19 Aug Growing up with Divorced Parents
My grandparents have been married for nearly 50 years. I take my hat off to them in every way. My gran acts like a kid when she sees my oups and says that she still gets flutterbys, when she sets her eyes on him. These days, divorce is fairly common but to them it is unheard of. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that if your marriage isn’t working out and you’re both unhappy – I can see why, you’re not together. This is no guilt-trip on parents (or my parents) for getting a divorce.
My mom and father were young when they had me, although teenage pregnancy is fairly common nowadays, it was so rare back then that the town-doctor believed my mom (18) was just getting fat and didn’t even consider her to be pregnant. My grandmother refused to allow me to be born a bastard child, which saw my mom at 7 months preggos, walking down the aisle.
|One of the few pictures of my bio-dad, Mark, and Me|
Two years later, they were divorced.
I never really thought that the divorce affected me but in my adulthood, I look back and see how it really has. I hold a lot of anger towards my bio-dad. I feel he turned his back on me and started his own family, without any thought of me, his first daughter. Just this morning, during my walk, I was reminiscing how for 2 years, I had to live with my gran in PE while my mom and Luis were in Botswana because my dearest dad (who had only seen me ONCE, since the divorce) refused to sign the papers.
In my teen-years, an angry time, I brought up the fact that he was selfish to not sign those papers as I not only had to be without a father, but now without a mom, too. His excuse was that he had to sign his parental right away, to which I ask – after 5 years of no contact, you were worried about any parental right, over me?
I like to think that my mom handled the divorce the right way in which she NEVER has and NEVER will say anything bad about my bio-dad. Even when he screws up – I mean, really, screws up – she will tell me that I need to stop being a hard-ass as that isn’t the man who she married. She has only encouraged me to keep in contact with my family overseas, and it is purely from my own experiences that I have come up with my opinion of my bio-dad.
The problem is, that as a kid, you shouldn’t have to feel that you should be putting in the effort. Now, as a parent, I realize that it is your duty, to teach your kids and the best way is to lead by example. I understand that life can get hectic – I mean, as we speak, I am sitting with an inbox full (but this was playing on my mind)- but, sometimes you have to be life on hold, especially for your kids. Surely?
I was fortunate that not long after my mom left my dad, we met Luis. I have mentioned how lucky I am to have him part of my life. He is my rock in many ways and I am grateful that despite him and my mom getting a divorce, he has never turned his back on me.
Luis and my mom’s divorce took a bigger toll on me, than my bio-dad’s did. I’d say it is probably due to all that lead up to the last straw on the camel’s back, per say. There was a lot of drama and so many different things that lead to the end, that it is hard to pin-point where it all went wrong.
Admittedly, I know in my heart of hearts that it was for the best.
But, there are times that I get frustrated and over-emotional, and perhaps if I close my eyes tight enough, when I open them, Christmas this year, will be the same, again. Don’t believe that the confusion of divorce ends when you turn 18. I often, sit and wonder if perhaps something were done differently, it could have all been avoided. My parent’s divorce was due to a lot of things coming out all at once, a lot of what I already knew of and I wonder had I acted differently, would it have made it easier, would they still be together?
I know that it is easy to say what you would have done, if you were in my predicament, but it is hard when you are only 14/15 years old. You’re trying to juggle school, some really messed up circumstances at home, all while trying to protect your 4/5 year old sister and be a normal teenager. Not to mention the constant whiplash of being tugged between each parent, when you feel like you’re in a corner and have to choose a side.
Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, especially on kids. I know that the separation and later, the divorce, was necessary as it took me out of a dangerous and impossible environment. I went on to complete my schooling career, while living with Lu, we built a really good relationship and today, I have my mom and Luis. When they are together, they do not fight and are more like old-school friends, they get all nostalgic about my sister and me, but that’s all it is. They have chosen to put their differences aside for us, girls. So sure, a marriage seems impossible, but that doesn’t mean the last 19 years has gone for a ball of… yeh! No one can take away the history that we share, and it’s just about embracing the good memories and letting go of the bad while taking something from each tough lesson.