Mom Left Dad, background info

I grew up in Sunnyland (a small, unicorporated area outside of Washington, aka “scummyland,” home of the “745 boys” and most of the burnouts in Washington).  My mom worked as a secretary and my dad was a factory worker at Caterpillar.  My dad also happened (oh, and still is) to be an alcoholic.  He always went to work but he also always went out to drink. When drunk he was emotional and often emotionally abusive.  It was a stressful childhood in some ways, not ever knowing what to expect, what mood he would be in.  However, in many ways I did have a great childhood.  We didn’t want for anything and my mother did instill a love of reading, which I still have and is probably the attribute I appreciate most.

My mother always seemed to just accept my father’s behavior and poor treatment.  We never, ever discussed it.  At least she and I never did.  My very vocal sister M. would often urge her to leave him, but she never did.

Now my parents are in their upper 50’s, early 60’s and are getting divorced.  It’s just so strange. 

Per my sister M., who was told by my sister K., my mom had told my dad a year ago that she was going to leave him.  We ate dinner at their house on Thanksgiving and everything was normal and the following Saturday my mom went to look for an apartment. 

 I haven’t spoken to either of my parents and a week has gone by.  Neither have called me.  I’m not so much mad that they are divorcing (I don’t think it my place to judge their relationship, etc…) but that I found out in such a way.  Of course, the divorce has caught me off guard and raises so many questions in my mind.  Here’s just a few:

1. If my dad is so difficult to live with (which I totally do not doubt) then why haven’t they gone to counseling?

2. Why did my mom stay married to my dad for so long if she has been unhappy?  My sisters and I have been grown up and out of the house for quite a while, so I don’t think she was just waiting for that….

3. What will our family be like now?  Will both my parents stay in this area?  Will we still have family holidays?

Okay, I should be asking my parents these questions, but I just don’t feel ready to deal with either one of them.  I have a feeling my dad is feeling really bad for himself, very self-pitying, and while I feel bad for him, he has brought much of this on himself.  As far as my mom goes, I am kind of upset that she didn’t call me, especially once she accidentally told Kelly.

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