Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life as Married Boo Knew It: my parents' divorce.

Hello, Chocolate Covered Daydreams readers. My name is Ev'Yan (known on my blog as Apricot; known here as Married Boo) & I'm writing on behalf of my mom today. Thanks for having me. :]

A lot of you wanted to know about things regarding my & my sister's life as we grew up. Homeschooling, family memories, & how we dealt with our parents' divorce seemed to be the most popular inquiries... but there was also questions of interracial dating & vegetarianism, too. I had planned on combining all topics into one large, in depth post, but I got my mom's okay to make this a series of sorts. So, today is part one of Life as Married Boo Knew It.

Today, I'm talking about my parents' divorce.


When my parents announced that they were getting divorced, I distinctly remember that my response was, in my head, Thank God. I was tired of watching my father destroy my mom's spirit, & their divorce to me was like a white flag. It was like they finally said, "Okay... we've had enough of the nonsense. We're going to stop hurting each other now."

Their divorce wasn't a surprise to me. I was at an age (18, I believe) where my mom was very vocal with me about the things that were going on, & I'm glad she was. Her being honest allowed me to come to my own conclusions about who was in the wrong & who wasn't. Granted, there are two sides to every story... & I did in fact hear my father's side. Perhaps I would have been more sympathetic to his point of view if it didn't contradict everything he taught my sister & I about marriage, loyalty, respect, & unconditional love. I think my father expected me to be on his side (he always thought that I was the most like him) but how could I, when he brought me up in the exact opposite way that he was behaving? Needless to say, I had my mom's back & I still do to this day.

As painful as it was to watch my mother go through the ups & downs of a failed marriage -- going from hating my dad to loving him, & back to hating him again -- & as hard as it was to watch my confused father make decisions that eventually hurt our family, I needed to see those raw emotions. I needed to see my father crawling on the floor, tears streaming down his face, begging my mom to forgive him. I needed to see my mother's heart breaking on a daily basis. Witnessing those things hit me with a hard reality that I don't think many kids ever get to experience: that my parents are human. They make mistakes, they get their hearts broken, they hurt people, they become lost.

It was through my parents' divorce that I finally saw them as mere mortals. No longer was Mommy & Daddy invincible; they were just like me.

Again, it was not easy to watch these things unfold before my eyes; even more so because I am the first born, & I feel like it's my duty to keep the family strong. Holding my sister as she exclaimed in between sobs, "I hate Daddy!" was difficult. Listening to my mother cry herself to sleep at night was difficult. But I wouldn't take any of those things back. To want to take them back would be a slap in the face of all the beautiful things that have come from it. For instance, my mother has blossomed into this feisty, bold, unapologetic woman, who is quick to laugh & is just as quick to empathize with others. My sister is now daringly independent, with an opinionated & sound mind, & a cautious yet innocent heart. It truly is a wonder that we've all made it out seemingly unscathed by the heartbreaking choices my dad made. I think it's because we had & relied on each other.

Currently, I don't hold anything against my father for the choices he made that ultimately led to our family's demise. Back then I did, but I think it's because I was still in little girl mode, thinking that my daddy was a super-hero who could rule the world. But now that I see that he's human, I am able to understand why he did what he did. Granted, I will never agree with his methods of ending a relationship with my mom. I will never agree with how he created a wedge between my relationship with him. I will never agree with his excuses, with his delusions, & with his denial. But I am able to understand &, therefore, pity him with as much grace as my heart can muster.

When I first got married, I swore to Jonathan (my husband) that I would never, ever let our marriage resemble my parents'. But now, after almost 3 years of being married, I do my damnedest everyday to emulate the passion & devotion & comfort that my parents once had with each other. Instead of harping on the bad, I take only the good from my parents' relationship & try to cast it into my own. Because when it was good... it was perfect. I cannot deny that.

I keep a picture in my jewelry box that shows my dad, mom, sister, & myself at Disneyland. I had to be at least 5-years-old, & my sister was about 3 or 4. In that picture, I see our invincibility. I see our closeness. I see a kind of love & security that practically radiates out of the paper & into my heart. & instead of me getting angry that it is no longer this way (or that it IS this way, just in a different form), I smile & am grateful that someone invented photographs. Because really... that's what they're for: memories. & that's exactly where they should stay; in dated pictures, safely sitting in my jewelry box.


Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Welcome Ev'Yan (aka Apricot)! It's nice to have you here. I just adore your mom and I can see that you have inherited her beautiful, detailed writing style. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm so glad that you see the positive in what happened to your family.

My husband is actually a product of divorced parents as well. Ironically it happened around the time he was 18 years old too. Like you, Kirk says that the divorce helped him see things in a new light. He learned what he NEVER wanted to do another human being. He actually says the divorce made him a better man b/c of what he witnessed. And I have to agree with him. He is a wonderful husband and father, very big on communicating and working out any little problem we face.

It's great to know that he's not the only one who turned a difficult time into something life changing and hopeful. I loved your thoughts on the photograph in the jewelry box.... just beautiful!

And just like Kirk's mom is better off where she is now, your mom is thriving and doing wonderfully now too! I'm so happy for them both. Continue to have her back for she loves you so very much! :-)

Bless you!

Angela Cooper said...

Wow, you never get to hear from the child's point of view how a divorce as affected them and what it has also taught them. Thanks for sharing and pleasure to meet you.

blueviolet said...

What a treasure to hear about this from your perspective. As I'm currently in the midst of a divorce, I can most certainly appreciate this more than ever.

Mari said...

Hi Ev'Yan! Thanks for agreeing to write some guest posts. You are a talented writer like your Mom. I appreciated reading what going through your parents divorce was like from your perspective.

Redbonegirl97 said...

Glad you are doing your best to not repeat history in your own marriage.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

Nezzy said...

Thanks for posting the child's eyes view on divorce. You had inherited your mother's flair for writing.

God bless and have a glorious day sweetie! :o)

Sweet Tea said...

Very well said!
I just love to read your Mom's Blog. She's one talented woman so it's not at all surprising that you are talented as well. Great insight!!

Ina in Alaska said...

Powerful words and what a wise woman you are, Apricot! Marriages go thru phases but when they go bad it is purely awful. You described them in heartwrenching detail. You, your sister and your Mom are survivors and triumphant. Love and cheering for all of you! Cherish that picture in your jewelry box. xoxoxo

natalee said...

Apricot I love your've done your mom are as talented and as well written as your mom.... hugs!!!!!

Lin said...

Nice post, pally! I like your grown-up perspective on your parents' divorce. I'm sure it must have been very hard on you all.

Looks like you are a great writer like your mom!

Buckeroomama said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I was reading this and I could hear your mom's voice in yours. :)

BTW, I love your name... Ev'Yan, so beautiful.

Petula said...

It's so nice to hear from you... and WOW! Besides you superb writing, the way you've shared your experiences is touching and easy to understand. You've communicated the ups and downs of the situation and the fabulous results. I think my younger children will come through my divorce relatively unscathed: My youngest was still in my belly when I and her father separated. The next one was 2 and the next 3. The 3 year old remembers us being together... but I think the memories are fading. Luckily, I guess he doesn't remember the bad times/things.

My oldest daughter (almost 19, from a previous relationship) has more than likely learned quite a bit from seeing this divorce occur. From witnessing it herself to my sharing different things with her. I'd like to think that no one but me was affected, but I know that isn't true.

I hope my children don't make the same mistakes I have made in that arena and walk away as strong and sure as you are.

Excellent post. Thanks.

twin2 said...

I am so proud of all of you! You're right about the changes in your mom, sister and yourself. I see such strength in all of you and know that it's partially due to your father's mistakes that you've all experienced a transformation within.

I also remember and cherish happier times with your mom and dad, but as her BFF, I also remember the deep, heartbreaking anguish that she suffered because of his stupidity. (Sorry, I call it like I see it.) I'm glad that you were able to move beyond and come to an understanding of sorts. I'm not at all discounting your feelings but as your mom's twin sister, I will never, ever understand. Yes, sometimes a marriage has to come to an end, but their's didn't have to end in the manner that it did.

Although I believe it IS forgiveable,(with time)I will always feel that it was inexcusable. You should've never had to endure your father's selfishness, but I am so very glad that you and Jarani have blossomed into beautiful young women inside and out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your mom's blog. I am so proud of you!

Frau said...

Thank you for sharing your view. Your Mom is a amazing lady and having great supportive daughter are the glue to a family.

My name is PJ. said...

Hi Ev'Yan! I love your name.

I enjoyed reading such an honest piece about divorce from an older child's perspective.

It sounds like you've taken the good things you learned from your folks and employed them; while doing your darndest to keep the bad things at bay.

It's all we can hope for in our relationships.

Your mom must be so proud of you!

Deidra said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. You are right about your mom...she is quite a woman to be admired.

Farila said...

You have conveyed a very strong message to me Apricot... actually I am going through a troubled marriage at the moment and trying to find a ground to stand on.. I wonder what my kids are going through ( 18 and 15) ... Thanks for this wonderful eyeopening blog.
Love and hugs

mrstdj said...

Thanks so much for sharing!! I am a child of divorce and I often reflect on what I've learned from it. I appreciate you noting the positive and trying to bring that into your own union. All the best!!

Danica said...

Beautifully written!

I was 15 when my parents divorced...or rather seperated (they divorced by the time I was 17). It was just as you described...a huge sense of relief. Our family was free to find their own ways, no longer being tied down by the arguements and frustrations my parents shared. Until my mom's death in 2007, my parents remained friends which really helped our family stay together.

Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate the raw honesty.

Ev'Yan said...

Thank you everyone for your supportive & kind comments. :] I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

-- Ev'Yan

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi Ev'Yan, Your Mom speaks so highly of you and your sister and it's easy to see why. What grace you both have.

I was so touched that you are able to remember when your family was perfect and that you work daily to make your marriage rich and full. I know that makes your mom very proud.

xo jj

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. So interesting to see these perspectives. Isn't it profound how we all take different situations and grow from them.

Thanks for sharing.

Anita said...

Hello Ev'Yan, I found your post very interesting and conversational. I'm glad you can speak about divorce with confidence and acceptance.
My parents divorced when I was about ten. My brother and I had different reactions. I think he felt more pain for the loss of the family unit. I was relieved to see my mother "breathe."
Blessings and best wishes to you and all of your family. :)

Lucas Boles said...

It's so kind of you to drop by and share your story, Ev'Yan. You and your mom are extremely talented in writing! Anyway, let's get back to your story; I think it’s great that you have such a strong personality, and that you have an invincible relationship with your husband Jonathan. You have truly learned something from the failed marriage of your parents. A relationship will have its ups and downs, but most of these can be resolved by working together. Remember that there is always room to grow.


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