There is something very definite about the way my mother says it, as if it is something I should have expected all along.
I could go into the specifics of why my parents who have been married for 33 years are getting a divorce, but that really isn’t important. That is just details in a much larger picture.
There isn’t much one can do now, knowing all those details, other then thinking about what one could have changed, what one could have noticed.
As the youngest of five children, fourth biological child of both parents, the divorce has seemed to affect me the most. My sister is in her own world, barely taking care of herself to realize family drama brewing on the left coast. My two middle brothers have families and jobs and responsibilities and remember a time before my memory when family life was similar to what it is now. My oldest brother, well, he doesn’t much care for family drama, he remains distinctly out of it, although he is the closest in space to them.
There is something distinctly odd about being twenty-three years old and being told your parents are divorcing, the inner child, the wee Kim wonders whose house she will stay at when she comes to visit. Whose side will I have to take, because invariably there will be sides. I think about these questions a lot, I wonder if I will have to be the peace keeper at family events. Will one not come to my graduation because the other is bringing a “friend”? Will one be surly at my wedding because the other is there?
And most of all I wonder what will make my future relationships last if the people who raised me can’t make theirs?
I know I am not my parents, I know future relationships will be based off of me and that other person, not based off of my parents and their faulted one. But it begs to be considered if I too will follow that same path, because what I see in myself is what I see in my parents.
I have not been known to have solid relationships, they are at best, high hopes and quick decisions, based on the need to be liked and loved rather then finding a match. The men and boys I have surrounded myself with have not been good, sure there has been a few who were better then I deserved, but most were everything I thought I wanted but like sugar to a diabetic toxic in the long run.
That very statement is proving to myself that isn’t those men and boys who are the problem but perhaps myself. I’ve asked myself why I fall so quickly into relationships which I know won’t last, the answer is simply because I allow myself.
As a young child, growing up religious, growing up where sex before marriage would excommunicate you from church, from your family, where riding in cars with boys alone was not allowed, marriage at a young age was common. I grew up with a fear that if I wasn’t married by 23 there would be something profoundly wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, spiritual enough, thin enough for someone to find me worthy enough of marriage. I almost married a boy at 18 due to this fear, it wouldn’t have worked out, in fact I know for sure it wouldn’t have worked out.
So I sit alone, trying to find out where they went wrong, where I won’t go wrong. I wonder if it will work, or if I just need to take a chance.
I guess my parents divorcing has made me look at myself and figure out that there are things inside me I don’t like. To fully give myself over to another person, I must find ways to make those things I don’t like better, livable within the confines of my soul.