An adult child of divorce faces the facts that good did come out of it for him and his brother.
Mom and Dad,
When I heard that you were getting a divorce, I cried. The pain seemed to ball up inside like an unexpressed fist. Even after 25 years, that season of our lives is still fixed in my brain. I have more perspective now and I want to say that your divorce has helped to make me a better man.
I am not a Tinman in search of my long lost heart, with an axe ready to grind. The divorce was your choice, but I made my own choices. My experience and my emotions, that’s all my own stuff.
Divorce is a public split that creates private pain. For years I carried a lot of pain. I’m over it now, but it took me a long time. I am a little thick headed and it can take me a while to open up. I have been married for almost 18 years. At around the 15 year mark, I finally realized that an argument with my wife does not spell “D-i-v-o-r-c-e.” Sometimes couples need to fight to make their love work.
In a way it was easier because I was an adult when you split up. I had a life and I could leave town whenever things got too hard for me. At the time, I felt like I had to get away in order to build my own life. Divorce is not death. It’s the end of one relationship, but it can be the start of something else. I regret living so far from both of you. My distance made the rebuilding of our relationship harder.
The divorce was not your finest hour. My brother and I could see your divorce coming long before it hit the family. We saw your anger and your pain. Divorce may have claimed your relationship, but it did not claim your future. One of the greatest things that you did for me was to say sorry and then move on. When you began to live your new lives, I took that as permission to do the same thing.
Honestly, sometimes both of you needed to grow up. It was hard listening to dad vent about his pain and mom about her guilt. Dad, alcohol is a terrible therapist. You would probably still be alive if not for your affair with Ms. Whiskey. I wish you were still alive so that we could talk, I have so many questions. Sometimes you were an ass, but I understand most of your reasons. You were a man who lived with his own private pain. I just wanted to say, dad, there is a better way. Mom, you are not Catholic but maybe you should’ve gone to confession a few more times.
I’m not picking sides. Each of you faced the divorce in your own way. I can’t judge you because I did the same thing. I ran away. Mom, I admire your courage and your willingness to take risks. You faced your pain and you have built a new life. You are creative, faithful and loving. Dad, I admire that you spoke your mind. Just know that I hated the booze, the dog-poop stained carpet and your alcohol laced anger. Sometimes, you were an emotional porcupine. I hated that side of you, but as I get older I see more of you in me. You were a broken man, but you taught me a great deal.
Your divorce changed our future because we have each made our own, better choices. Things were pretty bad for a while, now they are better. There is life after divorce. I want to thank you both for loving me and my bro. We are good men. We owe that to both of you.
“This is where I am, this is who I am, this is why I am.”
Keep it Real