I was ten years old and I specifically remember my mom sitting me down on my bed to have “a talk”. She wasn’t much of a talker. She did the minimum of what needed to be done and was just kind of withdrawn most of the time, unless I was in trouble. My heart raced and my palms got sweaty as my mind was running through all of the things I may have done wrong recently.
“Your dad and I are getting a divorce.”
I froze and didn’t react immediately because the response my mind was thinking would have been inappropriate during this heart to heart. My authentic response to jump up and down on my bed seemed uncompassionate. I think I faked tears.
She and my dad fought. A lot. There was a lot of screaming and a lot of crying, from my mom and from me. I got accustomed to holding my pillow tight enough over my ears so I didn’t have to hear anything but muffled voices and an occasional chachki crashing against a wall.
My only point of reference of divorce was my neighbor; a single mom with two children. I was friends with the kids and often spent the night there. It was an escape. A peaceful refuge where anxiety wasn’t in the air. They laughed. They ate meals together- willingly. They belonged to PWP (Parents Without Partners) and were often busy doing activities with them. Everyday, it seemed, they had something to look forward to and a reason to smile. If this was what divorce was about, then count me in!
After the divorce, my mom blossomed. She had a freedom and a zest for life that I didn’t know was possible. Her sadness faded. I had a new mom and I liked her. It’s because of my experience that I am a firm believer that you don’t stay married for the kids. I missed ten years with that happy woman. I saw her sad and crying in those ten years more times that I should have in a lifetime. Unfortunately, the traumatic time my parents were married had already done its harm to my nerves and molded me into an anxious, self-conscious girl with self-esteem issues.
Though some damage was done, I vowed to not repeat my mom mistakes.
Unfortunately, I am unable to keep my promise.
Things may become rather quiet around here and this is why. But it’s all good. A rebirth and rediscovery of myself is in the works. Though the road may be long, I’m eager to begin again and find myself. I’ve been missing for a while. I’m excited to get to know this person again. I hope you will be, too.