Posted by: dinainsuburbia | April 27, 2009

steps

I’ve come to realize that my family, with all its marriages and re-marriages, is quite exceptional.  Sometimes you don’t realize the exceptionality of something (ok- I know it’s not a word, but if Kimora can use fabulocity then I am using exceptionality.. screw her, she’s not the only one that can add words to the lexicon) until you fail to encounter its likeness out in the world.  I can say the same for my family, a web of connections all bound by love- with me in the center.

It’s a lucky place to be, and I think I fail to think of the “exceptionality” of it because the whole dynamic seems so effortless.  The effortless nature of this “strange” family dynamic really is to the credit of my parents.  Divorced when I was 3, my parents never put me in the middle of their relationship.  They never forced me to choose one over the other.  They never made me feel guilty, scared, confused, etc.  Looking back on my childhood, I really remember feeling loved and always having family around. 

Even though I am sure that my parents had many a fuck-you fight out of my ear-shot (lets face it, you don’t need to be divorced to throw down a good fuck-you fight) I was never aware of it.  If my parents had issues with each other, I wasn’t aware of it, and they both put on a brave, loving  face at recitals and moving-up ceremonies… sitting side-by-side to cheer me on, regardless of what was or was not going on between the two of them. 

When John and I married, my mom, step-father, dad, step-mother, grandparents, and two sets of step-grandparents, all sat together at table #1.  And while, at the time, it all seemed so normal to me- because this is how my life has always been- people coming together for me… maybe even because of me.. I step back now and see how really abnormal the whole arrangement is.  It’s a lesson in love- that no matter what has happened in our past, that love can overcome all of it and bring people together. 

I think, if my mom and dad can put aside whatever “stuff” they had going on from their marriage… others can too.  I know it’s not an easy road.  I know that the FIRST inclination is to want to beat the shit out of your former spouse (I mean really, oftentimes I want to beat the shit out of my SPOUSE… imagine if he were my ex?? I’d be sure to throw in some fierce MMA moves).  But if you can get past all the emotions and feelings (which, Buddha would say- aren’t really REAL anyway) so much more good can come.

I wonder why, as humans, our natural inclination is to hold on to negative emotion: when someone hurts us, wrongs us, wrongs one that we love.  You wrap up all the hate and tuck them into tiny compartments in the very pit of your stomach and carry them around for life!  My mom has been a HUGE believer in getting rid of all these bad feelings, because in the end, they serve to only destroy YOU and not the person you direct them at.  It is so true.  And it’s soooooo fucking hard.  It’s RIDICULOUSLY hard, isn’t it? 

I think it’s funny that I hope to be as good a married parent as my parents were divorced.  You think that because they divorced, that they automatically wouldn’t be as good as if they were married.  But you know, separated they WERE better parents.  They always stood together no matter what- and put on a unified front… they were actually a pretty good team (although my mother was certainly the heavy, go-to parent).

I don’t know why I went through the whole exercise of writing this- it seems very self indulgent (do I sound like Simon?).  I just had to get it out there.

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