My parents have been divorced for over ten years and the process and aftermath of it made my life very different.
My parents were in their early 20’s when I was born. They liked hosting parties and having fun. These parties created many problems. One night at one of the parties, my dad got drunk and it led to a big argument with my mother the morning after. My dad truly regretted it, but it was a major problem to my mom. This argument led to many more and these arguments went on for hours.
My older brother always had to keep me calm at these times. There was a night when my brother and I slept in my parents’ room and an argument broke out between them. I woke up and saw my brother lying there, wide-awake. After seeing me awake, he took me out of the room to eat breakfast before school.
“They will be fine and work it out, don’t worry about it,” he said, wanting me not to worry.
We sometimes talked about how our parents were going to break up and how we could tell there was going to be a divorce. There was just so much arguing that divorce would be the best and only option for them.
It was not a friendly divorce. The divorce ruined my childhood. After the divorce, business for both of them went downhill and my dad became distant. We did not see him for more than two years. For the first year, we made our mom go through such a hard time, only talking about wanting our father back. She never complained because she was the only person left to take care of us. She struggled to take care of us without my father, but she stayed strong through it all for us. My older brother played a big role as my mom depended on him to watch over us while she was working. He was the father figure in the family until our dad came back.
My family does not know where my dad went during those years away. All we know is that after coming back, he was changed and a better father. We could tell that he was trying to become a better dad because of how much more attentive and inclusive he tried to be.
At first, I was furious with the fact that he left us with our mom and did not say anything. Then I realized that he knew he messed up and was trying to become better. It took me awhile to fully forgive him, but it was worth it. My dad could have been taught wrongly and is trying to right those wrongs. People have the ability to change. In many situations, change is good.
The transformation my dad went through changed my family. With him being back in our lives, we were able to do so much more since my mom couldn’t drive us around often. Today, my dad tries to go to all our school events, sports games, and is always trying to find time with us. The divorce was one of the best things that happened to my family.
For a long time growing up, I wanted my parents to get back together. I used to pray every day that they would get back together. One of the reasons for that was seeing other families with both parents eating dinner together happily. My family never ate together because my mom and dad didn’t like seeing each other. When I was 11 years old, I remember going to my friend’s house and seeing his parents being so nice and kind to each other. After I told my dad about it, we had a talk.
“Not everyone’s family is the same,” he said.
“But why can’t ours be like my friend’s?”
“Our family is different from your friend’s. That is just a fact that we cannot change and I am sorry, but some people, like your friend, have parents that get along easily. Your mom and I don’t get along with each other and we think that it is best if she and I only ever talk about raising you guys up. You don’t want your mom and I to be arguing all the time, right?”
“Of course not, I want you guys to love each other again,” I said.
“People lose love for each other. It happens. As you grow up, you will understand, but right now you’re too young.”
I will always remember this conversation because a week later, my dad and mom set up a family dinner and they did not argue once. The dinner was not even quiet. Everyone talked like it was normal, including my parents. They became very friendly and stopped hating each other. I was fine with that because it was better than arguing.
As I got older, I realized that people can change. People can lose love for each other. Not everyone will like each other.