Careful what you wish for!
Working through my issues during a sabbatical, a piece of my past explains why deep down I can move to France with ease.
How did we end up in France?
Of course, we are following our dreams and inspiring people to put family first. I hope we are examples of pursuing happiness. However, I am talking about the deep down at the core of my person reason that made me agree to a life change and have the ability to feel fearless about it.
A long year sabbatical can bring a whole slew of unresolved issues to the surface. While my friend Sherrin was visiting from Canada we touched on a very sensitive issue, my childhood.
What many may not know about Alfonz and I is that we are both products of the modern marriage, and the far too common broken home. Although I love my families, I have a desire for security, like those whose parents stay together. They seem to feel a natural safety from those connections. I find myself envying families with grandparents who help out with the grandchildren, families who spend their vacations together with both parents and siblings and people who have these lifetime attachments.
Divorce is so common place that we often forget how hard it is on the children. Parents think that because it is so wide spread, that it is acceptable to save themselves, thinking that there are resources to help people get through it and not realizing the children do not have a choice in the decision. Kids have no choice to be brought in this world or have their security taken from them.
In my case, my parents took a long time to recover from their split and were obsolete for a number of critical year of our emotional development. I know not every situation is the same, and there are cases that divorce is obviously a better alternative when abuse or life and death are concerned. I am talking about the level of commitment that starts a marriage is sadly underestimated, and at the first sign of trouble, they may not have the tools to cope and end up leaving.
With marriages at the 50% fail rate, an even higher number of relationships never make it an official partnership, I have to wonder if marriage is a feasible institution. And bringing children into a faulty relationship seems crazy to me. Yet it happens everyday.
When tackling demons, I find at the core of my soul a twelve-year-old girl completely torn apart by her parent’s unexpected split. That part of me never dealt with the feelings of abandonment that goes along with divorce. She remains there is a protective cocoon waiting to be consoled. Over the years, she is subdued muffled under the distractions of my life. She grows impatient and once the chaos of my life went silent, I could feel a twang in my heart. I had no choice, it was time to deal with my unresolved issues.
At twelve I kept strong, trying to help my parents through a rough time. From the outside, I looked virtually unaffected by their divorce and kept my sunny disposition. Even then, I realized whatever I was going through was only a fraction of what my parents were going through. They had to deal with so much more, that even I put myself on the back burner. It brought out my maternal instincts very young.
With their divorce came a level of rejection. While my parents struggled through the aftermath of rebuilding their lives, our extended family left us as well. They decided to protect themselves from the spoils of our broken home, as if we were a contagion to avoid or they too become infected. I tried to connect with them as I got older, asking for advice, although it often backfired on me as my anger towards them would surface. Almost as if someone gave them permission to ignore my father’s first family and the offspring he produced. We were the spoils of war and easier overlooked instead of helped. We were deserted.
I grew up independant relying on myself. Worked my way through life, paying my way and doing what I thought was right since I was a teenager.
So how does this sad story play a part in to our decision to move away? I hope to find a place where people stay put, those who root in their surroundings. A place where everyone knows your name like the theme song for the famous TV show Cheers, and they are always glad you came. I want a community around my children and not just a home. Not a pieced together society that constantly changes, on the contrary, I search for a secure neighbourhood we can rely on. Giving something my parents simply overlooked in their equation when they split.
I moved out at seventeen, went between two family homes, spent a lot of time with my friends making them my family. I was lost until I found my own family. Now that I have them, I am determined to give them stability, security and a reliable life.
That’s my Aha moment, when I realized that everything does happen for a reason, and every lesson learned plays out in other moments in your life.
I am nearing that forty year old marker and something that happened to me nearly three decades ago is finally resolved. That alone is worth the journey to finally have the pieces fit together and make sense.
I guess by now we know better than to bother with regrets. Thank you, I hope we find community and stability as well. If not the world is grand, and I’ll explore until we find exactly what our family needs. Next time you’re in Capestang or Beziers we shall meet.
May Capestang give you the community and stability you need and deserve! It looks like a lovely town — I visited a couple of times this summer. I grew up with roots; then I lost them by living a serial expat life.