In many posts, I have mentioned that I come from a split family. I decided that I may as well tell my story. Be warned, it’s a long one.
Growing up, I felt we had the perfect family. We were considered the Partridge Family. I thought everything was perfect. I thought everyone was happy. My brother and I had great childhoods and we were very close. Family dinners every night, morning cleaning routines on Saturdays while dad was at work, and Sundays were family time. We went to brunch and then did something as a family, whether it be roller skating, ice skating, skiing, hiking, driving around looking at leaves, driving around looking at houses, etc.
We moved quite a bit when I was growing up. I was born in New York, we moved to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, Pennsylvania again, New York, and then Ohio. All of this from birth to age 15. On our last move, from Buffalo, NY to Akron, OH, my father had an affair with a co-worker. Apparently, this was not the first time it had happened, but he fell in love with this woman.
My parents didn’t tell me about the affair or the divorce. I found out on my own. My mom had sent an email to her girlfriend, and I found it in our family email account. My mom was upstairs reading to my brother in my parent’s bedroom, and it was a story about family. She started crying while reading the story to my brother, and I walked in the room crying. She asked what I was crying about, and I told her that I knew.
The next several years were rough for me. I was old enough to know about everything going on. My father moved into and out of our house three times trying to decide what to do and who he wanted to be with. There are things that my mother did to try to save her marriage that I don’t agree with. It wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t know about it…but that wasn’t the case. I am very intuitive, and I pick up on a lot of things.
I hated my father in the worst way for doing this to us. My mother and I had a decent relationship before-hand, but it was very strained through the divorce. I decided to live with my mom, and my brother lived with my dad (you could get away with murder with my father.) The weekends were for me and Derek to be together alternating parents.
Through all of this, I spent many nights crying, begging that my parents become one again. I found the Lord on Father’s Day thanks to a new friend of mine from school. I became a believer and God did some major work on my heart. A couple of years later, I was kicked out of my own home (with mom) and lived with a man (10 years my senior) in a not-so-good relationship. I had nothing to base what a healthy relationship should be because from what I could tell, there was no such thing. It was all a facade. I mean, after all, I THOUGHT everything with my parents was peachy, and then a monkey-wrench was thrown in.
To this day, my mother even mentions that she never knew that my father was unhappy in the marriage.
At any rate, I had been in two long-term relationships (3 ½ years each) after my parents divorced. I was out of the house before I graduated from High School and living on my own. I was able to reflect a bit more on my parent’s relationship and their decision to divorce.
I learned several years ago that this is the way it was meant to be for us as a family. It bothers my mother, but I had mentioned that as a child, I never remember her smiling. It’s true. She didn’t smile in pictures and I don’t remember her laughing often when my parents were married. She said she wasn’t unhappy, but she feels awful that I cant remember her being happy.
My mother is now married to Doc, a man she worked with and who helped her to see how beautiful she really is, on the inside and out. She was Doc’s Medical Assistant BEFORE my parents had problems. Doc helped her through so much. My mother always wanted to travel the world, and Doc gives her this. She is so much more happy with him than I can remember her ever being with my father.
My relationship with my mother is so much stronger now than it ever was before. We laugh so hard together that we both have tears in our eyes and we hyperventilate. She enjoys life so much more now, and I’m so happy for her.
My father married the woman he had an affair on my mother with. I have come to accept what my father had done. Todd and I were over at my father’s house just a few days ago, and it is so much fun over there. Trina (my step-mom) is so much fun to be around. We are always joking and having a good time. She and my father are a good match. And if it weren’t for Trina and her family, I wouldn’t have been blessed with an awesome niece, Natalie.
All in all, everything worked out for the best. It took many years for me to realize that. It is a bit odd when my parents are together (like at my wedding or at Derek’s graduation from Boot Camp.) My mom still has some hard feelings towards my father. They will never be friends again, in my opinion. But they come together when it is important. For instance, through my brother’s nasty divorce, through a nasty break-up I had with my ex (the man that I moved in with at 17,) when I was in the hospital, weddings, and I’m sure the birth their grandchildren.
I have dreams that my parents are still together, and when I wake up, it feels odd. It’s not right. I also have dreams where I am angry at my mother, which I think stems from the issues I had towards her as a teen. I feel those issues have been resolved, but maybe they are lingering subconsciously.
All in all, we are one big happy family. One dad, one mom, one step-father, one step-mother, one brother, 3 step-brothers, one step-sister, one niece, four step-nieces, one step-nephew and a partridge in a pair tree.
You know the show “Modern Family?” I live it, and it’s not so bad.