The Shrapnel of Divorce Brings Back Memories
By Melissa Mensavage
Since I was eight, I’ve split my time between my mother and my father. My parents divorced and we had the standard visitation schedule – every other weekend and one night a week. And to this day, I still get a pit in my stomach when my dad leaves from our visit.
Over the weekend Dad was in for a visit with me and the boys. I loved having him here with us, spending together and more importantly he and the boys building a relationship. So when he left on Sunday to head over to my brother’s, I teared up. I didn’t want him to go. I wanted to tell my brother, go home and Dad is staying here. But of course, out of fairness to Dad, I let him spend time with my brother and his family.
Today is his actual departure day. I texted him to see how he was doing and say I miss him. Its been on my mind all day that he is leaving. The pit in my stomach has been here. I am teary. I hate this.
I think its been around 35 years my parents have been divorced, maybe 34. I don’t know…who cares at this point, its just been a long time. I had no clue this feeling would stay with me into adult life. It could also explain why I am not a jovial person when he is here because I know he is going to leave and it’ll be a while before I see him again.
Now, I know as an adult, and a traveler, after so many days of not sleeping in your bed, living out of suitcase and interrupting routines (not intentionally), its time to go home. And you want to go home. I totally get it. Someday I will share the public meltdown I had as an adult in the middle of Singapore because I was exhausted from traveling. Quite embarrassing but reality.
This pit in my stomach solidifies my decision of being a single mother by choice. I don’t want my boys to have to choose. I don’t want my boys to have this sinking feeling of sadness when they cant be in both places at once. I see families in my neighborhood do the Sunday night drop-off and I am quickly reminded of mine.
I would get so stressed out about the drop-off, I started this rocking thing in the backseat of the car. I would sit and rock back and forth, almost in a manner of personality disorder. While doing this I would escape. I would think of everything but what was going to happen – the hugs goodbye, the sadness in my dad’s eyes, the I love yous. Killed me.
So yes its been killing me lately with the ‘Where’s my Dad?’ questions from Max. But honestly, I’d rather say ‘We don’t have one, its just you, me and Theo’, than have them go through that drop-off, sharing, torn experience. Its not fun, whatsoever.
Neither situation is perfect – divorced with children, or conceiving children with an unknown donor to raise by yourself. But I had a choice, and luckily I am able to break the sadness cycle.