April 4, 2012 by Heather
I’ve said before that I would not blog about my parents’ divorce out of respect for them and out of respect for my own personal feelings regarding the situation. Besides, this is a light-hearted blog and why would I want to get into something so deep anyway?
Because it sucks, that’s why. And because it’s been two and a half years and I’ve kept my mouth relatively shut about it. And because my heart is heavy, and I hate it when people use that phrase.
This is the most passive aggressive thing you’ll probably ever read.
Divorce creates a ripple effect. One tiny (or not-so-tiny) drop in a pool and then it just radiates from there into the lives of so many around it, whether you like it or not. My son won’t be able to understand what my childhood was like when I tell him stories about my own mom & dad, because he will never know a world where that relationship exists. I’m still not even sure what to do with those childhood memories. I’m so very grateful to have them locked away in a special place, but it’s like they have their own separate category now – the way things were before the you-know-what hit the fan. It’s sometimes confusing to think about because a big part of those memories is now no more, and because of that it skews the rest.
It brings out the crazies. Being a rather non-confrontational person (believe it or not), I generally try to keep my own personal crazies inside. And by crazies I mean the ugly side that comes out when you’ve been hurt and you just kind of explode ugliness all over the place. However, not everyone is able to keep their crazies suppressed, which can lead to lots of unwanted drama and anger. So hear me when I say this: Chill the hell out, everyone. Just chill out, and let it be. Because things will never be the same, not even close. Pick your battles, be nice (even if it’s fake), and let time continue do its thing.
Divorce affects ALL of the children involved, not just the ones living at home. This might be one of the biggest misunderstandings of them all, in my opinion. I understand that the ones at home are in the thickest part of it, the day-to-day, and are therefore subjected to it regularly. In a way though, that gets them more used to it. It slowly becomes their normal, whether that’s a good or bad thing. For the kids who are grown and perhaps married and out of the house, it takes a whole lot longer for it to get that way. In fact, it may never get that way, and that’s ok. “Going home” will never mean what it used to mean, it will never feel the way it used to feel, and it will take a lot more planning and logistics in order to see everyone and not ruffle any feathers in the process.
Being an adult when your parents split up also means that you may become the sounding board for various feelings and/or points of view. It means you are more likely to play monkey in the middle, because everyone is so concerned about the kids living at home that they forget that you too are still their child and still need a lot of parenting yourself.
Being an adult when your parents both get remarried means that you will have a possibly-infinite struggle with the words “step-mom” and “step-dad.” All parties involved should understand why you instead use the title “my dad’s wife,” or “my mom’s husband.” Maybe someday it will be different. It is also weird, as an adult, to see your parents behave in new and different mid-life-crisis-type ways. This is weird even if your parents are still married to each other. However, it is even weirder when they are married to other people.
Look, I get it. You weren’t happy before, and now you are. Good. Great. Keep being happy. Just stop acting like a bunch of angry teenagers who can’t have a civilized adult conversation to save their lives. Because honestly, I’m tired of feeling like the grown up.
And yes, I am cranky. But you would be too if you woke up to no less than 20 dog turds all over your house and your dishwasher didn’t work and the bathtub didn’t drain and a pimple the size of Texas manifested itself on your cheek during the night.