Hello everyone, Cipher here. I’ve decided to take my “A few times per week” Plan and throw it away. I just like to write, and if that means posting once or even twice a day, then so be it. ANYWAY. Today I wanna talk about the role teamwork has in the lives of parents that are divorced.
When a couple, and especially couples who are polar opposites in personality have children, they are forced to work together to reach the same goal, which is raising that child. But.. Very few parents realize that even if they split up, that need for teamwork doesn’t just go away. Children need structure and consistency, and you don’t get that if you have parents who have very different ideals on what the child should grow up to be. As one example, and as the example I will be working off of, one parent could have a few very basic rules that build a structure of clear cause and effect discipline.. And the other could have a very large set of different rules laying around in a pile with no clear set effect for each cause. A child rocking back and forth between two very different world’s could easily get dizzy and fall over.
I strongly believe that such a strong difference in lifestyles between two parents can cause personality disorders in children whose parents divorce early in their lives. I’ve never done any research in it, but I’ve noticed signs of disorder in myself. My parents divorced when I was around four years old, and the two of them are about as opposite as opposites could be. My mom clung to, and still hangs on to the very small family she has left, while my dad rarely speaks to half of his, and the list of differences goes on for miles.
When I was growing up, I had two different sets of parents. There was my mom and her twin brother, and then my father and his new bride, who he married and had a child with shortly after the divorce. I should mention that my parents had a child before me, my big brother who was ten when they split up. Now.. I lived with my mom, and visited my dad twice per month. And at my mom’s house… Things were strange. Her brother had, and still has but it’s simmered down, some behavioral and psychological problems. Very small things caused him to fly off the handle and he was never ever wrong. He was what much of my life revolved around. I had to keep him happy to secure my own safety and happiness. But there was no clear way of knowing just how he would react to what you said or did. Couple that with a rather protective mother who was terrified of losing the two things in the world that she loved the most, and you have a lot of rules, that lead to a lot of varying consequences. I got away with a lot, especially when I was little. I didn’t like vegetables, and in an effort to get me to eat something, my mother caved and allowed me to eat just anything. At one point I put myself on a strict hot dog diet. But on the other end of the spectrum, we’re I to disagree with her brother or say no to him about anything from football game invitations to whether or not I was “happy”, I would be met with a rather harsh shutdown.
My father was much different. He and his wife established a structurally sound parenting technique that was as clear as this. You follow these wide ranged but easy to understand rules and breaking each one has a very distinct outcome. Usually grounding and removal of privelages like tv and sleepovers. There was a mutual trust between parent and child to do the right thing, and it led to much more freedom to play outside or visit friends. I watched my sister grow up under these rules, and I must say, she flourished. In fact, I ended up with a very strong inferiority complex because of it. For much of my childhood I was angry and resentful towards my little sister because of the cards she held in life. And even today I’m still jealous.
Bouncing between these two very different families, I developed two different “modes”. I had to. There was no way that I could be who I was at one home and be the same way at another. I had to be.. And I’m sure this would upset my mother to hear, but I had to be robotic, living with my mom and her brother. Smile, nod, always say yes, and pretend to listen while sinking deeper and deeper into your own little world. I want to add a disclaimer here. I love my mom. She is one of the best women I’ve ever met, and she is stronger than you could ever imagine. But her brother is a man who quite honestly did horrible things to my psyche. Things that to this day have molded me into a person with unusual behaviors and irrational fears.
At my father’s house, I was encouraged to show my love and equally, show my fears. My stepmother and I went from perfect strangers to best friends over the years. And for a while, the robotic personality I exhibited with my mom, was carried over to my father’s house.. And then it started causing problems. Because the personality wasn’t just a hard shell anymore, it was who I became. And it led to fights with my stepmother and my little sister. I was a snotty little bitch when I was little, and I acknowledge that. But I had to force myself to become a more open and relaxed person. Something that I couldn’t be at home. And as time went on with me basically stepping in and out of cold and hot water, I ended up with depression and these sudden, unexplainable mood swings. I have never gone to ask professionally, but I have an inkling I ended up with a fractured personality because of it.
I wished my parents had worked together when raising me and my brother, but they were too busy not liking what the other was doing. And I can’t go on believing that I’m the only one this has happened to. Parents. If you’re unable to settle your differences and divorce is what is healthy for you, then by all means, do it. But.. You still have a responsibility to your child to be on the same page about.. Well, if nothing else then HOW you want to discipline your child.
This post got rather personal, but you know, I’m satisfied with it. It serves a purpose. Anyways, thank you for taking the time to read my nonsense, and I’ll see you in my next post.