They put us in the midst of a hurricane; a hurricane we didn’t ask to be put into. I didn’t know how to fly with hurricanes. I didn’t know how to find my footing.
My parents divorced when I was around the age of 5 years old.
I didn’t understand what was happening. Suddenly my brother, mother, and I moved to a small apartment complex on the second floor. Satan moved in next door. My father moved into an apartment in town.
Within a year, they both remarried.
The anger, hurt, mistrust, and bitterness persisted throughout many years.
There were shouting words, accusations, and cursing. There were sarcastic jokes made about the other parent, and often when I said or did something dumb, I would hear, “You’re just like your ______” (fill in the blank with either mother or father dependent on whose presence I was in).
This shaped my early ideas of what love was.
Love was spiteful.
Love said hurtful words.
Love made you forget your children.
Love doesn’t last.
Love doesn’t say you’re sorry.
The winds picked up when we moved out of our yellow house. The rain began when we moved into the small apartment. The hurricane moved in at rapid speed.
The separation and divorce was merely the beginning.
What followed was years of unforgiveness and anger. Two individuals so consumed with their own lives, they forgot about the children that were watching, learning, and needing them.
I remember my mother threatening my father loudly if he brought us home late on Sunday after a weekend of visitation. I remember my father yelling back at my mother.
Did that matter? If we spent an extra hour at the other parents house?
It became a power struggle and the children were the rope of a tug of war.
The choices that were chosen made a direct impact on many lives.
I hated the hurricane. For most of my childhood I remember thinking, “I just want a normal family!”
Mine felt anything but.
My mother was raised in a Catholic family. A Catholic family that did not believe in divorce.
With the divorce came black-balling from some of her family.
Not only did we lose our home, our parents, but we also lost our maternal grandparents. I grew up most of my formative years next door to them. They were part of the concrete in my foundation. When they shunned my mother for her choice, it included her offspring.
There was no safe-zone. There was no trusted place. There was no place of calm. The hurricane raged on for many years….
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