3 thoughts on “09-04-82”

  1. In the summer of 1979, when I was a few months short of 10, my parents split up. While it was a shock to me and my sister, and mom was now gloomy, two days a week we spent with dad, receiving probably more attention than we had before. I was very close with him and, though life was now much heavier at home, I enjoyed those days at his place. When I was 12 and a half, he remarried and became father to his wife’s young children. Everything changed.

    I don’t think my sister and I would trade in our brother and sister by marriage to get back to our happier days, but I did, in a sense, lose my dad. On paper, he was completely reliable and by the book, but there was some unwritten contract, an unconscious demand from his wife, that, in order to be a super dad to her children, he could not love his blood children more than his adopted ones. I believe the only way for him to do that was to allow himself to see all of the things he didn’t like about his ex, my mom, in me. From then on, he mostly expressed his love for me through worry and pessimism. Nothing was ever the same.

    On Sept.4, 1982, 6 months after my dad’s wedding, I turned 13. There is so much mythology to this age, and for a girl and her father, an archetypal split, as girl becomes woman, things naturally change. As I went into puberty, the circumstances in my family made this shift anything but subtle. It was easy for me to feel a veil of despise and mistrust in their home – just like a shadowed woman in the bible.

    So, yes, on my 13th birthday, it was so – nothing was ever the same, and so what better symbol for the unknown than a question mark? ?

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