I’ve considered myself the black sheep in my immediate and extended family for many, many years. I adore the only sibling I have…my brother, but we couldn’t be more different. He sees things in black and white and I see things in every single shade of gray. I would like to lump my three cousins into my sibling category. And yet, even as the second oldest of the five of us, I still feel very odd woman out.
Everyone has thriving careers and has had them for many years. Growing up, I remember having a knowing of what each one of them would do for a living. Art, politics, engineering, pharmacology…and then there was me. I entered college as a theater major and exited with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Only to now be making a living in sales and fundraising. It’s funny how that works out.
I was the last out of the five to get married at the ripe age of 38…and I am the first to get divorced at the riper age of 43.
While I know the choices that I have made within and about my marriage were and are the very best choices for me, I still cannot help but to feel I am such a disappointment to my family. A disappointment not just with this, but throughout my life with different choices I have made. My parents are the most amazing, supportive people on the planet and quite frankly, the most important people in my life. They have never uttered these words to me.
When you separate from someone and eventually divorce not only do you grieve and feel sadness but if your family members were close to your significant other, they will also be going through their own grieving process. This was the case with both of my parents but more so with my dad. When I was home over Christmas and recently separated, I remember my dad being very sulky one evening. He was quiet at the dinner table and then just went into the bedroom to watch the news. There was definite tension and while I understood what was going on, I was feeling that my dad was just so not happy with me. I walked into the bedroom and asked him what was wrong. I knew he was sad. Then with tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked the question…’Dad, are you disappointed in me?’ He told me no, he was not. He was just very sad. 100% understandable.
These feelings I have about this situation are mine and my alone and I know I have to work them out and forgive myself for feeling this way.
As my teacher always says, ‘It’s an inside job.’