Child of Divorce

Child of Divorce

Photo by ArtisitnTraining18

 

 

Divorce is such an ugly word, yet for some families, it is the best thing that happens to them. Mum and Dad separated when I was 4. The reasons weren’t vile or cliché; there wasn’t any sordid affair, just, two people fell in love at the wrong stages of their lives. Dad was always working, never there, Mum married idealism and hated reality.

Growing up for my Sister and I was a battle of who gets time with whom. Every other Sunday, when my Dad would drive us home, he would take us to McDonalds, then to the park with the tunnel slide, and finally we’d stop at the happy shop (also known as One Stop). He would buy me and my sister a Kinder Surprise. My Father rang us every night to find out how our day had been, something I ashamedly used to resent, as it cut in on TV time.

My Step Father was another story. The best thing that came out of my Mother’s second marriage was my Brother. My Sister adored our Step Father, as she had only been 2 through the first divorce, this man was the consistent Daddy figure in her life. My Mum and Step Dad never argued, it was the image of the perfect family, until it wasn’t.

When I was 13, my Step-father told me that he was leaving, he didn’t love Mum anymore, and he had met someone else. My Step-father never really visited us again. It left my Sister believing that no one could love her, and left my Brother indifferent to his absent Father. He left my Mother broke and heartbroken; she became a shell, it was my job to make sure she at least ate after work. Chip butties were the extent of my culinary expertise.

My Mother had no qualifications, three kids and two divorces. What she did next was outstanding. She studied at CCCU and received a First in nursing whilst working in a full time job and raising 3 kids.

My Mother and Father are now both separately happy. Dad is remarried, I have a wonderful Step-mother, though she is just as feisty as he is, and from them I have two more Sisters. My Mother is with her long term partner who has played a vital role in my Brothers life, and helped my Mother blossom into the beautiful person she is today.

Is divorce bad? It depends. In my Mother’s first case, it was inevitable. Mistakes happen, we were young, and it was probably for the best, no harm done. In the second case, the older you are the worse it feels, there is a sense of betrayal and a realisation of the person you always thought you knew. No family is functional, every family has its wars. Despite the grief I have seen in my family, divorce really was the best thing. It hurts, it cuts, it lingers. But I would rather live in this dysfunctional reality then be stuck in an idealistic lie.

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