I am not a “Child of Divorce”
I walk into a room and my pocket,
my vagina, and my heart are given
“hello my name is” stickers with:
abandoned by father scribbled in the blank space.
If I chose to have sex,
I will be known for the girl-who-seeks-father.
The petals on my flower sprinkled
And when I become a teacher with a
lowly income, I will be showered by
mouths that drool pity on our hello and handshake.
“She had so much potential in her,
maybe if her father had stuck around she would have made it farther”.
As if the manufacturing of my dreams depended on the empowerment from man.
My heart likes vegetating on rom coms,
dancing to Latin American serenades,
and passionately desiring to share anything with everyone:
love, pain, passion, hope…
“Maybe if the father hadn’t left her, her heart wouldn’t hand out love to anyone;
the bar would have been set higher,”
I feel that instead, I am told that there’s someone
that doesn’t deserve to be known or loved.
I am a daughter;
borne from my God and the freedom to live my destiny to the fullest.
My father asked me to forgive him every night
since the moment we met:
and that is the gift I carry with me from him.
The rest, is my decision.
Ever since the separation of my parents began, I quickly became acquainted with the justifications available for children of divorced or separated parents. I became very familiar with the accommodating and convincing arguments that justified any failure or socially “bad” decision that I could make about my future regarding relationships, career, and jobs. If I had sex, because I am a “child of divorce”, I was acting out my need for a father figure. Not only am I offered justification for my own decision, but this justification tells me that I do not actually have the freedom (as well as ability?) to make my own decisions. And that I am not capable of owning up to my decisions, because I am a child of divorce. Because I am a “child of divorce” if I did not excel in school it was because I had suddenly manufactured intrinsically low expectations for my future. Therefore, it was only natural to expect that I was not going to make career choices that set me up for a “successful” future (aka earning lots of money [doing something I probably didn’t love]). The list goes on. Especially when you are not only a child of divorce, but a child of a single parent. Most recently, I ran into an article that seemed to have statistic evidence that children of single mothers did not achieve as high or as much as a children coming from a household with a mother and a father.
I have lived an insignificant amount of time and the only thing I know is that whatever I say represents me. I am not entitled to representing another’s life or experience.
But in my experience, when I am justified, I become a prisoner to a limited destiny. In extreme terms, that my case is marked by the absence of hope (aka hopeless). That my future and decisions are determined- even dependent, on the decisions made by other people. These statistics, these justifications, these reasons, this “children of divorce”, makes me feel safe and protected and comfortable. Except they forgot to mention that they steal the opportunity away from you to know that every individual has hope, has gorgeous destiny (we can talk about what that means more in depth, later– over coffee maybe?)– all this, out of the freedom we all have to make our own decisions for our own lives. It means that if I have sex, it is my decision and we can talk about what that means to me later. And if I don’t have sex, it is my decision and we can also talk about what that means to me later. It means that if I choose to be a writer, or work at a grocery store, or become an entrepreneur, or a diplomat, or work at McDonald’s, or make art for a living…. it is my choice. That because I am not actually a child of divorce, but a child of God, I am adopted into a family where I inherit dignity, honor, purity, love, and freedom of being that is intrinsically linked to who I am and my destiny. These things, absolutely independent from my parents’ story. Let’s allow for the freedom to explore our own story. Let’s release each other into the freedom of our destiny and true inheritance as children of nothing else but love.
It is my personal opinion that we are not children of divorce, but children of a beautiful marriage between love and freedom; it is my personal opinion that that is the lens that we should look at the world with. Whenever I try it out, I respect and honor and love you a lot better. And whenever I try it out, I somehow understand what God said to Abraham (when He told Abraham to look at the stars- that his inheritance was going to be more vast than the stars in the sky) a little better; our destiny is more vast than the eternity of the universe.
And it is up to us: children of love.