Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Divorce, Through the Eyes of Single Boo.

When I saw my mom recently to celebrate my birthday, we went through my baby book together. It was so amazing to see that someone cared about me enough to keep a diary of all the little details of my growth. A few of the stories made me feel very sentimental, some made me smile, and some even made me laugh at their irony. Some of my old habits as a baby have still remained the same. The book said that when I was a baby, I would often start crying whenever my dad held me. As a result, my dad would become annoyed and often bitterly call me a crybaby. I laughed and made a (inappropriate) joke saying "Wow, even as a baby I was smart enough to know not to trust him."

This is Single Boo's perception of my parent's divorce.

I was 16 years old when it really began to end, but I think it started much earlier than that. I remember wishing my parents would divorce long before they did. But back then, it was more so because as a little girl, I thought my daddy was strict and mean sometimes. I was just being a mommy's girl, just as I am today. But the older I got, the more it became clear that their marriage was quickly falling apart.

It's still difficult to look at old pictures and think of times when we were still a family. I feel like it was all a dream. My baby book reminded me of fond memories, but also of other things, such as my dad hoping and praying when my mom was pregnant with me that I would be a boy. I think God had a sense of humor and decided to meet him halfway, and instead gave him another little girl, with the stubbornness and strength of a boy. When the divorce began I became less and less afraid of him. His actions had made him cowardly in my eyes. When I was 16 I remember yelling at my dad, telling him to admit that he had cheated on my mom. "Tell me to my face, be a real man!" I screamed. God, it was so liberating. And immature, and wrong. But I felt like someone had to protect us, someone had to fight him.

I remember walking up to my mom's (closed) bedroom door once to tell her the phone had rang for her, and I heard her crying. Even when she wasn't crying, my heart broke when I saw her. Seeing her that way made me feel sick. Half of me wanted to do nothing but cry, and the other half wanted to punch my dad in his face. "Nobody makes my Mommy cry.", I thought to myself. The man that taught me all my morals as a little girl had now taught me the biggest lesson of all, that even daddies cannot be trusted. I still can't wrap my head around the idea that when he would come home from work many nights, he hadn't been "working late" at all. I can't fathom how someone could live such a lie everyday. He would kiss us when he came home, saying how tired he was from his long day. I still don't know how long he had been cheating, or with how many women. I personally could care less what the number is, because even just one of his lies still would have ruined everything.

Trusting anyone after that became difficult. In the back of my mind I now knew people were capable of such ugly lies, and that love fails. When I was dating my ex-lover I began picturing him and I getting married one day. We had been together for almost three years and I began daydreaming about wearing a wedding dress, but I could never picture my dad walking me down the aisle. I still don't think I'll ever give him that privilege. Goodness, I know I sound so hardened and bitter. I'm sorry. I know I may sound unreasonable and unforgiving, but you must understand that problems with my relationship with him have almost always existed, and him hurting my mother was the last straw.

Fighting my dad throughout the divorce did prove to have lasting effects. My dad and I always had a difficult time attempting to recover bcause I think he could sense I never forgave him the way my sister had. Even long after, talking to or seeing my dad drove me to tears somehow. He always had something to say to make me upset. It was hard for me to understand why our relationship just wouldn't mend the way theirs had begun to, but I had to realize that my sister and I had experienced this differently in some ways. She had gotten away from it sooner than I had. When my dad finally left, it was just us three. (Me, my mom, my sister). Soon after though, my sister moved out of the house and to a new city with her now husband. My mom was doing a little better, but was still grieving then. She was getting stronger but her heart was still broken, and I felt helpless when we lived together at times because I wished I could take away her pain. Seeing her that way still hadn't helped my anger towards my dad subside.

I was mid-semester in college then, living at home, when my dad made some foolish financial decisions regarding our house, and my mom was no longer able to afford living there on her own. My mom moved to another city, and I couldn't bring myself to leave right in the middle a semester I was working so hard to do well in. So I stayed, and as a result, I was the only one left in what used to be our home. My dad moved back in the house days after my mom left, and brought his girlfriend (now wife) with him. She never spoke to me, in fact they spoke to each other only in Spanish, leaving me feeling like an outsider in my own home. I often closed them out, but it was mutual. My dad never really tried to made much of an effort. Most of our interaction was petty arguments. It was only until I moved out of that house that I began to move on.

I've truly found peace after the divorce, I just found mine in a way different than my sister did: I haven't spoken to my dad since last fall. Although it makes me feel guilty that I've chosen not to have my own father around at this point in my life, I feel so clear-headed and confident in my decision. I will always love him the way a daughter is supposed to love her father, but I simply cannot handle any toxic relationships in my life, and I don't think he should be an exception. The way I go through my days now is as if I've always only had one parent. I don't need him right now. I hardly ever notice that I "don't have a father" in my life. It never feels as though I'm missing anything at all. My mother has proven to be everything I've needed in my life so far. Her love and care is enough to exceed the amount that usually only two parents can provide.

My family may be smaller now, but they are all I need. My mom has always encouraged both my sister and I to maintain a relationship with my father, and maybe one day that will happen again, but it never really seemed to work even in my childhood, much less as an adult. So for now I think it will remain the same. I can only thank God for my mom and sister's support for each other. And for parents who have gone through or are going through a divorce, just know that your children will find their way through your support, and the support of their friends. And no matter what age your child is, I think they can help you find your way too. As difficult as it all was, I wouldn't change a thing now.

We're all moving on.





-- Thank you so much for stopping by everyone! It was an honor. Married Boo and I will continue writing about more of your suggested topics coming up soon! I'd love more suggestions, and would also love to answer any more questions you have for me on the topic of divorce.

28 comments:

Redbonegirl97 said...

So happy to hear from your point of view too Single Boo.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

Mari said...

It's great to hear from you too. I have to say that one thing shines through in both you and your sisters blog posts. You both love and respect your Mom and that's a wonderful thing!

mrstdj said...

Thanks so much for sharing things from your point of view. Divorce is hard, but it seems that you, Married Boo and your mom are stronger and closer because of it.

Heart2Heart said...

I love reading stories like this and seeing how the end result works out. So glad that you shared this tender moment with all of us.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us, in your own words. Don't question your decisions.... you have to follow your gut instincts. Sounds like you're doing great. And with a mom like yours, it's no wonder you feel content -- she is amazing!

I hope you oneday find a man that you can love and trust even though your father didn't give you those traits. Now you know what to look for and what it takes to thrive.

Best wishes to you always!

I'd love to hear a post about how you and your mom (and sis) discuss sex and relationships. I'm looking for tips to reference as my daughter gets older! Thanks!

Sweet Tea said...

This is very insightful, seeing the divorce through the eyes of a young adult child. Though you've moved on I still sense a lot of pain within you. Sometimes healing takes a very long time.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Divorce is never easy but I think it's usually worse on the kids-- mostly because they are younger without the emotional tools yet to cope with such major changes.

You are a gifted writer-- like your mom. Thanks for being so open and honest with us.

xo jj

Velvet Over Steel said...

Great post and support for your mom! I too while growing up in a toxic home wished my parents would get divorced. My mom was the 'unhappy, unloving' one though. It wasn't until about 2 years ago, that my mother and my relationship has been decent.. even good right now. Although, I don't live near her and according to my brother that's why things seem better. Along with her getting older and forgetting some of the things that she used to be so bitter about.
Anyway, I so understand what you went through, and why you feel the way you do! I would feel the same way! Thank you for sharing your story/post. It hit home for me in so many way!
HUGS,
Coreen

Ace said...

You sound so much like your mom when you write...and you have the same gift of grabbing the emotions and making your reader feel it all right along with you. Plus, you made me reflect on a rather "unpleasant" period in my own marriage and wonder if it really was the big secret from everyone else that I thought it was. Why is it, I wonder why we women feel we have to protect everyone (including the one hurting us) except ourselves, at least at first?

Ina in Alaska said...

Single Boo that was very powerful and spot on for me as well. My dad cheated on my mom and I was long gone from the nest (I was 30) when it happened. He and the woman (now his wife) met via a minor fender bender in a parking lot. They backed into each other's vehicles. She knew he was married (for 33 years) but she went for it. Caused my mother a huge amount of pain. She never got over it but has since moved on. I detest lying and cheating. I have zero tolerance for it. I know what you are talking about. And for you dad and his wife to speak only Spanish in front of you, that is despicable. Oh I relate to you very well - I am going to be 58 years old in July and I am unable to forgive my dad. My 5 other siblings have a tolerance for him but to me, what he did cannot be undone and has caused me trust issues as well and I keep him at a distance, physically and emotionally. Thanks for your honesty. Hug your mom. xoxoxo

blueviolet said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. Everything can be totally different from one sibling to another with the family dynamics and this proves that. Really interesting and honest.

ethelmaepotter! said...

A story that is all too familiar to so many of us, but so eloquently told.

This strikes home on so many points, but I'm not yet ready to talk about them.

Wow, you've just totally floored me. I usually have so much more to say on a subject this intense, but I am too blown away with emotion to say more.

You've left me speechless.

Bossy Betty said...

Just found your blog! Loved this very honest post.

Angel said...

Wow. I haven't been by in a bit. I am sorry to be such a bad friend! I love the way you share your heart...I have missed that.

Fragrant Liar said...

Fathers and daughters have such complicated relationships anyway (not usually as complicated as moms and daughters), and then you add all the strife to it plus being so young, it's no wonder you had a rough time. Your honesty about it all was refreshing, believe it or not. Thanks for sharing, and despite all, hope you have an enjoyable Father's Day.

Life with Kaishon said...

Divorce is always sad. And it so profoundly affects each person it touches. Great post!

Buckeroomama said...

I know that I could always find words from the heart when I come here... whether it is from your mom or from her daughters. Thank you for sharing.

Helene said...

Well,it's obvious that both you and Married Boo have inherited your mom's talent for writing!

And thank you for sharing such a private piece of yourselves here on her blog. It's interesting to hear your perception on the divorce. You both obviously have a lot of respect and love for your mom!

Veronica Lee said...

How I missed reading your heartwarming posts, Simone.

About the summer break - Malaysian (Singapore too) schools break for 1 week in April, 2 weeks in June, 1 week in August and a whole month in December.

Xmas Dolly said...

Your story is very similar to a lot of people, so don't feel alone. I'm sorry for this for you, but everyone has to make their own decisions. Wrong or right we all make our own bed! I wish you nothing, but happiness! Have a great day!

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Like your new look!

Ed Pilolla said...

you write from an evolved place in life. learning to trust again, as you say, is difficult and takes time. eliminating toxic relationships from our lives, as you note, is a better way to live. life truly is a journey. this is a magnificent glimpse into a major journey in your life. thanks for you kind comments at deidra's. this was quite an insightful piece.

ain't for city gals said...

You should not feel an ounce of guilt...it takes more than the last name to be a family...

Danica said...

Divorce is so hard. I'm glad you're able to move on as hard as it is. I too come from a divorced family and at times it was difficult, but my parents always remained friends...even up until the day she died (when I was much older).

Thank you for sharing.

Relyn said...

This made me sad and glad both. Does that make sense? Sad for the pain, but very glad for the triumphs of love and connection.

Single Boo said...

Thank you so much everyone.

I was nervous about writing about this at first but reading your comments made me feel less alone. Thank you for your support and sharing your own stories as well!

JennyMac said...

Love your perspective. Divorce is so hard and hits families so differently. Big hug.

Anita said...

Hello Single Boo, My parents divorced too - for different reasons - but it was still painful and hard to maintain respect for him - but I did.
He died in 1999 at the age of 78, but we had many years prior to his death to learn to have an adult-to-adult relationship.
Maybe your dad will earn absolute forgiveness from you some day.
I hope you handling the challenges of life, AND knowing how to enjoy it too!
Blessings and best wishes to you and your family.

 

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