods was made official.
The 30-year-old mother of two, who is studying towards a college degree in psychology, says that despite her husband’s betrayal, “I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself.”
In 19 hours over four visits to her Windermere, Fla., rental home, Nordegren shared never-before-seen personal photographs and opened up to PEOPLE about the emotional roller coaster she’s been on, her life as a mother to Sam, 3, and Charlie, 19 months, and her hopes for the future.
“My immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new situation. I am going to keep taking classes, but my main focus is to try to give myself time to heal,” she says.
She tells the magazine this was her first – and last – interview, as she intends to remain a private person.
For much more, including exclusive photos of Nordegren at home, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday