Separation

I thought I’d write about this now rather than later. I haven’t told a lot of my friends about it and so, by the time most know about this blog, this article will hopefully be lost amongst my many others.

Now I present my thesis…or question, as I’m more pondering than proving:

Does parental separation affect a person more if it occurs during childhood or during young adulthood/beyond?

As a child with parents deciding to separate, I imagine future relationships would be slower to develop of slightly restrained. How can one believe in a lasting love when the prime example presented during childhood has broken? I suppose that’s the main argument I see. I’m sure behavioural issues can develop depending on how the parents handle the situation. In the case that the child truly believes it’s their fault, perhaps more developmental issues can evolve.

Of course these are all inferences as my parents have stayed together as I’ve grown up. It’s only now, that I’m 19, they decide to end things.

It was Canada Day. My mom and I went out to rent a few movies that morning. In the car she told me she was nervous because she had to talk to my dad about something–something she refused to tell me. I had a sudden gut-feeling of dread, intuitively knowing what was about to happen, but I shook it off…

An hour later they called my brother and I to the basement, where they had been talking, and told us they would be separating. Mom’s plan was to move out at the end of the month. Dad might have to sell the house. It wasn’t our fault, my mother stressed.

I couldn’t speak.

Despite my intuition telling me what was going on, this was unexpected. I had walked down the stairs forcing myself to think they were going to tell us something else, like that we were moving. But in truth their separation is no surprise to me. I’ve been expecting it for years. I can remember when I was nine going camping with family friends. My mom was talking to her friend in our tent about how unhappy she was, thinking I was asleep. For the decade since I’ve known my parents aren’t right for each other. But as the years passed, I began to believe they’d make it. Or at least stick it out until my brother and I had moved out.

I barely talked to or looked at my parents for two days. Finally I broke my (moderate) silence and cried. Hard. My mom had no idea I was upset. My dad must have known as he always knows these things about me, but he didn’t bring it up.

I leave for university in six weeks. I’m only coming back for Christmas and by then everything will have changed. Though, biologically, I have a family, all that I know of this family will be gone. I’ll need to split my time between my parents, between their houses, between their Christmas dinners… I’m so alone, but for my brother, but we’ve never really been close and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I resent my parents, not for separating, but for doing this now. I wish they’d gotten it over with sooner. Now I have no time to grow accustomed to this. No time to forgive them…

Happily this shouldn’t affect my character. While I’ve never been the kind of girl who wants to “find my Prince Charming,” I’m vowing not to make the same mistakes my parents did. I will never settle. Perhaps I’m slightly more skeptical, but the little hope I have for love isn’t completely lost. I’m already the woman I’m meant to be and I doubt I’ll change much from the person I am now.

But, gosh, do I wish it had happened sooner…

My tears about it have all dried up, but my hearts still hurts. And I don’t know how long it will stay broken. Or how far this will drive me from the ones I call family and the place I call home.

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One response to “Separation

  1. Myself, I’d say that the best time to separate depends on how well the parents keep it hidden from their children. Like my parents only made it official and told us they were getting a divorce when I was 16, but they fought and yelled all the time for years before that. At least 5 years previous, I could tell they were unhappy, it was just a really unpleasant atmosphere to live in.
    So I guess my opinion here would be either a) just split if you’re going to split. staying together “for the kids” often means subjecting them to anger and negativity for years, which is doing them no favours. Alternatively, b) keep it well hidden and don’t let them know at all. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and if your kids don’t know about it then maybe they would be better off with two seemingly happy parents until they were older.

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