Turned Out Alright

I'm 28 now, and my parents split when I was 5. And you know what? It was the best thing that could have happened for them, and probably for my brother and I too.

At 5, I didn't really know what divorce meant so I don't think it really affected me in a permanent scarring kind of way. We got to spend a lot of time with each parent individually which was wonderful. Even as a young kid, I could feel that they were happier apart. We got to have two Christmases, double the birthday presents, and generally more fun in my parents' effort to reduce the hurt for us. When you're a kid, the extra fun and presents is a huge perk.

My parents remarrying was the real struggle - both married people when I was 10 that I didn't particularly like, and it's taken almost 20 years for me to start dealing with that and the hurt I felt because of it. My dad married a woman who became his everything, which in turn left me feeling like I'd been just forgotten about. She's a powerhouse of a woman and has always made it clear that I'm the underdog, she's my dad's wife, and she's got priority. Don't get me wrong, she can be a really sweet lady and I've grown to really like her, but considering how I felt as a kid, it still hurts that she holds that over my head.

My stepdad came into our lives because my mom was tired of being a single parent. She'd had majority custody of my brother and I since the split, and she'd always dealt with anxiety issues. Then she met my stepdad, saw a man who was financially stable and intelligent, and finally saw some relief. Fast forward 15 years later and a lot of drama between him, I and my mom, and they've split. She's now the happiest I've ever seen her, as is my dad. They made the tough choice of ending their marriage to each other in hopes of finding their own happiness and they have.

I still struggle in finding my own - I seem to have taken my feelings over thinking I'd been replaced by my stepmom and tried to fix the past or heal it by getting myself involved with men who I think can heal those wounds. I met the man of my dreams  who happened to have 2 children, and he made me his whole world. "Finally," I thought, "a man that loves me so much that I finally understand why my dad made my stepmom so important even though there were kids involved." It did start healing those wounds. We got engaged and everything was perfect between us. There were some nasty outside forces like a really bitter and jealous ex-wife, but he and I were like peas and carrots - I couldn't have imagined a better match for me. However, when he and I made the decision to move in together, it involved me moving a long way away from home to be with him, and when I got there, he realized that he just wasn't ready. It hadn't been too long since his divorce and he said he just needed time to breathe, so I came back home and we haven't spoken much since, and while I'd like to think we could have us in the future, I really doubt we'll ever be able to come back to what we had. Not because I wouldn't try, but because me coming home broke my heart in a way I'd never felt because not only did I lose him, but 20 year old wounds were ripped wide open again. He may never want to try again with me, and I may never be able to give myself wholly to him again.

While my parents divorcing was the best choice they'd ever made, their subsequent marriages has been something I'm still struggling with. If I can offer anyone out there advice, please talk to your parents if you have issues about anything. Sure, it might not turn out as great as you hope it to (I told my dad recently how I felt as a kid and I got a defensive response and he implied I imagined all my hurt) but sometimes all you need is to be heard by them and let it leave your soul.
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Jul 29, 2012