We were sitting at the kitchen table of our rented home. The one where we used to be a family. The kitchen had loud floral wallpaper with foil in it. The table was a built-in with a banquette seat in an “L” shape around half of it. Mom sat us there because she had “something important” to tell us. She made Dad move out many months earlier, but both of them assured us no one was getting a divorce.
“Are you divorcing Daddy?” my sister asked.
“I sure am,” Mom replied in a tone that suggested she was both mad at him and proud of herself. It disgusted me that she seemed empowered by this decision to rip my heart out. I bit the insides of my cheeks. I will not let her see me cry. I will not let her hurt me. Or at least I won’t let her know.
I don’t think Jon and Heather are getting back together. Who gets back together after moving out and buying new furniture? Why put the children through spending the night at Daddy’s new apartment if the plan is to work it out? I have a close friend going through this now. When she told me of her plan to move out, I was secretly thrilled. Oh, who am I kidding. It was no secret. She knew how I really felt about her husband. How did she know? My face.
I figured the chances my friend would get back together with her ex after going through the agony and inconvenience of packing boxes and separating 13 years of togetherness were infinitesimal. And I felt guilty for being relieved. She deserves so much better than that douche submarine.
Dooce must think she can do better. I’m not saying she has someone in mind, but at the very least she has an idea of someone in mind. Unless she’s really been holding back on us, Jon is a great guy. It wasn’t so long ago she was writing love letters to him on their anniversary for all of us to read. Maybe that should have clued us in. No one who claims to be that in love really is. If there is that much love there, I believe the marriage can be saved. It’s dangerous to give a man a breath of freedom. My mom made that mistake. Telling my dad to move out was the equivalent of sending me to my room to think about what I’d done, and come out when I was ready to apologize. Only my dad’s room was “the whole world full of chicks who don’t nag me.” And he didn’t want to come back.
It hurts me. Unlike so many people, I do not wish them ill will. I am not sitting back and laughing at their misfortune or claiming to have seen it coming. These are not fictional characters.
I know that adults who experienced trauma can revisit it when their own children reach the same age. My mother was abused as a child and had inexplicable panic attacks when pregnant. Heather claims she experienced trauma around her parents’ divorce. I’m not a therapist, but I’m related to two, so here goes: she’s being triggered all over the place.
When I think about her youngest, so close in age to my oldest, never remembering her parents in love, I want to weep.