It’s finally happened. My mom has started the process of moving out and leaving my dad. No one has actually said divorce yet, but she’s moved back up to her childhood home in Dayton, quit her job, found a new one and seems hell bent on making the whole thing permanent. Raising the WTF Is Happening to My Life Meter JUST THAT MUCH MORE.
I can only remember one time where she was this close to divorcing my dad. My sisters and I were pretty young. Mom forgot to pick me up from school one afternoon, and no one could get a hold of her or anyone else so I sat there until finally someone figured out how to get a hold of my dad at work (being 8 at the time I didn’t have his work phone number memorized and cell phones weren’t extremely common yet) He came to pick me up and took me back to the office so he could finish up the days work, but by that time mom had remembered me and was in an absolute panic because the one teacher who stuck around to wait until someone could get me didn’t know who either of my parents were, and sent me home with my dad because I got excited and knew who he was. Still, no cell phones for my parents, so mom had to drive from the school in Dayton all the way back to their house in Cincinnati to call my dad who worked in the exact middle of both cities to tell him I was “missing”. By that time she’d called the police, and everyone was all in an uproar over everything, so when Dad finally managed to talk to her and explain, it was too late.
She decided to blame my dad for everything, absolutely everything, forgetting that she was the one who neglected to pick me up in the first place, and got so irrationally angry she came to pick me up with suitcases and my sisters and we stayed with my grandparents in Dayton for… I don’t even remember how long. It was quite a while. At least a month, maybe more. I do remember finishing out the school year living at my grandparents and really only moving back in with my dad because mom got into a huge fight with grandma and couldn’t stand being there anymore. That was as close as my parents ever got to splitting up when I was growing up, even though they fought all the time and mom would always leave and disappear for hours sometimes days at a time. Usually if it was going to be an extended absence she would toss us kids in the car and we’d end up going too, but not always. There were a few times she was gone for a day or two leaving us behind with Dad.
The more I’m able to sort of pull up these memories about my childhood, the more I realize exactly how fucked up everything really was. There are so many memories I have of being places with people who weren’t my parents or relatives. I got left behind several times, or sent to the wrong place, or the wrong people picked me up from school or dropped me off at school. Even in the middle of the events themselves I can remember not knowing why I was there, or who I was with. Granted all the experiences were usually field trips or an effort to socialize me with other kids so I could have “friends”, but there are still only fragments of memories. It’s like my entire childhood was a complete blur, with splashes of traumatic things here and there. Those memories really stuck with me much more than anything else. The anger from my mom, the threats of abandonment, or getting sent away to a foster home if I wasn’t perfect , threatening to have me arrested once I finally grew up enough to fight back against her physical abuse.
Like, no one enjoys looking back at their family and being like: OMG WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?? like many people don’t like looking back on their own lives, but yeah. There were so many times mom would be screaming at dad threatening to leave and I’d be in my bedroom crying my eyes out wishing, hoping, praying that she would just go already and quit making everyone else suffer. Of course growing up I couldn’t articulate that aside from crying and screaming myself, which always made the fighting between my parents worse. Mom would always be like: “You’re upsetting the children! You’re doing this. You’re doing that” screaming at my dad, and most of the time dad would just sit there and take it. It was brutal.
Which is why I can’t stand when people try to stay together “for the kids.” As one of those kids, who grew up in a miserable home environment of unhappy parents, listen when I say it’s a STUPID IDEA. If you want to work out your marriage because you want to work out your marriage, more power to you, but don’t use kids as an excuse. The kids will probably be more miserable living in hell than adjusting to a separation or divorce. At least I certainly was.
Even as an adult with my parents marriage in limbo, it’s hard to wrap my head around. I get it, I’ve been through the trials of long term relationships, raising kids, all of that. The fact that everyone told them not to get married in the first place should be a good indication of not belonging together… yeah. That’s right. Even the pastor that performed their ceremony told them in marriage counseling NOT to go through with the marriage, and they did anyway. It doesn’t make it any easier trying to adjust to this potential new normal. Like all of the sudden after thirty odd years you just decide to up and leave? Why couldn’t you have left ages ago saving everyone years of grief and agony? Seriously?
Ugh… I don’t know. I don’t even know! Reality has flipped upside down and backwards all of the sudden. Up is down, black is white, right is wrong, and I can’t keep up with it anymore. *throws arms up*