Although I would say that I turned out successful and full of determination, and that my situation.. well our situation.. was probably for the best, divorce in a family is probably one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. It will always affect me. My Dad always tells me to not dwell in the past, and I do believe I get my optimistic outlook on life from him. However, when dealing with a situation like divorce, it's hard to ultimately "get over it".
Now, I should start off saying that my parents were never actually married. There was an engagement, but that is as far as it went. My parents are two very different people with two very different outlooks on life. They both had different goals and different dreams. It was inevitable that things would never work out. But I tend to still call it a "divorce," because really, it still was a splitting of a couple once in love.
At a young age, I knew way too much about custody battles than any child should have ever known about.. really, no child should ever even know about it. I knew that mom had one house, and dad had another, and that mom had us on week days and dad had us on weekends.
In grade one, we used to sit around the chalk board with big fluffy pillows and share events with our fellow class mates. I remember that I used to always lie and say that my parents were finally going to get back together and get married. It breaks my heart to remember this deliberate lie.. or more so a dream. Here was a young girl, who's only wish in the world was to have a "normal" family.
Even today, at 22, I am still affected by this splitting. My mother is married to her husband, and my father is engaged and set to get married next year. My aching thought is always, "why couldn't they have been married." It always will be.
I have always promised myself that I will never do this to my own future children. Divorce really does have an impact on children and it forces them to grow up too fast at too young of an age. A child should not have to know that, "this is mom's house and this is dad's house." Children should not see their parents feuding over vacations and holidays, and have, in the end, them be divided between two families. Too much thought goes into what is best for the parents, instead of what should be the most important thought: what is best for the child.
This is a very hard topic for me to talk about. There is so much that I want to say, but I don't want to say too much. My parents are both wonderful people. They have both taught me lessons on their own that they couldn't have done together: My father has taught me how to stand up for myself, how to be giving without expecting anything in return, and how to properly deal with certain situations; my mother has taught me how to be a strong, independent woman, how to do things without being told, and how to be kind and loving.
I am fortunate to still have fond memories of when they still were happy and together. I remember several of our family camping trips, as well as frequent road trips. I can remember laughter and smiles and compromise. My youngest sister, however, is less fortunate in these memories, and I know that it truly saddens her. Something that I will always be grateful for, is that my Dad always had his video recorder attached to his hip. He would record everything. From time to time, I like to relive those memories and watch hours of footage. It makes me sad, and happy all at the same time.
My Dad once told me that a divorce or break up is almost like a death: we will always mourn the previous union. This statement has always been true to me, because honestly, divorce is like a death; divorce is a death of a bond between two people that, in most cases, will never reconnect.
My wish by telling this story, is that people will take this to heart. I hope that anyone facing a divorce or separation with children involved will remember what is most important: the children. Remember that we are the symbol of your love for one another, even if that love has vanished.
Until next time..