Every Christmas, as we were being hustled outside to play with our new toys, I would pray that this would be the Christmas my parents would get a divorce. I say every Christmas, but it wasn’t every one-just the ones in late elementary, early middle school. Like I said in a previous post, it’s easy to only remember the bad ones. But there were good ones mixed in there too.
My dad would always go into a deep depression around the holidays. He always thought it was weak to seek out help of any kind because “he was a man and that was a weakness” so he attempted to battle it on his own.
As we were playing outside with some of the kids from across the street, we could hear my parents fighting. We never really knew what they were fighting about, but as kids you always think everything is about you. I was just ready for the arguing to stop and for my dad to quit talking to my mom the way he did. I know she stuck it out as long as she did because of Jamie and me, but in a way (for me anyways) that did just as much damage as if she would’ve just ended it.
My dad was a run around. I actually told on him the first time and didn’t even know it. There was this woman, this couple rather-married couple-that he was doing a side job for. Putting in some cabinets I believe. I only went to her house once, but Jamie had been over a few times and had actually gone swimming with her boys. Then one night, mom went somewhere, and the other woman and her kids came over for pizza and a movie at my house. It was real laid back. Nothing sketch happened in front of any of us kids.
She had taught me how to do a handstand and so when mom got home, either that night or the next day, I showed her. Obviously since she hadn’t seen me do one before, she was curious as to where or how I had learned to do it. “Oh dad’s friend, so-and-so, taught me.” Only I had told her the actual name of the other women.
She obviously confronted him. I mean for pete’s sake some other woman was in my mother’s house! For the longest time, I felt like he blamed me for him getting caught. But I was a child, I didn’t know any better. They ended up working through that and mom forgave him. Only for it to happen however many more times.
Dad was the hide-in-plain-site kind but, with that came some mistakes. For instance, he bought these diamond stud earrings for one of his girlfriends and the jewelry store called the house saying he’d missed his last payment or something. Mom was the one who answered the phone and found out when he’d ordered them and all that. She never received them so she just knew.
A bunch of little things like that happened that fit a bunch of pieces together for mom. Dad was always the kind that didn’t like to be questioned. But he was sneaky too. Like, he’d just up and leave the house. Mom would ask him where he was going and he’d say something like, “going to get some dip.” An hour later he’d come back without dip and say that he had to drive all over town looking for dip and everybody was out. INSANE.
Mom always did want to give him the benefit of the doubt but she finally just had enough.
They ended up separating and he moved out. Their divorce drug out for over two years, mainly over petty stuff. Mom went through a little depression there, but who wouldn’t after being married for seventeen years.
I was happy she finally stood up for herself and got out of a situation where she was being treated like crap. I was so sick of seeing her put up with that. Nobody deserves to be cheated on, but certainly not my mom. It was hard to see.
After the divorce, things started looking up for mom. I was so happy to see her becoming happy again. Even though I was dealing with my own stuff, I was bottling it up because one, that is just how I am but also, because I didn’t want to disrupt the happy she deserved.
Divorce is never easy. In my case, it caused me to see less and less of my dad. It wasn’t my moms fault, or the divorce’s fault-it was his. I stayed mad at him for a long time, hating him for destroying our family.
But, I’ve come to learn that things happen for a reason. God has a plan for my life. And His plan is far greater than anything I could ever imagine or dream of. I may not have had a happy ending with my home life as a child growing up, BUT with God, I have that happy ending. His Story is my fairytale.
Mom, I’m not mad at you for divorcing dad. I’m actually proud of you for standing up for yourself and not allowing yourself to be treated like somebody’s second best. For a while, I used to think that women should do whatever it takes to make it work with their family. And to an extent, that’s right. But we should never have to compromise our worth.
Dad, I’m not mad at you for running around and walking out on your family. Sometimes we have to go out and find ourselves, just to realize everything we wanted was right there in front of us. I’m thankful you finally realized that, just hate you thought it was too late or too far gone to fix.
Without either one of you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. God specifically chose you as my parents and for that I’m thankful! Love you both very much!
Dear Lord, Author of my story, continue to write my story the way You want to. Help me to step away from my desires and my wants and step into Your desires and wants for me. Your ways are far greater than mine could ever be. I want Your best for me, not my best for me. In Your name I pray, Amen!