My parents divorced when I was 8. Needless to say, it was a traumatic experience. It seems that whenever I go through a life-changing event, like getting married, having another child, etc., I seem to revisit this time in my life and find new things about it and about myself to ponder.
Anyway, lately, I have been thinking about this and I realized that, unlike my two sisters, I have yet to have an adult conversation with my dad regarding the divorce itself. What I mean is, that when I was probably 11 or 12, I do remember talking with my dad about why he left and why our family wasn’t good enough for him to stay, etc. But I feel like I must have received answers from him pertaining to an 11 or 12 year old girl. I feel that my sisters (I’m 33, they are 31 and 28) seem to have more information or a better understanding of my father and the situation than I do. I’m not so sure that is because I am incapable…just that it’s a subject I haven’t brought up while I have been an adult.
Part of me thinks that I am having these thoughts and really thinking about the divorce a lot lately because my 3-year-old daughter and my DH have the kind of relationshiop that I remember having with my dad when I was a small girl. It’s almost like a Twilight-Zone feeling. Sometimes I watch my 3-year-old interacting with my DH and I see a 3-year-old me and my own father. I’m so happy that they are close and have this wonderful relationship, this beautiful closeness. But it reminds me of what I lost and it causes me pain and I grieve. I realize that I will never have the relationshiop with my father that I had back then. I just can never have it ever agein. It was irreparably broken when he left and I grew up without him.
The reason for my post is that I have been thinking of having a conversation with my dad about everything now that I am an adult. I feel like, that as an adult, I’d like to discuss the divorce, what happened, what feelings were there and how those feelings have changed over the past 25 years. But there 's a nagging part of me that says, “So what? Why open these wounds? Why press your dad to discuss this?”
I guess I just don’t know quite what to do. Over the past 5.5 years as I have studied my faith and learned what children are supposed to mean for a marriage…it brings me so much pain to know that my father walked out on all of that. I’m not the only kid he walked out on…I’m the 2nd of the 5 children left with my mother in abject poverty as my father graduated from law school and moved on to “the other woman” and started a new life. But I was one of the oldest two. I had an established relationship with my father. He was my idol…my hero…I often said I’d marry my daddy. LIke I said, I often see myself in my little 3-year-old as I see that she and her daddy are so so close.
So…should I pursue this? Should I just “grow up” and forget about it and “move on”??? I don’t want to cause my father grief and pain. But at the same time, sometimes I am resentful of his “justification” for leaving my mother. He’s been married to his 2nd wife for 23 years now…they have two children as well and I love those other two siblings, too.
Sorry this is so long…I just was thinking about this tonight and i was wondering if I should just try to let this nagging feeling go like I have before…or if I should try to finally have this conversation with my dad once and for all and try to find some sort of reconciliation in it.
For the record, my father and I have a “good” relationship at this point. We talk regularly on the phone and he comes to visit when he can (still has a son in high school, so time is limited rightn ow).