I had a bit of “writer’s block” for a few days and I asked my sister what she would like me to write about. Sometimes I forget things or don’t think about things. Everyone has their own perspective on things in life too and I think it is interesting that sometimes things that happen are a really huge deal to some and to other people it isn’t. She said “You should write about when mom left.” Now, I don’t really think about that much. I don’t feel like it is a big deal, now. I am sure it was then, but I feel like I am way over it. I don’t even remember all the feelings I had at that time. I will write about what I do remember though. I am sure this won’t be my only post about this though since I seem to remember things later so it will be all over the place, like always.
I will start with when my mom mentioned to us that she was going to leave my dad. I remember when I was little my dad was the disciplinarian more than my mom was. We were all closer to my mom than we were with my dad. He yelled and got angry pretty easily. My mom was more of the nurturing type and my dad was more of a stressed out work-a-holic. When he was in a good mood, we had lots of fun. I like it when he is silly and laid back. Anyway, we had noticed tension between my parents and we were a bit worried. We decided that IF mom and dad got a divorce we would choose to live with mom.
Dad was taking a shower upstairs when mom took all three of us out on the deck in the backyard to tell us that she was leaving. From what I remember, my initial feelings were relief and excitement. I don’t remember feeling sad, angry, confused or anything like that at that moment. My mom told us to not tell dad. I don’t remember feeling like I should tell him. I don’t remember feeling bad for keeping that a secret. I felt like I was helping mom. I believe I was 13 or 14, so my sister was probably 15 and my brother was probably 12?
My dad always called my mom before he left work. It was like clockwork. He’d call and he’d ask what was for dinner and small talk and then he would head home. The day she left, she had gone to work and wasn’t coming home that evening. He had called and told her he’d see her soon and she said no you won’t. Or something like that.
I don’t remember what happened that night. I don’t remember how I felt or how it was at home without mom. I don’t remember my dads reaction or what he said to us.
I do remember a conversation we had in the kitchen with my dad, sister and brother. I don’t remember when this conversation happened, but it was after my mom had left. He told us that she wasn’t coming back and that she was seeing someone else. I remember asking “Did they do it?” and my sister looked over at me and was like “Duh.”
I remember my dad went through a lot of emotions over the next several months and years. I don’t remember us moving out of our home. I do remember us moving into the new home though. It was in an older neighborhood and I was super excited about it. I liked the weird rusty orange carpet and the mini blinds that were a bronze metallic material. I thought it was pretty cool. I remember that first year, for Christmas, I got a diary. I really needed that diary. I still have it too.
I wrote in that diary so much, mostly about puppy love, that I filled it up before 1 year was over and started a second one. I don’t remember me focusing on the divorce really. I was more focused on my little life going on.
There were a lot of changes during that time for everyone. My brother slept in my dad’s room on the floor in a sleeping bag for a long time. I would say several months. My sister started hanging with gang members and drinking. We all started cutting school and staying home watching Jerry Springer and eating nachos. Eventually, at 15 or so we started smoking weed and having people over at the house while my dad was working. My dad started dating and had girlfriends and their kids move in. This just made it more fun and more drama really. I know there was a lot of craziness then, but I don’t believe in regrets. I try to focus on the positive things. We grew much closer to my dad in those years. He allowed us to get away with a lot. He eased up on us and stopped being so mean. We would go on grocery shopping trips in the middle of the night and be goofy at the store. He was like a big kid basically. He bonded with us finally and we did with him as well.
We visited mom on weekends. I don’t remember the exact schedule, but at first it was all three of us, then we started alternating weekends individually so we could spend time with mom one on one. I enjoyed this too. If we had all lived together all the time we wouldn’t have had as much quality time to spend with mom one on one like that.
I get annoyed when people imply that my “issues” stem from this divorce. They want to contemplate on how I would have turned out had my parents stayed together. I think those years really did shape me into the person I am today. Good and bad.
I remember some nights my dad would be very upset. He went through a mix of emotions. Sometimes he would be sad, depressed, then angry and then trying hard to get my mom back. Sometimes he would talk mean about my mom and dish out dirt to us kids. I don’t know if that was a tactic to get us to be against my mom or if he just needed someone to vent to. I remember I would be irritated because I didn’t have empathy at that time. I was a teenager and had my own angst going on about crap that was petty.
I re-read my diary entries sometimes and they are almost comical how much of a butthole I am. But what can I say, I was a teenager then. Things in my world were important and I didn’t care what was going on in other people’s worlds really.
I am not mad at my dad or my mom. I love them both. They are people. Everyone makes mistakes. I think they are both extremely strong in their own ways. I am proud of both of them for doing what they needed to do and always putting us kids first.