Some people are fortunate enough to not know what it’s like when your parents are divorced. And unfortunately there are people in the world that never shut the fuck up and listen when a child of divorce tries to explain their perspective. This is for those people.
As a child of divorce, growing up you can only base your opinion on what you see. In my case, it’s an absent father.
I wrote but my father before (read that here). I want to discuss how my culture plays a huge role in this. In the Asian community, it doesn’t matter what your parents do or don’t do, they’re still your parents and you basically owe them everything. It doesn’t matter if they treat you like shit, negligent you, or leave you emotionally fucked up. It doesn’t even matter if they’re the root of your depression and anxiety. They’re your parents and it’s expected of you (typically only the daughter) to take care of them for the rest of your life (sexism is a huge thing in Asian cultures).
So growing up, my dad wasn’t around and when he was for short periods of time, he usually passed me off to my stepmom. Her job was to keep me entertained for a few hours then return to wherever my dad was so he could drive me home. As a child, that’s what I knew. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just spend time with my dad but I got to spend time with my stepmom (who wasn’t officially my stepmom until I got to high school).
To me, my “dad” is nothing but a sperm donor. We don’t really have a relationship unless it’s me going to visit him and leaving feeling like shit about it. He always has an opinion on my life, especially how wrong I am for worrying about the things I do and the mentality I have. It annoys me to no end. Who are you to have an opinion on my character when you abandoned me to live a leisure life while my single mother and I struggled to build our life?
My culture tells me that because his sperm helped make me, I owe everything to him . That’s true of course, I wouldn’t be here without him but in no way does that mean I owe him anything. Especially when he’s contributed nothing but stress and insecurity to my life. Every single time I went to “hang out” with my father, I got a lecture that left me choked up and usually crying before I can even get into my car. I try so hard to remind myself that his opinions don’t matter but they still hurt and I have no idea why.
I hate, hate, fucking hate, when people say shit along the lines of, “but that’s your mom/dad.” Fucking AND??? Your relationship with your parent(s) is not the standard for everyone’s relationship with their parents. Just because you have a good relationship, doesn’t mean I do. I won’t make pretenses either. For a long time, I felt like it was my fault that my dad left. Do you understand what it’s like to be a child and to feel that burden when you don’t even understand it?
To go through so much of life feeling like you weren’t enough for your own fucking parent to stay with you and love you the way you see in the relationships around you? It’s something that’s buried so deep in me that it’s incredibly difficult to simply live life. It’s always there, in the back of my mind. No matter how happy or successful I feel, it’s there haunting me. If I wasn’t enough for this person that helped create me then how could I ever be enough for anyone, for anything? I still go through life believing that everything is too good to be true because I don’t deserve them.
I have people in my life that are so important to me, and every single fucking day, I wonder if they’re going to leave me. And it hurts. My god does it hurt. To be afraid all the time of being left behind again. To think that their lives would be better without me in it. So of course I do the only thing I can do, push them away first. At least it would be my decision, in my control.
I try so hard not to. I have amazing friends that don’t let me push them away. I’ll never truly understand why they don’t or even how grateful I am for them.