Who am I to write about this?
I am someone whose parents divorced quite publicly in the society I was raised in. The junior school I attended was small and everyone knew anyone who came from a broken home. I am not sure when society stopped using this term, but it truly was a broken home. My earliest memory of being singled out as that child whose parents were ‘divorced’ was when I was really unwell one morning with a fever and wanted to go home. Two of my teachers discussed in the corridor in a loud whisper that I was probably seeking attention. I was 'you know who her parents are.' The following day I was in hospital. I can recall many years later at an event overhearing two grown men say, ‘You know whose daughter she is? I wouldn’t want my daughter being friends with her, you know how they act up.’
I will never truly know the events of my parent’s divorce, not in front of the children was a common theme back then. My mother was unhealthy with the truth and has since passed away, so I can’t fact check and I don’t feel the need to put my father on the stand for his decisions so long ago.
What I do know is this. IF you chose to go to war and you have children in the middle of this, it’s how you behave afterwards that can repair so much of the damage that you can and probably will cause. If you decide to continue to battle and hurt each other your children will be exponentially affected by your behaviour. My mother decided to battle at every given opportunity, and the damage was astoundingly deep and only made obvious to me when I became a mother. The anxiety of having both of my parents in the same room was so horrendous that even when I was in A&E after a major car accident high on morphine and in agony my most memorable thought was ‘Somebody please get them all out of here.’
I subsequently got married, had two children, and got divorced in record time. Yes, my divorce will be one of the stories because it would be wrong not to share my experience as well. As someone said recently ‘your story is nuts.’ And that it is.