It is true what psychologists say about children of divorced parents: they feel they are the responsible party. I never thought this true in my case. I guess it’s because I know where my parents stood. But deep down I guess I was felt some sort of guilt, like I wasn’t good enough. I was a pretty rambunctious kid. I lied, I stole. I did grow out of it and now I can’t tell a lie without it being obvious, but on some deeper level I always thought it was our fault.
To this day, I know my parents’ divorce was the best thing that’s happened to me. And while my mother apologizes for the actions of my father, I haven’t told her enough times “thank you”. She hates that we have to go through such an integral part of lives with a father that feels he deserves everything and yet gives nothing. She apologizes for the way that he acts and the repercussions caused by his actions. I really don’t think she realizes that we have it so good with her. We always have.
My brother followed suit and last night wrote an email to my father about the reasons he has ignored him and the feelings he’s felt since the divorce over 15 years ago. I had always thought that my sister, being 4 at the time, felt it the worse. I always thought that she would be the most screwed up from the ripping apart of her parents. Eventually m sister moved with my mom while my brother and I stayed behind with my dad. God, was I wrong.
I didn’t know that for the longest time, my brother blamed my mom for leaving. He acted out as a teenager and I just thought it was him being a teenager, but he had all of this resentment and blame built up towards my mom. All of this time I just thought he was an ass because that’s the way he was. Now, I actually feel bad for him because now I know he hurt the worst. He was 10 and I was 8. I guess in two years there is so much more feeling and emotion involved than I thought. I never would have imaged him being the wounded one. I guess I had it pretty good in comparison.
As I think about everything that has been said to my father in the last week, I have the sad knowledge that he probably won’t change. My father is the way that he is and he’s not the type to change anything about him. He will never feel like he is at fault. He will always stand up saying it is us that needs to change the way we are to fit his needs/wants. I will always respect my elders, but oh how wrong I think he is. He will more than likely continue his day-to-day as before.
It’s sad really. When I think of the way I was raised, with a single mother that worked late nights to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs to still almost lose the house, I can’t help but think that I got the much bigger end of the stick than my little brother. My mom worked her ass to keep us in good health. She worked crappy jobs and still made it to almost every soccer game and band/orchestra performance. If she didn’t make it, we knew there was a damn good reason. Even though my father is Alex’s soccer coach, I don’t think that kid has felt anywhere near the amount of love from his parents that I have from my mother.
I feel bad for him. He’s in the middle of this loveless marriage and has just entered one of the hardest emotional times of his life: teenage years. Sadly, I think his world will come crushing down on him and it’s not his fault. It irritates me a little when Juan asks me why I do things for Alex. I send him birthday cards, Christmas present,call him. Alex hasn’t really done anything return, but simply put: it’s not his fault. As I told my father a couple months ago, I do what I do for that kid because he’s not to be blamed. In a family like that, he needs whatever love we can give him. I love that kid. It took him years to understand why his brother and sisters didn’t live him. He didn’t grasp the concept that his mom wasn’t our mom. But can you blame him? He was a kid. And while he’s been raised as an only child all this time, he will eventually look around and see that the only love he has around him is from his siblings.
I don’t blame myself for my parents’ divorce. I think the deep-seeded feelings remained that way. And while there is truth in the fact that I have to eventually forgive and forget, it’s becoming one of the most difficult things to do. I really don’t know if my father realizes that amount of hurt we’ve experience since the installment of his new family. It’s like at that point, he gave up with us. I do feel resentment towards them, but is it easier to just push it aside? Or to actually find it in my heart to forgive?