I’ve never thought of myself to be dramatic. I play around a great deal and I am very theatrical but when it comes to real life issues, I think I always handle them pretty well. And I think I can say the same for this situation.
I always took pride in the fact that both of my parents were in my life. That they both lived under the same roof and that they both were involved in every aspect of my life. I took pride in that because where I come from it is truly rare to see.
It made me smile when other people asked me if my parents were still together and I could almost jump for joy after I answered and watched their facial expression and reactions. I loved that my house was the kick it spot on the block and that all my friends loved my parents and my family. It was just a really good feeling. It made me feel like that was the one blessing I had that many other African American children didn’t. It made me fit one less stereotype. To the next person that may not matter to them but to me, oh it definitely mattered.
I use to watch movies and shows that featured divorce. I even heard about it often within classmates and I always felt it was so dramatic. Most of my friends have experienced it with their parents and when they cried, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes (don’t think I’m a horrible friend). Of course I felt it was sad when younger children were involved, but when it came to older kids (14 and up) I just felt it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Well now I’m the child experiencing it and I’m still very nonchalant about it in a way. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s as if it just doesn’t matter to me. I feel like I’m too old to cry or whine about it and be dramatic. My mom is a great mom and my dad is a great dad, and together they did a great job. Although the role of parenting is never complete, I feel as if I’m past the age where if my parents were to separate it would cause much harm to my life. I honestly don’t know how to explain it but I just think making it a big deal or about me would be selfish.
I chose the word selfish because although I am their daughter, I am also a young woman now. I am a young woman that has experienced many things and that includes love. It includes arguing with my partner, feeling unhappy and most importantly, wanting to end a relationship but being afraid to. If I was afraid to end a relationship at the age of seventeen I can only imagine what my parents feel. To split an entire home up is a lot to think about and I just feel it would be selfish to make it about me. I want to be mad. I want to be self-centered and tell them to stay together so that when I come home I can have just one place to call home. So that I can have only one house to go to on the holidays, and so that I can sit in the middle of their bed and tell them both stories instead of repeating each event in my life twice.
But I also can’t help but to think how wrong that is; How wrong it is to expect my parents to stay together just for me. They deserve to be happy too, right? They deserve to be loved and cherished, not just tolerated, right? I think so. I would love to see them happy, maybe just not with anyone else.
Believe me I know this makes no sense.
I know I am just rambling on and on, but this is just me actually processing it and thinking about it for the first time.
I haven’t really given myself any time to think about it, and now that I am thinking about it, I do not want to anymore.
It is what it is.
No need to be dramatic.
by DAMAYA WALLACE