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.
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