I was the one who partially initiated the divorce. You can’t really say whose fault it was, because it was both our fault. Little by little, we stopped seeing each other, stopped trying, or gave up. But I told him I was done, and he suddenly wanted to try. But I was tired after years of trying and not getting anywhere or anything in return. So when I made up my mind, it was final.
I had always had a tenuous relationship with my parents. My childhood was a mixture of happy memories and very, very, bad ones. For a long time, I was bitter about it, but as I became an adult, I started to see my parents as people. Only human, and they did they best they could, considering they came from backgrounds of normalized violence and abuse. They were substantially better, and I wanted a relationship, so I embraced the messy.
When they found out about the divorce, they were in turns confused and then angry. I had never indicated that there was any problems in my relationship, and I had never said plainly that I was unfulfilled and unhappy. I had been taught as a child to keep unpleasant secrets, and this is what I did even as a thirty year old woman. When my husband went to them crying and telling only a highlight version of my most unflattering hits, they turned their backs on me. I know I am not perfect. But I also know, neither was he. He was just more open and when I tried to do so, it was too late. I had kept secrets for too long, and too many. He had gotten there first. Most people’s families stay on their child’s side no matter what. This is not my family. They were from a strict Catholic background, they liked my husband and liked me less. So, I was left to face this divorce without the support of my family. It has been over a year. And while a few of my family members talk to me occasionally, most do not. My mother has completely cut contact and said she wished I was dead. The rest of my family, follows her guidance, so I have been virtually eliminated. I miss them. Even if they are messed up, they were the only family I knew.
It has been more difficult losing my family than losing my marriage. My youngest sister is disabled and taken care of by my parents, so I can not see her anymore, and we were always very close. It is isolating and strange to suddenly be a person without a place to call home, or a place to return to when everything falls apart. But what this has taught me, even though I wish it hadn’t, is that I am stronger than I think. There are people out there that aren’t related by blood that are good and care and willing to reach out. I will always hold out hope that one day my family will come back to me, and even though I am hurt beyond description, I hope one day we can start to repair our relationships.