Thursday, November 19, 2009

The End of an Era

So, here's where I finally tell you what's had me twisted up for the week: On Tuesday evening my Mom phoned to tell me she'd asked Daddio for a divorce.

On the 15th December my folks will have been married 30 years. And I get it. When the reality that you've been married 30 years sets in and your realise you probably have another 30 years of life left in you (my folks are in their early 50s) I guess you do some serious evaluating.

I'm not angry, with either of them. I know them. I've never understood what made their relationship tick and I've questioned their likelyhood of divorce since I was in high-school and knew what divorce was. They just never did it so I guess I let my guard down a bit and I'll be honest and say it was a shock. But I don't live there anymore and I don't see their daily interactions, so probably it wasn't much of a shock ... except for the actually going thru with it bit. I think that's always a bit of a shock, even to the person who actually instigates things.

I'm upset. I'm upset about the impact this is going to have on my family and on me. I know they'll both be okay and they'll survive and recover from the pain and the loss of the habit that having someone in your life for 30 years brings. But I don't know if I'll have the Christmases I cherish anymore (esspecially since I was so looking forward to going to Cape Town for one of *my* family Christmases this year ... something I haven't had since 2007). And it's the little things like that that are really upsetting me. The not knowing the upcoming impact on how we've always done things before, when Mom and Dad were a unit.

I'm thinking about the trivial things because the bigger ones make sense to me. I don't have any fundamental issue with the decision they've made. I'm okay with them getting divorced if it'll make them happier. I know neither of them really experienced life before they were married and had me. And I know from the last 10 years of my life how much a person needs that. Hell, I am still figuring things out for myself.

The scariest thing really for me (aside from the general worry about each of them as individuals that they will be okay and are getting whatever emotional support they need - although it's damn hard for a concerned daughter to provide it in this case!) is how it's affected my outlook on things, my life and my relationships. In the space of 48 short hours it's made me question all sorts of things. Things I grant you I was questioning already, but it's brought them to the forefront of my mind, like the need to actually get married at all, and why/how people manage to stick it out "forever" being the top of the list that jump to mind, and based on all of the above how exactly I will end up having children and the life I imagine for myself when it seems so contradictory to how things actually work out! Enough about that tho.

I guess I also feel a little guilty about being upset about it. I mean I've been thru enough break-ups including one where I had to take my stuff and move out of my safe-place, my home (because it wasn't really mine, it was his ... although after 2 years of living there it really did feel like home to me!) to understand how hard this must be for them and how hard even just making the decision must've been. And here I am being upset about how it'll affect me. It's their lives, they're adults, they need to experience and live life as much as I do and if that means it's not together then so be it. It's very peculiar having all these contradictory feelings.

So yeah, a delightful week as week's go.

And if you're wondering why I only told Varen about it 24hrs after I found out a) I didn't exactly want to talk about it (although his parents got divorced earlier this year too) and b) we were still in that "circling" phase post argument where you don't know if things are fine again yet or if you're still not talking to each other and I certainly wasn't talking to him about something like this while we ourselves were in that sort of weird place.


Janine / Being Brazen said...

Ive been through this too....its not easy...and its even harder when they start dating.

On the one hand Im glad I was an adult when it happened, but on the other hand it made me freak out how after so long you could ever call it quits.

*big hugs *

po said...

Wow. That is big, hectic stuff to be dealing with. Sorry to hear it. It is very upsetting, no matter how ok you are with the fundamental concept of it all.

Tara said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. One would think it's easier to take since you're older now but quite honestly I think it makes it that much more difficult.

The Divine Miss M said...

I'm so sorry to hear that about the parents. My thoughts are with you, they've had least had time to prepare for this!

Louisa said...

I'm sorry...that really sucks! :-( I can't even begin to imagine my parents not together - after 33 years of putting up with each other I guess I just figure if they wanted to leave they would have done it by now?

Anonymous said...

God, your parents getting divorced is so hard no matter what age you are. Because no matter how you intellectualise it, it's still your mommy and daddy. My parents got divorced when I was 17, and I still have massive trust issues in relationships - which is exactly why I have never married.

I'm thinking of you lady.

Tamara said...

Oh Phil, I'm so sorry! That's tough news to swallow. Well done on being so understanding about it, despite the worries you have. Sending you bug hugs.

boldly benny said...

Oh my love, I can only send you my warmest, biggest hugs! We're all listening when you need to offload.

Anonymous said...

I hope things work out and that you still have a good Christmas in Cape Town. Don't let this misrable weather get you down further!

se7en said...

Oh that is just awful, it doesn't seem to matter how old you are, if you are a kid or an adult, it is a great kick in the guts. Not to mention a huge knock to your world and everything you thought was rock solid. It really is awful that you are going through this and I am so sorry.

t said...

sorry, sweetheart. thanks for sharing. it will help me consider taking in Christmas at home this year. My history: I've "always" been disconnected from "my parents' house" because - whatever, life is better elsewhere. Parents are hugely, clearly incompatible but very committed to staying put. Who knows, maybe what happened to you will happen here too?

ExMi said...

shame girl. i dont remember my parent's divorce, but i do remember the custody battle years later.

hope you're coping xx

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