The D Word

Grandma Kc wrote this on May 9th, 2014 25 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

Writing all of these stories about my childhood has been fun and it has been good for me, too. It let me remember some of the wonderful fun things that happened on the farm when I was young. Nevertheless, eventually I have to talk about what was going on behind the scenes. I have to talk about the divorce or I can’t go on to talk about all the other stories that came after.

I didn’t come from a happy home. I had lots of wonderful adventures and memories but I didn’t come from a happy home. I don’t remember a time in my life when my parents weren’t fighting. I don’t mean the occasional disagreement either. I mean screaming and yelling from sun up to sun down. My sister and I learned early on to get out of the house when my Dad came home from work. Because my mom was going to start a fight over something. They didn’t just yell and scream either they threw things. It was safer to be somewhere else. Sometimes we would go play with friends in the neighborhood but I also had a couple of hiding place, too. Having a 50 acre backyard did give you some options and hiding under the pine trees was one of my favorites.

50+ years later, I can still remember those terrible fights.

I think I was about 10 when they finally separated. I was relieved. I was thrilled. I actually thought things would get better once they were divorced. For years, there had been many fights that led to the talk of it. They continued to stay together “because of us girls”. I used to pray they would get a divorce – if they weren’t married, they couldn’t fight. I thought life would be more peaceful. I was wrong.

Hillsdale County Courthouse 2012

The court proceeding were a nightmare. I remember everything about that courtroom and sitting in the witness box. This was before the days of family court where a child would talk to the judge privately. 8 months later and a few weeks before the divorce would become final the judge died without having written the decree. My parents had to start over. I had to testify again. This is certainly one of those times I wish I didn’t have such a good memory.

Our mother got custody of us, the farm and pretty much everything else. Daddy was to have custody of us one weekend out of the month and for a week in the summer. I don’t think my sister ever went with me for a weekend or in the summer. My mother had gotten a doctor to write a letter to the court that Judy’s epileptic seizures could be brought on by stress and that my Dad caused her stress. I have a different opinion about that!

There were no stipulations for holidays and since Christmas, Easter, birthdays — seldom fell on the weekends we no longer got to celebrate them with Daddy, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles or our cousins. My mother would never let us spend time with any of them if she didn’t have to. My sister and I were the ones to suffer.

I often read posts by grandparents who don’t get to see their grandchildren due to divorce. I know how it feels to be the grandchild on the other end who doesn’t get to see their grandparents anymore. I wish all parents going through a divorce would read this and know how unfair it is to deprive your children of their family because of your divorce. Your children don’t deserve to be punished. They did nothing wrong.

I also often read post around this time of year about mothers and it is always difficult for me. Not all moms are created equally and not all of them truly have their children’s best interests at heart.

My sister and I lived on the farm with our mom until I was almost 13. I still have some lighter stories left to share about those early years but this needed to be said, too. Thanks for listening.

25 thoughts on “The D Word

  1. Hubby Huberson

    Good post honey. Let’s hope it benefits some kids who otherwise wouldn’t get to see their own grandparents and who are otherwise victimized by their parents’ self-centered focus on their own happiness.

    xoxoxo
    HH

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thanks Honey. It would be really great if it could make a difference for some child out there.

      Reply
  2. Joy @ Yesterfood

    Heartbreaking. You are right- it’s the kids that suffer when the parents put their own issues first above the kids’ needs. :(

    Thank you for sharing this part of your childhood. I am a retired teacher, and I used to tell my students that I used ALL of my former teachers as role models….some as how what kind of teacher I wanted to be, and some as what kind of teacher NOT to be. I think parenting is a little the same way. Those of us who grew up in difficult homes can use those experiences as how NOT to parent and grandparent, and you have very obviously done that! I’m so glad that you were able to parent your daughter differently from how you were parented, and I’m so glad that Amara gets the wonderful grandparenting that you missed out on.

    Hope you have a beautiful weekend! ?

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thank you, Joy. I don’t think I would have won any mother of the year awards and there are sure things I wish I could do over but I did learn a lot – like you said. I do think that missing out on so much with my own grandparents is part of what motivates me to have such a strong relationship with Amara. I want her to have what I didn’t have.

      Reply
  3. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    All childhoods are not created equal, and I know that old saying about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but sometimes enough is enough. My father walked out when I was around five, and my mother was a single mom when that wasn’t a socially acceptable role in life. All of those memories are with me at all times. My plus side was being sent to my grandparents’ farm whenever there was a week off from school. They were always thrilled to have me visit and I loved having a ‘grandfather’ along with my grandmother. I’m guessing our childhoods are what made us strong adult women. :-)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am sorry Judy, that can’t have been easy. You were lucky to have your grandparents, I think part of why I loved to skate so much was that to do it I had to block everything else out. Sometimes we need that. And yes, we are stronger for what we got through.

      Reply
  4. April

    Made me cry. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that! What a horrible ordeal for you both! I never knew for sure what happened except that your parents were divorced. It wasn’t discussed, at least in front of any of us kids. I just remember that you were such a big part of our life and then you weren’t there anymore. I never understood why. I just knew that I loved being with you both. I always looked up to you and thought you were the best cousin ever! I missed you.

    You are so right, it is often the children who suffer when there are divorces and there is no reason for it! Everyone suffers! I know that Grandma missed you girls so much! You were always in our hearts.

    This must have been so difficult for you to write. You are such a brave and strong woman! I am proud of you.

    Love you, April

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Your reply made me cry. This really was hard to write. I guess I never thought about the fact you guys might wonder what happened. I guess I just thought you knew everything. My mother talked about everybody so I guess I figured everyone else did, too! Plus, I guess I have been so pre-occupied with how much I missed out on I never thought that Grandma might have missed me. Thank you for telling me that.

      I am so glad I have you and the next time I get home to visit we have to get all of the cousins together!

      Reply
  5. Joyce

    I’m sorry these things were part of your life, but I applaud you for talking about them publicly. I think the worst damage to kids comes from keeping secrets about things at home. You really did take the best parts of your life and use them to make things better for yourself, Jenna, Richard and Amara. Good for you! I’m glad that you had a sister to be there with you when things weren’t so pleasant. I’m sure that was a great comfort.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      There are just so many stories that couldn’t be told if I didn’t talk about some of this first. Funny thing about keeping secrets – when Jenna was little I guess I often told her I would explain something to her when she got older. She is sure there is stuff that she has forgotten to ask me about!

      Reply
  6. Sandy

    Reading this makes my heart ache. It was all so unfair to you and Judy and your dad and the family left behind. There were many lessons laid out for you in your childhood, and you did a wonderful job of learning from your mom’s mistakes. In spite of it all, you chose to be a positive person and to live with integrity and grace. You became the wife and the mommy and the woman that you needed your mom to be when you were little. And you have an amazing family who loves you deeply to show for it.

    We both know that good things do come from horrible situations, and if it weren’t for all of this, you and I would never have met! I’m so grateful we did and that I have you in my life!!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      If anything sharing all of this in more detail has made us even closer and it has made us understand Daddy better, too. I love you bunches – just wish I had gotten you much earlier in life!

      Reply
  7. Launna

    I completely agree with you Kc… parents NEED to stop being so selfish. I do not like my ex husband for many reasons as you know… but I do not deny him access to his daughter and I allow his parents as much access as they can have living in Russia. If they lived closer I would encourage them to have a relationship… this is their only granddaughter and they love her immensely.

    None of this is fair to the children… that’s what we as parents need to remember, this is not about us… this is about our children and their well being.

    Honest and open post… the truth should be written more often…

    Have a great day ?

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      You are doing everything right — he is her Dad, they are her Grandparents! You are one of the good ones! I am divorced from my daughter’s Dad and we both made an effort not to talk badly about one another in front of her and while we are not friends we are not enemies. He has been to our home for Amara’s birthday parties and such. It sure doesn’t hurt me any to share Jenna with him. He is her Dad.

      My mother had issues.

      Reply
  8. Axiesdad

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. I very much tend toward viewing the past through rose colored glasses, especially in my blog, ignoring Dad’s drinking (like father like son) and the problems and embarrassment it caused. Your honesty and openness have provided a needed reality check. I suspect that none of us come from “perfect” homes.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      From the beginning when Debra suggested I start writing stories about my own childhood I have struggled with how I would deal with explaining my mother and the divorce but I am really glad I finally did it. I have told Amara stories about my parents and I think it has really made her appreciate how lucky she is to have a Mommy and Daddy that like each other and to be surrounded by so many grandparents, aunts, uncles and a couple of cousins, too. I haven’t explained everything about my mother to her but I guess you kind of have to keep things age appropriate. Maybe someday.

      Reply
  9. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    This hurts my heart to read and I know it was hard for you to put into words. But what a relief, I’m sure, for you to have shared it. I admire that so.
    I, too, prayed and prayed for my parents to divorce and was incredibly relieved when they did. Thankfully the proceedings were not as horrendous as yours, but life after was — for myself and six siblings, all in different ways.
    I understand your words about Mother’s Day being a difficult time. Father’s Day is, too. The greeting cards don’t allow for something like “Yeah, you made a nightmare of my childhood but I do appreciate that you didn’t abandon me.” (I think we need to start a REAL GREETINGS greeting card company, Kc!)

    I admire you for the guts and heart you display here.

    Reply
  10. Lilli

    It seems like holidays are difficult for many of us but for different reasons, me and husband were just talking about this the other day. I had a nice mom who I miss everyday and of course even more on Mothers Day. I also feel sad for other reasons on Mother’s Day though and was glad when it came and went. Hugs to you Kc. I guess we just have to count our blessings where we find them.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      You are absolutely right – holidays and Mother’s Day in particular can be hard for a lot of different reasons! Most of the time I can just forget the past and enjoy the wonderful life I have now. I have so much to be thankful for! Sending you a hug, too!

      Reply
  11. Connie

    So very sad and I am so very sorry! I hope someone reading this will think about how the kids feel and put them first. It is something you live with all your life. Thank you for being so painfully honest.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      If nothing else I learned from it! Unfortunately my marriage to Jenna’s Dad ended in divorce but both of us have made an effort never to put Jenna in the middle. Of course she is grown now but this was when she was in her early teens. We always tried not to talk negatively about the other to Jenna or in front of her. We were probably successful 95% of the time! And she did continue to have a relationship with both sides of the family.

      But that was us – yesterday was the Father and Daughter Dance at Amara’s school and I was talking to one of the students before school and I asked her if she was going. She was probably 2nd grade and she says “No my parents are getting divorced and Mommy won’t let me.” How sad is that?

      Reply
  12. Rhonda

    What a touching story. I can relate to the fighting parents, unfortunately mine didn’t get a divorce. They fought until my father passed years ago. There were seven of us, we all have issues in some form to this day as a result of it. I married and divorced, but I raised a daughter who is happily married. Thank goodness the circle of dysfunction was broken. Please visit, I have two adorable grandchildren that I blog about. Glad I found your blog. Connecting with other grandmother bloggers is difficult.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Hi Rhonda, I really wish you couldn’t relate. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would have been if my parents had stayed together. My first marriage didn’t survive either but I sure learned from my parents mistakes how to deal it with it nicer! So something good comes out of it. I did stop by your blog – your grandchildren are so cute! I can’t wait to see more of them!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>