Personal Choices about Divorce

When I was growing up as a coping method to get past my parents fighting and then my parents abandoining me I threw myself into books.  I read everything and anything.  I used to go to the library and check out a huge stack each week.  Books were my escape where I could go and be someone else, where I could have the good life like other kids my age with a real family and a real room and a real house and a real picket fence.  Up until 5th grade I was a straight A student.  I loved science.  Then in 5th grade my parents made the divorce final and my grades tanked.  I think it was the stress and stigma of having divorced parents and the need to fit in with the cool kids and the fact that in 5th grade and onward girls are not encouraged in science class as much as their male peers.  Whatever the case, I was not a straight A student, but I liked school and I loved reading.  I have always been type A as far back as I can remember.  All my toys were organized and clean and I always kept things in order and did things on time.  I was an overachiever and somedays I still have that in me, except now I try to fit enough things in a day that would take 3 days to do- especially with keeping my house clean.  I find that most of my friends who have divorced parents are the same way and for the record, I didn’t have one close friend with divorced parents until I was out of college and in my career.

When I was younger I liked to party in college and in my 20’s like other people.  I would go out for fun and drink.  I always cut myself off, I would never let that be a solution to my problems like my parents.  When I became a parent I stopped drinking.  I’ll have the occasional drink at a function or out with friends, but for the most part I don’t.  I don’t ever want my kids to have to smell a drunk parent or have to put up with a hung over parent.  My husband’s parents also drink too much and he has pretty much the same philosophy for not drinking now that we have kids. 

When I lived abroad it was so nice.  I was finally free of making sure everyone in my family was happy and functioning.  But then I came back.  I came back because I missed my grandparents and some other reasons, but after awhile I realized I needed to be close to my family.  My whole life I thought I would be better off away and then I realized I am happiest when with my family.  They are very supportive in their own disfunctional way.  My dad as I mentioned doesn’t drink.  He got his life together was married a few more times and had one other child, my brother.  My brother just had his own first child and lives with my dad and his mom and they are all happy.  My brother made some poor choices a few years back, and we worried he was on dad’s path, but he seems to be changing with the birth of his child, so that is a good thing.  My mom remarried and I see her from time to time.  We are not close and sometimes I wish we were closer, but my mom is a selfish person still and puts herself and her husband first.  My mom still drinks. My grandparents are still an important part of my life and I talk to my grandmother all the time.  One time I judged a friend for getting divorced and I felt awful for doing it.  I apologized, but I know I hurt her.  She didn’t have kids at the time, but I still think divorce hurts.  That taught me how to be a better friend and how to not judge people.  All through my life my faith has been growing and I also think that is the biggest part of being where I am today, despite my rocky beginning.


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