The time came when were tired of watching her cry because she was in an abusive marriage. My siblings and I decided that she must leave the village. I was just twelve then and had to make a huge decision in my life. After she left I had to decide whether I was going to live with my father or go to Port Elizabeth to stay with my mother. The social workers came to get a decision. I chose my Dad because he was the only one who could provide; at the time my mom was still unemployed. I was undermining my mother because she was not working. I chose this because I didn’t want to add to her struggle; she already had my big sister to worry about.
My father tried to give me love but the love was not enough because my mom wasn’t there. For eight years I thought I was fine with my mom’s absence in my life. I tried to forget it but I couldn’t bare the feeling of missing her. Most people were telling me I was brave to live without my mother.
When my Dad was around I hid the fact that I missed my mom from him. He had a drink problem and I didn’t want to add stress. Sometimes I thought about leaving without any idea of where I was going. I even thought of committing suicide. One time I tried to kill myself and my friend Paula found me lying down, fortunately I was not dead. I tried to kill myself because it was hard to express my feelings to people. But Paula became my true friend and I could express myself to her. At school I was not sharing my feeling with anyone else, even teachers. Sometimes my teachers would notice that something was bothering me but I would hide it from them. I would sometimes try to call social workers for help, but I would hang up the phone before talking to them.
I don’t know why I never tried to get help because I was under age and people would listen to my story. But I thought I was fine. I forced myself to accept the situation. On my Dad’s birth days, I would write love letters to him, just to force him to give me the love I deserved. But that never worked and I still missed my Mom. It was more painful when I visited her in PE and had to leave after the holidays were over.
I faced teenage problems with nobody to talk to. My father had another wife when I was fourteen and life wasn’t the same again. I never got his attention again. I tried to look for love outside in the world. Sometimes I would cry the whole night and in the morning I would be pretty, as if I didn’t cry. Not even my stepmother noticed that I was no longer happy staying with my dad. I thank the Lord that I didn’t get pregnant.
My parents’ separation left me with anger, bitterness and hatred.
I started hating males. I told myself that when I got married, my husband would abuse me and my kids. I hated divorce. I told myself I would never get married because it was still the same; I would end up staying with my kids and they would have an absent father.
After I passed my matric my father passed away and I thought it was the end of my world. I was twelve when I lost my mom and now at nineteen, I had lost my father too. It was then that I realised that it was time to create a bond with my mother.
Thank the Lord my mother is back again. I don’t know how my siblings felt about this separation but for me, my parents’ divorce worked me up inside. Now I got the healing from my church. I am getting better now and after eight years of bitterness, hatred and feeling lonely, I am now finding peace with myself.
Tell us: Do you think parents realise the damages caused by divorce? How can such incidences be prevented?