Divorce is many things. Messy. Unfair. Selfish. Heartbreaking. Cowardly. The "easy" way out. There are so many ways to describe it. But each emotion relates back to the pain we feel as ACOD's.
Another word I would use is confusing. I think many of us are often confused by our parents' actions during this time. If our parents are separated, we're confused by the fact that they're not officially divorced, but not living together. If they're getting a divorce, we may wonder why it's taking so long. Or we may be confused by how quick the process took. In my case, I've felt nothing but confusion over the way my parents have handled things. The separation was confusing because the intent behind it was not to divorce, but rather to work on things. But how can you work things out if you can't even live together under the same roof? (would love to hear stories from those of you whose parents separated and did work things out...it does happen!) Regardless, while my parents intended to work things out they continued to lead very separate lives. And that confused me even more. It almost felt like they were divorced.
Now they're in the process of getting divorced and it's even more confusing. I'm not quite sure how to respond to them as individuals and not a unit. I almost want the divorce to be finalized now so I can start dealing with my new life. Is it strange to think that way? I used to hope for them to get back together...now all I want is for them to become officially divorced.
There's just too much pain and confusion. Sometimes parents do a pretty decent job of explaining things to their kids. Of not dragging them into the mess. Other parents do a horrible job. It seems they'll do anything they can to drag their kids into the middle. All it does is make a difficult situation unbearable.
It's like a constant elephant in the room: mom and dad didn't make it. You feel awkward around your parents (so bizarre). In a way I feel like I'm starting over and learning how to communicate with my parents for the very first time. I thought I knew them so completely well. Now I'm realizing I have to get to know them again...separately. And if I may be so honest (when am I ever not, right?), I'm not ready to do that. I don't want to get to know them again. I want to continue knowing them as they once were.
But I can't. So I must choose: live in the past or move forward with my parents in the present.
I'm not ready to make that choice.
You know the drill. Comment or email me at email@example.com. I'm here to listen.