Being a child of divorce meant that I spent my life pretending. Here are a few examples:
- I had to pretend that half of my family did not exist. If I was in my mother’s house, my father and his family did not exist. If I was in my father’s home, my mother and her family did not exist. There is one exception: my paternal grandmother was always very fond of my mother. And my mother was fond of her as well. There was even a photo of her on the wall in my mother’s home for a few years. But they rarely talked, and my daily life consisted of pretending that my dad’s family did not exist.
- I had to pretend that I was OK with my parents not wanting to live with me full time anymore. When new children came along on both sides, who were spending vastly more time with my parents than I was, that is when this really became clear.
- That having two bedrooms and two homes was really great. I tried to believe this lie, I really did. But I just couldn’t. Then when my dad moved into a new home when I was 12, the day I arrived to visit for the weekend I found out that I didn’t have a bedroom with him any longer. So I lied by pretending that I was OK with this.
- That I was OK when my mom no longer had the same last name as me.
- That I was OK when my mom replaced my birth name with my step-father’s name. I remember having a negative feeling about it when she decided to do it but I was too young, and definitely too intimidated, to say anything.
- That I was OK with being excluded from family photos.
- That I was OK with two birthdays and two Christmases every year, one for my mom and one for my dad.
- That I was OK with my parents ignoring each other.
I may turn this into a series. This way I can create a new post when I think of more items for this list.