When people ask me about my parents being divorced, I always let them know that I don’t remember them together and to me they have always been apart and it really should stay that way. The farther apart from each other, they were, the better off I was. That is what begins this tale, that distance. Though short at first, the distance between them could not be measured in actual miles but in the world apart they kept my sister living in. Accommodations aside, sometimes it felt like changing into someone else over between place to place to cope with what I had and didn’t have.
I didn’t realize the effect it would have on me, though, other than being able to pack efficiently. When it came to participating in life, I either had to make try and schedule my parent to take me to friends’ houses and practices, or stay home. Getting to and from some place was always an uphill battle, so staying at home became a preferred option to arranging their schedules to coincide with all that we both wanted to do. I eventually gave up on trying to do things outside of school and the occasional after school activity. It was like being trapped in a prison made for myself. Bars made of glass so I see all that I was missing, but just can’t reach through it because I am afraid of what might take to get to the other side of them.
By the time I entered high school, my dad moved out thirty miles away from my hometown and things become more difficult. I had gotten into a routine of going home from school where my day would end. Having half your world one place and a half in the other leaves me with two halves a singular life which is not enough. The reason I am writing these logistics is because of the effect it had on the other side of my life. My social life, and my life with my friends.
What ended up happening is that I learned not to invest in the life that I had. Never reaching out to those around me, or trying to go to events. I would become someone who would be there but would fade into the background so I wouldn’t have to worry about the eventual let down that came with not being able to participate. Eventually, I got in with a good group of friends and suddenly I was invited to go places and hang out with regularly, almost like Icarus, I flew towards to the sun. Not being able to see my friends on the weekends. Soon my moment of flight turned into a free fall as the invitations came less and less frequently. Stuck with listening about all that I had missed. I got fed up with that and decided to at least get to know as many people as possible. Phasing in and out of groups, learning about a lot of people all at once, never having to worry about becoming too involved. Just involved enough. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all of my friends, I cherish them greatly but I just couldn’t stand being disappointed again.
It felt like I wanted to become a ghost, something that could be there and disappear at the same time. Never having to worry, and being able to survive in with some semblance of a normal school life. The bigger problem is when I got what I wished for and I had nothing to hold on to. Never investing, and disappearing, only to be hurt by not existing in the first place. Never being the first choice is the cost of living a life like that. Being known but not thought of, to say the least. Even though my friends have been the one consistent thing from moving back and forth, I couldn’t bring myself to fix myself so I could rely on them. I hope to grow, and keep investing in my friends and to reach out and build back the friendships I could have had. Being something more than a phantom of who I could be, something tangible and solid to point to and rely on.
I know it sounds cheesy, but to all the people who I have had as my friends, now and from long ago, I love you all and the times we have had together and thank you for them be them grand or small. I am working on reaching out and staying involved. So I hope to talk with you soon.