"How did your parents divorce affect you?"
Well, I was seven when my parents split. It was the summer of 1992, only a few months before my 8th birthday. I still remember the day my mother left my father. I can't remember if it was July or August, all I remember is that my brother spent the weekend at my Aunt "Coffee's", and I went with my dad to the "cottage" on lake Ontario that my aunt owned for the weekend. It was about an hour away from where we lived in Rochester/Brighton town line.
The only problem was that my mother didn't tell my father she was leaving him, out of fear, but she told me. So, the entire weekend, I wasn't supposed to tell him she was packing all out stuff and moving out when he's my dad and I was the only person with him that whole weekend, and I was absolutely fucking terrified. I was seven years old. How do you expect a seven year old to keep a secret like that?! I was so afraid I might slip and say something on accident, and what would he do id I did? Would he get mad at me for not telling him, or would he get in the car and drive back home and try to stop my mom from leaving? Was I going to get into trouble if I let it slip. I remember the entire fucking weekend, I was sick to my stomach with nerves not knowing what was going to happen. And the drive home was horrible. I was shaking and afraid to talk and on the verge of tears the entire time. He kept asking me if I was okay, and I was like yup, I'm fine, even though I think I might die right here and now in your car for no apparent reason other than out of pure fear!
When we got back home, my grandfather was there helping my mother move out. I remember my dad getting out of the car and walking into our apartment and going "What the hell is going on?" And my mom said, "I'm leaving you." And they fought and yelled and my Dad started crying, begging her to stay, but she was like, nope, I have an apartment for me and the kids and that's it.
Once we got outside and I was standing next to my grandpas car, I finally broke down crying. But it was more out of relief that it was over and the secret was out and I wasn't responsible for the welfare of my mother anymore.
Once we were moved in, everything was fine. My parents still fought over the phone and whenever they had to talk or see each other, but in the long run, my parents splitting up was the best thing that could have happened... I just wished my mother hadn't put that pressure on me of telling me we were leaving but I can't tell my dad. That was horrible and I don't wish that upon any kid, no matter how old they are.
Having divorced parents means you get more presents on birthdays and holidays, which was always a plus. It meant if one parent was driving you insane, you could go spend a few days with the other one, just for a break. Even though my mother was infallible and could do no wrong, ever, growing up, so the fact that I ever wanted to see my dad was probably the worst thing I could ever do.
For a really long time, I never felt like I was "allowed" to love my father. Because of all the wrongs he did to my mother, that means he was just so horrible and if I ever said I wanted to see him, that automatically meant that I hated my mother and she was horrible, when in reality, I just wanted a relationship with my father.
I know my father was not perfect. He was an abusive alcoholic, not so much physically, but emotionally, but my mother was nuts too. They both had their flaws, the problem is that they were so set on blaming each other for everything that ever went wrong, that they couldn't see what was really important; us. My brother and I. Both of us were "victims" of Parental Alienation Syndrome, my mother with me about my Dad and my father with my brother about my mom. Basically means that one parent pits a child against the other parent so they hate that parent and project their personal feelings onto the child, which the child reiterates to the other parent, IE, BRAINWASHING.
I was also a "victim", and I use that term very loosely due to lack of a better one, of another kind of abuse that was so incredibly fucked up and ridiculous, you only hear about shit like that happening with parents who are on drugs or kids in foster care. I will not go into those details because it's too personal to be spread around online, but even to this day, it effects me. I've been in and out of counseling for almost 15 years and I still haven't wrapped my head around it.
I'm glad that I have come around enough to where I'm not angry at anyone anymore, and I don't blame anyone... It's more of me being massively confused to why I was hated so much for nothing more than being born. I don't understand why. And I don't know if I will ever get an answer to that question. I just wish that all the negative shit from my past would stop haunting me so I can move on and have a "normal" life.
My parents divorce taught me that marriage is more than just a wedding. It's something that takes a lot of work and love and respect and commitment and willingness to compromise.
And not to get married. Ever. Or at least not before you're 30.