The Biggest Gift I Could Receive from Divorcing Parents

I have been doing better here lately, there is no doubt about that.  Unfortunately, over the last week or so, I have started to do things like, a) not be able to sleep or b) cry uncontrollably for hours on end, and c) deal with suicidal ideation.  The sleep has been better in the past three days and I am hoping it stays that way because that just makes it all the more difficult.

Holiday times have always been important in my immediate family.  There have always been big lunches and dinners and the tallest Christmas tree that can be found and cookie baking and house decorating and prepping recipes and menus for days on end.  I mean, they were huge for us.  This year has been a stark reminder of just how upside-down life is right now.

For one thing, there is no QoB and Big Dawg.  They won’t even talk to each other, nevertheless see each other.  I mean, I guess I should have seen this coming, but they absolutely hate each other, if the words they say are true.  Words that I am pretty sure I don’t want to listen to but end up hearing all the (fucking) time anyway.

I don’t think they understand how devastating that is, to your child, to disparage your soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife in front of said child.  No matter that this child is 33 years old and Ab is 32.  There was all this drama in the beginning and then they were both adamant that I be kept out of it.

It is slowly creeping back in.  I understand (not really) that they can’t stand each other, but they both need to keep the shitty remarks, comments, insults, etc out of my face.  And its not one doing it more than the other, although Mom is trying harder not to do it around me.  But as with anything, you inadvertently get either of them on a roll, and it’s all downhill (for me) from there.  No one wants to bash their mom or their dad.  If the parents want to, then they need to call a friend or find a therapist.  Actually, they could both use a therapist at this point, and that is me being generous, because they both really needed one long ago.

So what am I to do?  Well, the correct answer should be — support your parents while they are going through this hard time.  And you know, I can still in a lot of ways, but in some ways I can’t.  At different times, they are so upset that they can’t even be in the same room with me, nevertheless talk with me or even text over the phone.  Ok then, there goes two major supporters.  The two peop;le that have been there for me all my fucking life, now as if they have disappeared off the face of the Earth at times.

And that’s not to say they don’t try, because they do.  But they are both in such a bad place, both so unhappy, angry, anxious, stressed, heartbroken that they aren’t always able to be there and I really do get that.

Frankly, I can’t handle this level of stress in my life.  Even when they keep it to themselves, which is definitely not all the time, I am just barely making it.  I am letting household duties fall by the wayside, I am not practicing my DBT skills well or often enough, and all I want to do is distract, distract, distract.  In fact, I have pretty much distracted since August of this year, right before my birthday, when things really started getting ugly.

So, no, I don’t want my parents to get back together.  I want them to TRY to heal instead of being stubborn and thinking they can do everything on their own.  I want them to take the advice they would give me in the same situation.  I want there to be more common sense and less anger.  Maybe even a bit of being polite — I do see a tiny bit of it from both parties.

But more than anything, I really don’t want to hear anymore negative speeches, from one about the other.  No more snide remarks, comments, jokes.  I am your daughter, and I deserve that much respect.

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13 thoughts on “The Biggest Gift I Could Receive from Divorcing Parents

  1. I don’t think you have an obligation to them. Not at all. You did not ask to be born. They made you and as such owed you all of the support and nurturing they gave you growing up. You owe them nothing. I watch this kind of dysfunction go on day after day in the clinical setting. Parents forget when they are slamming each other, how it can be terribly demeaning to their children, the product of their relationship. “I hate them,” becomes, “I wish you were never born. Even without actually saying the words, it still FEELS that way. Not to mention the guilt, tug of war, choosing sides. Take care of yourself. ((Hugs.))

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  2. You’re really between a rock and a hard place. There’s no right way to handle it. You might want to back away a little bit, for your own sanity. I know it’s hard, but while they are in the thick of battle, they aren’t really sane themselves.

    Hard to believe, I know, but they will calm down. They don’t hate each other as much as they think they do right now. Divorce brings so much shit to the surface. It’s hard to keep from going off the deep end. The lawyers throw gasoline on the fire — on purpose, I think. The more adversarial the divorce, the better the lawyers make out.

    Try not to get sucked in too. There’s nothing for you to gain in this situation except heartache. Hang on in there. It’s a very rough ride.

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    • Everything you have said here rings true, especially about pulling back and not getting sucked in. Really working hard right now to give people their space. Might be the most difficult part.

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  3. Unfortunately this is probably one of those situations that you have to just ride out until its over, but just know that it will be over at some point. Presumably you’ve tried telling them that you don’t want to hear that kind of stuff from them and that hasn’t worked? You have to distance yourself from it, mentally at least if you don’t want to physically distance yourself from them, keep reminding yourself that it is absolutely nothing to do with you (the nastiness part), you didn’t create the situation, and you can’t end it or control it. I know it’s far easier said that done, but try and visualise it all bouncing off you, rather than being absorbed by you.

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    • I think you’re right — about just riding it out, and that being the option. Some point is hopefully a point in the foreseeable future although I think that a little less and less every day. And here I am, I am starting to distance myself physically. It keeps some pain away but brings other in. And I like that visualization — I’m going to try that for sure.

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  4. You do realize that you may be more likely to get a pony at this point, right? (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    I agree with blahpolar that showing them this post might be the best thing to do. Is your mom still reading your blog? They should both be able to take you and your sister into consideration when they get stressed and not just dump everything at your feet. Not only would seeing a professional therapist be easier on you, but they could see someone with specialized training to better help them through this.

    Hang in there sweetie. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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