Divorce, after 24 years...

After 24 years, financial difficulty, adultery and an illegitimate child, my mum has decided to cite for a divorce.

To fully grasp the concept, allow me to explain.
My parents got married when my mum was 28 and my father was in his late forties, with 2 failed marriages and 5 kids behind him. They had been together since she was 19 and they had my sister when mum was 21.

Everything was cool until I was 10 months old. My father moved to the US because of his job. And we did go too, later on, but we had to come back because my Grandmother fell ill.
While he was away, he sent us letters care packages, but suddnely they stopped. In 1996, while visiting, I came across a photo of some woman. I showed my mum and she asked my father about it. He said she was an 'old friend'. Warning bells sounded. Eventually, those letters and packages stopped.Years went by and we looked for birthday and christmas cards but they never came.

Later, it would emerge that he had been in a relationship with the woman in the photograph for 14 years and there was a possibility that he had fathered her youngest child- a boy.

Through my teenage years, I dealt with my absent father by over eating, and becoming withdrawn and paranoid about my appearance. At home I was a happy and normal child, but at school, I would go off on my own to sit and stare into space, not saying a word to anyone. I had friends, but I couldnt keep them for long. I cant deal with any relationships now, actually. At 11, I got into rock music. I could express myself or feel better by listening to it, people thought I was strange. School worried and called home, but it was overlooked as there were other things to deal with.

Things were hard at home, my mum worked shifts and would be gone for days at a time, just to make ends meet. I reached adulthood, my sister married and had a family of her own and moved to Cyprus. Mum became depressed and was either working, hiding in darkness or going on spending sprees with credit cards she couldnt afford to pay off. I had to cope with that as well as her having 2 minor heart attacks on my own.
There were times when we had called my father asking for help because we couldnt afford to pay the mortgage on the house- we were trying to save the roof over our heads, but he was always broke and couldnt help. Turns out he had just bought his 'old friend' a new Mercedes.

My sister came back to help get her get out of debt and then my mum decided to move to New York to be with my father. We were shocked. But 2 weeks before she was going, my father sent a letter- he no longer loved her or wanted to be with her. Yet she still went, hell bent on revenge. I speak to her now, and shes a shadow of her former self. Her voice is hollow and monotone- like there's nothing left. We switched places. I'm now the parent- worried and concerned, she's the child- scared and naive.

I dont recongise either of my parents anymore and it scares me. I havent spoken to my father for the best part of 2 years and theres no chance of a reconcilliation. When I do speak to my mum, she's just angry- at me, at my sister, at herself, at him and at life. My father meanwhile, has kept schtum about it all.
So now they're getting divorced. All I can say is about bloody time! A relationship which has spanned over 2 continents for 24 years, isnt logical or healthy.
I doubt things will ever be the same. I wont get the father who's lap I used to climb into for a cuddle back, nor will I get the mother who used to sing me songs when I was feeling down.

Notice how I dont call my father 'Dad'? Yeah... See, in my eyes, anyone can be a father but it takes a real man to be a 'Dad'.

Divorce and separation affects us all, no matter the age. Its just how you deal with it. Im still trying to.
Posted on February 9th, 2007 at 09:26am

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