When You Can't Fix Everything

March 21, 2013
By , Overland Park, KS
Looking back now, the entire scene has such a cynical lens over it. The little angry voice inside you acts like you were fine and it didn't hurt worse than anything you'd ever experienced. But it did.

My parents sat on opposite sides of their bed, my mom not even able to look at my dad. They called me and my three little brothers, all under the age of 10, into the room. At first, they tried to calmly explain that things weren't working and that they were splitting up. But then, my dad decided to fault my mom and she snapped. Breaking point. She lashed out, saying that, "Since mommy didn't clean the house all the time, daddy went and got himself a girlfriend!"

That's, of course, when all hell broke loose. I ran away from the house that no longer felt like home and walked around in the frigid February weather without shoes on, no care for anything.

Time passed, like we never want it to, and my dad wanted to see me. The bubbling, seething hatred inside me was so foreign. I felt so guilty, but I was so confused. But it was justified, wasn't it? The first time we saw each other was at this cramped Starbucks that I'd never been inside, far enough away from home that my dad didn't have to have memories of my mom. I held back tears as I asked him why he would do this, if he really cared for this woman he had destroyed his family for.

And he didn't know. He was a completely different person than the man who had raised me - a stranger who still had the ability to rip my heart from my chest, just now without the guilt that should come from such a thing.

My parents went to therapy after some time passed and my mom could be around my dad without being sick. They decided I should go, that it would be good for me to "talk to someone without a bias". In theory, sure, sounds tolerable. But when that therapist, on the first day, told me that "honestly, sometimes relationships are kind of like beating a dead horse, honey", you realize that maybe therapy wasn't for me. Neither was honey.

I couldn't fix my parents. It wasn't my place to. All I knew was that I suddenly had to look at them as humans who made horrible mistakes, ones they have to live with just as much as you do. The hatred still bubbles up, even though my parents have reunited; whether it be for the kids or because they actually want to be together, I'm none the wiser. I've forgiven my dad, but there is still that piece of me that can't fully wrap my head around what he did. Maybe I'll never be able to. Maybe that's best.

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