So. Today is 32 years since my parents got married. They met whilst my mum was at University and my dad training as an officer in Armed Forces. They loved each other intensely, the words my father used a few years ago. About 14 months after they married I arrived, the pregnancy and birth difficult. A few years later another daughter was born, 5 weeks premature. No further children were to be born to my parents, apart from cat babies! Armed Forces life took us all over the country, my father deployed to various theatres of war. Promotions took my father steadily up the ladder. In time my father became the boss of a whole airbase, it meant my mum would have to stop doing teaching jobs. Life began to change. My parents started to become distant and not as affectionate. I just thought it was due to my dads working hours and workload. After they left the airbase I discovered my father had betrayed us all. I can’t go into details but it was horrid.
I had a hiatus from my family following a breakdown. By early Spring 2009 I got back in touch with my dad, but not my mum initially. He broke the news that he and Mum had split. A few months passed and, due to a family bereavement, I was forced to contact my mum as she would be at funeral. Angry and emotional calls ensued. It was about this time their split affected me. Well started to anyway.
I started to realise that my family was broken. Broken beyond repair. Relationships between parents, parent/s and children and between children. It broke me. I found myself crying more and more. The black dog that is depression and anxiety crept up on me.
Furthermore my parents, well mostly my mum, fought rather bitterly. Most of the time it was via us two children, vile expletives used. It saddened me. The very two people I had loved and known (ish) love from were sniping at one another. Usual line began ‘Well he is a blah blah blah’. Then there was the house. Don’t even get me started on this matter. Needless to say it is 99% resolved.
The months passed by like a high speed train. Soon it would their wedding anniversary. But in my depressed haze I forgot, it wasn’t their actual day anymore. I send a card. Error. Big error. That was it, I was a bad daughter (as always). This broke me once more.
Then there’s birthdays and Christmas. This I don’t mind as it means two sets of gifts. It was almost a pissing competition for my 30th last year. It’s a little bit sad but my inner child quite likes this.
Last year I had therapy to help me come to terms with the split. I was mourning my parents marriage. In some respects it has certainly made me question whether I want marriage. I see friends from school who are getting hitched and I feel sad because I wonder if they will divorce. Is it wrong to think that? Probably but I’ve been deeply upset by the one divorce I didn’t want to happen even if I didn’t want to admit that at the time. I had to deal with the fact I despised my parents for not ‘sticking with it’ because, after all, they had been through a lot. I had to deal with the fact my parents are both in new relationships. Hell my dad may even end up having another child too, not that they’re expecting before you ask.
I blamed myself because I’m a ‘bad daughter and never do anything right’ I blamed the Forces for keeping my dad away from home so much. I blamed my mum for her behaviour. I blamed a lot of people and things.
I suppose divorcing parents may be a little bit worse for adult ‘children’ because you understand exactly what marriage and relationships are about. You may be in a relationship and their divorce makes you question your whole situation. You know what it means to have your heart broken by someone who should know better.
Will I ever get married? Probably not. I don’t think I could deal with the heartache that follows. Maybe in time this view will change. My sister is happy and getting hitched. Her view of men was very damaged immediately after the split.
So, dear reader, have I dealt with divorce in the right way? Who am I to judge. I’ve tried to remain neutral and not be involved. Time will tell am sure.
I’m now off to have a little blub but please don’t worry, I’m stronger than ever before.