Friday, March 1, 2013

The Way We Were

Although I do not want to spend a lot of time rehashing and revisiting my parent's very contentious Divorce, I do feel the need to talk about the difference between Divorce today and back then; and the effect that it all had on my mind, my heart, my psyche.
Today, divorced parents will make arrangements via cell phone or text to have a quaint little (or big) celebration for Little Joey's Birthday Party, and both sides of the equation will show up and act like respectful adults. Mommy will show up with New Boyfriend and Dad might have New Wife on the arm, but the child will find both sets of Grandparents present, and often times, the whole entire evening goes off without a hitch. Plans are made; Little Joey is well-adjusted, and the Divorcees are doing something that we now refer to as "co-parenting."
That did not happen in my life. Not even close.
My experience went a little more like this: there would be fights over every single Holiday. Who got me on ACTUAL Arbor Day and then who got me the Day After for ARBOR DAY II? From the moment my parents decided on Divorce, I had two Birthdays, two Christmases, two get the picture. In fact, I can tell you for sure that the first time my parents were in the same room together for an event was my Wedding Day. I can very clearly remember sitting each of them down and making it known that I would not tolerate any shenanigans, and that I would not be having two weddings so to please try as hard as humanly possible to act like adults for one night.
I can remember like it was yesterday the feeling of being pushed and pulled and that even worse feeling of being torn between two people that I loved. I can remember thinking that I never wanted to get married if that was what it was going to end up like; and I certainly didn't want to have any kids. Not if being a kid felt like this...why would I want to do that to someone I loved?


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  2. Remember you have the power to change it. You can't rewrite history, but you can make your own story the way you want it. Life isn't a box of chocolates. Life is messy and doesn't come with directions. We make our up own directions, and go in our own direction. You now have the perfect recipe of what not to do. All you have to do is come up with what to do.
    Maybe the answer to your question is: They were so wound up in their own hurt caused by each other that they forgot about the one they loved. Sounds like they wanted you to fill the void, but you were just a kid caught in the middle. It never should have happened, but it did. Watch out. Here comes a cliche. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. You are one strong chick. Take it in stride. :)
    Carol from the gym

  3. I can relate. My parents divorced in 1976, I was born in 1971. I was the only kid in my school/neighborhood/church with divorced parents. Even worse, my parents decided on joint custody, but without speaking to each other or getting along. So on Mondays and Tuesdays I lived with my mom, Wednesdays and Thursdays I lived with my dad then every other Friday the other parent got me. Because they didn't speak, I was responsible (at age 5) for remembering what to take to each house. Each had different rules, and completely different personalities. By one I would get spanked with a wooden spoon for not bringing socks with me from the other house, the other parent wouldn't even notice if I had socks on. All of my favorite books are ripped in I could have parts at each house. They are now united at my own home and my own children are growing up with two loving adult parents who have worked their asses off to not parent the way they were! Ironic that the parent that fought the most for joint custody now only calls on Christmas Day and this year didn't even do that, just a text was exchanged. So sad. Their loss. Was your favorite movie as a kid Kramer vs. Kramer? I loved that movie, so did my husband. We were 8 when it came out! How could our parents not see that there was something wrong with that? Sorry this is so long, just know you are not alone.

  4. @Carol: Are you stealing my mantra, "Stronger every day?" :) you.

    @love2read: Funny you should mention Kramer vs. Kramer...of course, I still feel a strong attachment to that movie because I felt like it was the first movie to depict what was really going on...nobody talked about Divorce then, and of course nobody knew how to handle it.
    All of my visits with Dad concluded with him dropping me off at the end of the driveway, handing me a check, and then saying, "Tell your mother there's her blood money."
    Fabulous, huh?

    1. Horrible, and so sad. And I don't know about you but just when I think I have it all figured out and I'm fine, something will come up that brings those feelings back. Being a cop's wife does not help me. Him working 12 hour sifts on my only days off brings up those abandonment feelings even though cognitively I know it isn't the same at all. I have always looked forward to your blog, even more so now. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you for's complicated, and I am very grateful right now for those of you who are supporting me in figuring it all out.
    XO Stella


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