It's Still Bad

When parents divorce, they rid themselves of the person causing the damage. However, the children of the divorce suffer every day, because their lives have been changed forever and must constantly be aware of that. My parents divorced when I was five - my father left my mother for another woman (who is now my stepmother). Less than a year later, my mother starting dating a man from across the country who moved in with us right away (he is now my stepfather). Both of my parents wanted to "fix" what was wrong in their previous marriage, i.e. get "better" partners. But the feelings of their children, me and my younger sister, were never considered.

My father had replaced us with a new family - a new wife with three new stepchildren who all seemed to need his love and attention more that we did. My mother had replaced my father with a new husband, who came with a young stepdaughter (she visited us occasionally, since she was from the other side of the country). Both of my parents remarried when I was eight. It is extremely difficult for a child to show the same love, respect, and devotion to a stranger that your mother or father is telling you to treat as a parent.

I felt like I could never be happy in my home. Whatever mood my mother was in was the mood of the household. This has been a constant in my life and still haunts me, even now when I am moved out and on my own. Any great accomplishment that I would do was shadowed by my mother wanting the credit for it. When I performed well in a concert, I did not hear, "Great job, you must have really worked hard on that!" Instead I heard, "Well who do you think paid for the instrument and all those lessons?" When I graduated with my Bachelor's degree, I did not hear, "I'm so incredibly proud of you. What a wonderful accomplishment!" Instead I heard, "Thank God, now I won't receive any more bills from this university!"

My stepfather was/is a gutless worm who would go along with however my mother felt. When I was eleven I learned that my mother was an alcoholic and I became angry and her foolishness. I was also angry that I was the last person to find out. When my stepsister would visit us from across the country, she came during the week we took vacation at the beach. My mother and stepfather constantly argued - screaming matches in public with every profanity you can think of - about how to raise us. I vividly remember my stepfather throwing the car keys behind his head at my mother and demanding her to drive, and my mother picking up the keys, throwing them at the back of his head, and shrieking f-bombs.

My father tried to make me feel guilty for decision to divorce. He would say to me, "I've never seen you get on a school bus, how do you think that makes me feel?" Perhaps he should have thought about that when he left. When my mother's alcoholism became public, my father sued my mother for full custody, leading to a scary court battle. He eventually lost. When I was thirteen, my mother and stepfather's arguing got to be so much that he moved out for several months.

When I would go stay at my father's house (during any age, but especially when I was younger), I would cry because I missed my mother and my own house. My stepbrothers would make fun of me and hand me a blank piece of paper, saying, "Here's a picture I drew of you and your mom, but you were both so fat I couldn't fit either of you in it!" My father and stepmother did nothing.

My mother and stepfather constantly accused me of being "negative" if I did not 100% agree with whatever they discussed. This lasted from age twelve/thirteen through high school and the beginning of college. I have been called almost every bad name in the book by my mother (sometimes my stepfather), and have been told I am hated. My sister started drinking when she was seventeen, when my mother told her it was "OK because you are upset," which I believe sparked her potential alcoholism. I have scars on my body from my sister pinching me and hitting me with random objects, such as a wooden spoon. She once threw a glass candy dish at my head but I ducked and missed it - fortunately.

My first real boyfriend (age fifteen) used to hit me because I did not want to give up my virginity to him. Too embarrassed to tell my mother, I told her years later. She said that I probably deserved what I got because I am "annoying." I am getting married next summer; when my fiance was my boyfriend, my mother told me that she wanted to tell him what kind of "b-i-t-c-h" I was so that he does not make a fatal mistake and propose to me.

(I am falling asleep. There is a lot more to add which I will do later.)

InTheCorner InTheCorner
2 Responses Jul 12, 2010

At 17, I've lived the first part of your story. Luckily for me my dad has quit the dating game until I am out of the house and I chose the move in with him. He's great as a full time dad, and ever since my brother and I stopped having to compete for his affection with his girlfriends and their children, we've had a really awesome relationship. <br />
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Unfortunately, my mother has chosen not to have a relationship with me ever since I moved out, but perhaps it is for the better since she never exactly made my life any easier when she was around. It sounds like your mother is jealous of you now, since you are young and beautiful and soon to be married. I hope you take some pleasure in knowing that she is old, bitter, and unloved. Live your life as happilly as possible; that'll show your mother how little she matters and that she couldn't make you miserable if she tried. Stay strong.

Give yourself a chance for happiness and get counciling, or therapy NOW-before you get married. You do not want a psychiatrist-you want a psychologist. If you can't afford $100 an hour, get a psychology student. After years of bookwork they need years of experience to earn their degree. Students cannot charge, the social sevice agency might charge $5 per visit, $35 initial fee. You have to LEARN how to to have a GOOD relationship and be a GOOD parent. Good intentions aren't enough. My parents have 8 marriages between them, Mom 5 by herself-1 got put away for criminal insanity after he burned down the house and tried to kill some of our relatives-the other 4 left her, the last one did stick around until all the money was gone, including my inheritance. I've never been married, I'm afraid to, I don't know how to have a good relationship. You don't know how either-so go learn how from a professional-not your friends.