How it is that I am becoming a statistic

I wasn't going to write about this, at least not for a while, but I just got home from "17 Again" with my mom (which I really enjoyed--the cougar in me thinks Zack E. is adorable). Walking out to the car, I asked how it was for her. "It was great up to the last part..." she responded. I put my arm around her and said, "There are enough people who live that story that Hollywood is able to make a movie about it." Minus the old, white-haired man and the whirlpool in the river leading to a fountain of youth and the happy ending, it's relate-able. The kicker was the line, "I've been in a bad mood for the last 20 years and blamed you for all my failures." It probably didn't help that the husband in the movie played high school basketball. A little close to home I guess.

Maybe I should include a little disclaimer. For you who are regular readers, you may have noticed that I don't really hold a whole lot back on here. Le'me esplane. There's something about the possibility of having witnesses to my life that is comforting...maybe even a little empowering. I don't know, maybe I'm really weird. The other day when I was talking to my grandma, she asked me what I do with anger. When she suggested journaling, I hesitated. Assuming I'm like most people, she asked if it was hard to write because I'm afraid that someone will read it. Actually, for me it's just the opposite. I don't like journaling because no one will read it. At least not really while I'm alive. I have a hard time journaling because when I write, it takes so much effort to make sure that it will be publishable some day. haha. I'm so strange! Not because I think my life is more interesting than the life of anyone else or even worthy of becoming a book, but because having witnesses to it somehow makes it more worth living. It's like if somehow, some experience I've had or lesson I've learned could help someone else in some small way, any heartache or trauma or embarrassment or laughter would be so much more meaningful. I've even tried the anonymous route, but it's just not the same. Real people live real lives and real life can get pretty messy. I've never been a fan of sweeping it under any rugs. That's just gross.

I'm usually the first to question any statistic published, so I don't know why this one makes me feel better. Not true. I actually think it's a little low and I do know why it makes me feel better. 25% of Americans age 18-35 have survived the divorce of their parents (Elizabeth Marquardt, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, 2005). I know, I know, that citation is SO not following APA guidelines.

I couldn't find any statistics about surviving it twice. Yes, three years ago, almost to the day, my parents sat the kids down (I was living in California and--fortunately--missed that family council) to tell them the "news." Three months later, they were back together and happier than ever. Ah, let me tell you, the roller coaster has been a nightmare, except I'm awake. A little like having a limb amputated without anesthesia. I'm being dramatic. Ignore it.

Just so you all know, I'm NOT announcing this because I want sympathy or anything, just getting it out there. This is one of my "healthy coping strategies." I feel like I've been living in a fantasy the last few weeks and I guess the more people who know, the more grounded I feel. I'm just ready for it to be done so everyone can get on with living. whew.

amen.

4 comments:

chloe said...

First, I totally agree with you on the whole journaling thing...so maybe you're not weird, or else I am. Either way, I feel like I'm in good company.

Next, I'm really sorry to hear about what you are going through. I had the joy of going through it, but only once, and when I was much younger.

Jenn said...

my parents have both been divorced twice, and now, i am going through a divorce myself. since i know what the demise of my parent's marriage did to me, i am trying to be especially cognizant of the feelings of my child during this time.

i have never commented here before but felt compelled to tell you that you will likely come out of the situation a little bit stronger of a person. (disclaimer: not that i don't think you are a strong person.)

Mary and Ryan said...

My parents just got divorced too, after 42 years. They say that it is easier when you are an adult....not true. It sucks at any age and there is no way around it. I think like with everything though, time makes it better. Hang in there:)

InterestedReader said...

You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers this weekend. It is a tough thing to go through all the way around for all the parties.

I'm curious what you think about getting married in light of this? What would you hope to differently to avoid a similar dynamic? I have to admit that this makes me nervous. It is definitely one of the reasons I've stayed single so long. At the end of the day, I know that I need to suck it up, have faith, and dive in. It's easier said than done though.

I'd love to hear from you about this. Your perspective has been very helpful.