I hate it when people say “broken home” when referring to divorced kids. “Bless her little heart, she comes from a broken home.” Divorce did not break my home, it fixed it. For once I didn’t have to sit in a tension filled living room, trying to stuff down pot roast. The same pot roast every single Sunday. My mom will say it wasn’t every Sunday, just a lot of Sundays. Enough Sundays for my dad to get into a routine of giving me the nod. The nod said,” eat as much as you can and when she goes to bed, we’ll make hamburgers with bunny bread.” BUNNY BREAD! If I ever saw BUNNY BREAD in a store here, I would squeal and buy every single loaf. Magically, those horrible Sundays disappeared.
But divorce did open a whole different can of worms. So the marriage was over but life still went on. Then the entire burden falls on the kid. Forever. 24/7. When I was with my Dad’s family, they saw me too much as my Mom. When I was with my Mom’s family, I was too much like my dad. They didn’t have to divide up holidays, I was the one doing the dividing. One year my Dad’s family opened presents before I got there, even had my dad open his presents from me that I’d dropped off. How completely daft is that? If one grandparent got attention, the other grandparent wanted attention. Birthdays were a huge disaster. My parents had a public meltdown at my 16th birthday bash over paper plates. My 18th was over one side going bowling and not chaperoning. Because at 18, one side felt the need to sit there while the guests felt really weird. Later on my mom took me to New Orleans and we brought a good friend and she bought drinks for us all night and we saw a band play at the House of Blues.
Even now at 27, I’m still the divorced kid. Complicated by a family war on my Mom’s side and my disagreeing with my grandmother’s behaviors on my Dad’s side. Every day, because I talk to my parents regularly, I have to be two people. Sometimes their calls are within minutes of each other. Sometimes I just want to yell and say hey, I know y’all haven’t been together in 13 years because you are divorced but I think you may have left that divorce in my life and could you please come pick it up or I’m going to have to start charging by the day.
At least now I don’t have to divide my holidays. I live far enough away from them so I get holidays all to little ol’ me.
But that doesn’t stop anything else. Both sides pretty much hate each other and I’m right smack in the middle. That’s ripples from the country mouse marrying the city mouse. They still ask about each other but never in a nice way. They plot and I’m like the priest in the confession booth.
I wonder if parents can take their heads out of their asses and actually see how their actions affect their children? No we don’t have to deal with your shitty marriage but we still have to deal with you being divorced. It doesn’t just end when you sign your name. It’s not a broken home. Its a crystal ball with a faded face reading out a prophesy that says. “your child will never be whole, you will pong her back and forth and never think about her feelings, you’ll make snide jokes and she’ll have to laugh so you don’t get mad. And if she manages to get out of high school in one piece, you’ll continue to make her life complicated.” But I guess calling them crystal ball prophecy kids would be too much. Broken home looks better on paper. It’s less whackadoodle.
My brother is 12 years older than me and we only share a mother. My father adopted him but it didn’t take, I suppose, so he’s 100% on my mom’s side. We aren’t close. When I was little, we were best pals but I guess I grew up and started to be able to think for myself and I wasn’t a good little sister. He rarely talks to me. I haven’t seen him in 6 years. If he does contact me, he usually wants something. He’s never really wanted to know the adult me. I’m not okay with that but I’m not mad, if that makes sense. He has gotten close with my cousin and sometimes I feel a tiny twinge of jealousy but again, not enough to really say anything. He contacted me and wanted to know if I would think about driving down to our mom’s for Christmas. I guess he doesn’t know my school schedule, or that finding a pet sitter over christmas who could come and deal with the entire zoo, plus the gas money and the miles on the car and the oh yeah last time I saw that side of my family was right before the family war erupted. While I talk to my mom on the phone now, that’s as far as that boat has rowed.
Again, I want to be offended but why bother. It would be the same christmas just a different year. Thank you but I’d rather sit in my pretty loft with my pretty decorations and my new camera and watch A Muppet’s Christmas Carol.
Instead of spending another year as a broken home child, I think I’m just going to be me. They can deal with it or not. I don’t give a nargle’s ass. And while we are on the subject, December is closing in on us as I type this. So please beware of the nargles that lurk in mistletoe this jolly holiday season! ♥