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Her parents’ divorce really hit everyone hard. She has so many memories of those years when the divorce was fresh and painful. It was really…terrible. But as an adult, she realizes that without that pain she might not be who she is today. However, it was so incredibly painful.
The divorce was not amicable. At. All. Her parents’ had never fought and now they were at each other’s throats constantly. They hated each other. It was really hard to witness. Her Mom moved to the basement for a while until they decided exactly how this was going to work. Then they tried sharing the house and an apartment by alternating weeks. That, obviously, didn’t work. Then her stayed in the apartment and her Mom stayed in the house. Then her Mom bought a little house in the “city” (remember they lived in farm country so the “city” is a relative term…it just meant there were other houses within a mile!) and her Dad moved back into their first house. It was really…difficult.
She constantly felt in the middle. If she was at her Dad’s, she felt like she couldn’t say nice or good things about her Mom. If she was at her Mom’s, she felt like she shouldn’t say nice or good things about her Dad. It took her a while to adjust too. When coming home from her Dad’s, it took her a while to “warm up” to her Mom. The same when she’d go to her Dad’s from being with her Mom. It was just so weird. She hated it. The thing she hated the most was seeing her parents fight. That was truly the worst. All that anger was hard to watch as a 9/10-year-old girl.
She was a pleaser too which just made it worse. If she could have just been more of a “whatever” kind of girl, it would have been easier. But she just wanted everyone to like her. To have both her parents be happy. And that was not happening. No one was happy.
Her teacher at school pulled her aside one day to tell her that he knew about the divorce and that if she needed to talk, he was there for her. That made her heart happy. He was such a nice man and it felt good to know that she could talk to another grown-up if she needed to. She never took him up on his offer, but it was still nice to know.
Her parents made her go to counseling and it was awful. She didn’t feel like the therapist was listening or understood what she was feeling. Maybe she just couldn’t express what she was feeling properly. Who knows. Eventually her Mom realized that therapy was not helping and she didn’t have to go any more.
All she really wanted was her parents, her sister and herself to be happy again.
Was that too much to ask?
The more I read your blog, the more I feel like we have in common! I too witnessed my parents divorce when I was 9 years old, and being the oldest in the family, it was definitely tough! We ended up flying to San Diego every other weekend from the San Francisco area to see my dad, looking back, I think it was crazy that we did that (I actually did this for almost 6 years!) But like you said it makes you in part of who you are, and I can only imagine what my life would have ended being like if I did not experience all of those things as a kid. There were actually a lot of blessing that came from the whole ordeal, and I can navigate just about any airport 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story!
I think a lot of first borns are pleasers. We just want everyone to be happy. When my parents divorced, my dad moved three houses away, into a house owned by his brother. We saw him whenever we wanted but I realize looking back that my mom really kind of got the shaft. She got full custody and while we could see my dad anytime, there was no ‘every other weekend’ thing or any sort of official visitation. So she had us ALL. THE. TIME. Now that I’m a mother, I realize how exhausting that must haveen been for her. And my dad made NO effort to take us overnights, for weekends, etc. We saw him for dinner once or twice a week, and he ‘stopped by’ my mom’s house often. I look back and think that he was probably checking up on her, making sure she wasn’t having fun, seein anyone or anything that might have been positive for her. Yeah, I have daddy issues.
Like my sister said, I can totally relate. And I think you two have more incommon the more and more I read. Thank you for sharing your story. I too agree that divorce is painful, yet great because you do grow so much. And I must say now looking back on it, the divorce was the best thing decision my mom has ever made. I am sorry you had to go through it, but you are such a strong woman now. Keep sharing your stories!!!
PS… maybe this is why you and your husband have such a great relationship. You know what it takes!
PPS… for the record I absolutely hated traveling every other weekend from San Fran to San Diego!
It is so interesting to read these posts and then know the person you have become. Beautiful writing, beautiful person!
That is heartbreaking. I am truly sorry you had to go through that. No child should.
You know, the counseling thing….when my parents got divorced I was put into counseling too. What I find really interesting is that I often think I should be in counseling now, as an adult, to deal with that rather than (or in conjunction with) as a child. Too much to process as a kid.
I too went through counseling after my parents divorced. I hated it. Looking back I realize they really did hear me – I didn’t want to hear them. I agree with Lindy – I feel like I need counseling more now than I ever did as a kid!
Sometimes these flashback posts really throw me for a loop! As someone who was your friend during them, I never knew a lot of what was really going on. Obviously, I knew your parents got divorced, but all the details and feelings, you kept hidden so well. I thought the same about the eating/weight issue. I remember talking with one of our other friends about how perfect you were and we were jealous of you. You were so strong to keep this bottled up, but I wish I could have been there for you. I just read “Friendly Chat” and it looks like you’re still doing the same thing…..Let it out, and let your friends help you! I’m happy you’ve healed enough to be able to share, that’s a huge step.