My parents divorced when I was 12.
My dad left us right at the beginning of my sixth grade year. He decided that he didn’t love my mother anymore and he left.
I don’t remember the words my mother used to tell me or where we were when she gave me the news. I’m sure there were a lot of “this is not your fault’s” and “this is not about you, but about us’s” and “we both love you’s.”
The truth is that it didn’t matter what was said. The words that were used did not change the reality. My father did not want to live with us anymore. He did not want us to be a family. No other factors mattered to me at the time.
Fairly or unfairly, I laid the blame solidly at his feet.
I was hurt.
I was angry. So, so angry.
Every tear I overheard my mother shed when she thought I wasn’t listening, every missed phone call or visit, and there were a lot of them, only served to make it worse.
My mother would beg me to talk to him, to go see him, but I held tight to the anger. The anger carried me and allowed me to survive the aching loneliness of perceived abandonment.
Anger and hurt eventually breed bitterness. My heart grew a lot of bitterness.
That bitterness grew and twisted and molded me.
And it shaped the relationship with my dad for years.
The previous post in this series is The Moment I Grew Up.
The next post is The Wedding.
Note: This a series I’m writing about my relationship with my Dad. Some of it will not be pretty, but it is time for me to set these memories free. Mistakes were made by everyone, including me, so please read with a soft heart and forgiveness so that I may forgive myself. Some people will probably think that I should not write this, but I offer up two quotes from Anne Lamott for the reason why I should.
If people wanted you to write warmly about them they should have behaved better.
Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.
I will be linking these posts up with Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write because that is the only way I will be able to get them out… to just write.