Friday, June 15, 2012

Looking Back

I think I'm going to look back at this time like I now look at the awful stage of my life known as puberty: something necessary, painful, and, thankfully, long over.

My parents are getting divorced. No, that's a lie. Technically, legally, they will be separated. I don't know why they don't want to go the whole way with it, other than the fact that divorce is probably more expensive. But, for all intents and purposes, I'm viewing it as a divorce, seeing as they will not live together or have much contact with each other at all.

At least, that's the plan, for now. Supposedly what their (our) future is going to look like. But right now, that is very hard to imagine or believe in any way. Right now, I'm sitting in my bedroom, the same one I've occupied since I was seven years old. I'm staring at the white and red walls, which used to be purple, before which they were yellow. I'm sitting at my desk, where I sat to do so many projects and write so many essays, from elementary school all the way to university. Right now, in this moment, nothing's changed. I'm ten years old and all the adults are telling me that my body going to change in some freaky ways, and even though they've told me what some of those (gross) ways are, I have no idea how this will affect me or change my life.

Like seriously, it feels like I'm reading an outline for my life over the next year, and all I can do is add little annotations like "that might hurt" or "that's going to be bad" or "I'm not going to like that". Selling my childhood home, the only place I'm ever truly comfortable? Yeah, that's really, really going to hurt. Moving an hour away, to a part of the city I wouldn't even refer to as Toronto, a place I've never been, and, more importantly, never wanted to go? Yeah, no, I'm not going to enjoy that, in any way. Splitting my time between not only houses, but cities three hours apart? Yeah, that's going to really suck for me.

It all feels so overwhelming and out of my control. I feel like life has handed me one of those stupid body books, telling me what to expect over the next year, outlining the physical changes of my life with no regard to the emotional challenges they bring.

I remember when I was about eight or nine years old I read this terrifying book called Newton and the Giant, which told me that people lost their ability to imagine when they left childhood. I cannot emphasize how completely petrified I was by that idea (that author, who is a complete liar, deserves a hard slap upside the head, in my opinion). I thought puberty would not only steal my body, but also my favourite part of my mind. Now, though, I'm not afraid that I'll lose the ability to imagine new things. I'm terrified that I'm going to lose the ability to remember. Which, in a lot of ways, I fear is worse.

Right now, I'm upset about a lot of things. I'm upset with my parents. I'm concerned for my mother. I'm upset about losing my family. I'm sad about losing my house. There are ways to comfort yourself about each of these things ("it's for the best", "we'll always be a family", "it's the people that matter, not the places"). And sometimes, saying those things really does help. But sometimes not. And right now, as I'm sitting in this house I love, surrounded by memories, there's nothing I can tell myself to make me believe that I'm not going to forget all of it, myself included.

When I was ten years old I lost control of my body and I thought I was losing control of myself. Now, almost ten years later, that fear is back. At ten, I was standing on the edge of deep gulf, staring down into the darkness, trying to figure out what I was going to become. I'm standing there again today. And only thought that I have to comfort myself is that I'm ten years older, ten years wiser, and have ten years more experience dealing with pain and picking up the pieces that I should be able to handle it all better. But that's probably not true. But how do I know, right?

Which is why I repeat this to myself: this is something necessary, something very painful, and I promise, one day, it will all be long over.


  1. You're very interesting. I think you've got a good perspective on things, even though, obviously, it's really hard to have a good perspective when things hurt, and sometimes you'll completely loose that perspective b/c you're upset, but I think you're looking at this right.
    Good luck to you!

    1. Thank you. It's very nice to know someone's actually reading and commenting and caring.

      And I just repeat to myself that "it's going to be okay". That helps a lot, even when it seems impossibly untrue.

  2. Parents getting divorced is incredibly hard. Even 11 years later I still worry about little things, "is mum going to be lonely when I leave home" etc. But, there are some good things which hopefully you will notice too. They might both be happier than before when they get a chance to get used to it.They will always love you though. i know it's said so often, but it's so true. It does get better


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