I’ve internally debated writing on this subject for years, literally. It’s always been a thought in my head, but I was never brave enough to write it out on a piece of paper or in this case typing it out on a desktop. There were times in grade school, even in high school, when some teachers would offer “free journaling” or “free writing”. It was an opportunity to write about which ever topic you wanted, anything at all. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to write about my parent’s divorce and my difficulties on dealing with it. But I never did, not in depth anyway.
I had this irrational fear that the teachers might share it with the class, or read my entry, become concerned and call my Mom or Dad to report to them how troubled I was for just being a child. As you can probably guess, it was not a pretty divorce. After nearly two years, my therapist and I have come to the conclusion that this particular divorce was a child’s equivalent to war. Except the war is between two people you love unconditionally and you have to watch them hurt each other over and over. Lots of blood, loud explosions of broken glass, yelling, violence and tons of manipulation. Mix it all in a pot and you get an angry, scared young daughter with complex PTSD. It may not sound so bad to some, especially to people who have actually been to war. But when you’re only six years old, it’s traumatic.
Will my family be disappointed with me for sharing something that they believe should be private? Who knows. People say it’s not nice to talk about other people and their problems. Yet, when we avoid doing just that, and decide to talk about our own problems instead.. Somehow that’s taboo too. Sometimes after sharing an unfortunate story from your past people may start to think you talk about yourself too much or you get hit with “You think you’ve got it bad…” When really, you weren’t even trying to say you had it “bad” in the first place. It was just an attempt to open up, be intimate and share some difficult life events. I personally think people should feel honored that another human being would trust another so much to share their skeletons.
To avoid this rejection, I stayed silent and held it in. I went years without talking to anyone. My family could see how much the divorce got to me. Some of them even tried reaching out to me, but still, I was afraid to tell anyone anything. I was too worried that opening my mouth would lead to one of my parents getting into even more trouble somehow. My mom tried getting me to see multiple therapists and doctors to get me some help, but I was uncooperative and didn’t feel like talking to them either. Sometimes even the therapists were uncooperative, I remember one of them falling asleep in the middle of a session. Weird. My mom did the right thing, noticing something was wrong with me and trying to get me some help. But I remember my rebellious and closed minded mentality at the time was, “I’m not going talk to some stranger about my problems.” Even now as I praise my mother for trying to get me the help I needed, my anxiety has me worrying that my father will see this and be angry with me for not praising him too.This is my way of thinking, that sharing something will upset someone and it has become exhausting.
So really, what AM I allowed to talk about? I’ve been stuck on that mindset for a very long time until I realized that I am 26 years old now with a 5 year old daughter and another baby on the way. I live a life where I receive absolutely no help from either of my parents. I’m (finally) in a safe and stable enough place where I can talk about anything I want & not be afraid of what people will think of me or do to me. It’s silly to think that I could be punished for sharing a story. Some might say that it’s none of my business to be writing about my parent’s divorce. But I respectfully must disagree. Their divorce is my business, as it has made a very difficult mark on my psyche that I still have trouble shaking off. This life event happened right before me and has changed me and molded me into the troubled, strong willed person I am today, so yes, it IS my business. A part of creating a better future is to better understand your past.
Next week Monday, on my next blog, I will finally face my fear and write about the divorce. I’ve decided to write it out in two parts because writing about the anxiety of sharing my story vs. writing about the actual story would be too long had I combined them in one blog. My reasoning for finally attacking this topic, is because I want my family to know what their mother has been through. I want them to learn from my parents mistakes and my mistakes. This is how we make for better people is it not? To process the good with the bad, take the good from your heart and the hearts of others and use the bad as lessons to implement a better future for our youth. This is the whole purpose of Deep Sea Parenting, hoping that my children will one day read my words when I am gone or if I’m still alive and they feel disconnected from me. I hope they come to understand that bad days are a part of life and that they can choose to use the bad days to create better ones.
Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next week on Part II,