Monday, March 21, 2011
Honestly, I don’t feel anything. It’s strange. When my mother announced that she’s leaving my dad, I was a little shocked and a bit saddened. It wasn’t because I felt like they should stick together. They were a match made in hell. I was saddened because I was used to their bickering, fighting, and complaining about each other. I knew they weren’t happy together, but they were used to each other, and I was used to them being together.
My mom’s happy now, and my dad couldn’t care less. In a way, it’s a happy ending. No one got hurt, no hearts broken.
I asked my mom why she stayed with him for so long if they were miserable together. It was because of me. She wanted me to have a father and she knew that if they were to divorce while I was kid, he would be an absent father, one who wouldn’t pay child support or take me on weekends. Although my mom thinks she did the right thing, it didn’t make a difference. I didn’t have a father.
Sure, he was there, living in the same house, eating at the same kitchen table, watching the same TV. But we didn’t talk. We had nothing in common. He didn’t care what was new in my life.
Growing up, I thought my family was normal. I thought that’s how all families are. Sure, I heard stories of close families that did things together, but I always thought those were lies.
Now that I’m married, I see everything from a different perspective. Why? Because my husband has a child from a previous marriage. It’s hard on me because I’m barely into my adult years and I’m already a stepmother of a preteen. It’s also hard because my husband cares about his kid, and I’m not used to seeing that. I find it very unusual to see a father want to spend time with his daughter.
As a kid, I learned a lot about compromise. My mother compromised her happiness so that I could have a father. What she doesn’t realize though is seeing her unhappy all the time took away from my happiness. So in turn, I had to compromise my happiness too.
As an adult, I’m learning the meaning of family.
Anyway, so back to the divorce date. . .
On the morning of their divorce, I went to the courthouse with my mother to lend her support. We both got dressed up as though she were going to celebrate. And we did. We were celebrating her freedom.
I put on a pair of heels that were so uncomfortable that I had to walk at turtle speed in order to stop my skin from scrapping off. It was a small price to pay for celebrating in style!
My dad didn’t even show up to the courthouse, not that I thought he would.
After the courthouse, we went out for breakfast and then mom went to work while I went home to edit. Later that night, my husband asked me if I divorced my dad as well.
To him, since he has such a close relationship with his own daughter, it’s hard for him to comprehend how parents and children could grow apart.
I turned to him and said, “Honey, I divorced him a long time ago.”
He doesn’t miss me. He has my number, he could call me, but I think my dad and I only had one phone conversation in the last three years. I don’t miss him either. My mom doesn’t miss him. And he doesn’t miss her either.
Although many people would see it as tragic, I think it’s a happy ending. We no longer have to pretend to be a family and get along. We can all be free now.
Come back to my blog this Wednesday, where I will be sharing with you my wedding day story.
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This is a wonderfully written post, Angelina. I'm sorry how your parents' issues impacted you growing up, but you seem to be dealing with it in such an admirable, mature way.ReplyDelete
Even though you're okay with it, it's still sad. If nothing else, I hope your parents will be able to go on with their lives and do something meaningful with what's left.ReplyDelete
You handled it well.
Wow. A very different perspective on it all, and an interesting read. I'm glad you're OK with it, but am still sorry you had to deal with it.ReplyDelete
The closure must be a good thing. You went into this very strong; I suspect that won't change afterwards, either.ReplyDelete
I agree with Lydia. Closure must feel good. It stinks that you had to deal with it all these years. You seem to understand it though - and that's important.ReplyDelete
I think it's a wonderful ending. Although sad, sometimes life takes turns that are a must.ReplyDelete
It has probably made you a stronger person. Keep well. :)
Hey, it's my belief that an interesting childhood makes an interesting person. This is very true in your case. The good thing is that you are seeing the 'other side of life' now with your husband and his child.ReplyDelete
I hope this will be new beginnings for everybody. Your mom is very lucky to have you by her side. I'm hopeful though your dad will come around. Some guys are just hopeless at expressing their feelings. You're a special lady, so they did a lot of things right, I think, even if it's hard to see it sometimes. xoxo
Sigh. Dysfunctional families. My mom used my brother and I as an excuse to stay with my father for years. I think it did more damage than good, personally, but your dad doesn't sound abusive like mine was. Honestly, my mom was just afraid of being alone. Now? She loves it and wishes she'd done it when she was much, much younger. I actually have a great relationship with my dad now - one that I wouldn't have if he hadn't gotten remarried to a wonderful woman that was perfect for him! He and my mom never should have been together, but they got me out of it so it's like they hit the lottery. ;-) They both compromised their own happiness because they thought they were supposed to. In fact, if you had asked me in my early twenties if I thought my dad was even capable of being happy, I would have told you no. Turns out he was. He just had to find that for himself.ReplyDelete
Anyway, I'm thrilled for your mom. How exciting for her to be starting a new chapter of her life!! And I think it's so cute that you celebrated together. This post is a long way from the one you posted before the holidays when she made the announcement. I'm very proud of you. It's not easy for us when our parents split even though we're adults and their relationship wasn't what it should have been! Not many people get that. We have to go through our own grieving.
Good for your mom ... and ((hugs))...ReplyDelete