It was a very sad and deeply moving day for all of us when my older sibling took to the skies and flew into the Air Force. Not getting much choice as to which branch of the service he would have to join, it would be the choice of the Air Force that my Mother would make for him. She feared the Army and the Vietnam war that had killed so many unfortunate people, so off he went to the service that had been chosen for him. While it may have been a sad day for Mother, it would be the grandest of a day for me as my nemesis had left and I only had myself to fear. My Father quietly kept his emotions on that day to himself, like always, but I knew that his own memories of that same moment when he left his parents to serve his country, voraciously tugged at his heart eventhough no sound or physical communication followed. It would be the straw that would break the marital contract. While my Mother sat distraught with sadness that her oldest had left the nest, my Father shed no sympathy except denial and quietude which grew into a huge deafening emotional explosion. It had been building up for a very long time and the departing of my brother to the military service brought it all down with one big blow up.
For many days to come the emotional tension hung in the air like heavy thick fog. This would make for intense moments that could be set off no matter what you might say in a conversation. The line of patience had been stepped over and there would be no turning back as their marriage had failed. I secretly hoped for a quick and uneventful finale, but that would not be in my favor as the tension and verbal wars would continue until her exit. That day of departure would resonate in my mind for weeks and it would impact the facts as I saw them.
"RELATIONSHIPS"-STOP DO NOT ENTER"
I saw that sign over and over and dutifully obeyed my hearts command.
I have to hand it to her, her exit plan went smoothly and uneventfully. One moment there and the next meticulously removed from our lives.
Bing, Bang, Bong! ......no goodbye
Selfishly and immaturely, I celebrated the removal of another obstruction to peace and quiet. While she was my Mother, those last few years of cohabitation were miserable. You would never know when the eruptions would occur, and it made for tense living quarters. Lucky for my brother as he avoided the dismal end and all the catastrophes that would culminate in the final days till "E-day" (exit day).
My father and I were explicably told not to tell my brother of their imploded relationship and to NEVER mention that divorce was just around the corner. He was to be spared the drama and all that came with the termination of the two people he knew as Mom and Dad. Why I was not spared would never bring about an answer to my satisfaction. I have accepted the fact that she saw me as the enemy in my Father's camp and my resolute opinion's of her did not make for her complacency to stay in the marriage and work things out. There were two of us against her and she felt that she had no other alternate route but to exit for her own survival.
I pitied my Father's inability to talk things out and to resolve the seemingly unresolvable issues that created the demise of their marriage. I could see he was no match for her verbal attacks and it was just easier to throw in the towel in order to gain some sort of compromise. He would just give up and shut down over and over again. I watched it all with a front row seat, the movie, however, was not my choice as the ending did not make me smile, or have the happy Hollywood ending. No, it was a drama beyond anything I had ever seen and would definitely earn the Oscar for best "Screamplay" and mean sound bite editing.
It was shot in "Techni-difficulture" and the writing faltered due to communication breakdown between the actors. The critics would have panned this and I would equate it to a "D" (dismal)movie.
The aftershocks of the eruption in our lives were of a huge surprise and continued day in an day out. My father refused to acknowledge what transpired except to say that it was time for her to go. Mother on the other hand expected him to go running after her and when he did not show up the first few weeks after her departure, she became even more enraged. It seems that she was being supported by her friends and my Aunt, to leave my Father as most all of her supporters were divorced women left to their own demise. So why not bring another into the circle, afterall it was the mode of things to do in the 1960's. To be the free swinging single woman and go have a great time....it was the thing to do.....so it seemed for my Mother.....only it backfired with unforeseen emotions that surfaced later in her own private hell.
The insecurities that she felt by making her own choice to leave the marriage would spill over into our lives like a silent virus. You just never knew what to expect from her or at what time she would show up unannounced or start the relentless phone calls brought on by the hangups of angry condescending phone calls to my Father. It was truly a case of no longer being in control of our lives that consumed her when she was not at work. Unfortunately the much needed reprieve we would get would only last until the evening hours and then it would repeat itself again and again. My poor Father would come home from work and just play hide and seek. He would never answer the phone in order to stave off any more judgemental conversations. I would answer and cut the calls short and just unplug the line so that some sort of peace could be found, if only through dinner. I could never understand why she didn't connect with the way she was acting and the shrew she had become. Emotions ran high and uncontrolled with her. Only now I see that I inherited the same ability to dissolve when control is taken away by my own choice. Absolutely debilitating when being played out, and humbling when recognized and accepted. Recognizing and changing your actions will make for a calmer life.
After many weeks the constant aggravation began to subside. We began to have peaceful evenings and conversing dinners. I took on the role of Mrs. Homemaker and held the home unit together. I cooked, cleaned, did the laundry and shopped at the market. We were just two bachelors sharing a home and I could finally begin to see some sparkle back in my Father's eyes. Once the momentum of not buying into her actions paid off she began to get on with her life, which was fine for her but not fine for my Father to do the same thing. It was the ultimate "double" standard of lost love. "I can be happy and move on but your not allowed". The moment my Father met his next relationship and Mother found out, the explosion would be heard across the state.
The havoc created from insecure assumptions is detrimental and dangerous to anyone wearing any shade of envy. Trouble started from the first knowledge of my Father's new friend. The jealous boxing gloves came out and Mother was not going to allow this "friendship" to go on. Only this time she would find that a sleeping tiger had busted open the door to his invisible cage roaring back loudly and ready for his prey. To say that it was stunning to see it all play out was mild, it was astounding to see my Father take back his respect back calmly and furtively.
I was both proud and taken aback by his resounding language and amazed at how simple and pointed the conversation was when my Mother cornered him to confess about his new love. I am still haunted by the devastating look that seemed to overtake the anger that she had arrived with and how her ego left shattered pieces scattered on the floor when she left the house after my Father took his stance on the matter. It is a truly difficult thing to see the people who are supposed to be your guides in life, unveil their private feelings in front of their child. The horror of how this all went down would suspend any feelings I may have had in seeking a relationship in my future.
This would begin the healing process that was long overdue for the both of them. All I wanted was to be left out of anymore confrontations and to just get out of school and get away to start my own life. The one major thing about all of this personal drama unfolding around me, was that it made me go deeper inside myself and to turn up my human shield to ward off any contender who may want to have a go at being together. It corrupted my psyche for many years until I reshuffled my deck and turned the cards up one at a time with the help of my shrink who in no uncertain terms made it very clear that I needed to leave the past behind and not walk those roads anymore. I no longer had a crutch to lean on and to give me reason to avoid any personal dramas. The drama's and the comedy's are what life is all about. Just because your parents did not grab the golden ring does not make it unattainable for you to not grab it. I took his advice very suspiciously and learned to take the chance that he had spoken of.
I can see that a lot of my own personal roadblocks have been silently hidden from what I saw back long ago, and only now they are being addressed. I have a lot of support and conversive therapy from friends and colleagues which has made the past actualities hazy. Now I can understand the complexities that my parents had to
overcome and I view their lives differently now.
There were many things I failed to notice and my immature comprehensive skills produced selfish one sided conclusions.
These two people loved each other very much once, I have the letters to prove that, yet that was not enough to sustain such heavy blows to each others emotional bear traps. Somewhere and sometime they lost each other at some cross street.
Each one a survivor and each one left the earth never really learning the power of forgiveness.
Knowing the true meaning of forgiveness can alter your entire being. I have learned that meaning and everyday I am thankful that they loved just enough to give me life and to show me that happiness and pain is needed to make me feel alive each day. I love them both for that and still miss them to this day.
I never use the word D I V O R C E anymore as it sounds to much like a tear jerkin' country song.
I prefer to say "DOMESTIC FLIGHT CANCELLATION".
That sounds safe and easy.
It is verbally accurate because when their marriage flight was cancelled they both had to be rerouted to new destinations where each had to purchase their own one way ticket to the rest of their life.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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