Saturday, March 19, 2011

SURVIVAL Part C: Divorce

People who are close friends or relatives will already know much of what I am going to write, however, they may not know how I feel it has affected my life.

My parents were married and divorced from each other twice. Now I realize that nearly fifty percent of the population come from broken homes, so some may say many people have survived such an occurrence. I myself may have agreed and in the past, I had not given it much thought. A close friend pointed out he felt it had affected my adult feelings and behavior, upon closer observation, I think he may be right.

In 1964 my parents got divorce number one. I remember when my mother decided  to send my brother, my sister and myself to live with my father. I know she felt that she could not provide for us, as she was uneducated and unskilled. I genuinely believe she felt we would live a better life with him. I believe as a mother she made a heart wrenching decision that came from feelings of love.

I remember, even though I was only seven years old, riding in a red cab to my grandmother's house, where I think my father was staying at the time. My father raised us alone for the next five formulative years. My grandmother also played a pivotal role, excercising much influence and participation in our upbringing. As an adult, looking back, I realize what great sacrifices my father made, being a twenty eight year old man, single, raising three children ages nine and under. Back in the sixties, men did not usually raise children, except in the case of the death of their spouse.

How do all these facts figure into a case for survival? As I mentioned before, my friend spoke of the effects of divorce on my adult life. I must say after much introspection, I have always felt feelings of potential rejection by others, at least on a subconscious level.
  Fortunately, my parents second divorce was less traumatic for me as I was nineteen by then. However, my youngest sister was born during their second marriage. How their second divorce affected her only she can say.

I feel  that coming from a broken family, especially twice, cannot help but affect all the lives of those involved. For me, it seems to have manifested with buried feelings of potential rejection. These feelings are something I am still trying to come to terms with, trying to understand all relationships will not end up broken. Luckily, I have several friendships that have lasted many many years, I am very thankful for that.

On a more positive note I feel coming from a family of divorce, has made me a stronger person. That strength and sense of autotomy have served me well in my adult life.

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