No matter the wrongs, the disappointment, the devastation, we can always choose to move forward, heal, and rebuild.

best pals

I don't remember very much from my childhood (the reason behind that is still undetermind) but I do remember their separation. I remember the divorce; the screaming matches, slammed doors, tears.

I remember taking her side at every turn. Six year-old me couldn't have possibly understood the complexity of their relationship, or why he wasn't choosing to stay. The only thing I could conclude was that he was no longer my friend, and I would protect her.

For whatever reason, I came out of the womb a mama's girl. She had been my preffered parent, and their divorce would only make us closer. The authorities labeled me inconsequential and incapable of making my own decision of where to live. He pushed me through child therapy, hoping I would learn to see things differently. Despite what seven-year-old me wanted, joint custody was granted. However, I would do everything to assure my choices were understood.

When Dad would come to pick me up for the weekend, and as his footsteps sounded on the cold concrete stairs, I would hide. The linen closet was my favorite. The small space was overcrowded with blankets, towels, extra sheets. My mission would be to shimmy underneath the entire pile and push myself as deep into the closet, away from the door as I could. I prayed no one would find me, not even Mom. I just wanted to be alone. I couldn't stand them fighting over my attention and time anymore.

Why couldn't we just be a happy family. Why did he leave. Why didn't he want to be with us anymore? How could he expect me to go with him without kicking and screaming; he had ruined everything.

His actions set everything in motion to change the courses of our lives. My envious heart claims that I would've been happier had there been two parents in my home, but could that really be true? Should I allow my parents and my expectation of what "the home" looks like determine how I feel about myself and the life I am creating?

I know that had things been different I wouldn't have some of the perspectives I have on life, I wouldn't have the relationship I have with my mom, but hopefully a less skeptical and logical mind. I'd like to think that I've turned out okay, besides the rational fear of history repeating itself; of being shamelessly abandoned. As I've shared my deepest most secret fears with those closest to me, I've realized that we tend to all have similar fears.

There is constant fear that if we let our walls down and someone hurts us, we will never recover. The truth is, if we let people in, they have a greater ability to hurt us, but their close proximity also allows for a greater love to be felt. Pain and relief will always balance each other, as will the hurtful and kind people of this world. If we don't try, test, and trust we will never love and be loved to our greatest potential. No matter the wrongs, the disappointment, the devastation, we can always choose to move forward, heal, and rebuild.

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Emily Cannon
See all posts by Emily Cannon