I am now happy I was too young to understand the turmoil in the home, the reason my mother left my father. I was three. As information relayed to me by my older siblings about the not-so-nice-things my parents battled, I accepted why my parents had to separate. They were parents whose union had malfunctioned in detrimental ways. Breaking up was probably inevitable or necessary.
My mother, who became a single parent, did not spew venom at my father after the breakup. She gave her children the dignity to hold on to the best from a union that produced six children. Her silence taught us to respect both. Our parents. And, irrespective of an open invitation to be a father, my father stayed away. Maybe he was hurt after the separation. Maybe he was ashamed of his life. Maybe alcohol had devoured his knowledge of fatherhood. Maybe he was wounded from his own childhood or adult life.
For whatever the reason—rage, insecurity, jealousy, hate, ignorance, new hurt—it is sometimes complicated, but many parents and children hold on to past hurt. As I grew older, I held no grudge against either parent for separating. After all, they were not perfect. Now, with my own child, I am not a perfect parent, either. I had imposed on my child a broken home, too. And, though it is easy “to preach than to practice,” as people say, I try to let go of past hurt and I teach my son to let go, too. What about you? Are you a parent or child who has been hurt in the home? Do you hold on to your hurt or pain? How do you heal?