||[Feb. 16th, 2010|02:58 pm]
I'm new to the community, and I am really looking for some support/encouragement. Today I had decided to try to find some sort of validation to the emotional turmoil I've been feeling for a few months now-Trying to make sense out of all of it. I never knew support existed for ACOD's, I was never even familiar with the acronym until today.
Questions like: Why is it affecting me like this, Should I really be Bothered by it, Why does it feel like I've been so Idyllic in my thoughts about my family life...Have been whirling around in my head for a long while, and I just needed an outlet, and to find others who could possibly be feeling the same way.
I am Currently 25 years old. My parents are currently in the middle of a Divorce after almost 30 years of Marriage, and I have two younger siblings. The youngest is 14, the other 18; to whom I feel very responsible to, and for. I know that's not a correct reference, but it's the best way I can explain my feelings.
The Back Story:
My parents were married in August 1980 My mother was 18, my father 23 and the oldest of us kids was born the January Following. I know that My mother, for many years was feeling resentful-of her life perhaps? Of us? Because she decided to get married right out of high school and didn't pursue a college education, and attain her own independence before she committed to a Husband and Children. I don't really know much more than that, about the early times. What I've referenced above has come from her mouth many times as I was growing up- "Don't ever sacrifice your life for a man!", "you need to be independent, you don't need some man in your life, be happy by yourself!!", " I wish I had been by myself, been Independent!! Lived on my own!" or some variation of the three.
When I was young, I don't remember much of my dad, other than the impression of a really loving-if stern- dad. He Owned his own HVAC Business, and was gone a lot. He never had Set hours when I was little, and often left at 7 in the morning or earlier and didn't come home until 11pm or later-it was always for as long as the service call(s) lasted.
My relationship with my mother, in particular, throughout my preteen/teen years, wasn't a very good one. For some reason My mother, I've always felt, was jealous of me-or thought badly of me- I'm not entirely sure why...She was very much one of those " My way or the Highway " mothers, and there was no in between there. She was also one of those mothers who, for whatever reason, couldn't handle giving affection to more than one child at a time: Meaning, once she had another one, all of her attention was centered on the "new" child, leaving the older ones in the dust so to speak. (and I know that statement is very much affected by some bitterness I have yet to let go of.)
I was a good kid, I never got into any trouble, there were a few minor incidents when I was in elementary school with a little girl I was friends with- we got into trouble for taking things that did not belong to us, that were taken care of (and quite normal mishaps for that age), but other than that I'd never been in any kind of trouble at school or any where else. And the same applies to my siblings as well-no troubles at all. (my older sibling is another story but he's been out of the picture for many years-of his own accord.)
My older sibling and I were very much aware once we were both in our teens that my parents were not happy with each other, more often than not, and would not be surprised if they got divorced. The years went on, things apparently got worse. Both of my parents are guilty of Infidelity, However, I believe my father has been guilty of it for a longer period of time in their marriage, and many more times than my mother.
there were many times when I was a late elementary school age kid/Middle school kid that it really felt to me they were having the most problems. The result of this, from my view, was me being tossed like a soft ball between the two of them. One would 'pick me up' we'd go do things, go out to lunch, to the mall or where ever, then they'd get tired of me, and the other parent would 'pick me up' and spend time with me-Not because they genuinely wanted to be with me, but because they wanted to make the other parent jealous. Then they'd both drop me like yesterday's news and the cycle would start all over again.
In my early teens, around 15 or so, My parents really started leaning on me as a sounding board for their marital issues, problems they were having with how the house was being run/not run, as a mediator for their fights/issues with each other. They would take me aside and trash talk the other to me, and expect me to side with them, and validate their grievances/issues. There was a situation when I was 17 that led me out of the home for a few months when I was 17, and just as I had my 18th birthday and was headed back home-My parents 'dumped' their impending divorce in my lap, and told me they were separated. I couldn't and can't say that I was surprised, but it was a heavy load to carry with me.
A few months after I hit 18, I left as fast as I could, I moved to California. I did run away from the problems at home-because I felt so angry with the way I felt my mother felt about me, and because I couldn't take the back and forth anymore. So Suffice it to say: I was hurting, but I felt like it was My personal role to be strong, to bear the brunt of the situation so that my Little siblings didn't have to-but I couldn't handle it anymore, and I have never been good good at sharing Sadness with my family members. While I was in California, I would get phone calls from one parent or the other-Usually my dad, when he was having trouble with the two younger ones, asking/telling me to talk to them and tell them to behave, and I cannot tell you how awful it was, to feel like I needed to do something, but at the same time....like I couldn't ever get away.
This brings it 'round to The Present: My mother filed for divorce once, but recanted about 3 or 4 years ago, because my father asked to be given another chance. During the midst of that, I had moved from California to Hawaii, where I Married My husband July of 2006. I feel now, that I had too idyllic of a future painted in my head...The two families together, visiting, laughing, enjoying each others company- Mid-summer bonfires out at my childhood home, roasting marshmallows for s'mores. All of that went up in flames when I came to realize about 5 months ago that none of that, would ever happen, because my parents were not happy together any longer, that my dad had been continuously unfaithful, and when discovered, he was really unrepentant about it. They had just grown apart, I can understand that, and I can accept it. The way my father went about the situation with his new woman I don't agree with-but that doesn't make my understanding any less than what it is. They are now currently in the midst of their divorce and this brings me to the, 'Why does it bother me so much?' I don't know....
Here I am, an adult, with a Husband of almost 4 years, and a step child of my own....and I feel like a child again...I feel like my home life has been torn apart, all that I'd hoped my life would be like having to do with my parents/siblings, is gone now. And I hurt. I hurt for my siblings because they call me, upset at the latest blow up, or issue that has arisen between my parents, and I'm in another state, and I can't do anything about it, at the same time I feel so guilty because part of me wants nothing to do with it. I can tell my parents that they are being immature about the situation, and I can chastize them as I always have had to do, about how they are hurting the kids...but I feel at the same time like just, hanging up the phone and covering my ears. How do I cope with this?